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Dreaming of a Winter Golf Vacation?

December 2, 2014

Minnesota Golf Pros Pick Their Favorite Trips

With our Minnesota golf courses all covered in snow and temperatures turning negative, thoughts begin to wander towards warmer parts of the country and places you can still play 18. Las Vegas, Arizona, Florida and Hawaii are all popular destinations for Gopher State golfers, but we asked several Minnesota Section PGA members for their favorite picks when dreaming of a winter golf vacation.


2013 Teacher of the Year Eric Chiles likes to head south from his normal post at the Chaska Town Course to play in Mexico. “My favorite place to play golf in the winter is on the island of Cozumel,” reports Chiles. “There is a fantastic Jack Nicklaus design on the north end of the island,” which Eric says you can play for a song with his secret tip. Just stay at the Playa Azul Hotel, where a $35 daily cart fee will get you unlimited golf. He warns that the hotel isn’t a five star resort, but it’s small, quiet and right on the water. His wife must approve too – the couple spent their honeymoon there.

Carolina Dreamin’

Hazeltine Director of Instruction Mike Barge recommends a Donald Ross classic in the North Carolina Sandhills. “For a pure golf getaway, its hard to beat Pinehurst. It’s not the warmest from December through February, but the choice of great courses in a small radius of the village is unmatched.”

Texas Two-Step

Junior golf professional Ty Armstrong says with kids in hockey, he doesn’t get to escape much in the winter to play, but reports the San Antonio and Austin areas of Texas where he grew up have some excellent courses. He also has heard many positive things about the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama, and says when he can get away, Palm Springs is a favorite destination for a winter golf getaway.

Creative Thinking

Section Director of Member Service & Player Development Kathy Swanson says “any place south that does not have snow and we can tee it up is a great place in my eyes.” States as close as Iowa and Kansas have courses that stay open later in the fall and re-open earlier in the spring. Swanson says it pays to research too, “it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to play during the winter in the southern states. You can find ‘Play and Stay’ offers all over the place.”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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