Think Destination First, Then Think Golf
By Peter Hellman
Has your spouse ever said this to you, "Why is it that when you think of a vacation, your mind goes right to your putter. Don't you realize that there is more to life than golf"?
The first time a friend of mine heard that utterance, he had to think a moment. Should he say something witty or something safe? He went for the safe. "Of course, honey", he said, "There must be several things more important than golf. I just can't think of any right now."
In addition to a little sensitivity training, I have some ideas that might earn my friend some spousal points and still satisfy his putter fetish. Simply put, the idea is to "think destination first" and "think golf second."
As horrid a thought as this may seem to some of you, know that the world is replete with great golf courses and that some are located in areas of exciting historical, architectural, cultural and experiential value. There is no reason why travel planned around a destination can't also be a soul satisfying golf adventure.
I recently returned from
With a fireplace, a generous patio and a small kitchenette, our suite, in one of the new buildings, was perfect for relaxing after a full day of golf and exploration. Cooking for yourself, however, is not what you want to do at the Chateau des Vigier. The two restaurants on property, one casual and one more upscale, are superb and the wine list is extensive. We particularly enjoyed their creative salads and roast duck. The breakfast buffet was my favorite. Great breads and pastries, delicious local sausages and tasty fruit were only some of the choices available. A pool, shady patios for lunch or a beer and a cozy bar all add to the comfort of Chateau des Vigiers.
The Donald Steele designed golf course is a beauty with challenging holes bordered by productive vineyards from which the Chateau produces its own wine. A third nine is in the works and should be open for play next year. Steele has designed many courses in Europe and the
From this comfortable base with access to good golf, my wife and I set out to explore the area. Being one of
Our most interesting wine experience occurred just a few kilometers from our base at the Chateau le Chabrier. Pierre Carle, owner of the vineyard, was a splendid host, taking us through his entire operation and explaining the age-old techniques of wine making. He was proud of his small vineyard and treated us as "eager to learn" guests. The tastings were a treat. Like many of the small vineyards, you will not find Chateau le Chabrier at your favorite liquor store in the
Lest you think that all we did was drink wine, I must tell you about some of our other experiences. Not far from our hotel is the town of
This area, particularly along the
So, next time you bring up a vacation idea to your spouse, think destination first and then think golf. I think that you will both enjoy it.