GULF SHORES, Ala. -- SEC football is the gift that keeps on giving, especially for University of Georgia fan Karen Perkins.
Perkins of Atlanta won a pair of tickets to the Dec. 3 SEC Football Championship game between LSU and Georgia at Atlanta's Georgia Dome for winning the SEC Championship Ticket Giveaway Contest, conducted by Golf Gulf Shores and Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism.
The fantastic contest, based on which SEC fan has the best Team Spirit, was conducted on Golf Gulf Shores' Facebook page.
Perkins posted a photo showing her with knife and fork in hand, prepared to eat a small, stuffed Tiger on a plate in her kitchen. The photo can be seen at http://www.facebook.com/GolfGulfShores.
No. 1 LSU defeated Perkins' Bulldogs, 42-10, to win the SEC title and will now face No. 2 Alabama in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9, 2012.
The contest is one of several programs planned by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism as result of their sponsorship of the Southeastern Conference, announced earlier this year.
Snowbird Winter Ideas and Other News from the Gulf Shores Golf Association:
Beat the winter blues with a Gulf Shores golf vacation: One of the best ways for snowbird golfers to avoid Old Man Winter is by heading south, and no destination offers a better cure for the winter blues than Gulf Shores, Alabama - a 32-mile stretch of Gulf Coast beach that offers mild off-season temperatures.
Gulf Shores is such a popular winter destination all nine of Golf Gulf Shores' member courses offer extended-stay winter specials specifically designed for snowbird visitors. Interested golfers can either call each course directly or visit each course's website for more information on specific programs.
"Golfers love escaping winter's cold and vacationing here on the Gulf Coast, where the winter weather is very pleasant," said Duncan Millar, executive director of Golf Gulf Shores. "There are other reasons Gulf Shores is the perfect winter golf destination, including the attractive rates on our nine courses, great food and beverage options and countless area activities."
Besides great golf, there are many other reasons why Gulf Shores was named a Top 10 Best Winter Retreat by Yahoo Travel. Here are five more popular ways to beat the winter blues in Gulf Shores:
1. Bar Hopping: There are plenty of bars in Gulf Shores, all of them welcoming. A great place to spend a post-round afternoon chatting with your buddies and locals.
2. Eating Out: Restaurants abound in Gulf Shores - serving every kind of food and clientele - and there are wonderful choices near all nine golf courses. Fresh seafood is king, especially the locally caught Gulf shrimp called Royal Reds.
3. Gulf Fishing: Head out on an early morning charter for Bull Redfish and tee it up afterward.
4. Shopping Around: Gulf Shores features plenty of local boutiques and galleries, not to mention major outlets like Foley and Tanger.
5. Polar Bear Dip: Costume-clad participants in this New Year's Day tradition either wade or slide into the Gulf of Mexico, then head to The Hangout restaurant for an afternoon of food, fun and football on TV. Play an early morning round and join them at noon.
Check out the below "starting-at" package prices for family, buddy trip and couples getaways - including all taxes and fees - from a few of Golf Gulf Shores' accommodation partners. Each is valid through Feb. 26, 2012.
Sample rates listed on golfgulfshores.com start as low as $73 per golfer, per night (based on a group of four). Packages are customized for each group, and can include golf on any of nine golf courses, and stays in a wealth of condos and hotels with Gulf or golf course views. Check out the below "starting-at" package prices for family, buddy trip and couples getaways - including all taxes and fees - from a few of Golf Gulf Shores' accommodation partners.
Family Golf and Gulf Trip: 2 Bedroom Gulf Front Condominium
Starting-at Rate: $82.38 per person per night for golf and room
Description: Starting-at rate based on 4 people staying in a two-bedroom condominium with Gulf Coast views, with one king bed, two twin beds and a sleeper sofa.
Buddy Trip: 2 Bedroom Golf Course Condominium
Starting-at Rate: $73.31 per person per night for golf and room
Description: Starting-at rate based on 4 people staying in a two-bedroom condominium with golf course views and four queen beds.
Couples Golf Getaway: Double Queen Hotel Room
Starting-at Rate: $81.00 per person per night for golf and room
Description: Starting-at rate based on 2 people staying in one room with two queen beds and a deluxe continental breakfast.
Pennsylvanians Win Free Gulf Shores Golf Vacation:
Jamie Jenkins of Millerton, Pa., won a $4,000 rebate for his October Buddy Trip to Gulf Shores, as part of the region's "Get Your Fall Gulf Shores Golf Vacation Free" promotion.
Jenkins and his group of nine golfers stayed four days at The Beach Club and played seven rounds of golf this past fall in Gulf Shores, making the group automatically eligible to enter into the contest held by Golf Gulf Shores. He received the full amount for golf and lodging as a rebate of the group's trip, which totaled $4,000. Each group that booked its fall golf vacation to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on golf.gulfshores.com was eligible to win.
The winning group has traveled to several other golf destinations - including Florida, Myrtle Beach and Atlanta - but Jenkins says Gulf Shores and Orange Beach was at the top of the group's list for a return visit. "They loved the golf courses and beach atmosphere," Millar says.
Gulf Shores fans can sign up for a free subscription to the Golf Gulf Shores monthly e-newsletter, visit http://www.golf.gulfshores.com/plan/enews/default.asp or call 1.888.815.1902. To view up-to-the-minute news, photos, events and special offers, see facebook.com/GolfGulfShores or follow Golf Gulf Shores on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GolfGulfShores.
About Golf Gulf Shores
Golf Gulf Shores is the moniker for the Gulf Shores Golf Association, the partnership that promotes the destination and its custom golf packages built by its partners, for golf groups, families and corporate outings. The destination offers nine golf courses, countless lodging options and a wealth of outdoor activity on its 32-mile waterfront destination. Course highlights:
Cotton Creek at Craft Farms - Arnold Palmer Signature Design with generous fairways lined by Southern Hardwoods, undulating greens and a championship test from 7,028 yards, and owned and operated by Honours Golf.
Cypress Bend at Craft Farms - The sister Honours Golf property to Cotton Creek, the Arnold Palmer Signature Design meanders through cord-grass accented lakes which come into play on nearly every hole.
Glenlakes Golf Club - Scottish-style links course designed by Von Hagge and known for its extensive bunkering and postage-stamp greens.
Kiva Dunes - A "Top 100 Course in America" by Golf Digest, the Jerry Pate design is the only beachfront resort course in Gulf Shores.
Lost Key - The stunning course, redesigned by the Arnold Palmer Design Group in 2006, rewards accuracy off the tee and with approaches as it winds through woods and wetlands. It also boasts a new state-of-the-art clubhouse.
Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club - Owned and operated by Honours Golf, the 27-hole facility offers chilled apples on the tee. The 830-acre park includes 30 lakes and fairways surrounded by Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve.
Rock Creek Golf Club - Also owned by Honours Golf and boasting rolling terrain and fairways lined by pines, the Earl Stone design overlooks freshwater wetlands and the Rock Creek basin.
TimberCreek Golf Club - This 27-hole design was crafted by Earl Stone and feels like an inland Carolina course with fairways lined by loblolly pines, dogwoods and magnolias.
Gulf Shores Golf Club - Formerly known as The Golf Club of the Wharf, this was the Gulf Shores' first course. Opened it 1960, it was redesigned by Jay and Carter Morrish in 2005.
For more information: www.golfgulfshores.com, 888-815-1902.
Janeen Driscoll, Buffalo Communications
Gary Trask, Buffalo Communications