Isn’t it about time to update the concept of golf packages?
After all, these packages were invented a long time ago – probably back in the 1960s – and nothing much had changed since then.
So folks in the Yadkin Valley wine country of North Carolina began offering packages a couple years ago that include more than just a room and golf. They gently poured into the mix something prevalent all around the Yadkin Valley– wine.
The end result is the Yadkin Valley Golf & Wine Experience. This unique program combines various forms of lodging with top-notch golf, plus vouchers for après–golf wine tastings at a number of area wineries.
Much like grapes in September, this idea was ripe for the picking. It produced clever taglines like “fairways and chardonnays,” “whites, reds and greens” and “chip-and-sip.” It also encouraged golfers to think differently when planning trips.
“We just looked around and asked ourselves, ‘What do we have to offer that’s a little bit different?’” said Tammy Johnson, tourism director for Surry County, located in the heart of North Carolina’s wine country. “We figured there are a lot of golfers who drink wine, and a lot of wine drinkers who play golf, so why not put it all together?”
Now in its third year, the Yadkin Valley Golf & Wine Experience is catching on. A new high-end winery comes on board in 2014, along with more cabins on the lodging side. There’s also a new incentive for trip organizers called the Group Leader Opportunity (GLO) program, which allows group leaders to travel at no cost when they bring seven or more paying golfers.
“Group leaders deal with a ton of details, scheduling conflicts and other issues,” Johnson explained. “This is our way of showing appreciation for all they do.”
So how does the Yadkin Valley Golf & Wine Experience work? It’s actually very simple. There are five lodging options, five wineries and three golf courses in the program.
Golfers may choose from an assortment of packages that begin at $207 per person, or they can call or submit info via the website for a custom package.
Johnson said regular golf groups like the change of pace in the Yadkin Valley and the fact that they can visit interesting wineries after golf. One surprise, Johnson said, is the number of husband-and-wife couples who are booking the packages.
“Couples enjoy this concept because it’s not just golf, golf, golf,” she said. “They can tee off early in the day, visit a winery in the afternoon and head out in the evening to one of our excellent dining options.”
Another plus for the Yadkin Valley is its convenient location right off Interstate 77 in north central North Carolina, nudging up against the Virginia state line.
“We’d like to expand our reach up the I-77 and I-95 corridors and all the way into Canada. We know a lot of Canadian golfers make trips to the South for golf,” said Chris Knopf, Surry County manager. “We offer a well-rounded trip for everyone in your group. When you go to other popular areas the pace is much faster. But here you get the satisfaction of great golf, great wine, great food and a slower pace.”
For information on Yadkin Valley golf getaways, call toll-free (855) 398-4653 or visit www.YadkinValleyGolf.com.