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14 Great Golf Vacations for All

Kathy Simpson

Golf is a popular American pastime with many great courses in some of the world’s most beautiful places. But what if you don’t play? Is it possible to plan a vacation that delivers amazing golf and an amazing vacation experience for nongolfers, too?

It’s a tall order, but there’s absolutely no need to stay home while your partner is indulging in their favorite sport—or to forgo your love of golf if your partner isn’t a fan. These 14 U.S. and international destinations (listed alphabetically) offer something for everyone, and you can bring the whole family along. (And, if you’re a single golfer, it’s great to know what amenities are available off the links.)

The prices of family golf vacations will vary, depending on the size of your gathering and the time of the year. When planning your vacation, you can save by booking your stay at nearby non-resort accommodations that are abundant in most of these locations.

U.S. Golf Vacations

Approximately 45% of the world’s golf courses are in the United States. Here are some favorite destinations for couples and families in the lower 48.

The American Club

Kohler, Wisconsin

The only five-star resort in the Midwest, the rustic American Club is a vacation destination for golf and much more, especially for couples. It’s surrounded by the village of Kohler, a model company town founded in 1900 by the Kohler Company.

Best Time of Year to Go

Kohler’s best weather months are from May through mid-September. Special rates change throughout the year, but you can generally get discounts on accommodations from early spring through May.

Golf

The club offers challenging golf for pros and amateurs alike. Its four public courses have hosted three PGA Championships, the Andersen Consulting World Golf Championships, a U.S. Senior Open, and two U.S. Women’s Opens.

Not Golf

Relax and renew at Kohler Waters Spa, and enjoy activities ranging from hiking on the wilderness trails at nearby River Wildlife to swimming, tennis, horseback, yoga, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Babysitting services are available, and a kids-only dinner and movie is held every Saturday night.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Reduced green fees are available in the evening and for same-day replay, as well as for junior golfers 17 years of age or younger who are accompanied by a paying adult.

The Broadmoor

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Broadmoor, a century-old resort, sits at the base of Pikes Peak, and offers the beauty of the American West, award-winning golf, relaxing activities, and outdoor adventures for the whole family.

Best Time of Year to Go

The best times to visit the Broadmoor are in April, May, and October, when the weather is great and the rates are low. Peak season is from July through September, and the best price period is in December and January.

Golf

The club offers two 18-hole courses, the East and the West. The East Course was the site of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, and hosted the 2008 and 2018 U.S. Senior Opens. The West Course is similar but with smaller greens and more elevation challenges. Both are family friendly.

All players must be either a guest of the hotel or a guest of a member to play.

Not Golf

The Broadmoor offers the usual resort amenities, including a spa, pools, and tennis and wellness facility, plus horseback riding and trail biking and hiking. The surrounding area offers countless adventures, from the cog railway up Pikes Peak, to zip lining and other popular outdoor activities.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Juniors under age 12 play free with a paying adult after 2 p.m. Juniors ages 12–17 play at a $90 rate all day long with a paying adult.

The Greenbrier

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

The Greenbrier is a luxury resort and National Historic Landmark located in the scenic mountains of West Virginia. Since 1778, travelers have come to the region for its healing mineral springs, and golf has been a major attraction since 1914. The resort’s many off-the-green recreation options also are a draw for visitors today.

Best Time of Year to Go

Spring and fall are beautiful times of year to visit The Greenbrier. The temperatures are mild and the greens are at their best. Summer is considered the peak season, and you’ll find the best rates in December and January.

Golf

The Greenbrier is home to three 18-hole championship courses, a nine-hole walking course, a members-only course, and the Golf Digest Academy, which offers advanced instruction.

All three 18-hole courses are open to registered and nonregistered (public) guests.

Not Golf

You’ll find every imaginable activity here: falconry, bowling, off-road driving, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and an electronic gaming arcade, just to name a few. There’s also a spa and casino, and the Adventure Zone, to keep youth up to ages 12 active and engaged.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Registered guests and their children (maximum of four players) can get reduced rates after 4 p.m. The fee includes rental sets for those who need them. Golf clubs for juniors ages 12 and under are always complimentary.

Indian Wells

Palm Springs, California

Indian Wells Golf Resort offers championship golf nestled in the Palm Springs desert area, sheltered by mountain ranges on all sides. It’s a popular destination for couples, with deals for kids, too.

Best Time of Year to Go

Winter is high season in Palm Springs, when fees are at their highest. They drop in summer, when the temperatures rise and the crowds disappear, but you can get a discount every day of the year by reserving your tee time online.

Golf

This upscale 36-hole resort offers two world-class layouts consistently ranked among the best. The Celebrity Course ranked No. 27 among Golf Advisor‘s top 50 courses for 2018. Greenskeeper.org cited Indian Wells’ “best playing conditions” for all of Southern California in 2018.

Both courses are open to the public, but it’s recommended you book your tee times in advance, especially from October 1 to May 31, when the business volume is high.

Not Golf

Unwind at the swimming and hot therapy pools, and partake of other onsite amenities including tennis, spa services, and an onsite fitness center. Offsite, discover the beauty of the California desert with a visit to the Indian Canyons, Joshua Tree National Monument, and the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Juniors golf free with a paying adult after 3 p.m.; clubs are also free.

Omni La Costa

Carlsbad, California

An historic American hotel, Omni La Costa Resort and Spa offers luxury accommodations, championship golf, a spa, tennis, and lots of activities for kids of all ages.

Best Time of Year to Go

Just north of Mexico on the Southern California coast, Carlsbad’s weather is sunny and mild, making it perfect for golf and the beach year-round. Prices are pretty consistent throughout the year, but—if you want to avoid the tourism crunch—spring and fall are your best bets.

Golf

The resort’s Champions Course and Legends Course have both been used in PGA Tour rotations. Shorter “express” tees are designed for novices and children. Rates are dynamically priced based on demand, availability, and other factors.

Play on the Champions and Legends courses alternates between public and members-only on a daily basis.

Not Golf

On the resort grounds, enjoy the award-winning spa, tennis, eight pools, two waterslides, The Chopra Center for well-being, and the Kidtopia Kids Club. The surrounding area is famous for its beautiful beaches and the renowned SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, and the San Diego Zoo.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Juniors ages 16–17 receive 50% off golf rates and rentals. Juniors 15 and under can learn, play, and rent clubs for free with a paying adult (or play for 50% off when starting before 2:30 p.m.).

Omni Tucson

Tucson, Arizona

Set in the Sonoran Desert and surrounded by mountains, Omni Tucson is ideal for couples with its world-class public golf, spacious suites, and relaxing spa.

Best Time of Year to Go

Peak season is from January through March, with shoulder seasons from April through May and November through December. You can get the best deals from June through October.

Golf

The Catalina course has hosted over 30 PGA tournaments throughout the years, and its 18th hole is considered to be one of the finest and most challenging finishing holes on the PGA tour. The Sonoran Course was designed by 2006 Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, and features two lakes and 69 bunkers.

Not Golf

Enjoy the spa, pools, and tennis on the resort grounds. Area activities range from horseback riding and jeep tours to hiking along the Anza National Historic Trail, arts and culture, and the Desert Diamond Casino.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Children ages 5–15 can play unlimited golf when accompanied by a full-paying adult green fee.

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach, California

Scenic Monterey, with its rugged coastline, has long been a tourist attraction for travelers of all ages, and the Pebble Beach Golf Resorts, which hosts three unique resorts and four public golf courses, is a top destination for golfers.

Best Time of Year to Go

Temperatures are moderate year-round, with the most people visiting between August and October, so book early if you plan to golf during these months. You’ll get the best rates from November through March.

Golf

Pebble Beach Golf Links, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in the world, hosts its sixth U.S. Open in 2019 and has been Golf Digest‘s No. 1 public golf course since they started ranking public courses in 2003. Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Del Monte Golf Course also challenge professionals and amateurs alike.

All courses are open to the public, but you need to stay at one of the Pebble Beach properties to book two or more days in advance.

Not Golf

Relax at the Spa at Pebble Beach. Go sightseeing along 17-Mile Drive, known for its beautiful scenery and stunning views, and along the coast to Big Sur. Other attractions include trail riding, Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Pinehurst

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Pinehurst Resort has been a resort destination since 1895 and a golfing destination since its first course opened in 1898. Today, the resort boasts nine golf courses, three historic inns, condos that are convenient for families, and relaxing resort amenities.

Best Time of Year to Go

The best weather and golf conditions are in the spring and fall. The lowest rates are from mid-November through February, when the weather is on the cooler side. Discounted packages are also offered during the summer months.

Golf

The best-known course is No. 2, which has hosted more championships than any other club in the country and will be the site of the U.S. Open in 2024. But Pinehurst’s lush fairways have something to offer all ages and abilities, including The Cradle, a short course that opened in 2017.

Advance tee times are reserved for members and guests, but non-resort guests can book open play times one to five days in advance, depending on the course.

Not Golf

Resort facilities include a pool, fitness center, tennis courts, trails, lawn sports, and the KidsClub, which offers activities for children ages 3–12. In the village and surrounding region, you’ll find boutiques, art galleries, fine dining, historical landmarks, and events ranging from live music to art exhibits and festivals.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Juniors age 17 and under stay and play for free when staying with a parent. Those age 12 and under also eat for free.

TPC Myrtle Beach

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular tourist spots in the U.S. for couples, families, and friends. The Tournament Players Club of Myrtle Beach is one of the region’s finest public golf courses.

Best Time of Year to Go

Peak golfing times are from mid-March to late April, and from late September to early November. If you’re not daunted by summer’s heat and winter’s chills, you’ll find some great prices on golf and lodging and fewer crowds.

Golf

The Tournament Players Club (TPC) brand means that golfers can expect an exceptional experience at TPC Myrtle Beach, which is the permanent home of the Senior PGA Tour Championship and the recipient of five stars from Golf Digest.

Not Golf

There’s no shortage of ways to have fun at Myrtle Beach with its beautiful beaches and many resorts, amusement parks, recreational centers, and music and theater venues.

Deals for Groups and Golfers Under 18

Juniors age 16 and under play for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Villas of Grand Cypress

Orlando, Florida

Tucked away in the center of Orlando, Villas of Grand Cypress offers golf, spacious suites and villas, and close proximity to the quintessential mecca for family fun, Disney World.

Best Time of Year to Go

The best playing temperatures and golfing conditions are in the spring and fall. Price reductions are offered during the summer months.

Golf

Choose from five nine-hole courses designed by Jack Nicklaus that complement one another and can be used together. The North, South, and East Nines offer a variety of tee boxes, making the courses enjoyable for both top-level golfers and beginners. The resort has hosted such tournaments as the LPGA Tour Championship, World Cup of Golf, and Greg Norman’s Shark Shootout.

The club is open for limited public play.

Not Golf

Disney World is a short shuttle ride away, and there are plenty of resort activities, too, including a fitness center, pool, complimentary bicycles, trails for riding, walking, and jogging, and in-room spa services.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Junior Golf Camps are tailored to the needs of golfers ages 7–17 and are offered during the summer months and over spring break.

International Golf Vacations

There are many golf destinations for global travelers, from the historic to the exotic. This sampling from various parts of the world will offer memorable experiences for everyone, both on and off the course.

Casa de Campo

La Romana, Dominican Republic

For almost 50 years, Casa de Campo Resort and Villas has offered superb golf that hugs the Dominican Republic’s beautiful coastline, plus extensive amenities and activities for couples, families, and multigenerational travelers.

Best Time of Year to Go

The peak season is November to April, perfect for northerners seeking an escape to a warmer clime. In the summer, you can get some excellent deals, whether for two or the entire family.

Golf

The resort’s three championship courses were designed by World Golf Hall of Fame member, Pete Dye, and are carved from the coast’s coral shores, rugged mountains, and gentle hills. In 2018, Golf Digest ranked Teeth of the Dog No. 27 in the world’s best courses outside the U.S., while Golf Magazine ranked it No. 48 in the world in 2017.

Tee times are open to guests and the public.

Not Golf

Enjoy the beautiful Caribbean beaches and the resort’s many activities, from the fitness center and spa to tennis, horseback riding, sailing, and water sports. Or take a guided excursion to explore the history and natural beauty of the local area. There also are lots of fun daily activities just for kids.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Juniors of all abilities can participate in the PGA Junior Golf Camps, which emphasize skills development and fun with on-course play and off-course games.

Kauri Cliffs

Northland, New Zealand

Kauri Cliffs occupies 6,000 acres along the pristine coastline of Matauri Bay, with dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean. The lodge welcomes families of all sizes and ages, and offers golf that is among the world’s finest.

Best Time of Year to Go

The high season runs from October to April, with lower rates during the remainder of the year.

Golf

The par 72 championship course has five sets of tees to challenge every skill level. Fifteen holes have views of the Pacific Ocean, with six running parallel to the ocean’s edge atop cliffs that plunge to the sea. In 2018, Kauri Cliffs was ranked No. 37 in the world by Golf Digest.

The course is open to guests and the public.

Not Golf

Enjoy the resort’s spa and many activities for the whole family, including quad biking, hiking, land-based fishing, surfing, nature walks, and guided history and cultural tours. Or just soak in the region’s natural beauty, with leisure activities such as hiking, sailing, kayaking, and dolphin watching.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Junior golfers 12 years of age or younger receive a discount on green fees.

North Berwick

North Berwick, Scotland

Founded in 1832, the North Berwick Golf Club is home to the third oldest course in the world still played over its original fairways. The nearby seaside town offers an eclectic mix of accommodations, attractions, and nature, and is 20 miles from Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital and an historic hub known for its heritage, culture, and festivals.

Best Time of Year to Go

The club is open year-round, with high season from April to October. The lowest green fees are in January and February.

Golf

Located on the Firth of Forth, where several Scottish rivers meet the North Sea, the West Links course begins and ends in town, and stretches along Scotland’s breathtaking coastline with views of beaches, islands, and hills. A championship course, the club asks that all golfers have a handicap of no more than 24 for men and 36 for women. The Wee Course is ideal for youngsters learning the game.

Visitors are welcome to play the course Monday–Saturday. Sunday is reserved for members and their guests.

Not Golf

The area boasts beautiful beaches and coastal scenery, ancient castles, and the five-star Scottish Seabird Center, with in-town shops, cafes, and bars.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Juniors 17 years of age and under with a valid handicap play for half price.

Old Head Golf Links

Kinsale, Ireland

Located on a headland that juts over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, Old Head Golf Links offers world-class golf in a stunning natural setting that is rich in Irish history. Travelers can stay at the clubhouse or in one of the many accommodations available in Kinsale and neighboring towns.

Best Time of Year to Go

Old Head is open from April to October. Prices are at their peak during the high season from early May through mid-October.

Golf

Nine holes play along the cliff tops that tower over the Atlantic Ocean, with all 18 holes providing ocean views. A minimum of six tees per hole make Old Head suitable for golfers of all handicap abilities. The location makes it a golf experience like no other.

Not Golf

The medieval town of Kinsale is a colorful seaside village with narrow streets lined with galleries, gift shops, pubs, and restaurants. Take an historic stroll or visit the ancient forts, Desmond Castle, and St. Multose Church, as well as area museums.

Deals for Golfers Under 18

Children under the age of 12 are not permitted in the clubhouse or golf course.

Getting Ready

Preparing for your nongolfing/golf vacation can be part of the fun. Various travel apps can help you plan your trip, and be sure to scope out the surrounding area for nearby destinations you wouldn’t want to miss, such as the many state parks and national parks throughout the U.S.

And don’t forget to make sure you have the insurance coverage you’ll need while you’re away, both for medical purposes and for your gear and rental car. This will help ensure your vacation is as carefree as possible!

This is just a sampling of top resorts and clubs that provide great golf vacation experiences for all.

Have you been to any of these resorts?

Share your reviews, if so—and, if you have other recommendations for golf-related destinations suitable for couples and families, we’d love to hear them!

*Prices are as of the most recent publish date

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