POCONO MOUNTAINS, Pa. -- Imagine walking the same fairways on which Paul Runyan outdueled the great Sam Snead to claim the 1938 PGA Championship; or experiencing the same resorts legendary Hollywood stars such as Jackie Gleason or Lucille Ball chose as their special getaways. The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, which celebrates 75 years of promoting the many activities in the four-county region throughout the 2009 season, has overseen these memories and countless others.
While golf was in full swing by the early 1900s, the PMVB has been instrumental in spreading the word about the many glorious courses that took this destination through the Golden Age of the game into the boom years and where we stand today. While golf's greatest names have been forever etched in the colorful history of the Pocono Mountains, it's the unmatched, natural splendor that separates this destination from any other.
Combined with the close proximity of New York City, Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore, the mountain getaway has only grown in popularity over recent seasons. Golfers are choosing to stay closer to home rather than fight the rising travel costs and overcrowded fairways at other destinations. Instead of checking extra luggage, boarding planes and waiting in lines, smart golfers are making the short, scenic drive and teeing off on one of the Pocono Mountains many courses.
The Pocono Mountains: Discover Golf's Great Destination Secret, offer myriad golf courses, crafted by legendary designers and some of today's top course architects. A.W. Tillinghast's first-ever design - at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort - still shines and Donald Ross's Pocono Manor has been testing golfers since 1912. Art Wall Jr. represented Pocono Manor as its touring professional when he won the Masters and was named PGA Player of the Year in 1959. Dating back much further, the historic John Stroud House, built in the late 1790s, has been beautifully restored and serves as the clubhouse at the Glen Brook Golf Club.
The Skytop Lodge meshes the best of classic and modern with its Golden Era golf course (built in 1925) and magnificent Lodge sharing the grounds with the recently added Inn - nestled against the award-winning golf course and featuring a casually refined atmosphere, two-story atrium and a 135-seat restaurant and a cocktail lounge.
"The demands and desires of vacationers and visitors have changed over the years and our many golf courses and resorts have evolved to meet and exceed any expectations," says Carl Wilgus, President and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. "The Pocono Mountains continue to welcome countless guests as people look to reconnect and relax in the authentic beauty of Northeastern Pennsylvania."
Golf may be the focal point of today's Pocono Mountains - with myriad courses, stately lodges and historic venues - but love remains the calling card. Romantic rendezvous are a given in this destination, after all, and it was on the shores of the Delaware River that Arnold Palmer met his beautiful bride Winnie.
From classic designs that feature tight fairways and postage stamp-sized greens to expansive resort courses with in-demand amenities; championship courses that challenge the best golfer to options that are both economical and less imposing for the beginner, the Pocono Mountains have something to satisfy every golfer's want and need. A venerable destination like this could choose to rest on its collective laurels, but the Pocono Mountains continue to evolve as new courses are being built and gaming has been introduced.
A complete list of Pocono Mountains golf courses and links to individual Web sites can be found at www.poconosgolf.com. The four-season destination also provides the ideal backdrop for corporate outings and meetings. If it's an overnight stay, a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, people are increasingly discovering the convenience and proximity of the Pocono Mountains properties and value-laden packages.
For more information on the area, visit www.800poconos.com or call 800-POCONOS (800-762-6667).
About the "Pocono Mountains: Discover Golf's Great Destination Secret"
The Pocono Mountains has long been known to avid travelers and mountain aficionados for its lush, relaxing family friendly ambiance and romantic setting, as well as its fall foliage, winter skiing, spring-summer outdoor recreation options and natural beauty. Numerous lakes, parks and other environmental wonderlands are found throughout the four-county Pocono Mountains region.
Discerning golfers are well aware that the Pocono Mountains are home to golf courses designed by renowned architects such as Donald Ross and A.W. Tillinghast. Pocono Mountains golf properties and value-laden golf packages are available on www.poconosgolf.com, which allows players to enjoy majestic mountain-view scenery, the area's natural splendor, year-round amenities and unequaled value and variety.
Attributes of the golf-and-resort properties and destination include:
• Home to hundreds of golf holes at numerous clubs, many located close to one another
• Two NASCAR races held annually each spring-summer
• Golden Era of Golf Architecture period designs strongly represented by legendary designers Donald Ross and A.W. Tillinghast
• Golf, lodging and resort accommodations at all price points, from luxury to value
• Hiking, biking, camping, spas, horseback riding, boating, fishing, hunting and many other activities
• Attractions, festivals and other special events
• Meeting and conference facilities
• Great food at a wide array of eating establishments and resort restaurants
• Bed & breakfasts, country inns and resorts
• Antique shops, outlet malls and other unique shopping venues
Dan Shepherd, Buffalo Communications
Rob Thomas, Buffalo Communications