For us it is always time to golf with kids – the value of fresh air, exercise, and one-on-one time cannot be beat. The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) has declared July family golf month meaning there are plenty of extra benefits for parents or grandparent who wish to golf with a child. Anyone who has had the opportunity to tee off or putt out with a child knows that sharing the game of golf can be fun and rewarding.
Not to diminish the NGCOA efforts but family affordable family golf experiences and vacations should be easy to arrange golf in any month. Therefore we have assembled a short list of destinations and resorts where creating a family golf holiday is easy. For more choices take a look at our family golf folder feature articles and browse the corresponding family golf vacation directory. New Jersey: Vernon, Crystal Springs Resort Minerals Family Golf Center - Fun on the Greens.
Just 47 miles from Manhattan this four-season destination resort nestled in the captivating Kittatinny Mountains, this luxury retreat offers guests access to six championship golf courses, award-winning spas, and world-class gourmet dining. The course:
Named by Golf Range Magazine as one of the Top 12 Short Courses in America, the Minerals Family Course is one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the northeast. It featuring a spectacular mountainside par – 3 layout measuring over 2,305 yards with multiple tee off positions to provide flexibility for junior playe
rs. Family golf benefits:
Minerals Family Golf Center provides everything it takes for a family to enjoy the game together including: high quality TaylorMade clubs available for rental at just $1 per child ($15 per adult); four-seater golf carts – juniors can actually drive them; family golf rate (beginning at 1p.m.) for either nine or 18 holes-$55/foursome, $45/threesome, and $35/twosome; one kid may play for free with a paying adult any time of day. Parent/child tournaments will be held regularly and a schedule is available at Minerals Family Golf Center. More fun stuff:
Within the resort complex you’ll find, seven indoor/outdoor heated nature pools, The Biosphere- an indoor pool complex with an underground aquarium, basketball court, as well as indoor tennis courts and racquetball facilities, and a 6,000-square-foot fitness center. The Kids Camp provides fun-packed group activities and families may go fishing at the Crystal Springs Quarry - a trout-stocked fishing hole within walking distance of Grand Cascades Lodge. Make it happen:
Minerals Resort & Spa 2 Chamonix Drive & Route 94 Vernon, NJ 07462. (973) 827-5996 or www.CrystalGolfResort.com Maryland: Cumberland, Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort - A Cart with GPS.
Located the on the shore of pristine 243-acre Lake Habeeb surrounded by the forested foothills which create Maryland’s historic Cumberland Valley, Rocky Gap offers families life at a slightly slower pace and golf as part of the experience. The course:
Play on the award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in the center of Rocky Gap State Park. Family golf benefits:
The resort is featuring the Maryland golf instruction program throughout the year for guests and local junior golfers. The Rocky Gap Youth Golf Academy is available to all juniors ages 6 to 15. During each session kids will receive unlimited range balls. More fun stuff:
Enjoy organic spa treatments at the Rocky Gap Garden Spa, evening family bonfires, Scales and Tales DNR aviary tours, hiking, biking horseback riding, scavenger hunts, climbing wall, and boating in Rocky Gap State Park. The Hook, Line & Sinker program introduces kids to the equipment, technique and art of fishing, while the Dig It program lets kids become archeologists on a Rocky Gap dig, searching for markers of the past and getting their hands dirty with history. Make it happen:
Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort 16701 Lakeview Road NE Flintstone (Cumberland), Maryland 21530. www.rockygapresort.com Virginia: Virginia Beach, Kids Golf for Free.
Imagine a beach with soft clean sand, sunshine filtered by puffy clouds, pleasant music caressing the sea breezes. Add to the picture a traditional boardwalk, ice cream, Italian ice, pizza-by-the-slice, air conditioned shops and no tight schedules? Think Virginia Beach and imagine no more. Not only is it the home of the world’s longest pleasure beach, but it also features a bountiful list of activities and attractions well-suited for families with school age kids. The course:
Riverfront Golf Club along the banks of the Nansemond River, near the mouth of the James River, encourages family fun on greens and fairways. All but three of the 18 holes are bordered on one side by natural features, whether tidal marshes skirting along its fairways or undulating greens at water's edge - with beach bunkers on three sides. Family golf benefits:
They offer both junior and senior rates any day of the week and any day after 3PM kids ages 13 or younger may golf for free with a paying adult (twilight rates apply for adults). More fun stuff:
Take a crabbing class along the shoreline at First Landing State Park or bike through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Take your fishing pole and tackle box the spots ready to be fished are many. For families wanting a beach adventure learning to surf together is a blast. Since 2000, Surf & Adventure Company has conducted surf camps, and provided surf lessons one-on-one and for families. Make it happen: Riverfront Golf Club 5200 River Club Drive Suffolk, VA 23435. (757) 484-2200 or www.riverfrontgolf.com
and for visitor information, call toll-free 1-800-VA-BEACH (800-822-3224) or www.vbfun.com Illinois: Galena, Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa Family Fun Golfing.
Located within 6,800 tranquil acres in northwestern Illinois once known as the Galena Territory, Eagle Ridge defines what makes a terrific family vacation spot. Stay at the inn or select a vacation home or villa for your family golf vacation base. The course:
Four expertly designed, award-winning courses providing 63 challenging holes so no two days need be the same. The most noted of the courses is The General featuring natural limestone cliffs and dense oak forests framing each hole with the signature hole #14, a par 4 that drops 180 feet from tee to green Family golf benefits:
Junior golf clinics will be held weekly every Saturday June through August. 30. Each clinic will be 45 minutes in length and juniors ages 17 and younger may attend for $5 each. Junior golf rates for course play begin at $15. More fun stuff:
From fishing and boating to horseback riding and hot-air ballooning, year-round recreation abounds for both children and adults. Connecting with nature is easy. Unwind with a relaxing day on Lake Galena with a canoe, paddleboat or pontoon boat. More than 20 miles of paved and wilderness trails around the resort and the surrounding area provide a plethora of outdoor activity options. Make it happen:
Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa 444 Eagle Ridge Dr. Galena, IL 61036. Toll-free 1-800-240-1681, (815) 777-5000 or 2444 or www.eagleridgeresortonline.com California: Olympic Valley, Resort at Squaw Creek Family Golf Special.
Located on 195 hillside acres, amid the dramatically beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Squaw Creek Resort offers family vacationers friendly attentive service, first class amenities, and gorgeous views of the forest and the six peaks framing Squaw Valley. The course:
Located at the base of Squaw Valley USA at an elevation of 6,200 feet, the par-71, Squaw Creek golf course measures 6,931 yards from the gold tees. Family golf benefits:
With four sets of tees and family tees placed just 150 yards from the green, the course provides a fun and rewarding experience for players of all ages and abilities. Throughout the season junior golfers enjoy discounted rates. A Family Golf Special is offered after 5:30 pm or 6 pm, depending on time of season, families may play a quick and easy game of golf on the front nine from the family tees (located approximately 150 yards from the green). Family Golf Special twilight rates run $45 per adult and children younger than 17 may golf for free when accompanied by an adult. Twilight club rental is half-price. Normal club rental is $15 per set, per day, for juniors. More fun stuff:
Ride on an exclusive chairlift; swim in one of three heated pools; slide down a 120-foot water slide; bike along the Truckee River bike path to Tahoe City; hike trails around Squaw Valley's peaks; spend the day at the spa. The resort also provides organized programs for kids aged four to 12, featuring sports, scavenger hunts and movies. Make it happen:
The Resort at Squaw Creek 400 Squaw Creek Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146. Toll-free 1-800-327-3535 or www.squawcreek.com South Carolina: Myrtle Beach, Almost Free Family Golf Every Day.
Sixty miles of soft sandy beach, entertainment and attractions for everyone, endless shopping, exquisite dining, loads of water sports and fee golf – what could be better? The course: Myrtle Beach is the home of public golf in America, and the area's hospitality spans all ages and skill sets. Actually The Grand Strand has 46 courses, including some of the nation's best, that allow junior golfers (kids 16 and younger) to play for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Family golf benefits:
In addition to free play several other facilities permit juniors to play for free during the summer and at deeply discounted prices the rest of the year, allowing Myrtle Beach to do its part to help ensure the future growth of the game. More fun stuff:
From the Myrtle Beach website you may print coupons to redeem on your vacation. Fun deals discounts to Broadway at the Beach, Brookgreen Gardens, Family Kingdom Amusement Park Grand Prix Family Thrill Park, MagiQuest, Myrtle Waves Water Park, NASCAR, Speedpark, Pavilion Amusement Park, Downwind Sails and Ocean Watersports, U-Save Auto Rental and Planet Hollywood are on the list. Golf deals include discounts provided by Cane Patch Par 3 Golf & Driving Range, Captain Hook's Adventure Golf, Dragon's Lair Fantasy Golf, Jungle Safari Mini Golf, Jurassic Golf, Midway Par 3 at South Beach Resort, Myrtle Beach National, Shipwreck Island Adventure Golf. Entertainment deals include discounts to Alabama Theatre, Carolina Opry, Legends in Concert, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and Palace Theatre. Make it happen:
Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau 1200 N. Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, 29577 or www.visitmyrtlebeach.com Florida: Naples, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club – Golf and Family Fun at the Beach.
Not only does it feature 1,000 feet of Naples’ soft white-sand beach (named “America’s Best All-Around Beach” by the Travel Channel), but it also offers a par 72 championship golf course. The course:
Consistently voted “Best Public Golf Course in Southwest Florida,” the championship par 72 measures 6,488 yards. It was built in the late 1920’s and is the oldest course in the Naples, Florida community. Family golf benefits:
Practice facilities include: a warm-up range; a short game area; and, a 14,500 square foot putting green ideal for family practice time. The “Family Fun” package includes a complimentary weekly golf clinic on Thursday where participants learn the basics of stance, grip and posture and have an opportunity to ask questions of the pro. Junior rates for ages 17 or younger are available throughout the year. Sized to fit clubs are available for youngsters at a half price rate. More fun stuff:
The daily Beach Klub 4 Kids program for children aged five to 12 which offers everything from “Pirate Day” with treasure hunts on the beach to sand art crafts. Enjoy the beach, a beachfront swimming pool, tennis center with six Har-Tru courts, a complete fitness center, and the world-class Spa. The resort is just blocks from Naples’ famous 5th Avenue and 3rd Street South shopping districts. Make it happen.
Toll-free 1-800-237-7600, (239) 261-2222 or www.NaplesBeachHotel.com Florida: Orlando, Grande Lakes Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Family Golf Class.
The five-hundred-acre resort includes Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott hotels and offers more than 1,500 rooms. The course:
The resort's Greg Norman-designed course is 7,127 yards from the back tees with ample fairways, annoying sand traps. For flexibility there are two sets of forward tees with the shortest at 5,226 yards—ideal for young golfers. Family golf benefits:
The Golf Fore Kids Etiquette Class provides five to 12-year-olds with the rules and etiquette while having a bit of fun. Things like stance, grip, and swing plus how to tee the ball, who hits when, how to keep score, where to stand while taking turns, and why to be quiet at certain times during play. Junior clubs are available for rent. More fun stuff:
It’s Orlando so the fun never ends. Marriott has a lazy-river, pool and there are "dive-in" movies at the Ritz and Marriott pools. In addition, if adult free time is needed babysitting may be arranged by the concierge. Make it happen:
Grand Lakes 4000 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, Florida. Toll-free 1- 800-682-3665 (Ritz-Carlton) or toll-free 1-800-682-9956 (J.W. Marriott) or www.grandelakes.com Content researched by FTF and images provided by Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, Crystal Springs Resort & Golf Center, Squaw Creek, and LPGA. Copyright 2011.