In part one, we introduced you to six great places to spend the winter with your clubs in the balmy South-eastern coast of the United States — but wait, there are more! Part two features some of our favorite courses in the sunny Western US.
Arizona: Quintero Golf Club
When you’re looking for desert scenery loaded with cacti and fast greens, check out Quintero Golf Club in Peoria. You’ll get a lot more out of this course if you see it via cart — walkers may wear out fast with some pretty long treks to the tee boxes. Even though Quintero GC is hidden in the desert, golfers everywhere say it’s a challenging, breath-taking course worth playing again and again.
California: Pasatiempo Golf Club
California’s just chock full of amazing courses, but we’d be amiss if we didn’t let you in on the historic Pasatiempo Golf Club at Santa Cruz. The course, which overlooks Monterey Bay, was carefully restored in 2007 to return it to the roots that made it such a popular locale with golf legends like Marion Hollins, Bobby Jones, Glenna Collett and Cyril Tolley. The restored and updated version of this course marries classic course design with modern game play, earning it a place among Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.
Nevada: Wolf Creek Golf Club
Wolf Creek Golf Club offers the ultimate desert golfing experience. Although they only have the one course on sight, it meanders through the Mesquite canyons, where natural hazards and elevated play abounds. Both the play and the scenery are unmatched, which is why this course has been continually ranked among the best public courses in the country by Golf Digest.
New Mexico: Black Mesa Golf Club
Irish golfing vacations can be costly, tiresome trips involving a lot of international flying and packages of peanuts. Why go to all that trouble when you can get an authentic Irish golf experience at Black Mesa Golf Club? Out of 1500 acres of wilderness, Robert Baxter Spann carved 18 unique holes, some with extra challenging features like semi-blind uphill shots. These features become even more of a battle when the 30 to 40 mile per hour winds are whipping through the course.
Texas: Fazio Foothills Golf Course
When you’re cruising through Texas, make sure to stop at Barton Creek Golf Club in Austin to play a round at their Fazio Foothills Golf Course. Another Fazio-designed course, Fazio Foothills features awe-inspiring cliff-faced holes, several waterfalls and natural limestone caves. Originally built in 1986, this classic course was upgraded in 2004 to add nearly 200 yards to the substantial challenge it already offered.
Oklahoma: Karsten Creek Golf Club
Named Golf Digest’s Best New Course of 1994, Karsten Creek Golf Club continues to delight and challenge visitors every day. The home course of the Oklahoma State University Men’s and Women’s golf teams, Karsten Creek is among the most elite training courses in America. Along with these accolades, this Tom Fazio creation features plenty of natural beauty and a huge lake to further enhance the experience.
Oregon: Ghost Creek
Late fall and winter are the perfect seasons for pumpkin everything — so why not visit Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club this season? Opened in 1992, the public Ghost Creek course meanders through forests, wetlands and scrub, with Ghost Creek uniting the 18 holes. Play at Hole 14 gets tricky, as 14 through 18 were designed for championship play.
Washington: Chambers Bay Golf Course
Dreams of playing on the Scottish links are too frequently shattered by the realities of international travel, but you can experience the same style of golf in the Pacific Northwest. Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place represents the efforts of Robert Trent Jones II to turn an abandoned sand and gravel mining operation into a beautiful course on Puget Sound. Links-style play opened to the public in 2007 at Chambers Bay and it’s already got big plans — it’ll be hosting the US Open in 2015.
Even if these destinations aren’t for you, there are plenty of others to choose from in our guide. Once you’ve booked your flight or hotel, be sure to stop by 3balls.com for the gear your golf destination demands.