Golf Travel Guide To Pocono Mountains
An Interview With Alicia M Quinn, Director of Public Relations & Communications
By Brian Weis
Looking to plan the perfect golf trip to Pocono Mountains? Planning a buddies trip or a romantic golf getaway can be a full time job not to mention pressure filled to deliver a memorable experience. Below is an interview with Alicia M Quinn, Director of Public Relations & Communications who shares some insider information about golfing and traveling to Pocono Mountains, must play courses, a sample itinerary and where you can go for more planning tools.
Give our readers an overview of your destination and why they should consider it for their next golf trip?
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.
A destination that has welcomed generations of travelers, the Pocono Mountains has undergone a renaissance over the last few years. While renovations have swept through stately and historic resorts, such as Shawnee Inn, Skytop Lodge and The Inn at Pocono Manor, other properties have joined the mix. Gaming at Mount Airy Casino Resort, the destination spa experience at The Lodge at Woodloch and the award-winning Jack Frost National -- named a "Best New" and "Best You Can Play" course by leading industry publications -- are some of the many exciting additions.
The Pocono Mountains offers more than 35 courses and / or golf resorts - from challenging mountain designs to iconic Golden Age gems to par-3 layouts for beginners and children - over the four-county region.
With close proximity to many major East Coast cities, the Pocono Mountains is the destination of choice for avid golfers, skiers, outdoors aficionados and families, friends, businesses or couples looking for an affordable getaway. While noted for its championship golf and courses designed by legends Donald Ross, A.W. Tillinghast and Jack Nicklaus, the region has added a Vegas-style casino, world-class spa and resort, and numerous boutiques and restaurants throughout the years, catering to all types of vacationers.
What are the must play courses in Pocono Mountains?
Open since 1907, playing Buck Hill Golf Club is like stepping back into history. As you play through the wooded, rolling mountainside terrain, you will experience the timeless design of legendary golf course architects Donald Ross and Robert White. Ridgeline silhouettes, relentless undulations and classic subtleties define this 27-hole masterpiece.
The Country Club at Woodloch Springs is nationally recognized by GOLF Magazine as "one of the finest courses in America" and rated "4.5 Stars" by Golf Digest's Best Places to Play. Woodloch's 18-hole, championship, par-72, course winds its challenging way over 6,579 yards of fern-carpeted forest, lush wetlands and broad upland meadows. The signature 14th hole requires a dramatic 220-yard carry over "Hells Gate Gorge" which is carved from the Pocono Mountains rugged mountainside by rushing water some 200 feet below. Four sets of tees and alternating pin placements provide a variety of challenges, accommodating all levels of play.
Over the last 100 years, the 18-hole East course at The Inn at Pocono Manor has challenged dozens of top professionals during tournaments and pro-am events. Art Wall Jr., Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Tommy Bolt, Cary Middlecoff, Robert DeVicenzo and others have gone head-to-head. With holes designed by classic-era giants Donald Ross and William Flynn, the East course offers rolling hills and a very scenic golf experience. The 18-hole West course, designed in part by George Fazio, is a modern-style layout with wide fairways that dare the long hitter to be aggressive. The site of an LPGA event in 1977, the West course is the perfect complement to the East course's classic-era routing and style.
Jack Frost National Golf Club has all the features you would want in a mountain course and none of the shortfalls. Considered a "large golf course" spanning over 7,200 yards, and more than 200 acres, the course covers magnificent terrain, beautiful landscapes and offers striking vistas and views The course is located on the crest of Jack Frost Mountain that encompasses an elevation of 2000 ft and the natural Oak Forest highlights the movement of each golf hole.
Take a breath, close your eyes, and imagine yourself standing on an island surrounded by the gentle-flowing whispers of the Delaware River. Now open them and find that you are at The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. History tells a great story about Shawnee's legendary golf course. Opened in 1911, highlighted by a perfect 18-hole golf course designed by first-time golf architect A.W. Tillinghast. It was not long before golf's biggest names began to call Shawnee home. Sam Snead was Shawnee's touring pro and Arnold Palmer met Winnie at the historic course as well. The 1938 PGA Championship was held at Shawnee where Paul Runyan bested Snead. It is even rumored that the first whispers of the PGA took place on Shawnee's legendary fairways. All of these events and more centered on the undulating greens of The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort.
Elevate your game at Skytop Lodge's championship 18-hole golf course. The golf course is a mountain-style track that plays over rolling terrain, with wide, tree-lined fairways and small greens that are challenging and above average in speed. Water comes into play on two holes, and there are plenty of strategically placed bunkers to challenge all players. The course from the back tees measures 6,656 yards with a slope rating of 133, and the forward tees are 5,656 and is sloped at a 127 rating. Challenging enough for the serious golfer, but still playable to not overwhelm the more casual player.
What is the hidden gem and/or best value course?
Great Bear Golf Club Only one golf course architect could do justice to the natural beauty at Great Bear Golf and Country Club - the one known worldwide as The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus. His 18-hole championship design demonstrates why he's been considered the master of his game for decades. Nicklaus has taken the natural advantages of the site and worked harmoniously with them to create a course that, besides it's play, is an experience in itself. Integrating the three lakes, several streams, wetlands, small bridges and rolling terrain, Nicklaus has created a course that presents itself differently to golfers of varying skill. For the experienced player, the course offers interesting challenges and pro tees that will bring out your strongest game. Yet it's also designed to be a course with the ultimate in playability, ensuring enjoyable round after round, revealing its intricacies and craftsmanship the more you play it. Great Bear is destined to be one of the Golden Bear's great ones. (The course was closed for a few years and reopened for this 2013 season under new management.)
Hideaway Hills Golf Club is an 18 hole, par 72, 6933 yard course featuring four lakes, spectacular elevation changes, over 60 sand traps and a signature Island Green. The bent grass tees, greens and fairways are guaranteed to be in excellent condition due to the tee to green automated irrigation system.
Take on the challenging fairways and greens of the Fernwood Golf Course. This is a short, tight mountain course that opened for play in 1968. The rolling fairways are tree lined and lead to medium sized greens that are undulating and moderate in speed. The back nine has villas lining the fairways. The course plays from 4,550 to 6,200-yards and offers three sets of tees to challenge all skill levels.
With so many courses and choices throughout the Pocono Mountains, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) offers the Pocono Mountains Golf-A-Round Card, which offers players hundreds of dollars in savings at eight public golf clubs with a combined 171 holes. Each card costs $50 and is good for the entire 2013 golf season. Cardholders can play twice per 2013 season, for $25 a round with cart. Cardholders can save nearly $200 off the regular rate by playing each course once, up to $400 playing each twice. Golf-A-Round Cards can be purchased online at www.Poconosgolf.com.
Can you provide our readers with an ideal itinerary for a long weekend?
Arrive early enough to get in an afternoon of golf in the Pocono Mountains! After challenging yourself to one of our 30+ championship courses, sit back and enjoy a microbrew with friends, made with local ingredients here in the Pocono Mountains. Retire for the night at one of our many resorts, complete with scenic views of the mountainous terrain, river or many lakes. As the sun glistens on the dew the next morning, take to feet and tee off at a second course of your choosing. Enjoy lunch on-site before departing for the afternoon spa appointment to rejuvenate and relax before heading to the casino for some award-winning dining, nightlife and live music. Before departing the next afternoon, immerse yourself in nature and take to a trail in one of our many state parks.
After golf, what are the "must do" things or attractions to see?
Off the golf course, visitors enjoy miles of marked and unmarked trails for hiking and biking, rivers and lakes for fishing and boating, luxurious spas to regenerate the mind, body and spirit, first-class dining, shopping, historic attractions and much more. Relax and reconnect in the authentic beauty of this lush mountain destination. Be sure to find one of the Pocono Mountains suggested "bucket list" items and cross it off your list before heading home.
What is the best time to travel?
Autumn and fall are some of the best times to golf in the Pocono Mountains. With lush courses basked in crisp reds, oranges and yellows, views are endless.
Anything else you would like to share about the Pocono Mountains?
The Pocono Mountains is filled with thrilling escapades set among mountainous terrain that could make for fun if putting together an adventure bucket list. Recently recognized by National Geographic, the region's top heart-racing adventures include:
* Driving 160 miles per hour in a Sprint Cup style stock car at the Stock Car Racing experience
* Driving a team of Iditarod huskies while dog sledding through the snow (or dry land dog sledding in the summer and fall!)
* Parasailing on one of Pennsylvania's largest manmade lakes
* Skydiving over the Delaware Water Gap giving views of the New York City skyline
* Ziplining over 60 miles per hour, 150 feet above the ground for more than 1/2 mile in length " The only all natural ice luge on the East Coast
* Tree Top Adventure courses with obstacle courses suspended between trees
* Biking 25 miles through the Lehigh River Gorge
* Pinzgauer over rugged terrains, along shear rock faces and into Hades Hallow
* Paintball at the world's largest paintball game
Where can golfers go for more information to research and plan their trip?
Visit www.PoconoMountains.com for all your travel needs.
Golfers will want to visit www.PoconoGolf.com for updated list of special rates, packages, Golf A Round Card or more. Pocono Mountains 570.421.5791
Revised: 05/15/2013 - Article Viewed 21,798 Times
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler