3 Top Golf Des­ti­na­tions for Fall 2017

Golf Vacations - - News - by JD La­torre

Each year from mid-Septem­ber to Novem­ber, the Ozark Moun­tains sur­round­ing Bran­son change from lus­cious shades of green to the rich fall col­ors of red, orange, and yel­low. It’s the per­fect sea­son to catch a glimpse of the Ozarks from afar at a scenic overlook or get up-close-and-per­sonal by tak­ing a stroll on one of many area na­ture trails. Set your own pace by tak­ing a self-guided fall fo­liage tour through the hills.

BRAN­SON, MO.

Each year from mid-Septem­ber to Novem­ber, the Ozark Moun­tains sur­round­ing Bran­son change from lus­cious shades of green to the rich fall col­ors of red, orange, and yel­low. It’s the per­fect sea­son to catch a glimpse of the Ozarks from afar at a scenic overlook or get up-close-and-per­sonal by tak­ing a stroll on one of many area na­ture trails. Set your own pace by tak­ing a self-guided fall fo­liage tour through the hills.

Other fa­vorites in­clude boat, plane, he­li­copter and train tours, as well as lake cruises on one of the spec­tac­u­lar lakes that re­cently earned Bran­son a spot in Coun­try Liv­ing’s 25 Best Small Lake Towns in Amer­ica. While leaves burst into full color and the land­scape un­der­goes its an­nual trans­for­ma­tion, the city cel­e­brates the new sea­son and Amer­i­can her­itage with nu­mer­ous craft and mu­sic fes­ti­vals, pa­tri­otic events and out­door sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Bran­son Golf re­mains a must for those vis­it­ing the area this fall. The fastest-grow­ing golf des­ti­na­tion in Amer­ica, likely the world, wel­comed the new Gary Player Moun­tain Top Course this past Au­gust. The unique 13-hole course – a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Big Cedar Lodge founder Johnny Mor­ris and World Golf Hall of Fame mem­ber Gary Player – brings to three the num­ber of Big Cedar golf cour­ses avail­able to the pub­lic. The other two – Buf­falo Ridge and Top of the Rock – are played an­nu­ally as part of the PGA TOUR Cham­pi­ons Leg­ends of Golf each spring. Breath­tak­ing Ozark views and premier golf ex­tend to other cour­ses like Bran­son Hills, a topranked Mis­souri course for the last five years by GolfWeek, and Thou­sand Hills, a Bob Cupp de­sign the be­lies the first im­pres­sion its par-64 rout­ing in­vokes.

From the fam­ily-friendly Moun­tain Top Course at Big Cedar, to shoul­der-sea­son dis­counts at any of Bran­son’s best in state 18-hole cour­ses, golfers of any age or ex­pe­ri­ence can en­joy world-class golf at this Ozark Moun­tain oa­sis.

CEN­TRAL VIR­GINIA

The rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Moun­tains, dot­ted red by Vir­ginia’s state tree, the Dog­wood, are breath­tak­ing in the crisp fall air. Along Vir­ginia’s scenic road­ways you’ll find ap­ple pick­ing, har­vest fes­ti­vals, brew­eries and strik­ing nat­u­ral beauty that pro­vides the per­fect back­ground for golf.

Nes­tled in his­toric hunt and wine coun­try, Keswick Hall & Golf Club is a 600-acre bou­tique re­sort that proves to be an ex­cep­tional place to view the bril­liant fall fo­liage. Like the area sur­round­ing Keswick, the golf course is rich in his­tory. A mem­bers-only club, Keswick Club was in­tro­duced in 1948 when renowned ar­chi­tect Fred Find­lay added its first nine holes of golf. The course ex­panded to 18 holes in the mid- ‘50s and was ren­o­vated in 1992 by Arnold Palmer.

World Golf Hall of Fame ar­chi­tect Pete Dye was com­mis­sioned to cre­ate its dra­matic new Full Cry layout. Since its open­ing in 2014, the course has re­ceived nu­mer­ous ac­co­lades in­clud­ing be­ing ranked No. 4 in Golfweek’s 2017 ros­ter of “Best Cour­ses You Can Play” in Vir­ginia as well as ranked No. 45 in Golfweek’s “Best Re­sort Cour­ses.” Play­ers of all abil­i­ties will sa­vor the ex­pe­ri­ence of this scenic Dye mas­ter­piece. Spe­cial stay-and-play pack­ages of­fer guests a chance to en­joy ac­com­mo­da­tions in the 48-room lux­ury Keswick Hall ho­tel, na­tion­ally-ac­claimed golf and fan­tas­tic ameni­ties in­clud­ing a full-ser­vice spa ideal for en­joy­ing a get­away in the au­tumn splen­dor of Vir­ginia.

Another lo­ca­tion wor­thy of a fall out­ing, lo­cated 30 min­utes south­west of state capi­tol Rich­mond, is Mag­no­lia Green Golf Club.

The 18-hole course in­cludes Ber­muda grass fair­ways and tees, bent­grass greens and nat­u­ral, flow­ing streams. Draped over un­du­lat­ing ter­rain and mea­sur­ing 7,150 yards from the back tees, lead ar­chi­tect Chris Cochran from Nick­laus De­sign ex­pertly in­cor­po­rated five sets of tees for play­ers of all abil­i­ties. Wildlife is abun­dant and streams have been fully-re­stored and lined with na­tive shrubs and grasses to cre­ate this nat­u­ral and en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly course. A new club­house with a 1,300 square foot cov­ered out­door din­ing porch per­fect for en­joy­ing a lo­cal brew and tak­ing in the fall fo­liage is set to open in Oc­to­ber.

NEW YORK

Cen­tral Park dresses it­self in red and orange as the golden sun sparkles off the Man­hat­tan sky­line, but a fall trip to New York shouldn’t just be to the Big Ap­ple. Travel an hour north to the only course in New York de­signed by the leg­endary Pete Dye.

Lo­cated in Westch­ester County, Pound Ridge Golf Club is the premier high-end, pub­lic course in the met­ro­pol­i­tan New York area. Crafted by Dye, his son Perry and long-time Dye con­struc­tion man­ager/lead shaper Michael Langkau, Pound Ridge Golf Club is a full bent­grass fa­cil­ity, hewn from 172 acres of mag­nif­i­cent cliffs, streams and wooded hills. Dra­matic rock for­ma­tions and boul­ders were left on­site, cre­at­ing one of the most vis­ually stun­ning set­tings for golf in the United States. More than 14,000-lin­ear-feet of rock wall sur­rounds trees, wet­lands and water haz­ards on the course. These frame con­toured fair­ways wind through hard­wood forests and fes­cue mounds lead­ing to open mead­ows with pic­turesque green com­plexes.

Fans of Dye will find all the leg­endary de­signer’s renowned touches on dis­play: dra­matic mound­ing, rhyth­mic rout­ing and sub­tle de­cep­tion meld to cre­ate an im­mi­nently chal­leng­ing and fair golf ex­pe­ri­ence.

Top of the Rock

Moun­tain Top

Pound Ridge Golf Club

Keswick Golf Club

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