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Legend Trail Golf Club in North Scottsdale, Ariz., is part of the Resort Suites lineup.
Legend Trail Golf Club in North Scottsdale, Ariz., is part of the Resort Suites lineup. (Handout photo)

The game's siren call strikes a southerly note

Email|Print| Text size + By Ron Driscoll
Globe Staff / October 29, 2006

If it hasn't happened yet, we're sure to find the frost on the pumpkin soon in New England, meaning that only golf diehards will be playing, and even they ma y resort to winter gloves over their golf glove.

This makes it a perfect time to head south -- not simply to play in balmy conditions, but to work on your game so that 2007 will be your best year yet. If you've been struggling all year with the windmill hole . . . Wait, forget that -- we were briefly channeling this week's lead story on miniature golf. Anyway, we don't think it gets much better than to sign on for a group lesson with your regular foursome at the Tradition Golf School in Pawleys Island, S.C., just south of Myrtle Beach.

Other people obviously agree, because Tradition has earned inclusion among Golf magazine's top 25 golf schools nationwide, and lead instructor Steve Dresser was named 2004 PGA Teacher of the Year for the Carolinas region. The school is offering a significant savings for two players. One pays full price, the other half for the three-day school . Through Dec. 23, the three-day rate would drop to $360, a savings of about $120 each when booking two people.

The school includes four hours per day of instruction, a welcome gift, a take-home video analysis of your swing, unlimited use of the practice area and range balls, two rounds of golf with cart at the Tradition Golf Club, club-fitting and putter-fitting sessions, a student handbook, and a certificate.

We have our certificate and can attest to the school's low-key, relaxed atmosphere for players of all levels. Just before he received his 2004 teaching honor, Dresser heard Ed Ibarguen of the Duke University Golf Course praise the Carolinas PGA chapter by calling it "the New York Yankees of PGA sections in the country." Dresser, a Vermont native, ad-libbed his acceptance speech to say that he liked to think of the Carolinas group "as the Boston Red Sox of PGA sections," to an equal chorus of cheers and jeers.

Visit dressergolf.com or call 800-397-2678 for more information. Dresser will move his school to a new facility at nearby True Blue Plantation Jan. 1.

The play's the thing
So you're at peak form and have no need for practice? You still might want to head for Pawleys Island, where the aforementioned True Blue and its sister course, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, have earned spots on Golf Digest's "America's 100 Greatest Public Courses."

If Sunday arrival is an option, one package at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort includes three nights' accommodations (double occupancy), three rounds with carts, a daily breakfast buffet, a dinner at the Litchfield resort, and a windshirt, starting at $270 per player for a one-bedroom hotel suite . Taxes and resort fees are not included, and some courses require a surcharge. Go to litchfieldbeach.com or call 888-766-4633 .

Just deserts, thank you
If you prefer the idea of unlimited play in a desert setting, Resort Suites of Scottsdale, Ariz., has access to more than 60 courses, and you can get to most of them in a half hour or less.

Through Dec. 28, the Fall Unlimited package is $199 daily per person ($229 on weekends), and includes a one-, two- , or four-bedroom suite (double occupancy), a choice of seven courses with unlimited daily play, and a $20 food and beverage credit per person per day at the on-site restaurant.

Go to resortsuites.com or call 888-222-1059 .

The other 1/2 of 1 percent
We were perusing the recent Golf Digest Index magazine, a special issue that celebrates what it calls "the golfing life at its peak ." Right up there is Seth Waugh, president and CEO of Deutsche Bank America, a 6-handicapper who can choose from, among others, The Boston Golf Club in Hingham ; Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare, Ireland ; the National Golf Links of America on Long Island ; Pine Valley (N.J.) Golf Club ; Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla. ; and Royal Aberdeen in Scotland .

If you are so inclined, you might consider Dream Catcher Retreats (dcr.com), where for a $175,000 membership fee and annual dues of $12,000 you can have access to any of 38 private residences (with a dedicated personal assistant), many of them in "signature resort" communities, including Kiawah Island, S.C.; Kapalua, Hawaii; Amelia Island, Fla.; and La Quinta , Calif. The membership is 80 percent refundable upon resignation. Mind you, your dues give you 15 days access at those resorts, so spend them wisely.

Contact Ron Driscoll at rdriscoll@globe.com .

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