TravelNicolette Bondura

A Look Back at 2016- Nikki B's Golf Travels

TravelNicolette Bondura
A Look Back at 2016- Nikki B's Golf Travels

What a year!

That phrase pretty much sums up my 2016. I didn't realize how much I traveled, but I went somewhere every month! Let's take a look...

January 2016

Palm Springs, CA

My annual trip to the desert for the Career Builder Challenge! This event is so great to get into the warm sunshine during the winter blues. I always stay at the Embassy Suites in La Quinta and have to make a stop at The Nest.

February 2016

Monterey, CA

Another one of my favorite events, The AT&T ProAm. I got pictures with a ton of my favorite celebs and golfers, but the best part of the trip was playing Cypress Point the day before my birthday! It is a round of golf I'll never forget. We always stay at the Abrego Hotel and stop by Roy's at Spanish Bay for a sunset dinner out on the patio.

March 2016

Scottsdale, AZ

This was the event that created Women With Drive! I stayed in a house with 8 other women whom I'm still close to today, many becoming some of my best friends! We stayed at an awesome AirBnB house just outside of Scottsdale and played at the beautiful Orange Tree Country Club.

Carlsbad, CA

My first event with Kia! I spent the weekend with my mom at the Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club, watching the amazing LPGA players! So awesome watching some of my role models. I've also played Aviara and I highly recommend for a challenging course in San Diego area! We stayed at the Hilton Cape Rey which is an amazing oceanfront hotel!

April 2016

San Francisco, CA

My second event with Kia! This was a great weekend with one of my best friends, Rockelle. We stayed at a sweet AirBnb in Laurel Heights area, which isn't listed anymore unfortunately. It is a great area to stay in though! I recommend staying in the Marina/Pacific Heights area as there is great food, shopping, and it is not as crowded as Union Square! Some of my favorite restaurants are Tipsy Pig, Brixton, Delarosa, Sabrosa, and Tacolicious- just to name a few!

May 2016

Murrieta, CA

The first ever Women With Drive event! This was so much fun! We hosted it at Eagle Glen Golf Club, which was such a great course to play! I was so happy to meet a few of the WWD ladies that I met through social media but not in person yet! Can't wait for the next one coming May 6th and 7th, 2017 at Riverwalk GC in San Diego!

June 2016 

Grand Rapids, MI

My third event with Kia! I had never been to Michigan before, so this was SO cool! We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott, which I highly recommend (the staff was great!) or the riverside JW Marriott. I loved exploring this beautiful state, especially downtown. It had great bars and places to eat! If you go to one, HopCat is the place to go! Great food and big selection of beer. You must check out the Blue Bridge (there's a selfie spot!) and if you can, drive an hour west to Lake Michigan! I also got to play Blythefield Country Club in the ProAm as Kia's guest which was such a treat! My team should have won! ;)

July 2016

South Lake Tahoe, NV

Ah, the American Century Championship aka the Tahoe Celebrity! This may be my favorite time of the year. I love this course, the views, the lake, the people, the tournament- everything! I highly recommend going to Lake Tahoe at some point in your life, and the Tahoe Celebrity is definitely a plus! There are a ton of great new restaurants on the strip now. I usually stay at Harrah's or Harvey's, but the Marriott is also one of my favorites. If you can get a round at Edgewood, it is a must. The views on 17 and 18 are superb- right on the water! A hidden gem which is down in the valley of Carson City, NV is Clear Creek. I had the pleasure of playing here 3 years ago with a group of the celebrities and it was a blast! All the other courses in the greater Tahoe/Truckee/Reno area are awesome!

August 2016

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

What a vacation! This was my first time in Mexico, and to be honest, I was a little nervous! I'd always heard of food poisoning horror stories from the water. But, this was THE BEST TRIP EVER! Not only was I with some amazing women, Tisha Alyn, McKenzie O'Connell, Savannah Vilaubi, Samantha Stockton, and Miko Page, but we stayed at the MOST AMAZING RESORT EVER! Honestly, the hospitality at these resorts was SUPERB. Casa Del Mar and El Ganzo are two boutique hotels in between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo that I will definitely go back to stay at. From the hotel rooms, to the food, to the views, to the pools, to the beach, to the staff…everything was beyond perfect. I have never met such genuinely nice staff and hosts. The hotels are different but amazing in their own rights- Casa Del Mar is more traditional and old school beauty, whereas El Ganzo is full of art and high fashion. El Ganzo also has a rooftop pool and bar. Need I say more? I've never had better food than at these two hotels, not to mention yummy drinks.

Now the golf was UNFREAKINGREAL. We played at Cabo Real and Puerto Los Cabos. Can you say OCEAN views on almost EVERY hole?! Not to mention, we pretty much had the courses to ourselves since it was off season (and the hotels!). August is a great time to go for this reason! The courses were both so well maintained I almost felt bad for tearing them up! They both had such unique holes and undulations, that they are two challenging and fun courses.

Definitely my #SB2K16 trip of the year! Or should we say #WWD2K16?!

September 2016

Huntington Beach, CA

Visited my BFF Rockelle and Travis Mathew HQ! I absolutely love Huntington Beach and it's no wonder Rockelle chose to live there. I would definitely stay somewhere near Pacific City- a retail and food hub smack-dab on Pacific Coast Highway. Need I say more? On this trip I visited a handful of courses but my favorite was Monarch Beach. I hope to play there someday!

October 2016

Napa, CA

I absolutely love wine country. Napa and Sonoma are two beautiful countryside towns that you must visit once in your lifetime. Of course for the amazing wine, but the beautiful landscape and amazing restaurants! I was able to catch a few holes of the Safeway Open on Saturday and Sunday. I love Silverado and hope to play there someday! I stayed at the The Swiss Hotel located in Downtown Sonoma, which was the quaintest hotel I've ever stayed in. It is a historic landmark, how cool is that?! It only has five rooms, so you'll have to book quick. I loved it's uniqueness and the fact that it is a five star restaurant and bar on the first floor! No need to even go anywhere for dinner and drinks!

November 2016

San Diego, CA and Venice, CA

This trip was a whirlwind! I went from San Diego (which my flight was diverted to Ontario and I took an Uber ride with three strangers at midnight from there to San Diego, arriving at 3am!) to Huntington Beach to Venice then back home! Tisha and I went to the Callaway Petco Park event which was a blast! I met another WWD girl there for the first time, Laurel Gill, and we still chat all the time! Then I hung out in Huntington Beach as a little pit stop to visit Rockelle for a bit and my good friend Brett from Gios Golf. After that, Tisha and I headed to Venice to meet our friends at ClickON to film some cool content for WWD.

December 2016

Palm Springs, CA

This trip was my dad's surprise 60th birthday weekend! We had so much fun staying at the JW Marriott Desert Springs and playing the Palm course there. Check my other blog post about the weekend here. I absolutely love the desert and I swear I'll be retiring there!

Where to next?! I can't wait for all of the adventures that lay ahead in 2017! I hope it consists of more travel, new friends, old friends, and making memories to last a lifetime! I'm off to Palm Springs (again, I know!) for the GolfMatch Cali Classic & Career Builder Challenge and then Orlando for the PGA show at the end of this week! Any recommendations for Orlando? I've never been! Can't wait to see what the future of 2017 holds.

"There are far better things ahead than any we lay behind" ~ C.S. Lewis

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson