Tag Archives: golf resorts

Visit Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Early travellers were drawn to Colorado Springs for the high altitude, sunshine, mineral waters, and dry climate. Present-day travellers visit for many of the same reasons.  At 6,035 ft., Colorado Springs  even surpasses Denver, the mile high city. Most travellers fly into Denver International Airport and drive 75 miles (121km) south on Interstate Highway 25 to Colorado Springs, the second largest city in Colorado.

Where to stay

Terrace Garden of the Gods Resort photo credit: John Cameron

For unparalleled views of The Garden of the Gods Park and Pike’s Peak, stay at the luxurious Garden of the Gods Collection. We loved the over-sized, quiet, comfortable suite, the infinity pool, and the delicious breakfasts.

Things to Do

The poetically named Garden of the Gods, containing 300 million years of geologic history, was donated to Colorado Springs in 1909, with the proviso that it be operated permanently as a city park, open to the public.

Climbers in Garden of the Gods Park photo credit: John Cameron

Hiking, biking and horseback riding are popular activities in the 1334-acre park. If you only have time for one trail, the paved Central Garden Trail is the best introduction to the geology and plants of the Garden. Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is a Trip Advisor traveller’s choice for #1 park in the US. Admission to the park and the state of the art visitor center is free.

Kissing Camels Golf Course photo credit: John Cameron

Golf at Kissing Camels Golf Club at Garden of the Gods Collection.   J. Press Maxwell and Mark Rathert designed this challenging, well-routed and well maintained 27-hole championship track.   Five sets of tee boxes (look for the colourful camel markers) make this an enjoyable course for every level of golfer.

Cheyenne Mountain Golf Course photo credit John Cameron

Cheyenne Mountain Resort features an immaculately groomed 18-hole Pete Dye championship track designed to challenge golfers at all skill levels.

Cheyenne Mountain Resort boasts tour-quality greens and broad fairways on a course set beside a private, 35-acre lake. Hole nine is a short par four. Keep your tee ball left for a short approach in and a good opportunity for birdie.

Manitou Springs Stagecoach photo credit: John Cameron

Colorado Springs was named for the natural mineral springs in nearby Manitou Springs. This historic, quirky town is known for its mineral water. Manitou Springs’ visitor center can supply you with a map to the springs and a cup. The eight springs (or fountains) are easily found walking along Manitou Avenue. Each spring has a distinctive taste due to the difference in mineral content. Our favorite is the Shoshone Spring, which has the highest lithium content.

Colorado is teeming with natural hot springs but unfortunately, there are no local options for residents and visitors of Colorado Springs. The nearest hot springs are 2 hours drive, depending on the traffic.


Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

There’s no shortage of great golf courses in Northern Michigan competing for your golf dollar. With three championship courses on property, The Bear, The Wolverine and Spruce Run, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa is an easy first choice for a golf getaway.

Gary Player’s The Wolverine at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Michigan

The newest course of the trio, The Wolverine, is the only Gary Player-designed course in the state of Michigan. Appropriately named for the cunning Michigan forest-dweller, Gary Player’s signature course, The Wolverine, offers a true north woods golfing experience where each nine presents its own challenges. The course winds through water and wetlands on the front nine, and highland terrain with hardwoods and views of Grand Traverse Bay on the back nine.

Thanks to the versatility and playability of the track coupled with four sets of tees on each hole, more players can enjoy golfing this certified member of the Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program.

After playing The Wolverine, the helpful attendants will store your clubs overnight so you can tackle the famously tough Jack Nicklaus’ Bear course the next day.

Hole One on The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

The first hole on The Bear, a 364 yard par 4, is an easy par if you stay out of the moguls but after that, pars are hard to come by. Visually intimidating forced carries and water hazards on 14 of 18 holes make this course a challenge. The beautiful finishing hole plays downhill back to the clubhouse with another carry over water to a large green.

Even if you’re leaving the next day, the golf staff will store the clubs overnight so you can take off and grab a swim before dinner. The Grand Traverse Resort also offers a fast,free shuttle service to their private beach club on Lake Michigan, just minutes down the road.

The perfect antidote to a grueling workout on The Bear is the popular 100-minute Grand Traverse Body Renewal massage/exfoliation combo that starts with a gentle exfoliating scrub followed by a Vichy warm water shower. Next comes a relaxing massage, that combines hot stones with a signature massage oil, infused with the calming benefits of wild birch and wintergreen grown in Northern Michigan. As you drift away in a warm linen wrap, the therapist provides a soothing neck, scalp and face massage.

Spruce Run at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

The third course on site is Spruce Run, designed by Bill Newcome and named for the many spruce trees lining its long fairways. The par 70 course, renowned as a Michigan Open tour venue from the early 1980s,  plays 6304 yards from the blues with a slope rating of 134.  All three courses are meticulously maintained and the Player Assistants keep the groups moving smoothly.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Packages and twilight rates offer exceptional value while themed golf events throughout the year add to the enjoyment of the rounds.

State Theater Traverse City, Michigan

If you’re looking for a break from golf, downtown Traverse City is well worth a visit for good local dining, craft beers and shopping for local goodies. Further afield, check out the clear waters, high sand dunes and beautiful walking trails of Sleeping Bear National Park on Lake Michigan. If you’re a U.S. citizen over 62, pick up a lifetime US National Parks pass for $10.00.