A golf vacation with your closest buddies or fellow colleagues at one of the best courses in Maine may seem like a dream. Not at Samoset Resort.
Gathering a group – whether 100 employees from Acme, Ltd., or 122 fraternity brothers from Sigma Epsilon – for a golf outing gets easier when it’s the right destination. And for many, that means Rockport, Maine, where Samoset Resort features an 18-hole championship golf course on 230 acres that overlook Penobscot Bay. But what makes this the ideal golf vacation destination is the fact that up to 132 players can be part of a course buyout for a personalized experience that will share new skills while fostering new connections.
Samoset’s isn’t just home to one of the top golf courses in Maine, but it has also been regularly ranked among the best American golf resorts by Condé Nast Traveler. Duffers discover not only fine golf facilities but also oceanfront fun, including a 200,000-gallon pool, croquet, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and pickle ball. Your ideal accommodations are to either block a wing of the hotel, just 300 yards from the golf shop and clubhouse, or as many of the airy coastal-inspired rooms necessary to accommodate everyone. For groups who want to be right on the course, four cottages overlook signature golf holes 4, 5, and 6, and the 15th fairway.
Tee Time at the Samoset Golf Course
The Samoset Golf Course is challenging not only because of its uphill slopes and 520-yard, par-5 18th hole but also because of the occasionally distracting views of the Atlantic Ocean on 14 of the holes. A coordinator is on hand to arrange a tournament for your group and to help select gifts and prizes from the golf shop. Other customized options include skills contests, lessons, clinics, and group photos with views of Penobscot Bay. Warm up on the driving range and practice green, and take note of the stone seawall on the Samoset’s signature par-5 4th hole.
Beers & Full Swing Wings
Once the tournament is complete and the prizes doled out, head to the Clubhouse Grille that overlooks the golf course. Freshly poured pints of craft-brewed, local Maine beer await on the covered porch; those who’ve worked up an appetite can try the aptly named full swing wings, country club salad, or Caddie Shack panini.
Climbing in Camden
Stretch your legs at Camden Hills State Park, home to 5,700 acres spider-webbed with 30 miles of hiking trails accessed by five trailheads. The highlight here is Mount Battie, an 800-foot summit reached by a two-hour hike that leads to views that reach to the peaks of Acadia National Park. Golfers zapped by their game can opt to drive up to the top instead.
Soothing Sore Muscles
If your golf outing is taking a toll on your shoulders and back, an 80-minute deep-tissue massage at The Spa at the Samoset can fix all that as a therapist intensifies the pressure to release chronic muscle tension, addressing problematic joint, and muscular areas. Or, opt for the traditional Swedish massage or a warm-stone massage, two of the many popular treatments offered at the Spa.
Touring the Local Towns
The small harbor villages of Rockport, Rockland, and Camden offer a surprising assortment of cultural attractions. In Rockport, you’ll find the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (a converted firehouse that is one of the state’s best art galleries) and the Rockport Marine Park, home to a marble statue of the famous Andre the seal (a harbor seal abandoned and found by a Rockport resident that was a subject of a 1994 feature film). Samoset’s own town of Rockland features the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Rockland Breakwater Light, and the Maine Lighthouse Museum, while Camden abounds with boutiques and gourmet eateries, plus the stunning Camden Opera House and many a schooner excursion.
Playing Disc Golf
Samoset offers a new nine-hole disc golf course – a refreshing twist on the traditional game of golf. Find discs at the golf club, and fling them toward an elevated basket; score cards are available to keep the competitive vibe going.