What's up Omos Fam. It's fall here in Salt Lake City which usually signals the downshift in the golf season for most players. But for me fall is my favorite time of year to play. The tee sheets are more open and it's not so damn hot here in SLC. So here are my top 5 trips to take in the US for your end of season golf trip. All these courses are accessible to you (public or semi-private) so you can get booked up today.
5. Park City, Utah
Alright hear me out. While there are elite (private) golf courses in Park City, there is underrated, incredible public golf courses for cheap. First is Wasatch Mountain. Wasatch features two courses (Mountain and Lake) that wind up the back of the Wasatch Mountains (sensing a theme here?). With a cart it's $55. Next, I would check out Soldier Hollow, which also boasts two courses (Gold and Silver) with a links-ier style play, also just $55. Finish your golf trip in PC playing Park City Muni which is on the way to downtown Park City and after the round enjoy the nightlife and great restaurants up in PC.
4. Scottsdale, Arizona
If you're looking for endless summer, just head to the desert. It's not a secret that Scottsdale provides great golf year around, if you don't mind the 100+ degree heat (locals say "its a dry heat" don't fall for this lie). My favorite (and I think most people's) is We-Ko-Pa, then recreate the Waste Management and play TPC Scottsdale. Unless you've lived under a rock for the last decade, you should know all about the Scottsdale nightlife which can make for an alright night on the town with the lads.
3. St. George, Utah
Yeah, yeah, yeah I can hear you already, "Scott how do you have two Utah cities on your top 5 list", well for one, I'm only recommending places I've played and two, St. George is dope (for golf not for nightlife). Three course recommendations are Sand Hollow (best golf course in Utah and one of the most dramatic back 9's I've ever played), The Ledges, and Entrada. No nightlife here, so do yourself a favor and stay at Entrada, then play poker with the fellas at the condo.
2. Monterey, California
Admittedly, Monterey is a chalk pick. We all know there is a SWATH of courses on the peninsula and you can play Pebble Beach if you have the space in your wallet. BUT my group of buddies did a trip down to Monterey in 2019, didn't play Pebble, and had a blast playing more accessible local courses. My three favorites that we played are Poppy Hills, Quail Lodge (literally the best manicured golf course I've ever played. Not a blade of grass was out of place. It made me want to do yard work it was so nice) and Pacific Grove (aka The Poor Man's Pebble, you'll see why).
1. Bend, Oregon
Fun fact, I'm from Oregon so this is pick is riddled in bias. We started doing golf trips to Bend when I was in my twenties, it's where I fell in love with golf. It's easy to do in Bend because there are many world class public golf courses all within an hour drive of downtown. My favorites are Black Butte Ranch, Crosswater, and Pronghorn. When you're not golfing, enjoy the world class breweries (10 Barrel, Crux and Sunriver are my favorite) and the fun bars throughout town.
So that's it. That's the top 5. I hope you're getting out there this fall and enjoying the game with your buddies -- I know I will.