Virginia Golfer May / June 2015 - Page 30

TheVirginia Explorer Getaways Female-Friendly Top: The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort allows resort visitors plenty of opportunities to unwind. Bottom: The Boulders offers a host of amenities, including a spa café. GOLF TRAVEL, LIKE THE GAME ITSELF, TENDS TO BE DOMINATED BY MEN. The classic male bonding trip has been around as long as men have hunted and women have gathered. But the dynamic is changing. Women are an increasingly important part of the golf travel market. When sizing up a resort, a woman’s priorities—apart from a well-groomed golf course designed to challenge tigresses and novices alike—generally go beyond what men have in mind. A welcoming, courteous staff is important. So is the chance to relax in a beautiful place. A top-flight spa with a range of body and facial treatments is vital. 28 V I R G I N I A G O L F E R | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5 28_VSGA_MayJune15.indd 28 So is a fitness gym. The food—fresh, eclectic, well-prepared—must be good. Post-round sightseeing, shopping, cultural outlets and outdoor adventures are nice extras. Here are 12 resorts nationwide where every woman can unleash her inner diva. THE BOULDERS, A WALDORF ASTORIA RESORT Carefree, Ariz. Dropped into a netherworld of huge granite boulders extruded from the earth 12 million years ago, The Boulders, a 36-hole hideaway located 20 miles north of Phoenix, sets the pace for target-style golf in the Sonoran Desert. The South Course, with its gold and red tees both rated for women, is the more visually eye-catching of the two layouts. Slim fairways are threaded through a stunning rock-strewn landscape punctuated by cacti. T ease novices and nervous types into the o game, the Golf Academy at The Boulders offers female-friendly instructional programs hosted by LPGA-certified teachers. Meanwhile, the 33,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Spa features invigorating therapies infused with desert ingredients for soul-stirring renewal. The fitness cent