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On the Road with Nancy Brown: Winter Golf Getaways

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown reviews golf deals for a steal.

Photo by Alec Smith

Scotland in Half Moon Bay?

As I slide my card key into the hotel door, the faint sound of bagpipes wails in the distance. I raise the window blinds to see undulating golf greens, like a hilly red carpet laid out before me. The crashing surf plays second string to the bagpipes. While this postcard moment could have unfolded in Scotland, instead it took place at The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay.

Half Moon Bay Golf Links. Photo by Alec Smith.Located 40 minutes south of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay Golf Links looks out onto the Pacific Ocean. Home to the championship Old Course and Ocean Course, The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay has partnered with Half Moon Bay Golf Links to offer a Play and Stay Package that includes deluxe accommodations and two rounds at the course of your choice. Non-golfers will find plenty of activities to entertain themselves too, including horseback riding, hang gliding, kayaking and surfing lessons. For more information about rates and packages, click here.

Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach, long known as the golf playground for the rich and famous, is now accessible to the savvy shopper with an eye toward value. Pebble Beach Resorts is offering lodge guests complimentary tournament tickets for the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament. Slated for February 7 through 13, guests at The Inn at Spanish Bay or The Lodge at Pebble Beach will receive two tournament tickets for each day, complimentary resort parking and shuttle service to the tournament courses. Rates begin at $725. For more information, click here or call (866) 226-5442.

Monterey Golf Packages

Bayonet Black Horse. Photo by Julio Rodriguez.Bayonet Black Horse and Poppy Hills have teamed up to offer a two-round overnight special throughout the winter, including rounds on two of three championship courses (Poppy Hills, Bayonet, and Black Horse.)

Located an hour south of San Jose and two hours from San Francisco, Bayonet Black Horse is considered by some to be the “Best 36 Holes” on the Monterey Peninsula. Why not play where the pros play?

Packages range from $252 to $274 for weekdays and weekends (for single and double occupancy) and are available through March 31. The costs of two 18-hole courses, carts, and range balls are included. For more information, click here.

Other Monterey Lodging Options

If you’re golfing at Bayonet Black Horse or Poppy Hills, Casa Munras, a hacienda-inspired hotel, is located just minutes away, within walking distance to the Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey. Another good option is The Embassy Suites Monterey Bay, Seaside, which offers the “manager’s reception” of cocktails and appetizers, as well as a hot breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets.

For the non-golfers in the group or after all holes have been played, the Monterey Peninsula offers attractions, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Laguna Seca Raceway, the Monterey History and Maritime Museum, and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

For reservations at Casa Munras, click here or call (831) 375-2411. For the Embassy Suites Monterey Bay, Seaside, call (831) 241-9116.


Where are your favorite places to golf in the winter? Share your comments below.


A lifelong resident of Contra Costa County, Nancy D. Brown grew up in Moraga. When she’s not traveling, she lives in Lafayette with her husband and teens. Nancy is the Uptake.com Travel Editor, writes the What a Trip blog and is a Contra Costa Times Lamorinda Sun columnist. Horse lovers will find her at writinghorseback.com. Follow Nancy on Twitter at twitter.com/Nancydbrown.