This winter has been especially brutal, with the Polar Vortex bringing record snowfall and frigid temperatures to much of the country. Those in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast are still digging out from winter storms and lingering cold. Almost everyone is winter-weary, but the season is particularly painful for golfers, who must shelve their hobby until warmer weather prevails. There are, however, a few destinations where the links are open year round and sunshine abounds. We’ve rounded up the top three winter destinations that tend to be accessible, affordable and perfect for a quick golf getaway.
1. Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, Arizona tops the list for a multitude of reasons. For one, its desert climate practically ensures sunny and dry conditions for golfing. Phoenix averages 320 days of sun per year, reducing the likelihood of a rainout. Temperatures in February and March tend to stay in the perfect golf comfort zone of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with very light winds.
Phoenix offers plenty of courses to suit any golfers’ delight. Over 200 courses with varying levels of difficulty flourish in this desert golf oasis. Most feature spectacular vistas and amenities. Greater Phoenix is also fairly accessible for most people. Cheap and abundant direct flights make it an easy destination for travelers.
1. Palm Springs, CA
Sunny and scenic Palm Springs, California is often referred to as the ‘Golf Capital of the World’, thanks to its 115 courses and golf-centered economy. Like Phoenix, Palm Springs offers ideal dry, sunny and warm golf conditions during the late winter and early spring months.
With its proximity to Hollywood, This desert gem also holds a sense of old school glamour with a storied history and elite clientele. President Obama recently chose to celebrate President’s Day at Sunnyland Golf Course in Palm Springs. If it’s good enough for the POTUS, it should suit any golfer’s taste.
Added bonus: most travelers will be coming from East to West to reach Palm Springs, meaning they can gain an hour of time for more golfing!
1. Palm Beach, FL
Like the other two contenders, Palm Beach, Florida offers mild, sunny weather in the winter and plenty of courses to choose from. It does possess one considerable extra – ocean views. If you consider crashing waves, gulls, and a salty breeze the perfect ambiance for the 9th hole, Palm Beach is your kind of golf getaway. The golf-centric, coastal community offers plenty of seaside fairways to spare.
Added bonus: Palm Beach is a top destination for tournaments. The PGA Honda Classic is held there in late February/ early March, giving you the chance to rub elbows with the pros.
What to Bring
Once you’ve booked your fun golf getaway, you’ll need the right gear to travel in style and comfort. Here are our top picks:
The Mammoth Travel Bag – This all-purpose bag will hold any sized OGIO golf bag and your other golf essentials.
The Grom Stand Bag – Navigate the links with ease with this comfortable, functional stand bag.
The Rocker Golf Polo – This lightweight polo travels without wrinkling and provides UV protection for your pale, sun-starved flesh.