With the Masters Tournament in Atlanta this weekend teeing off the first of professional golf's four ''majors," this is when many unprofessional golfers -- or shall we say amateurs -- get out their clubs. Others have never put them away. No matter. Whether you're a casual or intense player, there are golf getaways aplenty. Here are some:
Canada's Prince Edward Island is becoming almost as well known for its golf courses as its lobster suppers. The island province has more than 30 courses and at least that many getaways centered on whacking that little white ball around. Low-season prices range from about $55-$400 and feature one or more hotel nights, golf, and various extra amenities.
For a visitors guide and Value Vacations booklet, call 888-PEI-PLAY (888-734-7529) or visit www.peiplay.com and click on Value Vacations, then select golf from the drop-down menu.
PGAVillage in Port St. Lucie, Fla., would like to send you to golf school. Accommodations are within a chip shot of three courses owned and operated by PGA of America, and there are plenty of instructional packages. The 4½-day plan, for instance, includes a ''welcome" round, four nights' accommodations, four days of instruction, four days of golf, with a cart, after the instruction, one dinner and cocktail party, four breakfasts, an instruction kit and golf manual, and unlimited access to the PGA Learning Center. Depending on the resort or hotel, the number of people in a room, and the season, prices range from $815 to $2,165.
Call 866-738-6441 or visit www.premiergolf.com.
Combine golf and a cruise. Peter Deilmann Cruises feature golf in the Rhône-Saône, Provence, and Normandy regions of France; the Rhine areas of France and Germany; and the Danube region of Germany, Austria, and Hungary, and include pre- or post-hotel stays that provide more golf opportunities at nearby courses. A sample: On a Rhine cruise aboard the Heidelberg May 28-June 8, there will be six days of play at two courses in Strasbourg, France, and three in Germany. After the seven-night Rhine cruise, participants stay four nights at Brenner's Park Hotel and Spa in Baden-Baden in the Black Forest. The all-inclusive package price starts at $4,200 per person for an outside cabin.
Visit www.deilmanncruises.com, see a travel agent, or call 800-348-8287.
Arizona is a favorite golf destination. At the Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa in the delightfully named town of Carefree, the Golf ByRequest package includes accommodations, a round with a cart, unlimited use of practice facilities, and a $25 food or beverage credit per person per day. Prices begin at $359 a day.
(The fine print: You must be a Wyndham ByRequest member. Membership is free.)
Call 866-996-4320 or visit www.wyndham.com and click on special offers, then select golf from the drop-down menu.
Florida is another favorite destination. At the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, the Daily Golf Package includes inn or villa accommodations and daily rounds at either the Links or Baytowne Golf Club courses. Prices are seasonal from $279.
Call 800-470-7389 or visit www.sandestin.com.
Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, with more than 30 courses of varying styles and ambience, is offering Stay 'N Play Golf Packages that include a hotel stay, greens fees, and a cart at one of 11 courses. Midweek prices $89-$135.
Visit www.lehighvalleypa.org or call 800-747-0561.
There is a golf vacation, with air fare, at the Weston Mission Hills Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., that won't cost you a cent -- if you win a sweepstakes.
Baseball tour If you have ever wanted to see the Red Sox in a park other than Fenway, one way to do so is through a baseball tour. Sports Travel and Tours has a Four Bagger package July 6-10 in which you see three ballbarks, four teams, and five games, one of them being Boston vs. Baltimore at Camden Yards. Included are game tickets, hotels and taxes, transportation to the games and between cities, host services, a reception, a souvenir, and other amenities. The price is $995 per-person double occupancy, excluding air fare. The tour begins in Washington and ends in Philadelphia. Several other baseball tours are available.
Visit www.sportstravelandtours.com or call 800-662-4424.
Swivel-hipped offer As part of its Spring into Homewood promotion though April 30, Homewood Suites by Hilton will be handing out Hula hoops to guests at 140 locations. Depending on the location, rates start at $79 a night for a suite that sleeps four and has a fully equipped kitchen.
Call 800-CALL-HOME or visit www.homewoodsuites.com.
Food and wine Wining, dining, and learning more about both will highlight the Camden Food and Wine Festival in Camden, Maine, May 20-22. A Grand Cru ticket is $295 a person, and covers all three days of activities: seminars and cooking demonstrations, meals, receptions, tours, and a harbor sail, plus a farewell bag of goodies. A Saturday-only ticket that includes the seminars and demonstrations as well as Saturday lunch and a multicourse gourmet dinner that evening is $225.
Five-cent martinis In honor of the newly minted Jefferson commemorative nickel (the one with the bison on the back), the Jefferson, a Loews Hotel in Washington, D.C., is offering five-cent martinis at its Jefferson Lounge. Guests must pay with the new nickels. The offer is good April 13-May 13, and there is a limit of one martini per guest per evening. If you use the new nickel at check-in, you can get a room upgrade Friday and Saturday evenings June 3-Sept. 5, subject to availability.
Call 800-235-6397 or visit www.loewshotels.com/thejefferson.
A near-mother's day Who needs to be pampered more than an expectant mother? The Spa at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma, Calif., recognizes that with a $399 day package called the Mommy-to-Be Spa Indulgence. Things begin with a private water yoga experience, followed by a massage, then an energy treatment using affirmations, visualization, aromatherapy, and meditation. The day closes with a European facial and a pedicure, and a take-home gift of neroli oil.
Visit www.fairmont.com or call 800-257-7544.
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.