The top 10 college football bowl game and golf course combinations in the sun

Bowl games are synonymous with warm getaways. At least, if your football team is any good. Otherwise, you may be stuck in Detroit or Boise, Idaho, or New York.

But for a good many schools, the holidays present a great chance to get away to such sunny meccas as Florida, Arizona, California and other sunny spots where big football match-ups and great golf awaits.

Here are Golf Advisor's top 10 bowl game and golf course combinations this holiday season. You can view a full list of golf courses and their ratings near each respective bowl location below.

10. Outback Bowl

Northwestern vs. Tennessee
Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla.

Two programs on the rise square off in Tampa, and with sun-starved Midwesterners coming to town, you know golf courses will reap the benefit. The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, one of the darlings of the PGA Tour schedule, just reopened after renovation, and it's the best game in town. So stay and play at this four-course facility. Or, for the top daily fee course, TPC Tampa Bay is the top-rated course in the destination on Golf Advisor.
View courses near Raymond James Stadium.

9. Allstate Sugar Bowl

Oklahoma State University vs. Ole Miss
Jan. 1, New Orleans

If you can have a little restraint in the French Quarter and happen to wake up early enough for a tee time, there are a few nice picks here. Former PGA Tour host English Turn edges out TPC Louisiana for bragging rights, according to Golf Advisor raters. The prestigious, semi-private Jack Nicklaus design offers member-for-a-day tee times.
View golf courses near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

8. Valero Alamo Bowl

Oregon vs. Texas Christian University
Jan. 2, San Antonio

Offense rules with these two programs, so be aggressive during your round on an Alamo City golf course. Unlike TPC San Antonio, you don't need a room in order for access to La Cantera Resort to play either of the two top-rated, Troon Golf-managed resort courses. I prefer La Cantera's Resort Course, a Tom Weiskopf design, though the Palmer Course, a very scenic and dramatic layout in the Hill Country, gets slightly better ratings on Golf Advisor.
View golf courses near the Alamodome.

7. Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual

Stanford University vs. University of Iowa
Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.

It's Iowa's first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1991, and they'll face a tough Stanford bunch in this traditional Pac 10/Big 10 showdown. Pasadena doesn't have the resort courses you might find closer to Orange County and San Diego, but nearby Angeles National is a stellar pick with more than 7,200 yards of championship golf from the tips.
View golf courses near the Rose Bowl.

6. College Football Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl

Michigan State University vs. Alabama
AT&T Stadium
Dec. 31, Arlington, Texas

Weather is always a little questionable this time of year in north Texas, but El Nino thus far has brought some pretty warm temperatures to Texas through mid-December. If the sun is shining near Jerry World, head to Arlington's own Tierra Verde Golf Club, the no. 1-ranked course on Golf Advisor in DFW. A Gary Panks design from 1998, it's a municipal course that is well known for great conditions and value. (Want more options? Mike Bailey wrote this article on all the golf options near Jerry World.)
View golf courses near AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

5. National Funding Holiday Bowl

University of Wisconsin vs. University of Southern California
Dec. 30, San Diego

Two top programs clash in sunny San Diego, and it's a safe bet the Wisconsin faithful will be soaking up the sunshine in big numbers. Torrey Pines South is the obvious pick for a bucket-list golf near the stadium. If you can't get a tee time, a worthy consolation (if you could even call it that) is fellow top 100-facility Maderas Golf Club, which unlike Torrey Pines, doesn't stack up the tee sheet.
View golf courses near Qualcomm Stadium.

4. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Notre Dame vs. Ohio State University
Glendale, Ariz.

There are two Glendale bowl games in the top 10 for golf, so we'll give you two options in the West Valley. For the Fiesta Bowl, head to The Wigwam resort, home to 54 holes and one of the West Valley's better bargains. Wigwam's Gold Course, a Robert Trent Jones Sr. design, just reopened after a renovation by Tom Lehman. No desert target golf here; fairways are wide on this classic routing.
View golf courses near University of Phoenix Stadium.

3. College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl

Dec. 31, Miami
University of Oklahoma vs. Clemson University
Miami boasts some of winter's most bankable golf weather to go with this playoff showdown. Couple the game with a stay-and-play at Turnberry Isle, a luxury resort that's home to the Soffer Course and Miller Course. Or, if you're staying closer to the game and South Beach, golf with the locals at Crandon Golf Key Biscayne, one of the Atlantic's best saltwater layouts.
View all golf courses near Sun Life Stadium.

2. Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

University of Michigan vs. University of Florida
Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla.

You know the fans will be in full force when these two bluebloods on the rise square off. You've got plenty of choices for golf nearby. Orange County National in Winter Garden is the most all-encompassing golf facility in the area, and OCN's Panther Lake Course has received particularly strong reviews this fall. Got a few more swings in you after 18? Bet a few bucks with buddies on the nine-hole Tooth short course.
View golf courses near the Citrus Bowl.

1. College Football National Championship Game presented by AT&T

Teams TBA
Jan. 11, Glendale Ariz.

Glendale is in the West Valley, which puts you in easy drive of some great value compared to the ritzier Scottsdale-Paradise/Valley-Cave Creek area. Head to one of the Valley's most spectacular and unique courses, Quintero Golf Club, for a crack at this remote and hilly Rees Jones layout.
View golf courses near University of Phoenix Stadium.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
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Commented on

Recommend you modify the Outback golf selection to Streamsong and subsequently move it much higher on your list.  GBO!

Commented on

It's a bit of a hike from Tampa compared to TPC & Copperhead but you're right, pretty special spot. 

Related Links

During fall, football is king in Florida. Before or after the games, there's golf to be played. Luckily, there are some excellent courses situated near some of the state's college football havens.
Heading to Pasadena to see FSU and Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game? There are plenty of worthwhile golf courses in the Pasadena area to play before or after the game.
There's no shortage of golf courses in south Florida, of course, but what if you're in the heart of Miami and don't feel like driving up to Fort Lauderdale, the Palm Beaches or Jupiter? Miami proper is actually a pretty small area, so there aren't as many public golf offerings in the immediate vicinity as one might think. But there are some quality courses that should be on your short list.
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The top 10 college football bowl game and golf course combinations in the sun