Françoise's Favorite Golf Resorts and Golf Course Reviews

Click to visit Indian Ridge Country Club
Click to visit Sewailo Golf Club
Françoise's Favorites - I've had the good fortune to travel to many incredible - and not so incredible - places. And I've played so many golf courses I'd be hard pressed to name them all. But I do have some Golf is a 4 Letter Word favorites to share with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Play well!
Avila Beach Golf Resort
Avila Beach Golf Resort
Recently I was on the road with my travel show to Pismo Beach, a true beach community with the sand and surf on one side of Highway 101, and beautiful green rolling hills on the other.

Like many, there is nothing better than enjoying the day walking along the boardwalk or on the beach and taking in the sights and sounds of the sparkling blue ocean.

But for golfers, me included, the excitement of a beach community isn’t so much the ocean, but the ocean view and breezes while on the golf course! When in Pismo Beach, go and play Avila Beach Golf Resort.

About 10 miles north of Pismo Beach is the small inlet of Avila Bay, home to the Avila Beach Golf Resort. The town of Avila Beach is small, charming and easy to walk from end to end, with the beach, only steps away. The Avila Golf Resort sits on a hillside overlooking the bay and the ocean.

The Avila Beach Golf Resort is the most well-known of the Central Coast Golf Courses and a wholly-unique golf experience for guests. Designed by Olin Dutra and Desmond Muirhead and opened for play in 1969, the resort is located 3 miles off Highway 101. Nestled in the surrounding hills and on the edge of the bay, the resort includes a par 71, 6500-yard championship course, extensive and beautifully crafted event facilities and a neighborhood bar that also serves tasty sandwiches and small bites.

Click to visit Avila Beach Golf ResortThe golf course has kikuyu grass fairways (think Riviera CC) and quick, classic bent grass greens. The front nine is situated on hilly terrain with small, often-elevated, smooth greens within oak-lined valleys. The back nine transverses a tidal estuary, with several forced carries over the water and multi-level greens to test your will and your skill. Golfers of all abilities will enjoy the challenge of this scenic course.

This is my third time playing the course, and each time is completely different than the first.  The weather has been perfect each time, and the sea breeze is crisp and clean.

I recommend the course when in the area, and a few nights at the resort is sure to rejuvenate the senses.  Plan on using a golf cart instead wearing yourself out walking the hills, take a wind shirt because it can get chilly quickly and remember to take one extra club or more on the hilly fairways and elevated greens.

Prices vary during the summer and winter months, however I found them to be very reasonable. Club rentals are available, and tee times can be make a month or so in advance.

 Life is a beach, or a golf course………..have fun!

Avila Beach Golf Resort is located at 6464 Ana Bay Drive, Avila Beach, CA 93424
Phone Number: (805) 595-4000 x1  Visit
Sewailo Golf Club - Casino Del Sol - Tucson, Arizona

From Horses to Golf Carts in Tucson, Arizona
Okay, I realize I'm writing about my first trip to Tucson, Arizona, and yes, this trip was based around the Tucson Media Golf Classic. However, for me, the name Tucson has always conjured up thoughts of cowboys riding the plains, cactus dotting the landscape, and a downtown with wood-planked sidewalks and country music. In my eyes, a very romantic western town with fabulous food and a bit of the wild west.

Tucson did not disappoint, in fact, the area offered more attractions, golf courses, sightseeing, dining, shopping, etc….than I had time to do.  My Tucson accommodations were at the award winning Casino Del Sol Resort & Spa Looking out from the balcony of my top floor suite, I viewed sweeping desert and mountain terrain, and the beautiful new on site Sewailo Golf Course.

As this was a golfing event, we played Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, The Gallery, and Sewailo. Each course has its own distinct take on theme and design. From luxury to more of an old west feel, and then brand new, golf is fantastic in Tucson.

I did find the time to visit Mission San Xavier, about 10 minutes from Casino Del Sol. Such history and so spiritual, a definite must do.

I enjoyed every minute of my Tucson adventure, minus the Wild West part, but with the added bonus of some fabulous golf. A destination for the entire family, Tucson has a nice hometown feel, the town-folk are welcoming, I'm sure there are cowboys somewhere, bring the golf clubs…and I'm certain you'll experience an extraordinary vacation!


Golf at Sunnylands!
For over 20 years I have driven by the pink walls surrounding the historic Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage known as Sunnylands. Like any golfer, I have dreamed of playing the estate’s private golf course, the same golf course presidents, royalty and celebrities have played. The same golf course the Annenbergs routinely played with close friends, other times with just each other.

On May 6, 2013 the first Rancho Mirage Tourism Golf Event was held. This invitation-only event permitted forty golfers the opportunity to play Sunnylands. Our group was a mish-mash of media, dignitaries, and tourism members; we were all beyond belief of our good fortune.

Once behind the pink walls it truly is a magical experience. The course is built in such a way there is no hint of the world beyond the walls. Sweeping mountain views are at every turn of this 18-hole course. Each hole has two sets of tees, however some have more than one tee box to change the entire dynamic of the hole to make-up part of the 18 holes.

Here’s a little known fact, during the restoration it was discovered that by using different tee and green combinations there are over 150 holes on the course.

The bent grass, elevated greens are large and welcoming, I putted lights out from everywhere on the green. Often during the round my foursome would mention President Bush, Frank Sinatra and the others who had walked the same greens.

Sunnylands Golf Course - Rancho Mirage CAThe fairways are defined by low sloping hills, over 2,000 trees and a story around each corner. Lakes are stocked with fish and brightly colored birds thrive in this sanctuary.

Points of interest are everywhere, from the estate and guest houses, art work, and Totem Pole to the one magnolia tree. Stories aside, the peace and serenity on the golf course and property itself is unmatched.

Course yardage ranges from 5,364 to 7,200 with plenty of bunkers strategically placed - in others words, right in front of the elevated greens. The sand in the bunkers is very soft and fluffy; more often than not it took me more than one shot to get out.

At one point I made four pars in a row, we won’t talk about the rest of the round. At the end of this incredible experience each foursome agreed, it was as if we were the only people on the course. All of us also agreed it really didn’t matter how we played, what did matter is what an honor it was, and we can now say, “I played golf at Sunnylands.”