Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Golf-Only Tee Times in Gulf Shores

I know from experience—lots and lots of experience—that the best way to play golf on the Gulf Coast is to book a golf vacation package. You get your lodging and your choice of golf courses all in one packaged deal. Easy and done.

But apparently not everyone knows this, as I discovered after talking to a coworker recently. It’s still not clear to me if he intended to book a golf package and didn’t know how, or if he just planned a Gulf Coast vacation and then decided he wanted to play golf while there. Either way, he has a spring trip to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach planned and really wants to play golf while there.

Lucky for him, the Gulf Shores Golf Association website makes booking tee times as easy as booking an actual golf vacation. All you have to do is click on “golf-only teetimes” on the Golf Gulf Shores website, select the course you want to play, and fill out the tee time information. The web page even includes overview information, photos, videos, and rates for each of the nine signature golf courses—it’s convenience at its best.

Of course, if you really want convenient, start the entire vacation planning process by visiting the association’s “Customized Quote” web page—book your Gulf Shores accommodations and golf courses all together under one price. Start planning for spring, or take a break from winter now by escaping to the mild temperatures of the Gulf Coast.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Feels Like Spring…Why Not Plan a Spring Golf Getaway?

Maybe we’re in for it later this winter…but it just hasn’t been terribly cold lately. I was outside shorts and a t-shirt the other day and was perfectly comfortable.

I know we’re supposed to be getting ready for the holidays, but all this spring-like weather is making me think of spring-like activities—like golf, of course, and my yearly spring golf vacation in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach.

No, it’s not too early to plan a spring golf package, not with this inspiring weather—and the recent naming of Kiva Dunes as a Best Resort Course by Golfweek Magazine. If you missed this, basically, Golfweek has said that it will include the Gulf Shores golf course in its 2013 Best Resort Courses list. (And let’s not forget the courses’s previous honors, like being named Alabama’s #1 public golf course, again by Golfweek, this past spring.)

This is no shock to me. Gulf-front golf course, Jerry Pate design, beautiful landscaping—really, it’s a no-brainer. It’s also a no-brainer that Kiva Dunes will be on my list of must-play golf courses when I do plan my spring golf vacation. And the best part is this is just one of nine signature golf courses, so I have plenty of Gulf Coast golf courses to choose from.

Again, it’s not too early for a little spring preparation—just visit the Gulf Shores Golf Association website and start planning.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas is a Good Time to Think Golf on the Gulf

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—and I’m beginning to think a lot about golf these days. There are a couple reasons for this.

First of all, I’m having a hard time coming up with gift ideas for a couple relatives…but because they are avid golfers, I think they would really enjoy playing golf in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. So I’m thinking that a good gift would be a Gulf Shores golf vacation package, or perhaps a gift card they could apply toward a golf vacation.

Second, I want this gift for myself. It is, in my opinion, the best gift one could receive (or give!). Think of it: not only would you get to play golf at your choice of nine signature golf courses, you’d also get to stay in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach accommodations (whether a local hotel or a luxurious beach-side condo), enjoy the amenities, and explore the various sites and attractions that the area has to offer.

So yes, I am definitely pushing for this gift this season.

Finally, this is just a great time of year for golfing on the Gulf Coast—mild weather and lots of festivities, like Bellingrath’s Magic Christmas in Lights, and the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade on December 8th. I just might have to plan a pre-Christmas weekend golf getaway for the very near future. Time to visit the Gulf Shores Golf Association website!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Check Out the Gulf Shores Golf Association Mobile Site

I admit, I’m a little bit anti-technology. I normally despise when you’re sitting there with someone and they feel the constant need to whip out their phone and correspond with every person they’ve ever met in their life. But…

I finally joined the 21st Century recently and bought myself an iPhone, and I can see how it would be so easy to develop that constantly-connected addiction. And although I’m trying really hard not to fall into that trap, I failed miserably the other day during a lunch outing with some friends, who happen to also be some of my best golf buddies and who happened to decide that we were long overdue for a golf trip.

Suddenly we all had our phones out, and the Golf Gulf Shores mobile site was our best friend. We were all on the site, checking out Gulf Shores & Orange Beach accommodations and deals, browsing golf courses and voicing our opinions on which ones would be best to play during a spring golf vacation (as it was quickly decided that spring is when we should plan for).

And I can totally see being down there this spring, iPhone in hand, looking at maps and descriptions of restaurants in the area as a way to decide where to eat after our round of golf is finished. It’s a handy little tool, that mobile site, and it would be especially useful if you’ve never been to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach and you’re looking for fast information on restaurants, lodging, golf courses, and the location of it all.

As for myself, I think I’ve just discovered a whole new world. Excuse me while I go check it out on my phone.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Thrill of Planning a Golf Vacation on the Gulf

There’s no denying it: the first time you plan that golf getaway to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, it’s exciting. You don’t know yet what the experience will be like, but you have heard that it’s amazing. So of course you can’t wait to get down there. And most likely, the actual experience is well worth the anticipation.

But as exciting as that first visit is, I think that it’s the repeat visit that’s even more thrilling. In fact, it’s been my experience that the fun of planning a Gulf Shores & Orange Beach golf vacation is heightened with each experience—because now I do know what to expect. I know, of course, which golf courses I like best, which aids the planning process.

I also have established accommodations preferences now—and we all know how accommodations can make or break a vacation. I know which Gulf-front condos and beach houses I like best, and which Gulf Shores hotels are best for weekend getaways. I know that a multi-bedroom beach-front condo works best (with my group, anyway) when spending a few days and a few rounds of golf on the Gulf with a small group of friends, but a beach house with space and privacy is ideal when spending a week at the beach with the family.

And knowing all of this ahead of time sure does take out any anxiety about whether or not I’ll be disappointed! Honestly, I’ve never had a bad vacation experience in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. The area has so many accommodations choices—just visit the Gulf Shores Golf Association website to see what I mean (and to start putting together that golf vacation package!).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gulf Coast Festivals and Golf—It’s All Possible in October

October just might be my favorite month for a golf vacation in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. The weather is a major draw, of course—absolutely ideal for some Gulf Coast golf.

But there’s also so much going on in October. And as much as I love golf, I won’t be playing from sun-up to sun-down (believe me, though, I have considered it). I like to have other things to do, other places to go…like maybe Fort Morgan during the upcoming Fall Bird Banding Session. I could start the day observing and learning about Coastal migratory birds, then finish up the afternoon with a round of golf.

There are also a couple festivals coming up that have caught my eye, partly just because they are festivals in the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach area, and partly because they involve food (always a wonderful complement to golf). The first is the 41st Annual National Shrimp Festival, taking place October 11th to the 14th. If you’ve never attended this event, I highly recommend it—continuous live music from two different stages, fine arts and crafts to browse and buy, and lots of delicious shrimp and other seafood (and non-seafood). There’s also a Children’s Activity Village, making it a fun event for the kiddos, too, so bring the entire family down for an October golf vacation.

The other is the Original German Sausage Festival in Elberta, scheduled for October 27th. This is a good one if you love sausage and are looking for “the best German sausage you have ever tasted.” Plus you’ll find more arts and crafts and live music, carnival rides, and a Bier Garten.

Beer, sausage, and golf—sounds like a heavenly vacation trio to me. Just visit the Gulf Shores Golf Association website for more information on Gulf Shores & Orange Beach events and planning a golf getaway.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Who’s Up for a Fall Golf Vacation on the Gulf?

I was talking with a coworker the other day who was griping about missing his golf vacation this summer; the timing just didn’t work out with his wife between their work schedules and other events.

I told him I couldn’t understand why he was so upset. We’re coming into fall now, and fall is absolutely my favorite time of year not just for golf, but specifically for a golf vacation. All I have to do is head south to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach and I’m in heaven.

After all, autumn on the Gulf isn’t like other places. The weather is cooler, but comfortably so—still warm enough to enjoy a little swimming, a little Gulf Coast nature-exploring, maybe even a little deep-sea fishing. And of course, a lot of golf. (Nine signature golf courses provide plenty of options!)

It’s easy enough to plan a fall golf getaway, too, especially when using the Gulf Shores Golf Association website. You can browse the various accommodations (ranging from chain hotels to luxurious Gulf-front condos) as well as the Gulf Shores golf courses. Then click on “customized quote” under “Plan” to begin putting together a customized golf vacation package. Easy.

Really, there’s no excuse not to plan this fall vacation. My coworker can complain all he wants… I’m booking a vacation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Golf Courses in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach—Which Is the Best?

So Kiva Dunes was ranked number 3 according to GOLF Magazine’s state-by-state public access courses in America. I have to disagree with them—it’s number 1 in my book. A beach-front layout on the Gulf Coast, the beauty and challenge presented by the course…it’s just hard to beat that!

But here’s what I love about golf in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach: nine signature golf courses to choose from, each with its own special qualities. Like the mango-scented, ice-cold towels offered by Cotton Creek at Craft Farms, and the chilled apples at Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club—both are really nice features when playing golf on a hot summer day! And the marshland hazards at Rock Creek Golf Club in Fairhope offer a unique scenic quality that I just love.

Plus, Kiva Dunes isn’t the only Gulf Shores & Orange Beach golf course to win accolades and high ratings. Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend at Craft Farms, Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club, and Rock Creek Golf Club have each received a four and a half star rating by Golf Digest. And most of the courses were designed by golf greats like Earl Stone, Arnold Palmer, and Jerry Pate.

I’ve played all of these courses, and looking back at all of them, I’m actually not sure which I would rank as number 1. Think I better book a Gulf Shores golf vacation so I can re-assess.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

August Brings Golf and Concerts in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

What if you could play golf in the morning, walk the beach and swim in the Gulf in the afternoon, and attend a concert in the evening? Book an August golf vacation in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach and you’ll have plenty of chances to do just that. Several music events are scheduled for August, so it’s a good month to make a great vacation out of golf and music.

On August 6th, Kelly Clarkson and The Fray, with special guest Carolina Liar, are playing at The Wharf Amphitheater. Then on August 17th is Jason Mraz with special guest Christina Perri, also at The Wharf Amphitheater. Later in the month, on August 25th, you can catch Lynyrd Skynyrd with special guests Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Drake White. All three concerts are sure to be amazing ways to end an already great day of Gulf Coast golf!

And let’s not forget about the SEC BeachFest taking place August 23rd to 26th. Not only will there be live concerts at Gulf Shores Public Beach, but you’ll also get to see past and present SEC coaches and players, ESPN commentators, a fashion show, and a golf tournament. Or maybe you’re planning to play in the SEC BeachFest Alumni Golf Scramble—in which case you might want to visit the Gulf Shores Golf Association website for information on winning free entry to the event. Just click on “News & Events” under the “Explore” tab.

August is going to be a hot month in more ways than one on the Gulf—be there!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Come Watch the NGA Professional Golf Tournament This Month

Anyone planning a vacation in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach this month? Because July 23rd to 29th would be an excellent time for anyone who loves golf to be in the area.

The NGA Professional Golf Tour will be playing a golf tournament at TimberCreek Golf Club during those dates, which could be a really awesome setup for a Gulf Shores golf vacation. First of all, admission to watch the tournament is free and open to the public. That alone is worth the trip down—free access to watch amateur golfers teamed up with tour professionals to compete in a scramble format. The tournament week also includes a Pairings Party and a free junior clinic with instruction from tour professionals.

Book a golf vacation package for that week and not only will you get to watch great golf, you’ll get to play (possibly great) golf as well. Just visit the Gulf Shores Golf Association website to start putting together a customized golf package.

I’m hoping that simply watching pros (and amateurs) in a Gulf Coast golf tournament will inspire me to play some truly amazing golf. Or if nothing else (and probably more realistically), I’ll get to play average golf on some amazing Gulf golf courses. And that’s a good enough reason for me.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer is a Great Time for a Golf Vacation!

Yes, it’s hot, but like any true hard-core golfer, I will not let the heat keep me from the green. I have a Gulf Shores golf vacation coming up in July, and I have every intention to get out on those courses.

First of all, I plan to golf in the morning and avoid the afternoon heat altogether. I’ve always enjoyed morning golf better, anyway—the courses in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach are gorgeous anyway, but there’s something about being out there first thing in the morning that just enhances their beauty.

Second, I plan to take advantage of the different perks offered by the courses. For instance, ice cold towels can make a world of difference when the temperature really starts to rise, and Cotton Creek at Craft Farms even offers mango-scented ice cold towels—talk about refreshing! Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club offers chilled apples on the first tee of all three nines, and of course there’s always the option of a nice, cold drink at a club’s restaurant/clubhouse.

Finally, when the round of golf is complete, I have every intention of returning to my Gulf-front condo and taking a refreshing swim in the pool or even venturing out for a dip in the Gulf itself.

And these are the reasons why I love a summer golf getaway.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Win Entry to the SEC BeachFest Alumni Golf Scramble

Ordinarily I despise August—summer’s winding down, but it’s not quite time for fall yet—but this year I have a golf reason to look forward to August: the SEC BeachFest Alumni Golf Scramble.

Even without the golf scramble, the SEC BeachFest weekend (scheduled for August 23rd to 26th) promises to be a fun time. A kickoff to the SEC football season, the weekend will include current and legendary SEC coaches, live music, sports clinics, and games, to name just a few things.

And then there’s the golf scramble, which will be played at several Gulf Shores Golf Association golf courses—including a championship round at Kiva Dunes. That alone is worth signing up for! For $400 ($1600 per foursome) you get two rounds of golf, a buffet breakfast and lunch, a gift bag, and a chance to play for the championship round.

Or you could play for free—if you win the free foursome entry being given away by the GSGA. The free entry includes everything included in the entry fee. The winner will be chosen after the event, so be sure to register for the scramble and register for a chance to win on the Golf Gulf Shores Facebook page.

My entry is in, and I’m feeling lucky…see you on the golf course!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book a Golf Vacation and Attend a Hot Air Balloon Festival

I know of a good reason to plan a Gulf Shores & Orange Beach golf vacation in mid-June: the 8th Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, scheduled for June 15th to 17th in Foley. It’s an excellent event to attend if you have a family—or if you simply enjoy Gulf Coast festivals.

Here’s a good festival/golf plan: The balloons are in the air at 6 a.m., so show up nice and early to catch a glimpse of the 50 brightly colored balloons floating in the morning sky. Then head off to a morning round of golf—Glenlakes Golf Club is close (also in Foley) but all of the area’s nine signature golf courses are easy enough to get to.

The great thing about the Hot Air Balloon Festival is it’s an all-day event, so when that round of golf is done you can head back for the live music, food, arts and crafts village, and the Disc-Connected K9’s World Famous Frisbee Dogs—these dogs alone are worth the trip back to the festival. And if you’re there with the family, take the kids to the kid’s village and check out Babin’s House of Party, Alligator Alley exhibits, and other fun activities. Stay for sunset and watch the hot air balloons make their return.

You have to see it for yourself to really appreciate it, so go ahead and book that Gulf Shores vacation package.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What’s Your Favorite Group for Golf?

I’ve played golf with many different group types—including work groups. I’ve actually played several times with people from work (during conferences and company gatherings), thus I can say from experience that golf can help bring any group together in camaraderie.

Then there are those much-loved, much-needed buddies golf vacations on the Gulf. Just a group of friends, a condo on the beach, and several days of golf—the group golf experience doesn’t get much better than this.

But I think it might come close to as good this summer, when a large group of family and friends will gather on the beach for a wedding between two people who actually met at the beach. That part of the story is good enough, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that a group of us will be hitting the golf course the day before the wedding. And a large group it will be—several relatives, friends, and friends of friends will be participating in this “mini-tournament.”

Whatever the group, making Gulf Shores & Orange Beach the golf location is a must. You can’t beat the beauty of the area’s nine signature golf courses. And with a variety of accommodation options—from hotels to beach houses to luxurious Gulf-front condos—it’s easy to find a golf vacation deal to meet the needs of all golfers in the group.

Monday, April 30, 2012

How Much Gulf Shores Golf Could You Play in One Day?

I know spring has fully arrived when all I want to do is play golf—and seriously, all I want to do is play golf. All day. I played a round last weekend with a couple friends, and felt so invigorated by the end (though still fairly tired) that I could’ve played another round. But the “real world” demanded I return, leaving me no time for another round.

So I’ll just have to hit the Gulf Shores Golf Association website and book a golf vacation. Here’s the beauty of the GSGA website: it makes it so easy to put together a Gulf Shores & Orange Beach golf package, and you can even plan ahead for a double round of golf—or even unlimited golf!

The later I’ve never actually tried, but I think the next golf trip will have to include at least one day of unlimited golf. I would love to see just how much golf I could play at a given course in one day—golf in the morning, a little after-lunch golf, and since the days stay lighter longer this time of year, I could probably squeeze in some early-evening golf.

I’d love to spend an entire day on the course—it would be the ultimate golf getaway!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Play a Little Golf, Throw Some Fish

A golf vacation in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach is a good thing any time of year, but a golf vacation later this month promises a little extra fun—in the form of fish tossing and a golf tournament.

Friday, April 27th is the beginning of the 27th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss & Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party, which runs through April 29th. The Mullet Toss is exactly as it sounds: you get to toss a fish. You also get to enjoy good food, a keg toss, tug-of-war, and other fun activities. And let’s not forget the “Greatest Beach Party” part of the event—this alone is worth showing up for.

But of course we can’t forget about the most important part of a golf vacation: golf. Preceding the Mullet Toss Weekend by a couple days (April 25th) is the 15th Annual Mullet Swing Golf Classic at Lost Key Golf Club. The fee for this two-person scramble includes greens fee and cart, balls, food and drink, a golf towel and, my favorite perk, a tournament jacket. Not only do you get to play golf on a beautiful golf course, you’re also playing for a good cause—the event benefits the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

More information about this and other events is available on the Gulf Shores Golf Association website.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best Ways to Wind Down after Golf on the Gulf

It’s finally here: spring. And it’s brought some ideal golf conditions in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach—unquestionably warm weather that lacks the searing heat of summer. This time of year, a Gulf Shores golf vacation is an absolute must.

Between the beautiful weather and the area’s nine signature golf courses, you’ll likely be inspired to play a lot of golf—I know I always am. So having ways to wind down and relax afterward is important. What I do after usually depends on what time of day I play.

For instance, by the time I’m done with a morning round of golf, it’s often beach time—and lunchtime. Usually, I’ll do one of two things: head back to my Gulf-front condo, make a quick lunch and grab a book, and go down to the beach for a while, or I’ll go find a beach-side restaurant.

After a round of afternoon golf, I’m usually ready for a cool-down and will return to my condo or hotel for a swim in the pool or a trip around the lazy river.

But spring, for me, is a favorite time of year for early evening golf, and there are a few ways of winding down in the evening. Dinner out is a good option if it’s not too late, preferably somewhere with some live music. If I’m still feeling energized, I might even try to catch a concert if one is scheduled. On the other hand, if I’m pretty tired (more and more the case the older I get), I’ll return to my condo for a soak in a hot tub, or enjoy a cold drink on my balcony while gazing out over the moonlit Gulf.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Want a Good Reason to Play Kiva Dunes—or Any Other GSGA Golf Course?

I remember the first time I played golf at Kiva Dunes in Gulf Shores. My first impression was how beautiful the place was—a Gulf-side golf course winding its way through sand dunes, lakes, and other scenic views. Playing it was amazing (even though I lost half a dozen balls that day).

With this memory in mind, it’s easy to see why it was recently rated the number one Alabama public golf course by Golfweek Magazine—and why Golf Digest ranked it as one of the 75 best golf resorts in North American in 2009, and one of the top 100 courses in 2003….Bravo, Kiva Dunes. Not that I needed it, but this validates my playing this GSGA golf course every time I visit Gulf Shores & Orange Beach!

But of course it’s not the only worthy golf course in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. There’s a reason why the area is my top pick for a golf vacation: nine signature golf courses (I guess that’s really nine reasons), each with its own appealing set of qualities. Combine this with white-sand beaches, a variety of accommodations, excellent dining options, and an active events schedule and there’s really no reason to look elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Indulging Your Active Side on a Golf Vacation

Golf is an interesting sport. It’s active, but it’s relaxing. It makes a golf vacation a perfect balance between relaxation and action—whether you enjoy a toned-down, easy-going round of golf or a more active game with a competitive edge.

And if it’s more the active aspect that (paradoxically) contributes to your relaxation, a Gulf Shores & Orange Beach golf vacation is ideal. Plan a Gulf Shores Golf Association golf package with a group of friends and turn the vacation into a tournament—the competition will be fun and friendly.

In addition to golf, the area is full of activities to keep you busy. Take the group on a deep-sea fishing trip out on the Gulf—spend just a few hours or make it an overnight fishing trip. Or find a nature trail and check out the Gulf Coast nature scene—places like the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail are excellent places for hiking and biking.

And your Gulf Shores condo may provide plenty of activity itself. Several accommodations offer amenities like pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, and exercise rooms. Many also offer hot tubs and saunas—necessities after all this active relaxing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why Golfing on the Gulf is Ideal in February

Here’s why I love golfing this time of year: you can actually golf in the afternoon, something I personally can’t tolerate in the heat of summer. And golfing in the afternoon usually means paying afternoon (lower) rates.

Of course, ability to play golf in the afternoon (or any time of day) really depends on where you are. Obviously, if you’re in an area that’s actually experiencing winter, golf may be out of the question until spring. But in a place like Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, it is absolutely an ideal time for golf. And you’ll find some excellent afternoon golf rates among the area’s nine signature golf courses. Courses like Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend at Craft Farms and Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club currently offer an afternoon rate of $59; Rock Creek has an afternoon rate of $49, and Lost Key drops down to $40, to mention just a few.

And there’s an additional reason why February is a particularly good time for a Gulf Shores golf vacation—Mardi Gras! Several Mardi Gras parades and celebrations are coming up later this month. It’s a good time of year to play a little golf, catch some beads, and make the most of winter.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Matters Most When Planning a Golf Vacation?

It’s funny what different people consider important when planning a vacation. A colleague of mine is making his first trip to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach this spring and approached me for some advice on selecting golf courses. I was all prepared to discuss the various qualities of the area’s nine signature golf courses (and the benefits of booking a golf package), and the first thing he asks is which course’s clubhouse restaurant has the best burger.

And of course this was not the only issue he was considering. But he’s a very routine-oriented individual, and apparently after every round of golf, he likes to enjoy a burger—“a very good burger,” in his words.

I guess we all have our priorities when it comes to planning the golf getaway. I myself like to know a range of rates (both golf and lodging) and if there are any events planned during my stay, like a golf tournament or clinic. It’s easy enough to find out both using the Gulf Shores Golf Association website—the “Customized Quote” and “Sample Rates” pages (both under “Plan”) can give a good idea of cost, while “News & Events” (under “Explore”) often lists upcoming golf (and other) events. Plus you can read up on the different golf courses and accommodations options and make as informed a decision as possible on where to play and where to stay.

But the only way to really know your preference—of either golf course or food—is to get down there and try it out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Play Golf, Relax, or Get Active—The Choice is Yours

Every golfer has played that hole where a body of water, or thick foliage, or some other obstacle stands between you and the green at such a distance that you have a couple ways you could play it: lay-up and ensure the ball gets over on the next shot, or give it all you’ve got and drive the ball over that water in one swing.

A golf vacation in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach is very similar in that there a couple ways to play it. You could keep it very simple—golf and relaxation. A round of golf in the morning followed by an afternoon of relaxing on the beach, by the pool, in a hot tub, at a spa…the possibilities are many.

Or you might want to squeeze in as much activity as possible by checking out some of the local events. This is where I recommend visiting the Gulf Shores Golf Association’s “News & Events” page (under “Explore” on the website). Here you’ll find information on things like upcoming golf tournaments as well as non-golf-related events. Right now, for example, we’re approaching Mardi Gras, and several Mardi Gras parades are planned for next month. And then there’s the Under Armour Senior Bowl scheduled for January 28th—watch the country’s best collegiate and NFL football stars in live action during this nationally televised football game.

How you decide to play it is up to you—just be sure to play.