Pennsylvania Golf: With Friends on the Fairway

Golf packages mix affordability, great courses and stress-free itineraries.
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Photo courtesy of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts

Combine incredible topography, challenging golf layouts, reasonable prices and a market where 40 percent of the U.S. population lives within 200 miles of the state, and it’s no wonder Pennsylvania ranks eight among all U.S. states for golfing.

Understanding PA’s regions and golf courses should not be your worry when you’re trying to get a group of people together to play golf. Where you play depends less upon skill and more on the interests of your group and where members are traveling from.

In Pennsylvania, you’ll find courses that pair: golf and battlefields, golf and wine, golf and gambling, golf and breweries, golf and outlets.

But the golf roadtrips themselves are more an excuse for a getaway with friends or family.

Having a military reunion? Book a trip to Gettysburg to battle it out on the links and then explore Gettysburg to honor the 150th anniversary of the Civil war. Play time might include Quail Valley, Penn National, the Bridges, Flatbush and South Hills. Follow it up with dinner at the Dobbin House Tavern, where the period-attired wait staff serves their “Rum Bellies Vengeance” cocktails.

The Hershey-Harrisburg region delivers sought-after championship golf, with winning course combinations at Blue Ridge Country Club, Colonial Country Club, Manada, Hershey Links and Lebanon Valley.

For demanding golfers, couples and all-male groups, mix tee time with a visit to Herseheypark™, The Chocolate Spa and events at Giant Stadium – or take a gamble on a trip to Hollywood Casino.

The natural features of the Poconos make golfing in that region a bit more challenging, with several courses featuring a blind spot or two. Line up a multi-day itinerary with courses such as Jack Frost National, Split Rock, Pocono Manor East & West, Glen Brook, Mountain Manor, Water Gap, Buck Hill, and play Mount Airy’s course before betting a hand (or two) at the casino onsite. And no worries – you can recover with outlet shopping, a spa treatment or visit to a winery.

For those who not only crave the challenge of varied landscapes but also appreciate a golf outing amid lush forests and rugged mountain trails, the PA wilds has a new program highlighting courses within the 12-county region, as well as 16 lodging facilities and communities such as Clarion, Foxburg, Tionesta, DuBois, St. Marys and Kane.

In western PA, Seven Springs and Hidden Valley have teamed up to offer a Laurel Highlands golfing experience that offers play on picturesque mountaintop golf courses. Or head to the Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region, where many beautiful and challenging courses – ranked by Golf Digest in its Top 10 for availability and affordability offer – Play and Stay packages with area hotels.

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