After a year of not traveling, people are more excited than ever to get out, explore and experience new and exciting locations. My favorite way to immerse myself in a destination is to go golfing, especially given the current travel landscape. Playing a round can be a great way for travelers to experience the scenery and overall beauty of a destination while having fun outdoors and away from crowds.
Living in Texas, we are very lucky to be close to so many world-class golf experiences, including my home course of Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. However, we also live near many amazing travel destinations that are within driving distance or are only a short flight away. Here are my tips about exploring our region through golf:
Although many courses are open to the public, I recommend that travelers consider staying at a family-friendly golf resort which will provide easy access and convenience to the on-site golf experience. Golf resorts are also great because they provide a wide variety of activities for all travelers to enjoy, such as horseback riding and bicycle rentals to lazy rivers and water parks.
While I recommend that Texans explore the amazing golf and travel experiences located right in their own backyard, I also encourage families to also explore outside of the state lines. Being based in Texas, we have really easy access to another golf hot spot, Florida. In fact, my most recent travels brought me to the Streamsong Resort & Golf just south of Orlando. This resort boasts three of the top 100 golf courses in the world designed by three of the top golf course architects – Ben Crenshaw, Pete Doak and Gil Hanse. I was lucky enough to squeeze in 30 holes during my visit and immensely enjoyed every hole. All three architects have very different styles, so multiple trips to this resort would not be out of the question.
Another great option outside of the Lone State State is Big Cedar Lodge located just south of Branson, Missouri. This resort boasts five nationally recognized golf courses designed by some of the top names in golf. The outdoor enthusiast will be pleasantly surprised with this remote haven of natural beauty and outdoor adventure. It provides a great combination of leisure and sports activities for all types of family and friends.
Even if you’ve never golfed before, getting out on the course can be a fun vacation activity for the entire family. If you’re new to the game, I recommend trying out a few sessions at the driving range or even chat with the on-site pro about lessons as many courses will have family classes available. For golfers who want a low-key play experience, I recommend inquiring about late-afternoon/twilight play when the course will have less traffic and will allow for a more enjoyable and non-rushed round so you can familiarize yourself with the game and course.
While traveling from state to state, it is important to be aware of any remaining travel and safety policies. Although things are returning to more of a sense of normalcy, I expect that many golf courses and resorts will continue to have several safety policies in place throughout the year.
About the Author
Jason Boydston is the head golf professional at Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. With more than 12 years working in the industry, Boydston has worked at golf courses throughout Texas. When he’s not on the course, Jason enjoys spending time with his family, which includes his wife, two boys, and two dogs.