Originally published here on December 7, 2023: https://www.gulfshores.com/blog/things-do-do/golf/how-to-plan-a-winter-golf-vacation/
For some golfers, the thought of winter games brings to mind freezing fingers and hard-packed soil. But, here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, winter golf is an entirely new game.
Our award-winning Gulf Shores and Orange Beach courses become a golfing oasis, offering great weather, fewer crowds, and special rates. Winter tee-offs are a great way to keep your swing in shape, and taking a drive on a Gulf Shores golf course is hassle-free and easy. In other words, it’s the perfect time to plan your golf vacation!
Great Golf Weather
Rain, clouds or overwhelming heat can turn a fun game into anything but. As an outdoor sport, golf is heavily affected by the weather. Luckily, the winter on Alabama’s beaches is perfect for golfing! The temperatures are mild and the skies are a stunning clear-blue. Enjoy a mid-day round at your favorite local course as you bask in the cool, fresh air and take-in the scenery.
Packing should be a breeze! Forget the gloves and parkas – a comfortable pair of golf pants and a light jacket are plenty to stay warm on the greens. You can also have your clubs shipped or rent some professional gear from the golf course to save even more room in your luggage.
Get Your Favorite Tee Time
Golf is a popular pastime on Alabama’s beaches, especially during the spring and summer seasons. During the winter, it’s easy to swing your favorite tee time at any of the championship courses. That’s because the crowds are low, leading to open and flexible schedules. Whether you’re in for a morning drive or a late afternoon game, you’re sure to find an open hole at a variety of local courses. Visit your course’s website or call ahead to be sure there isn’t a tournament or private event that might bar you from your desired playing time.
Play at Your Own Pace
Speaking of uncrowded courses, another great perk of winter golf is playing at any pace you like – without inconveniencing a long line of people waiting behind you. Small crowds mean more time to play, so it’s the perfect time to train a newbie or just enjoy a slow-paced round. If you want to spend a long afternoon playing the game, winter is the ideal time to do it.
Work on Your Game
The off-season is perfect for working on your game. Choose a place like Orange Beach Golf Center with a lighted driving range, practice putting and chipping greens, practice sand bunker and a Pro Shop. They are open seven days a week and feature self-serve ball dispensers, a driving range with grass and mat tees, and a nine-hole, par-three course for play.
Winter Golf Specials
While you’re planning, keep an eye out for winter golf specials. Many of the Gulf Shores golf courses offer special rates during the off-season. Craft Farms Golf Resort (two 18-hole courses designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer) and Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club (award-winning 27-hole course perfect for players of all skill levels) both are offering Six Pack Specials this winter. Golfers may purchase six rounds of golf for one low price at either course.
Of course, a great golf vacation needs a great place to stay. Some courses are full-scale golf resorts, but there are also plenty of nearby accommodations, as well. The best part? Just like your golf game, you’ll find discounted rates on off-season vacation rentals. That means you won’t just bring in green on your golf cleats, but you’ll have more green in your pocket for your favorite restaurants, shopping or other experiences.