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Golf & Ski Destinations


Temperatures are dropping, the snow is falling and ski season is here. The four-season resorts below - noted for skiing, snowboarding and winter sports - boast golf courses designed by some legendary architects. All five feature considerable natural scenery, fine accommodations and easy access from major cities and airports.

Jasper Park No. 11

Canadian Rockies

A country with skiing facilities and winter sports so spectacular that it's hosted two Winter Olympics (1988 Calgary, 2010 Vancouver), the Canadian Rockies have six world-class properties in the province of Alberta with more than 135 golf holes.

The Canadian Rockies consortium (CRG) includes The Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Silvertip Resort, Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club, Kananaskis Country Golf Course and Canmore Golf & Curling Club.

The collection of courses features a mix of Stanley Thompson- and Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed layouts as well as landscapes by contemporary architects like Les Furber.

With daylight extending to 11 p.m. in the summer, visitors have plenty of time to heli-hike, raft, explore the mountains and national parks, horseback ride, watch the abundant wildlife, take in the scenery or visit spas, restaurants and wine bars.

For more information, visit www.canadianrockiesgolf.ca or call 877/323-3633.

Sun Valley White Cloud GC

South-Central Idaho

Sun Valley Resort has been home to literary greats (Ernest Hemmingway) and served as the playground for Hollywood legends and political royalty.

Opened in 1937, Sun Valley is dubbed "the nation's first ski resort." The moniker doesn't overshadow White Clouds and Trail Creek golf courses, 27 holes situated in one of America's most dramatic settings.

Designed by Donald Knott - Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s lead architect during the 1970s - White Clouds offers dramatic elevation changes and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Dubbed "Alpine Links" for its wide open and rolling terrain, Trail Creek weaves through mature forests and crosses its namesake stream on nearly every hole.

Off the course, Sun Valley offers outdoor ice skating with renowned stars performing throughout the summer, a gun club, horseback riding, tennis and more. For details, visit www.sunvalley.com or call 800/786-8259.

Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks

American Rockies

At one time, Silverthorne, Colo., was Ground Zero for Colorado's largest collection of ski bums. The cozy burg off Interstate 70 on the west side of the Eisenhower Tunnel is just 30 minutes from winter sports' hubs Vail, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone. As of 2001, Silverthorne and Summit County also claim one of the highest-ranked golf courses in the state, Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks.

Designed by Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Tom Lehman, Raven Three Peaks is a golf destination worth the trek from points east and west. Once there, golfers can soak up its 9,000-foot-plus perch in the Front Range of the Rockies.

The course offers scenery, strategy and 18 wonderful holes, all in climate that is up to 20 degrees cooler than Denver (70 miles east) during the summer. For more information, visit www.ravenatthreepeaks.com or call 970/262-3636.

Great Bear GC-Poconos

Pocono Mountains

Less than 90 miles from Manhattan, you'll find celebrities hitting the slopes and golf links 365 days a year. Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, this four-county destination is close to many major East Coast cities.

The Pocono Mountains boast more than 30 courses and numerous accommodations. Golf courses range from early Donald Ross and A.W. Tillinghast designs to nine-hole options suitable for beginners.

In addition to golf and winter sports, also on tap is antique shopping, old-time theater, Vegas-style gambling, the Pocono Raceway, fine dining, water and mountain sports and more. For additional details, visit www.800poconos.com or call 800/POCONOS.

One of the Fine Holes at Olde Mill

Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most-visited place in America's national park system. Located just minutes away is Olde Mill, a master-planned resort, club and residential community that is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation.

Olde Mill's 18-hole, par-72 layout is surrounded by old-growth forests and imbued with dramatic elevation changes. The original Ellis Maples design was recently remodeled by his son Dan and grandson, Bradley. The course winds around a 54-acre lake, the centerpiece of the 850-acre resort. Guests also have access to tennis, a fitness club, swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, various dining options, and craftsman-style housing.

For more details, visit www.oldemill.net or call 800/753-5005.

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