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Want a little romance? Golf hot spots make for great couple trips

By Chris Baldwin, Contributor

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico β€” The table stands in the middle of the sand, its white linen tablecloth flapping in the ocean breeze. Torch lights illuminate your entrees and your date's face. Your personal waiter trudges to and from the table in the sand at your beck and call.

Cabo ocean dinner - beach meal - romantic experience
A meal right on the beach at a set-away table for two can be part of the Cabo golf experience.
Cabo ocean dinner - beach meal - romantic experienceBorthwick Castle - Scotland - EdinburghCabo coastline - romanceKiawahRomance

So much for just another dinner on the road. So much for just another golf trip.

The place is Los Cabos. The setting is the sand just off the ocean at the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort & Spa. But the possibilities for romance are endless.

Yes, romance. On a golf trip. To many that's akin to expecting snow in Phoenix, Allen Iverson at practice or the cable guy on time.

Other couples know better β€” understand just how well a cozy candlelight dinner or a plush four poster bed at a European castle can go with a day chasing birdies.

"You're in Cabo," vacationing golfer Theola Kirschbaum said, smiling at her husband. "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has some of the best golf courses in the world. And you're together. How can you not enjoy that?"

It sounds so simple. But as anyone who's ever dealt with romance knows it rarely is in real life. Making a golf trip romantic takes a little more tact than just replacing the usual crew with your significant other, dropping the beer bong and teeing it up.

"On a couple's golf vacation, the non-golf activities become even more important," said Jim Ward, president of Premier Golf, a trip planning company that specializes in upscale destinations. "Active shopping, all kinds of sight seeing, spa facilities all need to be taken into major consideration."

In other words, that place where you binged on cheap golf and ate Taco Bell in the room is probably out. At least, if you're looking to keep your sweetie pie around.

Spanish sizzle

Nothing brings a couple together like a little exploration off the beaten path. Everyone who goes to Europe for a golf trip ends up in Scotland or Ireland.

Why not leave the crowds behind while finding better weather, a more romantic feel and maybe just as good golf?

The Costa del Sol region of Spain could be the secret find you talk about for anniversaries to come. This will take you through the lush Spanish countryside, into Moorish villages and medieval ruins, not to mention high-end restaurants with super fresh seafood.

You'll golf Valderrama of course. But there's more than just the storied home of the 1997 Ryder Cup here. Courses like Sotogrande β€” opened in 1964 and considered the grandfather of golf in the region and still one of the top courses in Europe β€” and Torrequebrada β€” where its beauty is equaled by its trickiness β€” provide more than enough rounds to fill a trip.

"I honestly believe that if I wanted to get away with my wife and another couple on a trip, I'd pick a trip to Spain's Costa del Sol," Ward said. "It's just a beautiful climate β€” it's always moderate. The people are very friendly and there's a great series of little villages and hilltop views."

Castle cozies

Visiting a castle on that Scotland golf trip is expected. Staying in one is a move straight out of one of those Fabio-covered novels your wife sometimes abandons you for.

Borthwick Castle scores any romantic major points while putting you close to Edinburgh's historic golf scene. Built in 1430, frequented by Mary Queen of Scots and stormed by Oliver Cromwell in 1650, Borthwick has the high spiraling twin towers you expect in your old castle (100 feet from the dungeons to the top) and modern amenities any luxury traveler demands (central heat, for starters).

Being just 12 miles outside of Edinburgh in the countryside, courses like Muirfield and Musselburgh are very much in play when you and your partner aren't chasing each other around the turrets.

An 'us trip' in U.S

Those looking to stay in the states for their couples golf getaway can always go to Las Vegas or Scottsdale where plush spas and blowout gourmet meals are galore.

But for something a little more intimate, a little more just the two of you, Pinehurst or Kiawah Island might be better bets for a romantic ace.

"If two people are looking to get away to be together, I can't think of a greater place than Kiawah," Ward said. "It has terrific golf and wonderful things to do. You can almost feel like you're off on your own estate in the middle of all this nature."

You cannot just feel it β€” you can rent it. There are number of luxury homes available for short-term rental on Kiawah, places that put you up close to the alligators who've roamed these island marshes for hundreds of years (but not too close) and to Pete Dye's famed Ocean Course on the Carolina seascape.

Then again, your personal favorite may be that table almost literally on the ocean on the Mexican coast. Sheraton Hacienda del Mar averages one of these beach meals a week (there's only room for one couple max a night at the set-away private table). Though there's plenty of debate over how many of these googley-eyed couples are golfers.

"I didn't know golfers were romantic," a waiter at the resort said, grinning.

Hey, a round at Jack Nicklaus' famed Cabo del Sol Ocean Course is one heck of a foreplay.

Golfers not romantic ... we'll, we never ...

"Honestly, I pick the great golf course I want to play first and then find something snazzy or candlelight around it so my wife's all into the trip too," said one Cabo golfer who asked not to be identified for obvious reasons.

OK, everyone cannot be Giacmo Casanova. Or one of those "Bachelor" guys with the roses. But golf still has a way of opening up the heart. "Fore!" included.

Chris BaldwinChris Baldwin, Contributor

Chris Baldwin keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • 2012

    10000golf wrote on: Dec 31, 2011

    2012 Taylormade R11S Driver has come out,Right?


  • nature

    1000golf wrote on: Nov 7, 2011

    i love the picture,which give me a feeling to the nature,it made me relax.


  • beautiful picture

    1000golf wrote on: Oct 30, 2011

    it is an interesting and romantic place for golf.i like is ,well done!


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