Golfers’ Paradise: Portland? Seattle?? Rochester???

Golfing at Stone Creek Golf Course, with view of Mt. Hood
Keeping your eye on the ball is a bit more challenging at Stone Creek Golf Course, with dramatic views of Mt. Hood ready to distract at every turn …

I live in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country. And around these parts, a vacation often takes golf lovers to North Carolina, or maybe to Florida or Scottsdale in the winter months. (Scotland is the “Holy Grail” of golf destinations, of course.)

So I was somewhat surprised to read that Golf magazine has come up with some pretty big surprises in its listing of the “Top 10 U.S. Cities” for golf, published in August.

The list was developed in conjunction with the National Golf Foundation, so presumably it was compiled with the input of the “leading authorities” in the sport.

Some of the cities on the Top Ten list come as little surprise:

  • #3:  Las Vegas, NV
  • #5:  Orlando, FL
  • #7:  San José, CA

A few others wouldn’t necessarily be ones I would have thought of initially, but they do make sense:

  • #2: Columbus, OH  (the birthplace of Jack Nicklaus)
  • #4: Dallas, TX  (more than 100 golf courses are open to the public)
  • #8: Atlanta, GA  (the Sugarloaf course is here, along with two PGA Tour sites)

That leaves four other cities that I was surprised to see listed at all:

#10 is Rochester, NY  –  This city might have ranked higher for golf in my book than Buffalo or Cleveland, but to make the “Ten Best” list is … remarkable. It was included because there are ~65 golf courses, and median green fees are a huge bargain at just ~$30.

#9 is Portland, OR  –  I would have thought “weather issues” would make this city a non-contender, but Golf magazine found otherwise. Moreover, there are ~50 courses including Stone Creek Golf Club with its dramatic views of Mount Hood.

#6 is Seattle, WA  –  Wouldn’t the (rainy/cloudy) weather be even more of an issue here than in Portland? Evidently not, as Golf magazine ranked it among the top six cities, noting 60+ courses and median green fees of around $45.

And #1 is … Austin, TX —  This city was so-named because it “has the nation’s best combination of weather, name [course] designs, and affordable, accessible golf.”

It looks like the golf lovers among us will need to start expanding our horizons when it comes to vacation destinations.

Hmm, I wonder what our spouses will think of spending an exciting week in Austin, Columbus or Rochester …?