Golf resorts offer an irresistible blend of relaxation and sport, making them ideal vacation destinations for golf enthusiasts. In the United States, several top-tier golf resorts provide stunning courses, luxurious accommodations, and comprehensive amenities, ensuring a memorable stay-and-play experience.
Here's a look at some of the best golf resorts in the U.S., where you can enjoy both world-class golfing and exceptional vacation packages.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Oregon
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon is renowned for providing an exceptional golfing experience that emphasizes the natural and traditional elements of the game. Here is an overview and review of the resort, along with its pros and cons:
Bandon Dunes is celebrated for its unique approach to golf. The resort, opened in 1999, is set in a stunning, remote location on the Oregon coast. It offers a pure golfing experience with courses designed to integrate seamlessly with the rugged, natural landscape.
The resort’s accommodations are comfortable and simple, designed to keep the focus on golf. Facilities include a massage center and a basic spa, but the main attraction is the golf itself.
- Authentic Golf Experience: Bandon Dunes is dedicated to preserving the traditional aspects of golf, offering a walking-only, elemental golf experience.
- Natural Beauty: The courses are beautifully integrated with the coastal environment, providing a visually stunning and challenging golf experience.
- Inspirational Design: The resort’s approach to golf has inspired other courses worldwide, establishing it as a leader in golf resort design.
- Comfortable Accommodations: The resort offers a range of lodging options, from single rooms to four-bedroom cottages, ensuring a comfortable stay.
- Remote Location: The resort's remote setting may be less convenient for travelers and limits access to other attractions and activities.
- Limited Amenities: Aside from golf, the resort offers few other activities or luxurious amenities, which might not appeal to non-golfers or those seeking a more varied vacation experience.
- Focus on Golf: The resort caters primarily to serious golfers, which may not suit visitors looking for a broader resort experience with diverse recreational options.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is a top choice for golf enthusiasts who appreciate a pure, traditional golfing experience amidst natural beauty. However, its focus on golf and remote location may not appeal to everyone, particularly those looking for a resort with a wide range of activities and luxurious amenities.
Big Cedar Lodge, Missouri
Big Cedar Lodge, located in the Missouri Ozarks, offers a unique blend of golf and nature. Founded by Johnny Morris, the creator of Bass Pro Shops, this resort is designed to connect guests with the great outdoors while providing a top-tier golfing experience. Here's an overview of Big Cedar Lodge, along with its pros and cons:
Big Cedar Lodge is known for its "wilderness resort" concept, integrating its facilities with the natural surroundings of the Missouri Ozarks. The resort boasts five golf courses designed by notable architects, offering varied golfing experiences. The property is surrounded by a picturesque landscape of forests, limestone caverns, and waterways, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and golf enthusiasts alike.
- Scenic Natural Setting: The resort's location in the Ozarks provides a beautiful backdrop for golf and other outdoor activities.
- Multiple Golf Courses: With five courses designed by renowned architects, golfers have a variety of challenging and aesthetically pleasing options.
- Connection with Nature: The resort's design and activities encourage guests to engage with the natural environment.
- Fishing and Outdoor Activities: In addition to golf, the resort offers access to some of the country's most prized fishing waters and other outdoor pursuits.
- Remote Location: Similar to Bandon Dunes, the resort's remote setting might be less convenient for some travelers and limits nearby attractions.
- Focus on Golf and Nature: While the resort offers a range of outdoor activities, it may not cater to those seeking urban entertainment or a traditional luxury resort experience.
- Limited Spa and Leisure Facilities: The resort's amenities are more focused on outdoor activities than on luxurious spa or leisure facilities.
Big Cedar Lodge is an excellent choice for those looking to combine golf with an immersive natural experience. Its unique setting and emphasis on outdoor activities make it a standout destination. However, its focus and location might not appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer a more conventional resort experience or easy access to urban attractions.
The Broadmoor, Colorado
The Broadmoor, located in Colorado Springs, is a luxurious and scenic golf resort set against the backdrop of the majestic Colorado mountains. Here's an overview of The Broadmoor, along with its pros and cons:
The Broadmoor is a historic resort, offering a blend of luxury and natural beauty. Nestled in the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain, it is over a century old and features two well-maintained golf courses. The resort combines a homey feel with high-class amenities, including 10 restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a bowling alley, and more.
The Broadmoor also offers wilderness experiences at three luxurious lodging outposts: Cloud Camp, Fly Fishing Camp, and the Ranch at Emerald Valley.
- Luxurious Amenities: The Broadmoor provides a range of high-class amenities, including multiple dining options, pools, and a renowned spa.
- Scenic Mountain Setting: The resort's location offers breathtaking views and access to outdoor adventures in the Colorado mountains.
- Historic Charm: With over a century of history, the resort combines traditional elegance with modern comforts.
- Diverse Activities: Beyond golf, guests can enjoy a variety of activities, from spa treatments to wilderness experiences.
- Pricier Option: As a luxury resort, The Broadmoor may be more expensive than other golf destinations.
- Focus on Luxury Over Pure Golf: While offering excellent golf courses, the resort is more focused on providing a broader luxury experience, which might not appeal to golf purists.
- Limited Golf Course Variety: With two courses, the golf options are more limited compared to resorts with multiple courses.
The Broadmoor is ideal for those seeking a luxurious golf vacation with a variety of activities and amenities in a stunning mountain setting. However, its focus on luxury and higher pricing may not suit everyone, especially those looking for a more golf-centric or budget-friendly experience.
Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Arizona
The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, nestled in Marana, Arizona, is a luxurious golf resort that offers a unique blend of top-tier golfing and stunning desert landscapes. Here's an overview of the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, along with its pros and cons:
Situated about 20 miles northwest of Tucson, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is a haven for golfers seeking a luxury experience in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. The resort boasts a Jack Nicklaus signature design golf course with 27 holes, providing unique challenges amidst the noble saguaros and Tortolita Mountain Range.
Beyond golf, the resort offers 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, a fantastic spa, and exquisite dining options. The accommodations feature chic rooms with balconies showcasing mountain or canyon views.
- Stunning Desert Views: The resort offers breathtaking desert views, providing a picturesque backdrop for golf and relaxation.
- Jack Nicklaus Golf Course: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a challenging and visually striking golf course designed by a legendary architect.
- Luxurious Amenities: The Ritz-Carlton brand ensures high-class amenities, including a spa, hiking trails, and exceptional dining.
- Balcony Views: Many rooms come with private balconies, offering guests the chance to soak in the scenic beauty.
- Remote Location: The resort's location in the desert may be considered remote for those seeking proximity to urban attractions.
- Limited Variety of Activities: While the focus is on golf and natural beauty, the resort offers fewer diverse activities compared to larger, city-based resorts.
- Higher Price Point: The luxury experience at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain comes at a higher cost.
The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is an excellent choice for golfers looking for a luxury desert golf experience. Its breathtaking views, top-notch amenities, and challenging golf course make it a standout destination. However, its remote location and higher pricing may not suit everyone's preferences.
Sea Pines Resort, South Carolina
Sea Pines Resort, located on the picturesque Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, is a renowned destination that combines championship golf with scenic coastal beauty. Here's an overview of Sea Pines Resort, along with its pros and cons:
Sea Pines Resort is celebrated for its stunning setting on Hilton Head Island, known for its pristine beaches and lush landscapes. The resort's flagship attraction is the Harbour Town Golf Links, a collaboration between legendary golf architects Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye.
It offers an exceptional golfing experience amidst maritime forests, tidal marshes, and breathtaking ocean views. Accommodations range from beachfront villas to luxury homes, providing a wide range of options for guests.
- Scenic Coastal Beauty: Sea Pines Resort boasts some of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in the United States, with access to stunning beaches and maritime forests.
- Harbour Town Golf Links: The resort's golf course, designed by Nicklaus and Dye, offers a challenging and visually appealing golfing experience.
- Variety of Accommodations: Guests can choose from a range of accommodations, ensuring a comfortable stay for families, couples, or groups.
- Diverse Activities: Beyond golf, the resort offers activities like biking, boating, and tennis, catering to a variety of interests.
- Higher Cost: The luxury and scenic beauty come at a price, making Sea Pines Resort a more expensive option.
- Crowded Season: During peak tourist season, the resort can become crowded, affecting the tranquility of the experience.
- Limited Focus on Spa: While offering various activities, the resort's focus is on golf and outdoor pursuits, with fewer spa and wellness options.
Sea Pines Resort is an excellent choice for golfers and nature enthusiasts seeking a luxurious coastal golf experience. Its scenic beauty, championship golf course, and diverse accommodations make it a standout destination. However, its higher cost and potential crowding during peak season may be considerations for some travelers.
The Phoenician, Arizona
The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a luxury golf resort nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain, offering an exquisite desert golf experience and top-notch amenities. Here's an overview of The Phoenician, along with its pros and cons:
The Phoenician is renowned for its stunning location in the Sonoran Desert, providing a backdrop of rugged mountains and cacti-filled landscapes. The resort boasts an 18-hole golf course that beautifully showcases the natural beauty of the region.
In addition to golf, guests can enjoy seven pools, a relaxing spa, diverse dining options, and luxurious accommodations. The resort's Southwestern-inspired architecture and elegant ambiance create a unique and unforgettable atmosphere.
- Scenic Desert Beauty: The Phoenician offers breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert, providing a captivating backdrop for golf and relaxation.
- Championship Golf Course: The resort's 18-hole golf course is designed to challenge golfers while highlighting the beauty of the desert.
- Luxurious Amenities: Guests can indulge in high-class amenities, including multiple pools, a spa, and exceptional dining options.
- Southwestern Elegance: The resort's architecture and ambiance offer a distinctive and culturally rich experience.
- Higher Price Point: The luxury experience at The Phoenician comes with a higher cost compared to some other golf destinations.
- Limited Variety of Activities: While the focus is on golf and luxury, the resort offers fewer diverse activities compared to larger resorts in urban areas.
- Hot Desert Climate: The desert climate in Arizona can be very hot, particularly in the summer months, which may limit outdoor activities during certain times of the year.
The Phoenician is an ideal choice for golfers seeking a luxurious desert golf experience. Its stunning desert views, championship golf course, and high-class amenities make it a standout destination. However, its higher cost and desert climate considerations may be factors for some travelers.
Lodge at Torrey Pines, California
The Lodge at Torrey Pines, situated in San Diego, California, is a premier golf resort known for its ocean views, luxurious accommodations, and the renowned Torrey Pines Golf Club. Here's an overview of The Lodge at Torrey Pines, along with its pros and cons:
The Lodge at Torrey Pines offers a coastal escape with stunning ocean views and proximity to the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Club. The resort embraces the Arts and Crafts architectural style, providing an elegant and comfortable ambiance.
Guests can enjoy two championship golf courses, a spa, fine dining, and beautifully appointed rooms. The resort's location atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean makes it a popular choice for both golfers and leisure travelers.
- Scenic Ocean Views: The Lodge offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, creating a picturesque backdrop for golf and relaxation.
- Torrey Pines Golf Club: The resort is adjacent to the renowned Torrey Pines Golf Club, providing easy access to world-class golfing.
- Luxurious Accommodations: Guests can unwind in well-appointed rooms and suites, ensuring a comfortable stay.
- Diverse Activities: In addition to golf, the resort offers a spa, fine dining, and a variety of recreational options, appealing to a wide range of interests.
- Higher Price Point: The luxury experience at The Lodge at Torrey Pines is reflected in its pricing, making it a more premium choice.
- Popular Destination: Due to its popularity, the resort can become crowded, particularly during peak tourist seasons, affecting the overall experience.
- Limited Focus on Spa: While offering various activities, the resort's primary focus is on golf and outdoor pursuits, with fewer spa and wellness options.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines is an excellent choice for golfers and travelers seeking a luxurious coastal golf experience. Its stunning ocean views, proximity to the Torrey Pines Golf Club, and high-class amenities make it a standout destination. However, its higher cost and potential crowding during peak seasons may be considerations for some travelers.
Hammock Beach Resort, Florida
Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida, is a captivating oceanfront destination that seamlessly combines championship golf with a wealth of recreational and relaxation options. Here's an overview of Hammock Beach Resort, along with its pros and cons:
Hammock Beach Resort is a coastal gem offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The resort features two championship golf courses, the renowned Ocean Course and the challenging Conservatory Course.
Alongside golf, guests can unwind on the pristine beaches, enjoy water park fun, indulge in spa treatments, and dine at diverse restaurants. The accommodations range from comfortable rooms to luxurious villas, providing options for all types of travelers.
- Oceanfront Beauty: Hammock Beach Resort boasts stunning oceanfront views, creating a picturesque backdrop for golf and relaxation.
- Two Championship Golf Courses: The resort offers both the Ocean Course and the Conservatory Course, providing varied golfing experiences.
- Diverse Activities: Beyond golf, guests can enjoy a water park, a spa, multiple pools, restaurants, and access to the beach, catering to a wide range of interests.
- Accommodation Variety: Whether you seek a cozy room or a spacious villa, the resort offers diverse accommodations to suit different preferences.
- Higher Cost During Peak Season: Like many top resorts, prices can be higher during peak tourist seasons.
- Crowding During Peak Times: The resort's popularity can lead to crowding during busy periods, potentially impacting the overall experience.
- Focus on Family Activities: While the resort offers something for everyone, its emphasis on family-friendly activities may not suit those seeking a tranquil, adults-only environment.
Hammock Beach Resort is an ideal choice for golfers and vacationers looking for a multifaceted oceanfront experience. Its stunning coastal views, championship golf courses, and a wide array of amenities make it a standout destination. However, its higher pricing during peak times and potential crowding may be considerations for some travelers.
Kiawah Golf Resort, South Carolina
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, located in South Carolina, is a renowned golf destination known for its pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, and luxurious accommodations. Here's an overview of Kiawah Island Golf Resort, along with its pros and cons:
Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a coastal haven that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and exceptional golf. The resort boasts five championship golf courses, including the famous Ocean Course, host to major tournaments.
Kiawah Island is renowned for its unspoiled beaches, tidal marshes, and maritime forests, providing a stunning backdrop for golf and relaxation. Accommodations range from elegant villas to luxurious oceanfront rooms, ensuring a comfortable stay.
- Spectacular Coastal Beauty: Kiawah Island Golf Resort offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and pristine beaches, creating a picturesque setting for golf and relaxation.
- World-Class Golf: The resort features five championship golf courses, including the challenging Ocean Course, designed by Pete Dye, making it a mecca for golf enthusiasts.
- Luxurious Accommodations: Guests can choose from a variety of upscale accommodations, ensuring a lavish and comfortable stay.
- Nature and Outdoor Activities: Beyond golf, the resort offers nature tours, biking trails, water sports, and access to miles of unspoiled beaches, appealing to a range of interests.
- Higher Price Point: The luxury experience at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is reflected in its pricing, making it a more premium choice.
- Busy During Peak Season: The resort can become crowded during peak tourist seasons, affecting the tranquility of the experience.
- Limited Focus on Spa: While offering various activities, the resort's primary focus is on golf and outdoor pursuits, with fewer spa and wellness options.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort is an exceptional choice for golfers and travelers seeking a luxurious coastal golf experience. Its stunning ocean views, world-class golf courses, and a wide array of amenities make it a standout destination. However, its higher cost and potential crowding during peak seasons may be considerations for some travelers.
Inn at Spanish Bay, California
The Inn at Spanish Bay, located in Pebble Beach, California, is a coastal haven renowned for its oceanfront elegance, championship golf, and serene ambiance. Here's an overview of the Inn at Spanish Bay, along with its pros and cons:
The Inn at Spanish Bay offers a tranquil escape along the stunning coastline of California's Monterey Peninsula. The resort is renowned for its world-class golf, with access to three championship courses, including the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links. Guests can savor breathtaking ocean views, indulge in gourmet dining, unwind by cozy fire pits, and explore the scenic 17-Mile Drive. Accommodations feature comfortable rooms and suites, many with oceanfront or coastal views.
- Breathtaking Coastal Views: The Inn at Spanish Bay provides captivating ocean views, creating a picturesque backdrop for golf and relaxation.
- Championship Golf Courses: Guests have access to three top-tier golf courses, including the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links.
- Tranquil Ambiance: The resort offers a serene atmosphere, with cozy fire pits and a scenic location perfect for relaxation.
- Gourmet Dining: Multiple dining options provide culinary excellence, from fine dining to casual meals.
- Higher Price Point: The luxurious experience at the Inn at Spanish Bay is reflected in its pricing, making it a more premium choice.
- Crowding During Peak Times: The resort's popularity can lead to crowding during busy periods, potentially affecting the overall experience.
- Limited Focus on Spa: While offering various activities, the resort's primary focus is on golf and coastal ambiance, with fewer spa and wellness options.
The Inn at Spanish Bay is an exceptional choice for golfers and travelers seeking an elegant coastal golf experience. Its stunning oceanfront views, championship golf courses, and serene atmosphere make it a standout destination. However, its higher cost and potential crowding during peak seasons may be considerations for some travelers.
How to Choose the Best Golf Resort
When it comes to selecting the perfect golf resort for your vacation, there are several key factors to consider. Whether you're a serious golfer seeking challenging courses or a leisure traveler looking for a comprehensive vacation experience, the right resort can make all the difference. Here's a guide to help you choose the best golf resort that aligns with your preferences and expectations.
Understand Your Golfing Preferences
When choosing a golf resort, it's important to understand your golfing preferences. First, think about your skill level. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced golfer? Look for resorts with courses that match your abilities. Beginner-friendly courses are less challenging and a great way to enjoy the game without feeling overwhelmed. For more experienced golfers, resorts with challenging courses, featuring complex layouts and hazards, provide a test of skill.
Next, consider the type of course you enjoy. Do you like traditional designs with a rich history or modern courses with innovative features? Some golfers prefer the classic feel of a links-style course, which is typically flat, sandy, and near the coast, offering a traditional golf experience. Others might enjoy a course set in a picturesque landscape, with lush greens, water features, and scenic views.
In summary, understanding your skill level and the type of course you prefer is key to choosing a golf resort that matches your personal golfing style. This ensures a more enjoyable and fulfilling golfing experience during your stay.
Evaluate Resort Amenities and Activities
Evaluating a golf resort's amenities and activities is crucial for a complete vacation experience. Here are some key aspects to consider:
- Accommodations: Check the resort's accommodations. They can range from luxurious to budget-friendly. Look for comfort, style, and options that suit your group size and preferences. A good resort will offer a variety of choices to meet different needs and budgets.
- Non-Golf Activities: A great resort offers more than just golf. This is important if you're with family or friends who might not play. Look for spas, swimming pools, fitness centers, and dining options. Activities like tennis, hiking, or cultural tours add to the experience. This variety ensures everyone has something enjoyable to do.
- Dining Options: Food is a big part of the resort experience. Check if the resort has diverse dining options. This includes fine dining, casual eateries, and room service. Good food adds to the enjoyment of your stay.
- Customer Service: Excellent customer service makes a big difference. Friendly, helpful staff can enhance your stay. Look for resorts known for their great service. This includes everything from the front desk to the golf course staff.
Consider Location and Accessibility
When choosing a golf resort, location and accessibility are important. You should consider how easy it is to get to the resort. Some golf resorts are in remote areas and can be hard to reach. This could affect your travel plans, especially if you're flying in or have limited travel time.
Also, think about what's around the resort. If you want to explore local attractions or enjoy cultural experiences, pick a resort close to cities or tourist spots. This way, you can enjoy golf and also experience the local area. In summary, consider travel convenience and nearby attractions when picking a golf resort. This ensures your golf vacation is enjoyable and hassle-free.
Research Reputation and Reviews
Researching a resort's reputation and reviews is key to choosing a great golf vacation. Start by looking at the resort's history in the golfing community. Well-known resorts usually have a record of good service and top-quality courses. Then, read reviews from past guests. This gives you real insights into their experiences.
Look for comments about the course conditions, staff, and overall satisfaction. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a balanced view. In summary, consider the resort's reputation and guest reviews to make an informed choice for your golf vacation. This helps ensure you have a great experience.
Factor in Budget and Value
When considering a golf resort, budget and value are important factors:
- Cost Considerations: Determine your budget for the trip. Remember, luxury resorts are more expensive, but they offer better facilities and services. Consider how much you're willing to spend for the experience.
- Value for Money: Assess the value the resort offers. Sometimes, paying more can be worth it for outstanding courses, excellent service, and great amenities. Look for resorts that provide good value for the price you pay.
- Package Deals: Look for resorts offering package deals. These often include golf rounds, accommodations, and sometimes even meals or spa services. Packages can save you money compared to booking everything separately.
- Seasonal Pricing: Be aware of seasonal pricing variations. Resorts may offer lower rates during off-peak seasons. This can be a great opportunity to experience a high-end resort at a more affordable price.
- Membership Discounts: Check if the resort offers any discounts for members of golf associations or clubs. These discounts can make a difference in overall costs.
- Cancellation Policies: Understand the resort's cancellation policies. Flexible policies can save you money if you need to change your plans.
Seasonal Factors and Weather
Seasonal factors and weather play a significant role in choosing a golf resort:
- Best Time to Visit: Research the best season to visit the resort. This depends on the local climate and the resort's peak season. Some resorts are best visited in spring or fall when the weather is mild and the courses are in prime condition.
- Weather Impact on Courses: Consider how the local climate affects the golf courses. In rainy regions, courses might be wetter, affecting play. In hot climates, courses might require more maintenance, impacting their condition.
- Off-Peak Advantages: Visiting during off-peak seasons can offer advantages like lower prices and less crowded courses. However, consider potential downsides like course maintenance or less favorable weather.
- Local Events and Tournaments: Check the resort's event calendar. During tournaments or local events, the resort may be busier, and course access could be limited. However, these events can also add excitement to your visit.
- Daylight Hours: Consider the length of daylight hours during your visit. In some seasons, shorter days might limit your playtime on the course. Longer days in summer allow for more golfing time and flexibility in scheduling rounds.
Booking and Reservation Tips
For booking and reservations at golf resorts, consider these tips:
- Early Reservations: Plan and book early, especially for popular resorts. This ensures you get your desired dates and accommodations. It also often means better rates and more package options.
- Check for Special Offers: Look for special offers or discounts. Resorts sometimes have deals during certain times of the year or for specific groups like families or large parties.
- Read the Fine Print: Understand the terms and conditions of your booking. This includes cancellation policies, deposit requirements, and any additional fees.
- Contact the Resort Directly: Sometimes, calling the resort directly can give you better deals or more flexible options than online booking sites.
- Stay-and-Play Packages: Consider stay-and-play packages for convenience and potential savings. These packages usually bundle golf rounds with accommodations and other amenities.
By taking these factors into account, you can choose a golf resort that not only offers exceptional golfing but also aligns with your personal preferences and needs. Whether you're looking for a secluded getaway or a luxurious resort with a plethora of activities, the perfect golf resort is out there waiting for you.
In the world of golf, these resorts and stay-and-play packages offer a blend of championship golf and luxurious getaways. From the rugged beauty of Bandon Dunes to the coastal allure of Sea Pines Resort and the desert elegance of The Phoenician, each destination provides a unique golfing experience.
Whether you seek pure golfing authenticity, oceanfront luxury, or desert tranquility, these resorts deliver unforgettable moments both on and off the course. Pack your clubs and embark on a golfing journey like no other.