The Golf Addict’s Vacation Guide (Trip 4, Spring/Summer 2017) cover

The Golf Addict’s Vacation Guide (Trip 4, Spring/Summer 2017)


For many of you the leaves are now turning. This can mean only one thing: the golf clubs will soon be relegated to a corner of the garage or basement.
This does not mean you have to give up golf completely over the next five or six months.

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The Golf Addict’s Vacation Guide (Trip 4, Spring/Summer 2017)

For many of you the leaves are now turning. This can mean only one thing: the golf clubs will soon be relegated to a corner of the garage or basement.

This does not mean you have to give up golf completely over the next five or six months. You can always visit those areas (California, Arizona, and Florida) where the year round golfer calls home. Alternatively, you can trudge over to the indoor driving range (do these exist?) or you can spend time planning your next big golf vacation.



Previously we have outlined trips to Hawaii, Bandon Dunes and Florida. Unfortunately, the latter two are best scheduled as “golfers only” excursions. As such, you may be taking some grief from the non-golfing partner.

As such, I have abandoned the idea of a Whistling Straits excursion this time, for the more couples friendly trip to the great resorts of the Blue Ridge/Allegheny Mountains. The golf is very good and the accommodations are phenomenal. It will take a bit of driving, but even that is quite scenic.

I recommend you start your trip at Primland. This boutique resort has all the comforts and amenities of the larger resorts including a spa, skeet shooting, hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. If that is not enough, the facility also offers an observatory.

This is a newer development with very attractive rooms and a first class restaurant. The golf is the icing on the cake. There is amazing topography, with heavily tree lined fairways.

Golf Digest has ranked the facility as high as number 13, amongst the top 100 you can play. While this may a bit high, it nevertheless, is fully deserving of top 100 status. The finishing holes are worth the price of admission.

Stay a day or two, and play the course twice. I ran into snow flurries during the latter part of April, although this was supposedly an aberration. That said, I would definitely not try to book too early. Make sure to take advantage of the stay and play packages.

Following your brief, but pleasant stay at Primland, you can take the scenic three hour drive to The Greenbrier. If nothing else, you will be able to claim you have now visited West Virginia.

Of all the places I stayed while playing the top 100 courses, The Greenbrier was my favorite. After a few days, I knew what a five star resort should be. The Greenbrier is a massive facility that offers numerous activities beyond the golf; which by itself is terrific.

There is no observatory like Primland, but the facility includes 19 restaurants, a casino and, of course, the Bunkers, which were constructed to house our national leaders in the event of an attack. These are now available to be toured.

This was one place where the activities at the resort were nearly as good as the golf…nearly. There are three golf courses on-site. Old White, which was recently renovated, is a Golf Digest top 100 course, while Golf Magazine cited the Nicklaus Greenbrier course as deserving at the time of my last visit.

Both are excellent, but I preferred Old White. This latter course hosts the annual Greenbrier Classic PGA event over the July 4 weekend. (This event was cancelled in 2016 due to flooding.) I would stay at least three nights at The Greenbrier. Again, the stay and play packages are a must.

Cascades Course

Cascades Course, Homestead Resort

Cascades Course

Less than an hour northeast, back in Virginia, is another “must visit” large resort. (Homestead) is just a cut below The Greenbrier. The Cascades golf course, affiliated with the facility, is my favorite of all those listed on this trip. I did not play the Old Course, but understand it to be a decent track as well.

The project includes two hot springs, a spa and offers excellent dining options. Off campus is Sam Snead’s Tavern; a must for those who like golf history. Check out Snead’s collection of “hole-in-one” balls. Make sure to get a reservation.

Fly fishing and shooting are some of the many non-golf activities in which one may partake. Ultimately, the highlight of my visit was the Cascades golf course. Sam Snead spent much of his formative years playing this very interesting layout.

A bit unconventional at par 70, with Numbers 16 and 17 both being par 5’s and Number 18 being a par 3, the unique holes make for a terrific round. I strongly recommend a second 18. My rating of the course improved after 36 holes. Lastly, Cascades has one of the most unique clubhouses I have visited.

This vacation can be somewhat expensive, however, the resorts are all first-class, with plenty of activities for non-golfers. Children will enjoy both Greenbrier and Homestead, although Primland is not as child friendly. The mountain setting for this vacation is magnificent. No doubt, this will be a trip to remember for everyone involved, with some exceptional golf available.

Weekly Observation: Tiger’s entrance and subsequent withdrawal from the Safeway Open last week is somewhat telling, but screwed up my brilliant analysis (Tiger Woods Beginning of the End).



Paul Laubach is completely unqualified to provide expertise with respect to golf course rankings and design, however, he is a highly opinionated golf addict who believes everyone should be entitled to his thoughts. He has recently released Confessions of a Golfaholic: A Guide to Playing America’s Top 100 Public Golf Courses; now available in hardcover edition. Please visit regularly for more (im)practical information.