Golden Isles, GA: The problem with golf, in short, is Golf. Not the game, but everything that seems to come with it: persnickety restrictions, intimidating attitudes, and greens fees equivalent to your car payment.
If you're the average golf enthusiast who loves the outdoors, good company and the challenge of the game, but are put off by the rest of it, rejoice! The Golden Isles area offers several opportunities to create a dream golf vacation without the attitude, and at do-a-double-take low prices.
The charms of Golden Isles golf are obvious. Fresh sea air, fabulous views, the occasional alligator patrolling the water hazards and top notch seafood after the last hole all contribute to a golfing experience that's uniquely Georgia. Winter temperatures that bottom out in the balmy low 60s make it possible to play year-round, and often at unbeatable off-season prices. Here's a few tips on some of the best deals to make that dream golf vacation come true:
Check out the mainland!
Just off the islands, there are lovely, challenging courses that are cheaper just by virtue of being on the mainland. Among them, Coastal Pines Golf Club
in Brunswick reigns supreme. The self-styled Average Joe's Augusta was created specifically to offer a quality golf experience at a reasonable price. You can play 18 holes for $30 ($27 for seniors) and enjoy a $2 hot dog from the snack cart while you navigate the expertly-designed course. Coastal Pines Golf Club was designated as 2002's Best New Bargain by Golf Digest, and its list of fans continues to grow. Places like this might just save the game from itself.
Packages, packages, packages!
If you're planning a Golden Isles vacation and want to get in at least a little golfing, you'd be crazy not to pick up one of the many accommodations/golf packages offered by hotels and resorts in conjunction with the Coastal Georgia Golf Association, a group of eight area courses. Fall and winter are particularly good times to take advantage of off-season deals.