…and “no snow” makes it six.
El Niño’s long-predicted winter storms began pummeling Colorado this week, prompting boisterous celebration among skiers and snowboarders but leaving golfers with little more than wistful summer memories. Sure, it’s chilly throughout the Southwest, but is it time to trade the sticks for the flats?
No way, niño. December is prime time in glorious San Antonio, where daytime temperatures hover at a heavenly 75 degrees—absolutely decadent conditions for golf, touring, exploring, shopping and a whole lot more.
Consider this five-count, back-saving substitute for shoveling snow:
1. More than 50 golf courses give San Antonio visitors serious motivation to play the area’s vaunted Texas Hill Country. Must plays include the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort’s 36-hole TPC San Antonio (pictured above, designed by Pete Dye and Greg Norman), La Cantera Hill Country Resort’s 36 holes (Arnold Palmer and Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish), Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort’s 27 holes (Arthur Hills), Quarry Golf Club (Keith Foster) and historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course, which in 2008 was restored to A.W. Tillinghast’s original design.
2. Major college football returns to the 65,000-seat Alamodome for the 23rd Annual Valero Alamo Bowl, featuring the top teams from the Pac 12 and Big 12 conferences. This year’s nationally televised game will showcase the Oregon Ducks and the TCU Horned Frogs. (Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016)
3. Schedule time to tour the city’s incomparable historic landmarks. While the embattled Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero) anchors to San Antonio’s historic culture, the city also boasts four more Spanish colonial missions that collectively have earned UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
4. No vacation to San Antonio is complete without visiting River Walk, a three-mile collection of premier hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, river cruises, boutique shops, museums and live entertainment. Centrally located, it’s also a smart start for attending nearby attractions like the Alamo, Dinosaur Quest and the 21,000-square-foot Rivercenter Mall.
5. Looking for more? Austin’s big-hat golf and music scene is one hour north, home to Harvey Penick, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite and one notoriously dedicated golf aficionado named Willie Nelson. Hit the tees running by playing the Austin Golf Trail, which includes the singular surrounds of 72-hole Omni Barton Creek Resort, 72-hole Horseshoe Bay Resort, and Falconhead Golf Club.
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.