Fudor's, Golf Weekly and several other's produce a semi-annual top golf resorts list which I stumbled across recently. While the exact listings vary slightly, they have a lot of similarities. Here's a peek at the top choices, any one of which might break the bank for us mere mortals but it's fun to dream!
Has anyone played any of these? I played Pinehurst, including the highly regarded #2!
Pebble Beach, California
Play: The ocean plays a major role in the 18th hole of the famed golf course.
Stay: Three resort properties, five-star spa facilities, delectable cuisine, and arguably the country's best golf course makes Pebble Beach a special destination whether you're a golfer or not. www.pebblebeach.com
Bandon Dunes Resort
Play: Befitting the Scottish tradition that inspired the courses' design, golf carts are not offered on any of the resort's three courses. A caddie will set you back $50.
Stay: Offering private cottages and four-bedroom suites, this secluded Southern Oregon resort is an especially good choice for a getaway with your favorite golf partners. The resort's low-key nightlife is just right for those looking to enjoy a local microbrew and a game of pool with good friends. www.bandondunes.com
The American Club
Play: Who knew Wisconsin could be so hot? Four terrific courses (including Whistling Straits) have made Kohler the heartland's golfing heartthrob.
Stay: A day of golfing or relaxing? It's a toss-up at one of the Midwest's most luxurious hotel. Massage and a variety of hydrotherapy treatments could keep one happy enough for hours. www.destinationkohler.com
Sea Island, The Cloister & Lodge
Sea Island, Georgia
Play: Well-respected golfers Davis Love III and Tom Fazio have both had a hand in developing and updating the three courses at Sea Island.
Stay: This grand coastal resort boasts spacious rooms in its Spanish-Mediterranean-style hotel, but for more secluded luxury opt for a Cloister Cottage. Indulge in a Georgia Mud Pie Wrap Soak at the resort's world-famous spa. www.seaisland.com
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Play: The Greenbrier course, one of three on the property, is the only public course to play host to a Ryder Cup and a Solheim Cup.
Stay: Surrounded by 6,500 acres, the Greenbrier's main building was built in 1760. Boredom is physically impossible here; the resort offers an exhausting roster of recreational activities, including horseback riding, falconry, and bowling. www.greenbrier.com
RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA (15) Maui, Hawaii Room rate: $519
New + Notable: The Plantation Course is $50 cheaper if you stay at the resort. Can you hit the 663-yard 18th in two like Bubba Watson did at a 2011 PGA Tour event? Only one way to find out.
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Play: There are eight courses at Pinehurst each simply numbered. Despite major renovations to the No. 6 course directed by Tom Fazio in 2005, the No. 2 course remains the biggest draw.
Stay: The resort features three inns---the elegant Carolina, the cozy Holly Inn, and The Manor, which feels more like a sportsman's lodge than a hotel. The state-of-the-art spa offers separate services for teens and kids. www.pinehurst.com
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
The Big Island, Hawaii
Play: Jack Nicklaus designed the resort's 18-hole golf course, which runs right along the Pacific and hosts the Senior PGA Tournament of Champions.
Stay: Beautiful views everywhere, polished wood floors, warm earth and cool white tones, and Hawaiian artwork make Hualalai a peaceful retreat. The resort is super kid-friendly, with a great activities program. www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.