Category: Charleston

November 10, 2010

Ask Travelin' Joe: Charleston and Palm Springs

Posted at 1:25 PM by Joe Passov

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Dear Joe,
I've got a meeting to attend in Charleston and have time for one round. I'm a modest 19 handicap, so I think I'll pass on Kiawah's Ocean Course, but it would be great to play along the water somewhere.
Doug Schoenstein, Parma, Ohio

To the north, my pick is Wild Dunes Resort's Links course ($120-$145; 843-886-2180, in Isle of Palms, an early Tom Fazio design that celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall. Its par-5 closer along the Atlantic has been restored, returning the course to "must-play" status.

Down south at Kiawah Island Resort, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Turtle Point ($180-$224; 843-266-4050, sports a stretch of holes (14-16) where you can hit a beachcomber if you yank a shot.

Hi Joe,
My husband and I are looking for a golf trip for our 10th anniversary. We have played in Charleston, S.C.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Ponte Vedra, Fla., and we'd like to try Palm Springs, Calif. We're both 20-handicap golfers and would like to play some medium-difficulty courses with possibly one "big name" layout in the mix. Recommendations?
Heather Smith, Philadelphia, Penn.

Make your trophy course La Quinta's Mountain ($59-$189; 760-564-7610, In typical Pete Dye fashion, it can play as tough as old beef jerky, but choose the proper tees and this is pure fun, particularly the unforgettable stretch of 14 through 16 that hugs the mountain.

Another track worth your time is the Celebrity at Indian Wells Golf Resort ($65-$165; 760-346-4653,

For a great value, try Escena ($40-$85; 760-778-2737,, a wide, scenic, five-year-old layout from Nicklaus Design that's near the Palm Springs Airport.

The ultimate golfer's holiday gift? How about tournament trip to southwest Ireland, my favorite international golf destination? Sign up for the Great Irish Links Challenge (, the first edition of which takes place May 22-25, 2011. A field of 600 golfers will compete at three venues: Ballybunion, Lahinch and Doonbeg, which rank among the greatest links courses on the planet. Three rounds, with a title at stake. Now that's a stocking stuffer!

October 23, 2008

Ask Travelin' Joe: Charleston, S.C., Costa Rica and Winston-Salem, N.C.

Posted at 1:16 PM by Ryan Reiterman

If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at

Dear Joe,
I will be going to Isle of Palms in October. Any suggestions for the Charleston, S.C. and surrounding area?

Don Ratliff
Johnson City, Tenn.

Right in Isle of Palms is the Wild Dunes Resort, where two Tom Fazio courses await. Fazio is rebuilding the oceanside par-5 18th at the renowned Links course (843-886-2180,; $135-$140) and progress is good, though not quite completed. The rest of the holes are delightful, weaving in and out of dunes and dense Lowcountry foliage, though one could certainly nitpick as to the overabundance of houses that bracket the fairways.

Don't overlook is its sibling layout, the Harbor. Nearly every hole encounters lakes, salt marshes or the Intracoastal Waterway -- and it's $30 cheaper to play during the fall.

The best Charleston-area bargain is the Links at Stono Ferry (843-763-1817,; $56-$80, a Ron Garl design that's chock full of Revolutionary War relics and features several holes along the Intracoastal.

Hi Joe,
We are going to Costa Rica in November and the price of golf there seems a bit steep. We are staying at the Paradisus Playa Conchal Resort and we were wondering if the golf is worth the price?

Steve Signor
Lawrenceville, Ga.

I'll grant you the tariff at the resort's golf course is heady. However, I will add that it's probably one of the few in this part of the world that's worth the cash. The Reserva Conchal Golf Club (506-2-654-4000,; $75-$125) is a gorgeous tropical tour de force from Robert Trent Jones II, which features a handful holes that overlook the Pacific Ocean to the west. Mountains, jungle-like foliage and even the stray howler monkey help make for a memorable round. Play after 2 p.m. for that $75 rate and you'll be read to howl yourself.

Dear Joe,
I'm going to be in Winston-Salem at the end of the month for a wedding and four of us will be looking for a Friday morning round of golf. We would like a course that is well-conditioned with a variety of holes but not excessively tight. Suggestions?

Raymond Roelandt
Via email

My automatic response when it comes to "Winston-Salem" and "public golf" is usually Tanglewood Park, whose Championship course hosted many Champions Tour events as well as the 1974 PGA Championship.

However, it's long on challenge, but short on variety, as nearly every hole is littered with bunkers on your way to an elevated green. Its companion, the Reynolds, is even tighter.

Better you should sample the pleasantly named Meadowlands Golf Club (336-769-1011,; $41-$51), a playable 6,706-yard Hale Irwin design, or else try Salem Glen (336-712-1010,; $39-$55) in nearby Clemmons, a 1997 Nicklaus Design product that sports a flattish, open front nine and a rolling, wooded back nine.

Ask Travelin' Joe

Our traveling correspondent has been where you're going. Heading out of town on vacation? Business trip? Travelin' Joe can suggest the best places for you to tee it up. If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at


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