Month: May 2015

Harbour Pointe Golf Club

I grew up in the Seattle area and always love hitting up golf courses in my hometown.  Harbour Pointe Golf Club located in Mukilteo, WA, just north of Seattle, is one of my favorite courses in the Pacific Northwest.

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This course, designed by Arthur Hills, offers a challenging and varied golf experience by providing two distinct nines.  The front nine features little elevation change and winds through wetlands with water in play on every hole.  The back nine is set among rolling hills, providing breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains:

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It’s always important to bring your favorite golf buddies to enjoy bloody mary’s, beer, hot dogs, and “that’s what she said” jokes:

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What are your favorite courses in the Pacific Northwest?  Are you going to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay next month?

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Mountain Shadows Golf Club

Arizona is one of the best states for golfing in the US.  The weather is fantastic year-round and there are an abundance of great courses to play.  Just make sure you get a very early tee time during the piping-hot summer months!

PLAY

Mountain Shadows Golf Club is nestled in the foothills of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona. This is an executive course comprised of many par-3s and a small number of par-4s.  The views from this course are stunning and the short fairways make for quick play:

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Don’t forget to browse retirement homes along the way!  This golf cart garage pretty much sums up my retirement dreams:

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Please note that this course is currently being renovated and will open in 2016.  I’m looking forward to playing the renovated course next year!

STAY

There are a lot of amazing resorts in the Scottsdale area to choose from.  Recently, I had the pleasure of staying at the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix.  Built in 1929, this luxury property is set on 39 lush acres featuring eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts, a full-service spa, and amazing golf courses at the adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club.  Here’s a view of one of the pools from the balcony of my hotel room:

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EAT

While staying at the Biltmore, I dined at Geordie’s Restaurant in the Wrigley Mansion, just up the hill from the hotel.  The views of the city were absolutely stunning and the food was excellent.  I recommend going during sunset:

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What are your favorite courses to play in Arizona?

Wine Valley Golf Club

Wine Valley Golf Club is located in Walla Walla, Washington, a small town amongst hundreds of wineries in Eastern Washington.  This is one of my favorite weekend destinations for fantastic golf, tasting Washington’s many wines and fine dining.

PLAY

Wine Valley Golf Club is a stunning links-style course designed by architect Dan Hixson.  This course plays over rolling hills in the shadow of the Blue Mountains.  Each hole allows multiple lines of play ensuring a great round for every type of golfer.  The course has broad fairways, which accommodate challenging conditions including dramatic bunkers and bold putting greens.

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DRINK

Spend at least a day visiting the local wineries – it’s also a perfect post-golf activity.  Wine weekends run from early April through the Holiday Barrel Tasting in December.  The Walla Walla Wine Alliance posts a complete list of wineries on its website.  My favorites include Va Piano, Pepper Bridge, K Vitners, Seven Hills, a Maurice, Woodward Canyon, and Long Shadows.

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STAY

There are several options to stay overnight in Walla Walla for every budget – just remember to book ahead during the summer months!

The Inn at Abeja is quite possibly the most amazing place I’ve ever stayed.  It’s a stunning turn-of-the-century farmstead where original outbuildings have been restored to lovely, spacious, individual and private guest accommodations.  The Inn is surrounded by thirty-five acres of vineyards, gardens, lawns and creeks for guests to enjoy.  It provides the ultimate relaxation.

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Upon arrival, guests are greeted to glasses of wine in their suites:

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The complimentary breakfast served on the patio was literally the best I’ve ever had (come hungry!):

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Other options include the town’s famous Marcus Whitman hotel and if you’re looking to save more money for wine (always!), I recommend the centrally located La Quinta Inn Walla Walla.

EAT

Definitely have dinner at Whitehouse Crawford – prepare to be wowed.  This restaurant is set in a renovated wood-planing mill and spotlights local meats, poultry and produce, featuring regional wines.  Also hit up T. Maccaroni and Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, both of which will contribute to a fantastic weekend.  If you plan on tasting at Woodward Canyon, you really ought to have lunch on their patio.  It’s a scenic location and you’ll be served fantastic food.

If you haven’t already, start planning your Walla Walla golf and wine weekend now!  Don’t forget to let me know how it goes.