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Lower cost winter golf destinations for couples


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#1 JKC27

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 04:16 PM

Hi golfWRX!  Checked out the site a few times, but this is my first post.  So hello to all!  Look forward to participating as much as I can on here.

I guess my question will best be helped with a brief background.  My wife and I are avid golfers, she is 42, me 45.  I have been golfing since I was 12 years old, but basically a weekend warrior.  She picked up the game about a year and half ago - loves it!  (I know...lucky me!).  She is still learning, I am a capable rec golfer (shoot 90s on 18 on average, her low 100s).  2019 will be our first year with a couples membership at a local course here in Windsor, Ontario.  That being said, our golf season is pretty much April - October.  Beyond that....weather pending....it's range, or indoor golf sim locally.

Next year, 2020, we want to do a winter golf trip.  Honestly though.....we have a few ideas, but I find myself unsure of even where to start.

Hopefully this fine community of golf folk can help steer me/us in the right direction based on these particulars, or at least provide some thoughts/advice:

A)Thinking it has to be southern US - Caribbean too expensive is what it boils down to.  I know the US/CDN dollar exchange rate is not great right now so that is a major factor.

B) Doesn't have to be beach resort related, but warm weather would be a bonus.  Would like to do a 3 or 4 night stay with 2-3 rounds of golf.

C) Assuming a car rental is almost a must

D) Don't really want to drive long distances from wherever we are going to stay/sleep - budget will be a factor here too.  Options for activities other than golf would have to be there.

E) Budget is going to come into play - cannot do $100+ each rounds of golf

F) prefer not Las Vegas

G) Don't want to play courses that are going to extremely difficult - she is quite new to the game.

H) bonus - I can get good flight deals out of Detroit! Detroit metro airport is a 20 minute drive

After doing much research I think I have concluded that Florida would be too expensive/too busy from the January - March time frame.  Myrtle Beach is on our radar, but I gather it's not too warm this time of year.  Another appealing destination is Arizona - looks like Tucson has the best deals for golf rates.  Primm Valley?  I see lots of talk about Palm Springs even.  FYI - neither of us has ever played desert golf.

Sorry for the crazy long 1st post!  Look forward to here what yous have to suggest.


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#2 abergervt

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 04:23 PM

Highly suggest the Roth trail in Alabama or the gulf shores Mississippi area where they give away hotel and golf packages

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#3 tiderider

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 08:11 PM

2nd the rtj trail in alabama or the biloxi, mississippi area ... winter is florida's prime season ... a 3rd suggestion would be bandon dunes ... won't be warm, but won't be brutal cold/snow ... mississippi wil have the casinos and some music options, and is a short drive to new orleans ... rtj trail in alabama will have the most 'options' in birmingham, where i live, but there are other courses within an hour or so that are part of the trail/package, and some that are not part of the trail/package ... myrtle beach was 70 F today, which is plenty warm ... it can get a bit cold there, but it doesn't get too cold ... doubt their packages are cheaper than rtj or mississippi, though the quality of golf is a bit higher ... desert golf is the best bet if you want an absolute guarantee on the weather as we can get some rain during the winter down South ...

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#4 AppAlum

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 08:18 PM

Pawleys Island SC is considered off season until March and some winter days can be in the 70ís. Might be worth a visit.

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#5 jvincent

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 09:32 PM

I'll third the RTJ trail in Alabama.

I'm headed there again in March. It's definitely within your budget and you can either pick a location with multiple courses or use one location as a base and drive to some of the others.


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#6 PepsiDuck

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:00 AM

Iím going to vote for a Palm Springs, though Iím slightly biased having lived there for a few years. It will certainly be busier and more expensive during the winter months, but you are still likely to find a deal and there are such a wide variety of courses that cater to all skill levels. Not to mention that you will likely run into plenty of your fellow countrymen, as it is a very popular spot for Canadian snowbirds.
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#7 bradski

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 12:23 AM

1. Orlando. Cheap flights, cheap hotels, reasonable golf and tons of deals on golfnow and teeoff.

I think the next 2 will cost more.

2. Phoenix, prime golf season with many course
3. Palm springs , similar to phoenix


I just worry about weather and activities other than golf and some of the golf destinations can be lacking in non golf activities.

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#8 tommg

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 08:32 AM

Kiawah has some great deals in winter, Hilton Head, Myrtle too. We usually go in March and the weather is iffy but way better than our lovely Windsor #metoo. My brother winters in Palm Springs and loves it but the golf is not cheap.




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#9 BirdieRoll

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:04 AM

Phoenix golf rates are at an all-time high in my opinion and I bet Palm Springs is similar.

I'd look at Hilton Head. A good barometer of golf rates would be to go to GolfNow. Rates in Hilton Head are a fair amount cheaper than Phoenix and there are tons of affordable VRBO options right on the island.

You could fly from Detroit to Atlanta to Savannah and drive 50 minutes to HH or fly right into the smaller HH airport via Charlotte. Then you'd have the airport, the golf, lodging, everything right there.

The other knock on desert golf, thinking of your wife, is that a lot of courses (not all) have 6' deep green-side bunkers.

Jacksonville and Orlando are a couple other options. Maybe it'll come down to which destination has the best airfare deal.

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#10 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:25 AM

If you stay out of Scottsdale you can find plenty of golf in Phoenix at a decent rate. Especially in the south east part of town,  and numerous courses that will be playable for your wife. We went last January for a week, played eight rounds, and only once neared that $100 mark. And outside of Florida, it’s probably your best chance of almost ensuring warm(ish) weather.

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#11 golfandfishing

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:53 AM

Warm winter weather and inexpensive golf/lodging is counterintuitive. But, it can be done. As suggested look at the outskirts of Phoenix for house rental and golf.

My first instinct would be Myrtle Beach, but you can easily get 40 and rain for a week while the week before and after is 60/70 and sunny. But thatís why golf can be had for $30 and a condo on the beach for $75. Go further south and the temperatures increase as does price. Climate largely dictates costs in the leisure travel space.

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#12 DandyDon

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:11 AM

I guess you need to decide whether your primary factor is the warm weather or better golf....
RTJ should be decent weather, and it is the best bang for your buck in the country
Phoenix should be good weather, but the good golf courses are very expensive.  However, the second tier courses are pretty damn good
Palm Springs should have good weather, but their better courses are too expensive at that time, and their second tier courses are not nearly as good as Phoenix

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#13 tjblue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:17 PM

Check out Destin or Jacksonville/Amelia island area. Not as warm as southern Florida but better rates for golf and rooms.

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#14 Instron4204

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 07:11 PM

Keep it in Canada and go to Vancouver Island.  Weather will not be as warm as southern US but no exchange rate to worry about and Victoria has some great courses on winter rates.  Just bring your rain gear.

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#15 dhartmann34

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 07:23 PM

Biloxi for sure!!


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#16 Dan Drake

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:45 AM

View Posttjblue, on 09 February 2019 - 03:17 PM, said:

Check out Destin or Jacksonville/Amelia island area. Not as warm as southern Florida but better rates for golf and rooms.

Full disclosure, I'm biased here, but.................

Destin, FL in the Panhandle absolutely is the right answer!  

The cooler months are still quite temperate, except on very rare occasions.  The golf absolutely is top notch with some great courses and reasonable driving between them, depending on where you want to stay/play.  Also, the beaches and water are most beautiful during the colder months and there are restaurants and shopping a-plenty if that is of interest.

And the best part?

The winter is our "off-season!"  Everything is less crowed and the rates for hotels, golf, and literally everything else are CHEAPER that time of year whereas (as you so astutely mentioned) the other warmer climates will be the opposite.

Come to Destin/Sandestin.  Stay, play, and enjoy a great Winter golf trip!
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#17 Night train

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 12:15 PM

Texas

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#18 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 12:17 PM

View PostDan Drake, on 10 February 2019 - 11:45 AM, said:

View Posttjblue, on 09 February 2019 - 03:17 PM, said:

Check out Destin or Jacksonville/Amelia island area. Not as warm as southern Florida but better rates for golf and rooms.

Full disclosure, I'm biased here, but.................

Destin, FL in the Panhandle absolutely is the right answer!  

The cooler months are still quite temperate, except on very rare occasions.  The golf absolutely is top notch with some great courses and reasonable driving between them, depending on where you want to stay/play.  Also, the beaches and water are most beautiful during the colder months and there are restaurants and shopping a-plenty if that is of interest.

And the best part?

The winter is our "off-season!"  Everything is less crowed and the rates for hotels, golf, and literally everything else are CHEAPER that time of year whereas (as you so astutely mentioned) the other warmer climates will be the opposite.

Come to Destin/Sandestin.  Stay, play, and enjoy a great Winter golf trip!

I’m sold Dan. Is my room ready and what time’s dinner!?��
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#19 JKC27

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:50 PM

View PostBirdieRoll, on 09 February 2019 - 09:04 AM, said:

Phoenix golf rates are at an all-time high in my opinion and I bet Palm Springs is similar.

I'd look at Hilton Head. A good barometer of golf rates would be to go to GolfNow. Rates in Hilton Head are a fair amount cheaper than Phoenix and there are tons of affordable VRBO options right on the island.

You could fly from Detroit to Atlanta to Savannah and drive 50 minutes to HH or fly right into the smaller HH airport via Charlotte. Then you'd have the airport, the golf, lodging, everything right there.

The other knock on desert golf, thinking of your wife, is that a lot of courses (not all) have 6' deep green-side bunkers.

Jacksonville and Orlando are a couple other options. Maybe it'll come down to which destination has the best airfare deal.

Airfare will definitely be a factor.  That's one advantage as a Canadian living close to Detroit - air out of Detroit is so much cheaper, and then I don't have to drive 4 hrs to Toronto for a major airport too.

We could almost drive to Alabama/Mississippi, but 14 hrs is a long drive.

re: desert golf - I supposed I'd have to try to avoid the very challenging courses - would hate to have my wife losing balls if she gets overwhelmed by the scrub areas or as someone mentioned super deep bunkers.

My wife seems to be favouring Arizona so far, but lots of time to decide.

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#20 JKC27

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:52 PM

View Postgolfandfishing, on 09 February 2019 - 09:53 AM, said:

Warm winter weather and inexpensive golf/lodging is counterintuitive. But, it can be done. As suggested look at the outskirts of Phoenix for house rental and golf.

My first instinct would be Myrtle Beach, but you can easily get 40 and rain for a week while the week before and after is 60/70 and sunny. But that's why golf can be had for $30 and a condo on the beach for $75. Go further south and the temperatures increase as does price. Climate largely dictates costs in the leisure travel space.

Myrtle Beach is for sure on our radar - I got one of their golf/vacation guides last spring.  The weather though, as you mentioned, seems quite variable.  And yes......totally agree with the bolded!


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#21 CMCSGolf

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 04:43 PM

View PostJKC27, on 12 February 2019 - 02:50 PM, said:

View PostBirdieRoll, on 09 February 2019 - 09:04 AM, said:

Phoenix golf rates are at an all-time high in my opinion and I bet Palm Springs is similar.

I'd look at Hilton Head. A good barometer of golf rates would be to go to GolfNow. Rates in Hilton Head are a fair amount cheaper than Phoenix and there are tons of affordable VRBO options right on the island.

You could fly from Detroit to Atlanta to Savannah and drive 50 minutes to HH or fly right into the smaller HH airport via Charlotte. Then you'd have the airport, the golf, lodging, everything right there.

The other knock on desert golf, thinking of your wife, is that a lot of courses (not all) have 6' deep green-side bunkers.

Jacksonville and Orlando are a couple other options. Maybe it'll come down to which destination has the best airfare deal.

Airfare will definitely be a factor.  That's one advantage as a Canadian living close to Detroit - air out of Detroit is so much cheaper, and then I don't have to drive 4 hrs to Toronto for a major airport too.

We could almost drive to Alabama/Mississippi, but 14 hrs is a long drive.

re: desert golf - I supposed I'd have to try to avoid the very challenging courses - would hate to have my wife losing balls if she gets overwhelmed by the scrub areas or as someone mentioned super deep bunkers.

My wife seems to be favouring Arizona so far, but lots of time to decide.

I think desert golf is actually easier for women in general.  The ball rolls forever on those hard dry fairways and that helps the low line drives many women hit. I would think the RTJ trail would actually be much tougher if it is likely to be wet, so the course would play much longer.  I've played about 35 courses in AZ and I don't think the bunkers are any deeper their than average American courses.

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#22 Aimee

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 04:55 PM

my husband and I have gone to Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson a couple of times. Tucson can be very affordable for golf and there are plenty of wide open, very playable courses for someone who is less experienced and shooting in low 100's. Haven't been out there for a couple of years, but we played all public courses, maybe some semi-private with GolfNow deals and I don't think we ever spent more than $60pp for tee times. Have gone in the fall and in the early spring. Just watch the overseed schedules.
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#23 Truman

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:33 PM

If you’re going in late Feb-March I think Fl Panhandle or Alabama are good choices.  Earlier than that if you’re only going for a week can be colder weather. Better than Toronto, but could be high temperatures in the 40’s.
Palm Springs is an excellent choice.  You can find a lot of golf for $50-$70.

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#24 nsxguy

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:39 PM

View PostJKC27, on 12 February 2019 - 02:52 PM, said:

View Postgolfandfishing, on 09 February 2019 - 09:53 AM, said:

Warm winter weather and inexpensive golf/lodging is counterintuitive. But, it can be done. As suggested look at the outskirts of Phoenix for house rental and golf.

My first instinct would be Myrtle Beach, but you can easily get 40 and rain for a week while the week before and after is 60/70 and sunny. But that's why golf can be had for $30 and a condo on the beach for $75. Go further south and the temperatures increase as does price. Climate largely dictates costs in the leisure travel space.

Myrtle Beach is for sure on our radar - I got one of their golf/vacation guides last spring.  The weather though, as you mentioned, seems quite variable.  And yes......totally agree with the bolded!

Pretty much any place that is "warm" (warm being a relative term) in the Winter months is going to be "in season".

Myrtle Beach, from about mid-February to March, is pretty much "prime time" for golf - and therefore pricey.

The only place in the continental U.S. that you are (almost) guaranteed good golfing weather is South Florida & maybe San Diego. Phoenix is definitely as much "in season" as So Fla is during the Winter and can get very chilly. You might remember the Phoenix Open having frost delays and even getting some light snow one year.

In So Fla you can find a round of golf during the week on decent courses for around $50-$60 mid-week. FLL and MIA are international airports.

Whatever you decide, good luck. :good:
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#25 JKC27

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:04 PM

View Postnsxguy, on 12 February 2019 - 09:39 PM, said:

View PostJKC27, on 12 February 2019 - 02:52 PM, said:

View Postgolfandfishing, on 09 February 2019 - 09:53 AM, said:

Warm winter weather and inexpensive golf/lodging is counterintuitive. But, it can be done. As suggested look at the outskirts of Phoenix for house rental and golf.

My first instinct would be Myrtle Beach, but you can easily get 40 and rain for a week while the week before and after is 60/70 and sunny. But that's why golf can be had for $30 and a condo on the beach for $75. Go further south and the temperatures increase as does price. Climate largely dictates costs in the leisure travel space.

Myrtle Beach is for sure on our radar - I got one of their golf/vacation guides last spring.  The weather though, as you mentioned, seems quite variable.  And yes......totally agree with the bolded!

Pretty much any place that is "warm" (warm being a relative term) in the Winter months is going to be "in season".

Myrtle Beach, from about mid-February to March, is pretty much "prime time" for golf - and therefore pricey.

The only place in the continental U.S. that you are (almost) guaranteed good golfing weather is South Florida & maybe San Diego. Phoenix is definitely as much "in season" as So Fla is during the Winter and can get very chilly. You might remember the Phoenix Open having frost delays and even getting some light snow one year.

In So Fla you can find a round of golf during the week on decent courses for around $50-$60 mid-week. FLL and MIA are international airports.

Whatever you decide, good luck. :good:

I have flown into FLL and in and out of MIA for the cruises we have done.  Our airport (YQG) has direct flights to Melbourne, FL.  but not sure of accomodations/golf in that area.


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#26 FairwayFred

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:07 PM

I think for value and good weather Destin FL area is the right answer.  RTJ trail you aren't guaranteed good weather in the winter.  Also long drivers between courses.  Destin has everything you are after and will be nice on your budget.
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#27 Baitkiller

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:32 PM

The Villages I hear can be good fun day and night if your into the "lifestyle". Plenty of golf and other activities.
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