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Going West? These resorts combine combine the best spa and golf experiences

By Katharine Dyson, Special Contributor

It's a blistering day, the sweat has soaked even your high tech golf shirt and isn't about to dry out before the next stimulus bill. Merely lifting your clubs into your car trunk is hard labor. There are two things you want. Now: A cool drink with your pals and a deep massage to work out all those kinks.

Kohala Sports Club & Spa
Relax, rejuvenate and rediscover essential vitality at the Kohala Sports Club & Spa at the Hilton Waikola Village.
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Kohala Sports Club & SpaBorrego Ranch Resort & SpaWildflower Hill Country SpaThe Phoenician Resort - Centre for Well-BeingThe Boulders Resort - Carefree, ArizonaThe Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
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Although women have known this for years, men are quickly discovering that body treatments not only feel good, but are good for you. Hey, the Romans were no fools.

Understanding this, golf resorts are offering sports and golf massages while other kinds of treatments such as yoga for golfers and exercise to develop core strength and flexibility are also being integrated into the spa programs.

Here are some of the resorts in the western U.S. that do a great job of combining the golf and spa experience:

Waikoloa Beach Resort - Big Island, Hawaii

Waikoloa Beach Resort sprawling over 1,350 acres on the sunny Kohala Coast is one big Kahuna where everything seems to come in pairs: two golf courses; two beachfront hotels (The Hilton and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa); two water slides and two shopping centers.

Spa: Book a sports massage at the 25,000-square-foot Kohala Sports Club & Spa at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. A firm pressure massage giving attention to sports-specific muscle groups uses therapeutic massage oil to improve circulation and aid the body's natural recovery process.

Pure island ingredients are expertly combined with modern techniques to help you to relax, rejuvenate and rediscover essential vitality. Try treatments such as a Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage and the Hawaiian Sea Salt Scrub evoking ancient ceremonies where Alaea salt was used to cleanse and purify in healing rituals.

Golf: Dark lava fields are all around when you play the Beach course at Waikoloa Beach Resort, a 6,566 yard 1981 layout by Robert Trent Jones Jr. distinguished by ancient stick-like Hawaiian petroglyphs, between holes 6 and 7, and narrow, lush fairways.

The King's Course at Waikoloa Beach Resort, designed by Tom Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, playing 7,074yards is another lava-prone track with plenty of tricks and treats like carries over behemoth bunkers and scary lava mounds.

The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa - Carefree, Arizona

Behemoth rocks balance topsy turvy atop each other Fred Flintstone-style on The Boulders landscape while a hint of fragrant burning curly juniper lingers in the air.

Spa: The ancient Honjin inns of Japan where weary travelers sought sanctuary inspired The Golden Door Spa at The Boulders. Elements of Feng shui work with the desert surroundings and Native American lore to create unique settings such as the labyrinth (path to tranquility) and an interior rock and sand garden.

There are 24 treatment spaces, fitness center, mind/body and movement studios, a Spa Cafe and meditation areas.

The Golf Stretch class works to increase muscle strength, balance, flexibility and endurance. Golf Yoga employs a bio-mechanically precise method to enhance all facets of the game while increasing flexibility, strength, alignment and body awareness.

Kind of like "spiral yoga," Gyrokinesis for Golfers, incorporates yoga, dance, swimming, gymnastics, tai-chi and a self defense basics class to promote flexibility and core strength.

Golf: Large bunkers, plenty of cacti, yawning waste areas and arroyos make the two rugged desert golf courses at The Boulders Resort exceptional plays while unrolling hole-after-hole, incredible desert panoramas.

Giant saguaro, some pock-marked from direct hits, dot the landscape. One sits boldly in a bunker providing a prickly hazard.

The Phoenician - Scottsdale, Arizona

Set on 250 acres punctuated by waterfalls, gardens and nine pools, The Phoenician has more than 600 rooms and suites in the main hotel, casitas and over-the-top accommodations in the Canyon building.

Spa: The Centre for Well-Being, a 22,000-square-foot stand-alone spa complex, has more than 70 treatments and services, two levels with 24 private treatment rooms, a consultation room, weight training and cardiovascular studios.

There is a Waters Bar, salon and a Meditation Atrium, a peaceful sanctuary, with soft filtered sunlight, leather chaise lounges, lush greenery and gently cascading fountains.

If you want to arrive at the tee in a deep state of relaxation (hopefully not too deep), the Golf Meditation promises to help increase your focus and improve your game while reducing stress.

Feeling a little sore or stiff? The Clinical Sports Massage reduces muscle soreness and increases flexibility while the Vanilla Rose Sugar Glow scrub leaves you smelling like a cross between a vanilla bean and a rose sachet.

Golf: Play three nines - Canyon, Oasis and Desert - where you get both challenge and diversity. There is a 27,000-square-foot practice facility with a full-service driving range, a chipping green, oversized putting green and The Phoenician Golf Academy.

Windows on the Green overlooking the golf course features southwestern-style cuisine accompanied by a selection of more than 60 artisan tequila. The guacamole doesn't get any better.

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa - Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico

The moody Sandia Mountains paints the horizon stretching beyond desert, cacti and "Bosque" (native cottonwood forest). An unlikely place to find a chain hotel? You bet.

But then the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa is no ordinary hotel. Built on sacred lands belonging to the Tamayame, the Native Americans of the Santa Ana Pueblo, everything about this hotel respects the spirit of this peaceful and industrious pueblo nation starting with the adobe-style architecture.

Spa: With a deep sense of spirituality, Native American culture and the desert mood infuse spa treatments at the Tamaya Mist Spa. The Spirit Path celebrates an ancient tradition of healing, utilizing, nurturing massage, using oils, gentle exfoliation and heat.

Who won't swing smoothly after The Tamaya Body Glow where you are rubbed with blue cornmeal and rich desert salts. Orgo tough and get the Deep Tissue/Sports Massage.

Golf: At the higher altitude, you get more flight for your buck at Twin Warriors Golf Club. Built with sensitivity around 20 historic sites, some sacred to the Tamayame, the course is studded with Juniper and Pinon Pine. The 27-hole Santa Ana Golf Course, which runs along the Rio Grande, is more forgiving than Twin Warriors.

Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa - Borrego Springs, California

A relatively new resort in the stunning Anza-Borrego Desert of Southern California just outside of Borrego Springs, this $50 million resort is for those looking for a more boutique experience on 42 acres of secluded desert with accommodations in 19 private casitas and 44 deluxe poolside rooms.

Spa: At Morado, the Spa at Borrego Ranch Eastern medicine is used for treatments like acupuncture to help achieve balance and increase relaxation, Shiatsu which includes many stretches and Thai Body Work incorporating yoga stretches with compressions.

Book the Golfer's Delight Massage targeting specific muscles or tendon groups where pain or soreness occur to bring relief much faster than a lighter-pressure massage.

Golf: An affiliated Tom Fazio Signature Golf Course is surrounded by the Santa Rosa Mountains and 40 acres of desert carpeted by flowers and native grasses. The course, playing 7,000 acres with 600 feet in elevation changes, has a number of water features, bunker complexes and moundings. Greens are large, often rolling.

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa - San Antonio, Texas

The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, not that far from The Alamo and Riverwalk features rolling meadows, ravines, lakes and ponds. Here, casual Texas ranch meets Hyatt big time with 500 rooms, 300 acres, 27 holes of golf, a four-acre water play ground and a truly wonderful spa.

Spa: The Wildflower Hill Country Spa is tucked away by itself under trees with a private spa pool and an incredibly soothing atmosphere where natural weathered wood and earthy colors set the perfect backdrop for rituals and treatments designed to sooth body and soul.

The two-and-a-half-hour Tribal Ritual calls on the heritage of the nomadic Tuareg and Berber tribes of southern Arabia and north Africa with skin-renewing exfoliation. And here's an idea: Get wrapped in warm linens followed by a gentle massage.

A three-hour Tee Time package combines a massage with a mini-facial and pedicure and a Hydro Combo uses water to relieve stress and tension. A Golfer's Massage concentrates on the neck, shoulders, back and feet.

You may find Windflower so relaxing you'll want to spend the day. Many do.

Golf: Designed by Arthur Hills, three nines, the Oaks, Creeks and Lakes - describe the characteristics of each. Set on 150 acres, the holes are not jammed into the landscape, but allow for wide landing areas while hills, trees, lakes, streams and ravines create enough challenge for all levels.

Katharine DysonKatharine Dyson, Special Contributor

Katharine Dyson is a golf and travel writer for several national publications as well as guidebook author and radio commentator. Her journeys have taken her around the world playing courses and finding unique places to stay. She is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, Metropolitan Golf Writers of America; Golf Travel Writers Organization and Society of American Travel Writers. Follow Katharine on Twitter at @kathiegolf.


 
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