California boasts a foursome of reasons to golf during college football bowl season
With warm, sunny weather and some top golf destinations, it shouldn't take too much arm-twisting to book a flight out to California to watch your alma mater's bowl games this holiday season.
Few U.S. climates are better year-round than SoCal, and especially San Diego. It explains the host city's two bowl games, plus the Rose Bowl up the coast on January 1st. This also makes for one of the best winter golf destinations in the West, so it makes sense to follow your team (or, why not, someone else's team) to their bowl.
Before the Granddaddy of them all Rose Bowl Jan. 1 between Wisconsin and TCU, Navy takes on homer-favorite San Diego State. That is followed a week later by a rematch between Nebraska and Washington.
Even mild San Francisco, which hosts a bowl game Jan. 9, should have golfer-friendly weather, so long as you bring a windbreaker.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, Dec. 23 and the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, Dec. 30
The Matchups: Navy vs. San Diego State and Nebraska vs. Washington
San Diego hosts two bowl games, and with such fantastic winter weather, golfers can rejoice. U.S. Open and PGA Tour host Torrey Pines South and North make for one of America's most coveted municipal facilities. If you want muni value but can't get on Torrey, try the area's best value course, municipal Coronado G.C.
Rose Bowl, Dec. 1, Pasadena, Calif.
The matchup: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Considering how many golf courses there are in SoCal, the Pasadena area doesn't have a lot to offer. Next door to the Rose Bowl is Brookside Golf Club, an historic 36-hole facility, but be sure to call ahead because it closes a day or two before the game to make way for Rose Bowl festivities.
About an hour's drive from the Rose Bowl is scenic Simi Valley, which is home to a few good tracks, including the Pete Dye-designed Shadow course at Lost Canyons.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Jan. 9, San Francisco
The Matchup: Nevada vs. Boston College
Historic, municipal TPC Harding Park has not only become part of the TPC network, but is shining bright as ever following massive renovations prior to the 2009 Presidents Cup. Also right in the heart of the city is Presidio Golf Course near the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Of course, you're just a two hours drive north of the Monterey Peninsula, or about an hour from oceanside, 36-hole Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay, as well as historic Pasatiempo Golf Club, an Alister Mackenzie design.
December 15, 2010