Winter is when golfers across the nation, stuck indoors with snow outside and Golf Channel on the tube, dream of warmer weather and start to plan their spring golf vacations.
And while "golf vacation" might conjure up visions of men and their buddies, an increasing number of women are turning the traditionally male-dominated golf vacation on its head, taking their girlfriends or wives and their love for golf on the road.
Several factors can make a golf course more "women-friendly" than others, including the layout and length of the design, accessibility and multiple tee offerings, and overall quality of the course and amenities.
But there is more to planning an enjoyable golf vacation for women than just choosing great courses. From its outstanding golf courses to world-class dining, shopping and beaches, Charleston is tailor-made for a girls golfing get-away weekend.
Just ask Jollyn Erickson, organizer for a group of women from the Pinehurst, N.C., area who visited Charleston for a golf getaway. "We were excited to visit Charleston because we have heard wonderful things about the golf in the area," Erickson said. "Over the weekend, we got a chance to play three great and very distinct courses."
Although Erickson's group only had time to sample a few courses, Charleston has several golf venues that have earned rave reviews from national golf publications and visiting women alike.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort features two highly ranked golf courses for women. Kiawah's Osprey Point was recognized as an "Outstanding Course" by Golf for Women magazine. And Kiawah's world-famous Ocean Course, known as one of the toughest tests in the world, also earned praise from the magazine, dispelling the myth that the term "women-friendly" is synonymous with "easy."
Kiawah features several special golf packages for women, including its annual Women's Golf Getaway, which takes place in March and combines great golf with professional instruction.
Just northeast of Charleston off U.S. 17, Wild Dunes Resort features two great courses for women. Both the Harbor Course and the oceanfront Links Course have earned high marks from women at all playing levels. The resort also offers special group golf packages for women that include off-the-course relaxation at its award-winning spa.