For many people, golf is more than a sport and RVing is more than a way to travel and camp; both are also avenues for social interaction.
Golfers and RVers tend to be gregarious, and seek out social opportunities. It’s the social aspect that makes RVing and golf so complementary, says Greg Sidoroff, operations manager for Sunland RV Resorts, whose Southern California properties include Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet and Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert.
Apart from RVers who come to the area primarily for the mild winter weather, the main draw is golf. “It’s the most popular activity we have,” Sidoroff said.
To attract golfers, both Golden Village Palms and Emerald Desert have putting greens, and Emerald Desert also has a driving range. They negotiate with nearby golf courses to make sure their guests pay the lowest fees possible and they organize their golf programs so that there are opportunities for players at all skill levels from beginners to scratch golfers.
RVers interested in golf can stay at resorts such as Golden Village Palms and Emerald Desert that are located in areas with an abundance of golf courses or can stay at RV parks that are directly attached to golf courses. In either case, they will find not only lots of opportunities for golf, but also other social activities, as well.
Here are some RV parks where golf is a prime attraction:
Emerald Desert RV Resort
Located in Palm Desert, Emerald Desert RV Resort has many amenities, including swimming pools, spas, lighted tennis courts and spacious clubhouses, but one reason people come here is the location, with more than 100 golf courses in the Coachella Valley.
The resort has teamed up with popular local courses for the best deals available. Emerald Desert guests can play at Woodhaven Country Club, which has an 18-hole championship course, and the shorter Pebble Course at Cimarron Golf Resort for fees starting at $45. Palm Royal Country Club has a special rate of $18 for Emerald Desert guests.
A weekly golf scramble every Monday at Ivy Ranch Country Club’s nine-hole executive par 3 course is a great deal at $22.50. There is also a monthly golf clinic with one-on-one help. And there are other events, too, such as this month’s hole-in-one contest.
For information, visit EmeraldDesert.com or call (877) 727-9571.
Golden Village Palms RV Resort
The Men’s Golf Club program at this resort in Hemet involves three challenging courses: the Landmark at Hemet Golf Club on Wednesdays and alternating between Diamond Valley Golf Club and Soboba Springs Golf Course on Mondays. The Ladies Golf Club plays every Monday at Sun City, which is an executive 18-hole walking course with a length suitable for everyone. Resort guests pay a special low rate of $34 at Diamond Valley and at the Hemet Landmark course.
Golden Village holds golf mixers a few times a month, followed by a potluck dinner. The events provide social opportunities not only for golfers, but also for spouses who do not play golf.
Golden Village is California’s largest luxury RV resort, with 1,019 full-service sites and amenities such as three heated swimming pools and spas, fitness center, billiards hall, volleyball on both sand and water, and a grand ballroom and clubhouse.
For information, visit GoldenVillagePalms.com or call (866) 468-9033.
Rio Bend RV & Golf Resort
Located in the heart of Southern California’s Imperial Valley, Rio Bend RV & Golf Resort offers an abundance of recreational activities, including play on the Lakeview Golf Course on the southwest side of the resort.
The RV park has 500 graveled sites with a cement patio, 50-amp service and hookups for water, sewer and cable TV. There are 23 pull-through sites with a peaceful view at the edge of Rio Bend Lake.
The golf course is an executive par 66 with a slope rating of 102. The nine-hole course has two tees per hole, giving golfers 18 holes to play. A 12-acre lake in the center of the course adds to the golfing challenge and beauty, and a 70-acre lagoon and wetlands on the sides of the course create a natural bird sanctuary. To prepare for the game, you can practice on a driving range and putting green.
The resort offers men’s, women’s and mixed leagues and special events, such as nightglow golf, and a putters’ challenge.
Besides golf, the resorts offers a variety of recreational activities, including fitness programs, water aerobics, water volleyball, nature walks, bingo, card games, arts and crafts, bocce ball and shuffleboard.
For information, visit riobendrvgolfresort.com or call (800) 545-6481.
Spokane RV Resort & Deer Park Golf Club
You will find plenty to do when you stay at the Spokane RV Resort adjoining the Deer Park Golf Club. The resort is at Deer Park in eastern Washington, about 17 miles north of Spokane.
The 18-hole course spans 6,751 yards with bluegrass fairways, bentgrass greens, fountains, lakes and waterfalls. There is a 300-yard driving range, oversized practice greens and a full-service pro shop. Divots Grill and Sports Bar serves everything from snacks to full meals.
The RV resort accommodates big rigs and includes a 3,400-square-foot recreation pavilion, swimming pool and spa and access to WiFi and cable. There are no surcharges on utilities. An abundance of recreational opportunities are nearby, with eight lakes within a 20-minute drive. The town of Deer Park has ample shopping, and the metropolitan Spokane region has many more attractions, such as shopping centers, museums, theaters and casinos.
For information, visit spokanervresort.com or call (877) 276-1555.
Turquoise Valley Golf, Restaurant & RV
Arizona’s Turquoise Valley golf course can trace its beginning to the establishment of the Warren District Country Club in Bisbee in 1908, when Bisbee was a center of mining and the largest city in Arizona. The course was relocated to nearby Naco in 1936 as a project of the Works Progress Administration.
The front nine today is the same traditional layout that was created in 1936; the back nine is a more modern course, integrated into the desert environment. The standout hole is The Rattler, a 747-yard par 6 that is said to be the fifth longest hole in the U.S. and the 10th longest in the world.
Pete Campbell, the resort’s general manager, said people come from all over to play the course because they have heard about The Rattler. It’s not only long; it defies golfers with a punishing landing area, then forces the decision to play either a late dogleg or a risk-reward shot over a pond that protects an undulating green. Some artfully placed bunkers contribute to the challenge and complete an eerie resemblance to its namesake.
It is called The Rattler because you don’t have to stray far to find one. The club’s scorecard contains this rule: “A ball lying within a club length of a rattlesnake may be moved two club lengths without penalty and without disturbing the snake.”
Campbell said only two golfers have been bitten by a rattlesnake since he came to Turquoise Valley in 1999 and both happened at the same time. The incident occurred when an experienced snake handler made the mistake of overconfidently picking up a snake. When the man got bit, he threw the snake in the air and it landed on another golfer, who also got bit. No one died, except maybe the snake.
The golf course is just across the street from the RV park, which has 100 sites with full hookups, including free cable TV. A restaurant serves both American and Mexican fare.
Turquoise Valley is at a high desert altitude of 4,600 feet, so it is a year-round destination, including summer when other parts of Arizona may be sweltering in triple-digit heat.
For information, visit turquoisevalley.com or call 520-432-3091.
Westwind RV & Golf Resort
This resort in Yuma, Arizona, has a nine-hole par 3 course that is ideal for beginners and for those who want to develop their short game. Jenny Reese, the golf shop manager, started a clinic and leagues for beginners in December in order to make the game of golf accessible to everyone.
“I had retirees who wanted to learn golf for the first time but didn’t know where to start,” Reese said. “I came in with the vision to start a beginner league so that aspiring golfers could feel comfortable taking the extra time to play the course. The response has been amazing.”
The course now has two beginner leagues, and also offers golf clinics directed by a certified golf instructor. For $10 a lesson, beginners can receive instruction in putting, pitching, chipping and the full swing.
In addition to the program for beginners, the resort has regular golf clinics and men’s, women’s and mixed leagues for competitive golfers. Another feature is a monthly night golf tournament on a fiber-optic lit course with glow-in-the-dark golf balls.
For information, visit Westwindrvgolfresort.com or call (866) 440-2992.