Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Vacation is Set

Harry and I spent the first few days last week going back and forth on potential vacation venues. Interestingly enough, Harry strongly considered my dream golf vacation spot, Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast but a few things bothered him about that area.

He really didn't want to gamble on the weather, which he'll ultimately find to be ridiculous because you can never predict what is going to happen in that area even in the dead of summer.

However, the biggest problem he had with a trip out west was the fact that the travel time would be a hindrance. We are tied to the fact that we can only leave on a Wednesday and have to be back by the Sunday and with the huge travel distance, we'd essentially lose about a day and a half just flying from coast to coast. If we had one more day, we could probably make it work but that just isn't possible.

I agree with him on this point, grudgingly, and will have to hope that my friends consider this vacation in the future when we can take a full week off.

For a short time, we also considered the Kiawah area, specifically the Kiawah Island resort. Pricing was quite expensive, however. We may have been able to make it work, especially considering the fact that my head pro was willing to make a call for us to get on a couple private clubs on the island in Cassique and the River Course, two highly-regarded tracks.

In the end, we couldn't shake the Ginn Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida out of our minds. The resort recently was awarded as a Silver Medal winner by Golf Magazine while Golf Digest proclaims the resort as the 60th best in North America.

Pricing was excellent, the two golf courses are both excellent from all accounts, especially the Ocean Course which hosted this weekend's Champions Tour event, the Ginn Championship, which was won by Bernhard Langer earlier today.

That's to say nothing of the accomodations, which are in a word, spectacular.

So we bit the bullet and booked our flight to Daytona and also booked the resort for four nights. Unfortunately, Toast wasn't able to get the needed time off work and had to pass yet again on a great opportunity so it's just Harry and I heading south. I wish we had three or four heading down but we'll still have a great time. I was going to ask some of the guys we golf with at St. Catharines but I doubt any of them could get away on short notice.

So, we decided to book a two bedroom condo and it truly looks incredible.

Each bedroom has a king sized bed and ensuite so I don't have to hear Harris snoring. He also has the chance to have some privacy in case he picks up while we're down there.

Ha! Like that's going to happen!

We also have a full kitchen with appliances and the whole works and a huge living room area that you can see above.

Luxurious, to say the least!

The two golf courses are both well-regarded. As indicated, Jack Nicklaus' Ocean Course hosted the Champions Tour event this week and is rated the 57th best public course in the United States by Golf Digest while Golf Magazine rates it 78th in the same category. From the tips, the course rating is a hefty 77.0 with a 148 slope. See below for a couple photos.


Meanwhile, the Tom Watson-designed Conservatory Course is a 7700+ yard beast that will be hosting the PGA Tour's Ginn sur Mer Classic in late October. If you thought the ratings for the Nicklaus course were high, you've seen nothing yet! Course rating from the tips at the Conservatory? How about 78.4 with a 155 slope.

Holy shit! Needless to say, we won't be playing the tips the whole vacation.

I've included a couple photos of the Conservatory below as well.


I'd love to get to the gulf side and have a chance to play courses like World Woods (Pine Barrens) and perhaps even Black Diamond (Quarry) but it looks like they are both over two hour drives from the resort and we don't plan on renting a car. I wish there was a way we could get over to that side of the state but it just doesn't look feasible. Our resort has four different restaurants onsite and seemingly every amenity, making a car unnecessary.

There is a chance I may try to get us on one of the private clubs close by, as we have an opening on the Friday morning we're in Palm Coast due to a tournament on the Ocean Course. We'll see if any opportunities arise.

We'll also hope for the very remote chance that Toast can figure out a way to keep his clients happy in order to get away for a few days, just so we have an extra guy to help bring the costs down even more.

Whatever happens, it should be a great time!

5 comments:

  1. Jeez, Matt, the place looks great. Your condo looks better than my house - can I come and stay with you? It's only a short hop from Plymouth to Florida ... I could probably hitch-hike most of the way.

    That par 3 on the Nicklaus course, looking straight out to the ocean. looks just gorgeous. Like you, I'd want to play as many courses as feasible, but I'd want to play the Nicklaus course more than once - or even twice.

    Have a great time - it looks like you can't fail.

    David

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  2. We have booked the Nicklaus course for two rounds and hope to play at least one other time there on a replay basis.

    Hop on that plane Dave and join us!

    I'm only giving you a shot a side though ;)

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  3. AM I not allowed to comment anymore?

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  4. Check the post below, you dork. You must have been dabbling in the Boss when you made those two posts.

    By the way, you are so far off on your pricing for Bandon it's not even funny. $1300/room per person? Where the hell are you staying??

    Another post on Bandon may follow now...

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  5. for a 4 person golf suite. But you are right if you stay in the same rooms it would be cheaper. But golf, caddy, flight, and food are still expensive beyond what you think.

    I might just go there next year or this september just to piss you off. I'll be sure to go just as your expecting junior. Good luck getting cal or bergen to go with you one day.

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