Golf Travel News Jan 21 2023
In golf travel news recently are items from French Lick, Myrtle Beach, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue and Omni LaCosta
French Lick Resort Experiencing Record Breaking Rounds and Pre Bookings
French Lick, IN – French Lick Resort, Southern Indiana’s iconic golf destination and home to two of the state’s most lauded golf courses, has experienced record-breaking golf round sales over the past two years along with unprecedented pre-bookings for 2023.
Home to the award-winning Pete Dye Course at French Lick and Donald Ross Course at French Lick, the resort destination has come off another record season for golf rounds. Since 2020, golf rounds have continued to grow by more than 22 percent. In addition, the popularity of the resorts Hall of Fame Golf Package continues to soar with pre-bookings for 2023 up over 300 percent.
Since the early 1900s, golf has been an integral part of this resort area. Tom Bendelow designed French Lick Resort’s first golf course in 1907 and was followed by the classic Donald Ross layout ten years later. In 2009, Pete Dye created a visually stunning mountaintop masterpiece, which quickly become one of the most highly acclaimed courses in the country. Both courses are ranked among the Top 100 in America’s Greatest Public Courses and are currently ranked as the No. 1 and 2 Courses You Can Play in Indiana. The Pete Dye course achieved a rare double honor in 2009 by being selected as America’s best new course by the two leading golf publications in the country – Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine. It is located on a dramatic hilltop, which is one of the highest points in the state of Indiana and offers panoramic views of the Hoosier National Forest that stretch as far as 40 miles.
Hall of Fame and Southern Indiana Sampler Combine the Best Golf Experience
The resort’s most popular golf packages and the best way to experience the award- winning golf destination is through the “Hall of Fame” and “Southern Indiana Sampler” packages.
The Hall of Fame includes playing the resort’s two legendary courses designed by Hall of Fame architects – Pete Dye and Donald Ross. The package includes a one-night stay at either the French Lick Springs Hotel and Casino or the West Baden Springs Hotel, a day of unlimited golf on The Pete Dye Course, a day of unlimited golf at The Donald Ross Course, unlimited use of the driving range and practice facility, bag storage, and shuttle service. Package price starts at $480 per person per day.
The Southern Indiana Sampler includes a round of golf at The Donald Ross Course at French Lick, a round of golf at The Pete Dye Course at French Lick, a round of golf at Sultan’s Run Golf Club in nearby Jasper and nine-holes on the Valley Links Course. Package price starts at $940.
Rounds, Renovations, Restaurants: Myrtle Beach Golf Market Heads Into 2023 On A Roll
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Myrtle Beach, boasting an unmatched combination of great golf and value, enters 2023 riding the wave of golf’s ongoing boom.
Long established as the game’s most popular travel destination, Myrtle Beach enjoyed a record setting 2022. More than 2.4 million rounds were played along the Grand Strand in 2022, as recorded by the Omni Golf Tee Sheet, comprising 59 Golf Tourism Solutions member courses.
With the spring season rapidly approaching, the reasons for excitement along the Myrtle Beach golf scene are many:
Play along the Grand Stand increased the last two years and is up 23 percent since 2020, with revenue growing at an even faster rate. Myrtle Beach has seen growth in every category of play – public, membership and package – and early bookings for 2023 offers reason for continued optimism.
While the game is surging, area courses have used the opportunity to reinvest in their property, ensuring the quality of experience for traveling players. The Grande Dunes Resort Course, Prestwick Country Club, Rivers Edge, Thistle, River Hills, Caledonia and True Blue all underwent capital improvement projects in 2022. The Resort Course at Grande Dunes installed new greens, overhauled every bunker on the property, and completely remodeled its clubhouse.
A significant part of the Grand Strand’s charm has long been its abundant off-course activities, ensuring the fun of a golf trip extends long after the final putt drops. With the opening of Grand Strand Brewery and the growing popularity of Crooked Hammock Brewery at Barefoot Resort, Myrtle Beach has cemented its reputation as a haven for craft beer lovers. New restaurants such as 1229 Shine, The Hangout at Broadway at the Beach and Clearwater Oyster Bar & Grill, among many others, help guarantee the area’s vibrant dining scene continues to thrive.
Myrtle Beach is home to nearly 90 golf courses and attracts players from across the nation to play layouts like the famed Dunes Golf & Beach Club, TPC Myrtle Beach, Tidewater Golf Club and the quartet of courses at Barefoot Resort, all of which have been ranked among America’s top 100 public courses.
For more information on all things Myrtle Beach golf, visit PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com.
Caledonia, True Blue Ranked Among America’s Premier Resort Courses By Golfweek Magazine
Pawleys Island, S.C. – Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club, two of the most decorated courses in all of golf-rich South Carolina, have opened 2023 with another national honor.
The Mike Strantz designs earned a spot among “Golfweek’s Best 2023: Top 200 resort courses in the U.S.,” the magazine’s annual ranking of the nation’s premier destination layouts. Golfweek’s panel of experts evaluated courses from coast to coast and when the scores were tallied, Caledonia was ranked No. 49 and True Blue was No. 85.
Strantz’ first solo design, Caledonia helped put the man who came to be known as “The Maverick” on the road to golf course architecture stardom. Carved from a stunning piece of Lowcountry land, the course winds through centuries old live oak trees draped in Spanish moss and has been one of Myrtle Beach’s best since it opened in 1994.
With those historic oak trees framing many holes, Caledonia is a shotmaker’s course, rewarding an intelligent brand of golf. The layout’s creativity and beauty reaches a crescendo on the unforgettable, par 4 18th hole, which demands a carry over water to a green that resides in the shadow of the course’s acclaimed clubhouse.
True Blue is a much more muscular design, featuring some of the area’s widest fairways, massive greens and expansive waste bunkers. The breadth of the layout provides ample latitude, especially with the driver in hand, but playing to the proper spots off the tee and on the approach is vital to success.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Begins Renovation of Its Famed Champions Course
Hanse Golf Course Design Kicks Off Project as Resort Prepares to Host Three-Consecutive NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships Beginning in 2024
(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – Omni La Costa Resort & Spa has broken ground on the renovation of its famed Champions Course, one of its two 18-hole courses, as it prepares to host three consecutive NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships beginning in May 2024,
The renovation and ensuing NCAA Championships mark the beginning of a new chapter at one of the country’s most-iconic golf resorts. The golf course work will be led by Hanse Golf Course Design, founded by acclaimed architect Gil Hanse, who recently designed Fields Ranch East at the soon-to-open Omni PGA Frisco Resort in Frisco, Texas.
Hanse and team will implement significant design changes with the NCAA’s match-play format in mind – chief among them will be challenging players with more risk-reward decisions throughout their rounds. Further inspiration for the work will be drawn from classic Southern California courses, as aesthetics are tweaked to give the Champions Course a more proper sense of scale and place.
Specific changes planned include the creation of a drivable par-4 on No. 11, a repositioned green on the par-3 16th hole that is reminiscent of Augusta National’s 12th hole, and a reachable par-5 on No. 18 with its putting surface brought closer to the existing creek. The course will play as a par-72 and have the flexibility to play from 4,300 to 7,500 yards, in order to accommodate players of all skill levels.
Other considerations in this project are environmental in nature. For example, transitioning irrigation lines that will continue to use reclaimed water, removing man-made ponds, and reintroducing natural barrancas composed of drought tolerant and native species.
The golf course work at Omni La Costa is planned to be joined in the coming months by another project focused on reimagining the resort’s golf practice facility. This project will be led by Beau Welling, and his firm, Beau Welling Design. The focus will be on elevating the practice experience with a newly lengthened driving range and expanded short game area.
The Champions Course renovation is the latest step in the resort’s planned evolution. The first phase in 2021 included a design refresh of the lobby and adjacent Bar Traza, and culminated in the unveiling of the Costa de la Luna ballroom, increasing the resort’s total meeting space to over 100,000 square feet. Later this year, the resort is undergoing a complete renovation of The Spa, guest rooms and suites. Additional phases will be announced and rolled out over the next several months.