Hit the Road: Jack & Jill
RV ROAD TRIPS FOR SUMMER & FALL
RV sales and rentals are through the roof this year as consumers turn to road tripping as an alternate means of safe vacationing. From van conversions to Class A rigs to pop-ups and pull-behinds, the idea of hitting the road in your own condo on wheels is bursting the seams of popularity. Toss in your clubs, fill the tank, and head out in any direction you like. Good Sam (goodsam.com) has generally good RV overnighting options practically everywhere you want to go. For more unique locations
on farms and wineries, think about Harvest Hosts (harvesthosts.com). And county websites are a good place to investigate too. And while we’re not saying you can park overnight in golf course parking lots, it never hurts to ask! Here are some suggestions on where to go.
Got It All
San Diego is the perfect year-round destination if you’re looking for superior golf, terrific weather, and everything from sandy beaches to tasty taco stands. It’s a big county with dozens of courses ranging from renowned public to upscale resort to solid daily fee. Fav courses include the 36 at Torrey Pines GC, of course, and what better way to get out early than parking your RV nearby?
On the resort front, The Grand GC at Fairmont Grand Del Mar offers a Tom Fazio–designed masterwork that ranks among the most satisfying courses you’ll ever play. Further north in Carlsbad, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is home to 36 really fun holes that have earned their “championship” moniker as host of numerous professional tournaments. Further inland is the Journey at Pechanga in Temecula; and in Lakeside, at Barona Creek GC at Barona Resort & Casino, you’ll find a really fun-to-play golf course amid the boulder-strewn hillsides.
North San Diego County has many of our favorite daily fee courses, including Maderas GC in Poway, which earns top ranking in the county among public courses. Two other top-tier layouts are Twin Oaks GC (San Marcos) and Encinitas Ranch GC (Encinitas). Both of these local gems are defined by sunshine, mature trees and gently rolling terrain.
Chillaxin’ at the Coast
The headliner in Newport Coast is Pelican Hill GC at The Resort at Pelican Hill, where two Tom Fazio gems overlook the Pacific. Both are among the very best resort courses in the U.S., with the South Course having a slight edge in scenic holes.
Nearby in Irvine is Oak Creek GC, another Tom Fazio design that is considered second only to Pelican Hill in quality in the area; and Strawberry Farms GC, a more affordable daily fee option popular with locals and retired LA Angels of Anaheim baseball players. When in these parts, Laguna Beach makes for a fun day of shopping and gallery walking.
Wing and Song
For me, the Central Coast is about small towns, good wine and laid-back golf played among mature oak trees. Both Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles have emerged in recent years as premier wine-growing regions, while Santa Barbara, Solvang, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo and other localities provide the small-town allure.
Favorite courses include the 36 holes at Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Solvang; Sandpiper GC, on the coast above Santa Barbara in Goleta; and Hunter Ranch GC in Paso Robles. RVing is a great way to get around to all of these places, as there are any number of overnighting options nearby, including many wineries and farms.
The desert towns of Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Indian Wells are juggernauts of golf. These you may wish to wait for fall to visit, unless you enjoy 100+ degree weather, though some great deals can be had in summer.
Indian Wells Golf Resort offers two distinctive courses, Celebrity and Players. In addition to its attention-grabbing hole designs, Celebrity is laden with colorful floral plantings and bubbling water features, making for a very enjoyable round, while Players beckons accomplished golfers to take on a true challenge with length and strategy. But make no mistake: better golfer or beginner, a good day will be had on either of these courses.
Classic Club in Palm Desert boasts one of Arnold Palmer’s best design efforts; and further east in Borrego Springs, Rams Hill opens in October with a Tom Fazio course that brags about its serenity and remote location, mixed with equal parts superb maintenance and greenkeeping. The Springs at Borrego RV Park is also nearby.
Run for the Border
The Utah/Nevada border area near Mesquite and St. George can be a very satisfying journey filled with memorable courses and outstanding scenery. On the Nevada side of the border, tee it up at Wolf Creek GC, a true Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride through carved rock canyons and delightfully fun golf holes. Also well worth the dime is Conestoga GC, a high desert gem.
On the Utah side, the big three to play arer Sand Hollow Resot GC, the No.1 public course in the state; Entrada at Snow Canyon, the No.2 public access course in the state; and Coral Canyon GC, ranked No. 6 in the state. All three are visual stunners with red rock backdrops and wide views. Any questions as to why St. George is called “the golf capital of Utah”?