Fabulous fall getaways at eight of the region’s undersung resorts
Alabama: Kiva Dunes, Gulf Shores
Golf package: stay in a two- to four-bedroom condo at Kiva Lodge or in a beach house nearby; one round per day at the challenging Kiva Dunes, designed by former U.S. Open champion Jerry Pate; breakfast daily
The golf: This course, which opened to accolades in 1995, is set on a narrow strip of land between the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay. Natural dunes and plenty of water don’t make play any easier, and your ball will be at the mercy of capricious sea breezes.
Price From $175 per person per night, available through February 10
Contact 866-540-7100; kivadunes.com
Georgia: Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain
Luxury Your Way: one night’s stay at the new 150-room Lodge and Spa; a round on either the Mountain View or Lake View course, both of which were recently renovated; admission to the resort’s gardens and exhibits
The golf: Mountain View, a 1965 design by Dick Wilson, is the better of the two layouts. For the dozen-plus years that the course hosted the Buick Challenge, the sloping, watery fifteenth hole was regarded as one of the hardest par fives on Tour.
Price From $379 per night for two, available through December 31
Contact: 800-225-5292; callawaygardens.com
Georgia: Cuscowilla, Eatonton
Stay and Play: one night in a villa with views of the course and Lake Oconee; one round with a caddie on Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s splendid contribution to this golf-rich region seventy-five miles southeast of Atlanta
The golf: The architects relied on natural terrain when building this course in the late nineties. The result, marked by scruffy bunkers and challenging greens, wends along the lake and through woodlands and open fields. To score, you’ll need to think creatively.
Price From $400 per night for two, available through November 30
Contact: 800-458-5351; cuscowilla.com
North Carolina: St. James Plantation, Southport
T+L Golf Fairway Getaway: four nights in a suite or condominium with a view of the course, the Intracoastal Waterway or marshland; one round on each of the resort’s four courses, with cart; unlimited use of the range
The golf: Each of these layouts offers distinct challenges, although Pete Dye’s Founders course is perhaps the most difficult of the four. The Reserve will be private beginning next year; limited tee times are being offered until then, so play it while you still can.
Price From $500 per person through November 30; from $470 in December
Contact: 800-247-4806; theclubsatstjames.com
South Carolina: Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton
Teeing It Up: two nights in a cottage with a view of the lagoon; two rounds at May River Golf Club with caddie or with cart and forecaddie; free driving range; kayaks, canoes and fishing poles for use on internal waterways
The golf: This Jack Nicklaus design, which opened in 2004 near Savannah and Hilton Head, unfolds through the forest and marshland and along the riverfront, melding so seamlessly with the natural setting that you’ll forget you’re playing a resort course.
Price: $850 per night for two through November 30; $575 in December
Contact: 866-706-6565; palmettobluffresort.com
South Carolina: Pawleys Planation, Pawleys Island
Stars of the South: three nights in a villa with views of the course or nature; one round each at Pawleys Plantation, by Jack Nicklaus, and True Blue and Caledonia, both by Mike Strantz; daily breakfast buffet
The golf: Pawleys Plantation was king on this island south of the Grand Strand before Strantz built Caledonia and True Blue in the 1990s. These three are among the best in the Myrtle area. Plus, Pawleys Island is removed from Myrtle’s notorious crowds.
Price: $389–$649 per person through December 31
Contact: 800-367-9959; pawleysplantation.com
Virginia: Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen
Retreat with the Legends: minimum two-night stay; one round per weekend day on Ellis Maples’s Devils Knob or Rees Jones’s Stoney Creek, and unlimited golf during the week; one-hour semiprivate lesson
The golf: Devils Knob closes around November 1—at nearly four thousand feet, it’s the highest course in Virginia. Twenty-seven-hole Stoney Creek, set against the Blue Ridge Mountains, is open all year. Elevation changes, water and splendid views add to play.
Price: From $165 per person per night, available through November 30
Contact: 800-926-3723; wintergreenresort.com
West Virgina: The Resort at Glade Springs, Daniels
Unlimited Golf: one-night stay in a manor house, lodge or inn; breakfast at the Rotunda at the Inn; unlimited greens fees on the Cobb and Stonehaven courses, with cart; free range balls; club cleaning and storage
The golf: Glade Springs may not offer the luxury of the Greenbrier, but golf is the reason to come here, and neither the recently upgraded Cobb course, originally laid out in 1973, nor the more exotic Stonehaven, opened in 2003, will disappoint.
Price: From $164 per person per night through October 27; from $107 in the off-season
Contact: 877-898-6197; gladesprings.com