The stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beauty of the changing seasons, along with undulating greens and rolling fairways combine to create a unique golfing experience in the Roanoke Valley. Golfers at all levels of ability can pack their clubs, balls and elbow sleeve and head out to practice their sport here in ideal surroundings. There are numerous tailored packages available to get the most out of the semi-private and public courses. Whether planning a family vacation or a group outing, both aspiring and seasoned players can get the latest info through Golf Digest and customize their perfect package.
Planning the trip
Proper packing is an essential part of every golfing trip in order to avoid a raft of hassles and annoyances that will seriously put you off your game.
- Use microfiber clothing, for instance, which is specially designed for golf travelers. It’s resistant to wrinkling, lightweight for transport and dries quickly if a shower catches you out.
- You should also use quality outerwear as the weather can be inclement at times and getting caught in high crosswinds without the proper level of protection is asking for trouble.
- Take the right number of balls appropriate to your level. If your handicap is high you’ll need more balls so take a long, honest look at your game to assess the number of balls to pack.
- It’s always a good idea to pack a box of snacks like peanut butter crackers and Granola bars for the energy factor whilst out on the course.
Tips for beginners
Golf has a reputation for being elitist but this is changing fast and the sport is much more accessible than it used to be. The experience of heading off under the gaze of veterans can be daunting, so here are a few tips to help out.
- Take a few lessons – teaching yourself will only encourage bad habits.
- Work on your putting – putts account for half the strokes in a round but are not often practiced.
- Work out on a driving range – these places are great for advice and instruction, and you can happily lose all the balls you want.
- Don’t feel pressured – let other players overtake you if you need to concentrate on your game more. Remember that even the top pros started out as beginners.
Pete Dye Rivercourse
One of the best courses in southwest Virginia is the Virginia Tech Pete Dye Rivercourse, between Radford and Blacksburg. This is an 18-hole course that offers golfers a fun and challenging five sets of tees, covering all ability levels. As an added bonus, there are splendid and invigorating panoramic views from every hole along the 2.5 miles of New River.
The River, as it’s fondly known, also has putting and chipping greens, a driving range on its practice facility and a full teaching center as well as a pro shop for buying and hiring equipment. Golf Digest voted this course one of the “Best Places to Play” in the whole of the US.