Bethel Maine Trip Report
Last week Clint and I joined a group of golf writers in Bethel, Maine, where we were invited to learn about the Guaranteed Performance School of Golf at the stately Bethel Inn Resort. Being recreational golfers, we were excited to stay in a lovely mountain inn close to the Sunday River Ski Area, with the possibility of actually improving our golf games. (For me, that means not embarrassing myself with too many dubs and flubs!)
About The Guaranteed Performance Golf School
The first thing you should know about Bethel Inn’s golf school is that the student/instructor ratio is 3:1, meaning everyone gets lots of personal attention and the coach and students can actually play a round of golf together. I knew straight away that I was going to like golf pro, Mark Mallory, when he scolded husbands about shouting “Keep Your Head Down!” to their wives – explaining that was not the true problem. Golf pros Mark and Niko escorted us to the dedicated golf training range where they put us through our paces and reveled all kinds of wonderful golf tips…. Wondering how much to bend your knees? Simple, “Imagine you’re standing in your ski boots.” – brilliant!
The golf school offers a wide-range of options, with the two-day package being the most popular. The package includes two five hour days of personalized golf instruction, unlimited golf play with cart (so you can put your new skills to the test), video analysis, a PGA instruction manual, accommodations at the Bethel Inn, all meals, a welcome cocktail reception, and lots of good humor. Pricing varies for mid-week and weekend programs, and there is reduced pricing for “commuters” not needing accommodation. Another great option is the Family Summer Golf School where a family of four can all learn to play golf for a reasonable all-inclusive price. The golf school is very busy in the spring, but has openings available through fall until the end of October. And the best part is, if you don’t feel your golf game as significantly improved, you can return to attend the school again free of charge. The golf course itself is beautiful with well manicured holes, gentle mountain slopes, great scenic views, lush green grass throughout – it’s a course any level of golfer will be comfortable and challenged on.
About The Bethel Inn Resort
Catching a view of the Bethel Inn from a distance has to put a smile on your face. It’s cheery bright yellow color brightens your spirits as you pull up to the gracious historic inn entrance. The 150 room Bethel Inn Resort is celebrating its 100th Birthday this year and it has never been more inviting.
In 1913 the original inn was built as a country retreat for over-stressed wealthy industrialists who came to “restore their bodies and psyches in the clear, cool Maine mountain air” with the assistance of therapist, Dr. John George Gehring. Today guests can stay at wonderfully affordable prices and will certainly leave just as refreshed as Dr. Gehring’s famous patients.
Although the inn is stately and elegant, it’s atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming. Guests can choose to dine in the formal dining room or enjoy more relaxed fare in the casual Milbrook Grille. Accommodations are large by hotel standards and most have sitting rooms separate from the bedroom, making the Bethel Inn a terrific choice for families. The Fairway Townhouses are fabulous with golf and mountain views from the deck, a large family style kitchen, a cuddle and bubble jetted-tub with scenic views in the master bedroom, and a living room comfortable enough for the entire family.
Make no mistake, the scenery is peaceful, but this is a full service vacation resort with plenty of activities for year-round entertainment. The resort offers deluxe accommodations, varied dining choices, live entertainment on weekend nights, tennis courts, health club, heated outdoor pool complex, spa, lawn games, and complimentary use of The Lake House where guests can picnic and swim or explore the lake by kayak or canoe. In winter months the inn offers extensive cross-country ski and snowshoeing trails, horse-drawn sleigh rides and ice skating.
To celebrate the Bethel Inn Resort’s 100th year, the inn is offering a “Centennial Package” for $100 per person that includes accommodations, full morning breakfast, and a four course dinner in the formal dining room. I can’t think of a nicer spot for a fall foliage getaway or winter escape.
About Bethel Maine
The success of the Sunday River Ski Area and it’s reputation for delivering wonderful sporting experiences in a pristine mountain environment has done much to invigorate the greater Bethel area. Walking through Bethel’s perfectly peaceful town common, you could easily think, “It’s so quiet and serene here, there’s nothing going on”. But how mistaken you would be…. every country activity you could wish for is readily available, only without the tacky trappings of a major tourist area.
Peddle, paddle or catch a fish; hike, walk or go for a run; zip, climb or bungee jump; swim, golf, or play tennis; dig for precious gems, ride a gondola or go 4 wheeling; Bethel has a bounty of activities for every interest. On the quieter side, browse boutiques, shop for antiques, read a book under the shade of a tree, or get a massage. Beer lovers, don’t miss a stop at our favorite Sud’s Pub in the Sudbury Inn. This wonderful ski pub resides in an underground tavern serving up 29 beers on tap and a killer lobster-artichoke dip as an appetizer. Visit BethelMaine.com to access local sites, events and activities. It’s clear to me; Bethel is what a getaway to the mountains is all about!