Oregon vs. Alabama (Auburn) as a golf destination: Which state wins the golf travel BCS?
My prediction for the BCS title game: Nike University at Eugene over Auburn 44-39.
Debating the two universities’ respective states as golf destinations, I also have to give Oregon the nod - by a duck’s bill.
The two states actually have some similarities more than the geographic distances between them might indicate. Both have year round golf weather (you’d be surprised how many places in Oregon can avoid the snow). Both also have some coastal golf, with Alabama serving up the courses in Gulf Shores, while Oregon of course has Bandon Dunes.
Each also sits in the shadow of bigger golf destinations nearby in Florida and California, but their own golf offerings are plenty good, given the size of their states and population.
Alabama has Gulf Shores and Mobile, home to such courses like Kiva Dunes and Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club. They also have one of golf’s greatest value destinations, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Two RTJ Trail courses can be found near Auburn in Opelika, the Grand National Lakes and Links courses, both rated a very solid 26/30 by Zagat’s Guide to Golf Courses. Alabama also has the world’s greatest Bad Golfer: Charles Barkley.
But I give Oregon the nod because it’s got so many different types of golf destinations rolled up into one. It’s almost like a mini-California, geographically, and it’s much cheaper to visit (no sales tax on all that Ducks Nike gear you stock up on in Oregon).
The obvious epicenter of Oregon golf travel these days is Bandon Dunes, but there are other places to tee it up, too.
The high desert town of Bend is an intriguing golf destination, even if the course boom here in the last few years was designed more towards attracting luxury second home buyers. Now with some public play offered at Pronghorn’s Nicklaus course (which is one of my favorite Nicklaus-designed courses), plus Crosswater at Sunriver Resort and Tetherow G.C., you have a triumvirate of three very different, very worthy golf courses, plus a few dozen more scattered around to choose from.
You can find good Southern barbecue and seafood in Alabama, while Oregon’s home of espresso and microbrews. No state does beer quite like Oregon, which explains why every time I write about the state, I’ve got one arm in the fridge by the time I’m finished.
One upside to golf in Alabama: you can get more for your money (to which you can insert your own Cam Newton joke here: ____)
|« Pebble Beach vs. Bandon Dunes: Reader compares the two American links giants||New Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program is one step closer to winning me back »|