National Golf Day: The Top Golf Getaways Around the World
Is golf travel part of your plan for celebrating National Golf Day on May 10?
Read on for the best in 5-Star golf getaways from Palm Springs to Portugal.
These national and international golf destinations are are sure to thrill, so let’s find a golf escape that’s just right for you.
Greater Palm Springs, California
- With over 100 renowned golf courses and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Greater Palm Springs earns its reputation as a top destination for golf. Designs by legendary architects like Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman are a major draw, as are the gorgeous mountain backdrops against lushly manicured courses. In Indian Wells, the city’s legacy as a world-class golf destination dates back to 1960, when Arnold Palmer won the first Bob Hope Desert Classic at the Indian Wells Country Club, and players have been teeing off here ever since. Even the PGA and LPGA Tours stop in this golf oasis for annual tournaments.
- One of the destinations newest additions is Sensei Porcupine Creek, which just opened in November 2022 and has converted a 230-acre private estate in Rancho Mirage into an ultra-luxury wellbeing experience. With this transition, Sensei Porcupine Creek has opened up its best-in-class nearly 75-acre golf course that was formerly invite-only and used by top golf professionals.The private 18-hole golf course features a series of beautiful lakes, streams and waterfalls with breathtaking views of the surrounding Santa Rosa mountains. Guests can also book the Golf Optimal Wellbeing Program, which leverages technology to track and analyze each guest’s unique health data, as well as consultation with exercise physiologists, nutritionists and mindfulness coaches and other practitioners. This program is also offered at Sensei’s sister retreat, Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, where guests can tee off at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Manele Golf Course.
- Pebble Beach: No golf trip in California is complete without playing a round at the legendary Pebble Beach Resorts. With several nationally recognized courses, including Pebble Beach Golf Links – the No.1 public golf course in the country – and a Tiger Woods-designed short course The Hay, which opened last year, Pebble Beach is a bucket list stop for all golf lovers (or those who just love a beautiful view!).
- La Jolla: In sunny San Diego County, golfers won’t want to miss a chance to play at the notorious Torrey Pines Golf Course. Perched atop cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean, the prestigious course hosted the 2021 U.S. Open. When finished playing where the pros do, explore the nearby Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve for beautiful trails overlooking the water or enjoy an overnight stay at the luxury Lodge Torrey Pines to wrap up the road trip with a treat.
- Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara offers six public 18-hole courses and several nine-hole golf courses that include practice facilities. Some of the top courses included the rolling greens of Glen Annie Golf Club to Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta, with unbeatable ocean views. Measuring over 7,000 yards, Sandpiper has challenged the abilities of PGA and LPGA players alike, having hosted several professional tournaments.
- San Luis Obispo County: Lying exactly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, this small college town and its neighboring communities boast extraordinary resources for outdoor activities, including golfing. Sea Pines Golf Resort in Los Osos offers a driving range, putting green, chipping area and golf lessons to help all levels perfect their skills. If you are a fan of alternative golf games like disc and foot golf – the option to things up is also available. Looking for a stunning panoramic view of the coast while teeing off? Mix it up along the sprawling hills at one of the county’s courses ideal for beginners and experts alike at the Blacklake Golf Course in Nipomo, which is famous for its unique three-course, 27-hole layout. Or tee up at Nipomo’s Monarch Dunes Golf Club. Monarch Dunes features two award-winning golf courses. The first 18-hole championship “Old Course” as well as the acclaimed 12-hole, Par-3 Challenge Course, both designed by architect Damian Pascuzzo & PGA Tour Pro Steve Pate.
Traverse City, Mich.
- Traverse City in Michigan is a golfer’s paradise with designer courses from legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Within the “Golf Coast,” Crystal Mountain is northern Michigan’s golf destination with two distinctively different, yet equally mesmerizing golf courses. Crystal Mountain’s Betsie Valley Golf Course, which recently underwent a $1 million renovation, will challenge the ability of any golfer with its protected greens, tree lined fairways, challenging bunkers, and jaw-dropping views. Set amidst the soaring pines, the Mountain Ridge Golf Course at Crystal Mountain is always in tournament condition, offering 18 holes of championship golf. Guests can enjoy panoramic vistas from tee to green as they play from the heights of the mountain. Its fairways wind through stately forests and ascend to high elevations, providing a true Michigan golf experience. Lastly, known for its “Sweet Greens,” golfing at A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort – Antrim Dells features a fun yet challenging layout, which overlooks Lake Michigan. Combine all the natural terrain features of this cleverly cut golf course with winds coming off of Lake Michigan from the west and players have a great and challenging course. Relax and enjoy its picturesque views of Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay while eating some crab-stuffed whitefish caught from the very same lake.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Plan a golf getaway in Grand Rapids with a customized package from the newly renovated Country Inn & Suites East Beltline. Guests can choose from three packages and six challenging golf courses, most of which are located within a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Both the Par Package and Birdie Package offer a two-day, one-night stay and the option to golf 18 or 36 holes respectively, perfect for travelers who want to book a quick trip. Golfers looking to spend more time on the green can choose the Eagle Package which includes a three-day, two-night stay and 54 holes of golf. Enjoy complimentary breakfast at the Country Inn & Suites before your tee time and afterward, stroll across the parking lot to Gravity Taphouse Grille for some after-the-game fun.
Fort Myers, FL – Islands, Beaches & Neighborhoods
- Scattered throughout Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva Islands, and the neighboring Estero and Gasparilla Islands, lie numerous golf courses and links yearning to be scoured by golfers. Although the destination was impacted by Hurricane Ian in September, many of the golf courses are open again ready to welcome golf enthusiasts back to their courses intertwining the natural beauty of Southwest Florida’s palms and beautiful hole designs, perfect for all types of golfers, beginners to advanced.
- Old Corkscrew Golf Club: Rated as Southwest Florida’s #1 rated “Best Course You Can Play” in 2010 by Golf Magazine, the course is a must-play for any golfer. The 7,400-yard, Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course is also a certified Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary and features eighteen holes of world-class championship golf, artfully woven into a tapestry of picturesque oaks, pines, cypress trees, and lakes. Natural cart paths make their way around continued fairways and a restored natural flow darting in and out of wooded areas.
- Popstroke: Tiger Woods and his TGR Design team created their first-ever 36-hole putting facility, specifically for PopStroke. Using their award-winning design talents, the two 18-hole putting courses, built entirely with synthetic turfs, incorporate fairways, bunkers, and rough just as you would see on a traditional golf course. Using only a putter, this unique golf experience can be played by anyone – no matter their ability, expertise, or whether they’ve ever held a club before.
- Chips Sports Pub: Who says you have to leave your hotel to play golf? Newly opened in February 2023, The Luminary Hotel and Co. opened Chips Sports Pub, a fun hang-out and celebration spot with food & beverage and Topgolf® Swing Suites®. Visitors can rent out a hitting bay, or even the whole space for social or work gatherings to hit tee time together in a new style!
Atlantic City, NJ
- Just over a two-hour drive from New York City and approximately an hour from Philadelphia, Atlantic City is a golfer’s dream as it’s easily accessible from many of the East Coast’s major metropolitan areas and offers some of the best golf courses in the U.S. In fact, nearly 20 championship-caliber courses within a short 30-minute drive of the greater Atlantic City region to be precise. Atlantic City golf also earned a “Top 10 Golf Cities in America” designation from ForbesTraveler.com, with many of the area’s courses also making it to Golf Digest’s “best places to play” list.
- Shore Gate Golf Club: After opening in 2022, Golf Digest has consistently ranked Shore Gate within the top 20 public courses in New Jersey. As the course winds through the towering trees, Shore Gate allows golfers and groups to play an unbothered round as they navigate the course from start to finish. Open, rolling fairways and strategic bunker placements force players to hone in for precise ball placements, while five sets of tee boxes make the course inclusive for all skill levels. The par 72, eighteen-hole championship is approximately a 30-minute drive from downtown Atlantic City, but well worth it once players tee off.
- Atlantic City Country Club: Rated the #1 daily fee golf course in New Jersey by GolfWeek, Golf Magazine & Golf Digest, Atlantic City’s oldest and most prestigious country club offers something for every golfer. Carefully manicured fairways and large sloping greens are flanked by deep sand hazards maintain the status the country club established more than a century ago. Expansive views of salt water marshes and the Atlantic City skyline accentuate the experience each time players embark on the course. In need of some refreshment or practice swings? Head over to Club 1897 Virtual Golf & Sports with some friends for some casual fun.
Kansas City, Mo.
- Home to Hall of Fame golfer Tom Watson and more than 40 public golf courses, Kansas City makes a great destination for your next golf getaway. Tee off at the 6,274-yard Swope Memorial golf course, the oldest public golf course in the city where players can admire views of the downtown skyline and hear lions roar from the adjacent Kansas City Zoo. At the Heart of America Golf Course, beginners and juniors alike can enjoy one of three courses: a regulation-length 9 hole course, a fun par-three 9 hole course or a Tom Watson-designed junior course.
- The first U.S. Open Championship was held in Newport in 1895 and golf has thrived in this area ever since. Enjoy Scottish links-style courses with panoramic vistas of the Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean throughout Newport and Bristol County. Play amongst beauty at Montaup Country Club’s 18-hole course to try the signature hole, the Par 5 16th, that overlooks the scenic Hope Bay and Bridge- its first three holes are considered by some, the toughest starting holes in Rhode Island. Newport National Golf Club, reminiscent of the legendary Scottish links, is considered the “Number One Public Access Course in New England.” Its dramatic setting invites views of the Atlantic Ocean and Sakonnet Passage.
Elizabeth City, NC
- The hidden-gem coastal town of Elizabeth City, N.C., offers travelers an idyllic golf getaway with the expansive and beautiful layout of The Pines, a course with excellent conditions that winds its way through the Albemarle pine thickets and features small, elevated greens, wide fairways and large chipping areas. To supplement days spent on the course, Elizabeth City boasts lush parks and accessible waterways, for more time outdoors, and prime spots for patio sipping and dining. Whether travelers are stopping by on the way to golf in the Outer Banks or looking to spend a weekend at The Pines, the time is now to plan a springtime golf vacation.
- Opening this May, the Omni PGA Frisco Resort will be the new home of modern American golf, just steps from the recently opened PGA of America headquarters. In addition to unique simulation and coaching experiences, the resort will be home to two 18-hole championship golf courses, collectively known as Fields Ranch. It will also feature a two-acre putting course and entertainment area, The Dance Floor, and a par-3, 10-hole short course, The Swing. Fields Ranch East is designed by Gil Hanse and Fields Ranch West is designed by Beau Welling. The resort will feature 500 guest rooms and suites, 10 four-bedroom ranch houses, four pools, including an adults-only rooftop infinity pool, a full-service Mokara Spa, Lounge by Topgolf, and more than 127,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.
Horseshoe Bay, TX
- With over 7,100 yards of close tee-to-green relationships, a minimum of cross hazards and a laidback and friendly clubhouse that captures Texans’ down-to-earth essence, it’s no secret why Horseshoe Bay’s Escondido Golf & Lake Club is consistently ranked among the “top 10” golf courses in the state. The impressive Men’s Locker Room, equipped with a full-service bar and steam room, performance center and practice facility and infamous brisket tacos from the on-site Smoke Shack eatery makes the Escondido golfing experience something special. Moreover, the club’s prime location alongside the breathtaking Horseshoe Bay makes it a great spot to spend a few days exploring.
Corpus Christi, TX
- With more than 223 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 79 degrees, Corpus Christi is the ideal destination for golf vacations. Hit the links on the scenic, par 70 Oso Beach Municipal Golf Course located near the Cayo de Oso watershed. The 18-hole course was designed by John Bredemus, co-founder of Texas PGA and the Texas Open. Flat terrain throughout makes the course player friendly but incessant winds can pose a challenge with water being the main issue on the back nine. Afterwards, celebrate your wins with a craft beverage from one of the local breweries throughout the city.
- Dallas has recently become a homebase for golfers with seven of the last 14 majors won by players who claim a Dallas residence. With more than 200 courses of varied levels of play, Dallas has plenty to offer the golf enthusiast. Start with some of the most popular public golf courses in Dallas, each offering a convenient location and budget-friendly amenities. Stevens Park Golf Course is the closest to downtown Dallas and features stunning skyline views. Another local favorite is Tenison Glen, which has been welcoming golf enthusiasts to enjoy their choice of two 18-hole courses since 1924.
St. Pete/Clearwater, FL
- Schedule a tee time between trips to the white sand beaches of St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida at some of the best golf courses in Florida. Whether golfers are looking for a classic course or a modern beast that challenges some of the best players in the world, there is something for everyone with a mix of old and new stunning landscapes imagined by some of the top course designers in the world.
- The Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, St. Pete: Located on Shell Island and a 5-minute drive from the Mediterranean-style resort, Vinoy Golf Course was re-designed by renowned golf course architect, Ron Garl in 1992. The course is open to hotel guests as well as members of the club and offers a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary where each hole is surrounded by vegetation, including pines, live oaks and varieties of palms.
- Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor: Home to four golf courses for guests to choose from: The Copperhead, Island, North and South. The courses boast something that’s not easy to come by on a Florida golf course – hills. Reminiscent of a North Carolina course, The Copperhead is host to one of the PGA Tours favorite spots, the Valspar Championship. Twelve-time PGA Tour winner, Paul Azinger, calls The Copperhead the “best course the PGA Tour plays.” The Copperhead rolls through mature trees with water strategically placed to test golfers of any level but that does not mean Innisbrook’s other courses aren’t going to put every golfer to the test. The Island course gets its name from the surrounding water and can prove every bit as tough as The Copperhead.
- Dunedin Golf Club, Dunedin: Walk in the footsteps of some of golf’s best known players; Bobby Jones, Gener Saraze, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and others, have played the green of Dunedin Golf Club. This nearly 100-year old course, designed by Donald Ross, is the former home to the PGA of America and has hosted 18 Senior PGA Championships. The facility was restored to its former glory in 2007 and has remained as legendary as Ross originally designed it. Now the golf club has PGA professionals on staff to give golfers an experience they won’t forget.
Greater Victoria, British Columbia
- For both beginners and experts, Victoria offers golf experiences with some of the best vistas on earth. Victoria is also the gateway to the Vancouver Island Golf Trail—a 250-kilometer-long network of 14 scenic courses. Some of the region’s top courses include:
- Cordova Bay Golf Course: With massive wide fairways and huge greens, Cordova is a course for every level of player and has been host to several Provincial and National Championships for professionals. Their award winning Fairway to Table program supplies Bill Mattick’s restaurant with fresh seasonal produce every day of the year. Driving Range, Putting Course, Short Game Practice Area are also on site.
- Arbutus Ridge: Arbutus Ridge was specifically designed to offer some of the most stunning views on Vancouver Island amongst the characteristic Arbutus tree. The front nine weaves alongside a seaside community and the back nine climbs a ridge to overlook the Satellite Channel.
- The Westin Bear Mountain: The Mountain Course is a masterpiece, offering challenging terrain and spectacular natural beauty. A par 70 playing at 6,900 yards, the course takes full advantage of its setting atop a 1,100-foot mountain, exhibiting dramatic elevation changes and awe-inspiring views. Co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and his son, the Mountain Course was home to the 2017 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship, a PGA Tour Champions event.
La Paz, Mexico
- Golf lovers may be surprised to hear about La Paz, Baja California Sur, an up-and-coming Mexican destination, providing golf experiences where the scenery and value are a hole in one.
- Paraiso del Mar: Designed by golf course architect Arthur Hills, Paraiso del Mar course features private fairways with stunning views of both the bay of La Paz and the Sea of Cortez from every hole. This picturesque course allows golfers to work on their swing and their tan with a putting area, driving range and fine design touches that resemble a Scottish course. Please find images here, courtesy of La Paz.
- El Cortés Golf Club: El Cortés Golf Club, the only Gary Player Signature course in Mexico, offers challenge and excitement, boasting panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez on 17 of the 18 holes. This established course is known for the Cortés Challenge, where golfers can take a swing at the 14th hole off an elevated cliff with panoramic views of the bay of La Paz; the 14th hole with the longest par 5 in Mexico. To relax after an exciting game, players can wind down in the clubhouse Hoyo 19 Cigar Bar, for a glass of wine, or a meal at the Cardón Restaurant. Please find images here, courtesy of La Paz.
- Victoria, Australia, home to bustling Melbourne and the infamous championship venues of Melbourne’s Sandbelt, offers extraordinary golfing experiences for golfers for all levels. A few can’t miss golf getaways include:
- Melbourne’s Sandbelt Courses: In Melbourne’s south east suburbs you’ll discover one of the finest collections of golf courses anywhere in Australia. They’ve hosted Australian Opens, PGA titles, the Australian Masters. the President’s Cup, and many other world class competitions. The eight courses, which epitomize the golden age of golf architecture, are close to one another and within 30 minutes’ drive of the city center.
- Regional Victoria: Victoria’s golfing greatness extends far beyond Melbourne. With an array of beautiful courses dotted along the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, and superb value courses in the Murray region, it’s no wonder Victoria is considered the home of golf in Australia.
- Images can be found HERE (credit: Visit Victoria)
- Known as the land of a thousand hills, golf is one of the fastest growing emerging sports in Rwanda. In partnership with the private sector, the government has made substantial investments into the sport. Golf lovers visiting Rwanda can enjoy a few unique golf courses to choose to play. Some of the top choices include:
- Kigali Golf Club: Located in the heart of the city, this design masterpiece is an 18 hole golf course that is both challenging and ecologically friendly. Situated on 65 hectares the golf club also includes a grand tennis ground, a health club, one pro-shop, boarding rooms and a restaurant. Several tournaments are held throughout the year including the CIMERWA annual golf tournament. Famed as the “land of eternal spring” Kigali offers consistent beautiful weather, this means that bent grass can be grown on the greens, and golfers can play year round which is a real plus factor.
- Gorillas Nest Lodge & Resort Golf Course: For visitors that want to enjoy golf alongside the stunning volcanoes national park, home to the mountain gorilla, golfers can tee-off at this truly unique 9 hole golf course.
- Boasting spring-like temperatures all year round, Madeira is a golfer’s paradise where each course is surrounded by stunning natural sceneries and views of the vast Atlantic Ocean. Given its ideal conditions for playing golf, the destination has hosted a PGA European Tour ‘Main Tour’ event – the ‘Madeira Island Open’ – for several years. Between the archipelago’s two inhabited islands – Madeira and Porto Santo – here are the three world-class courses that have been attracting golfers from all over the world:
- Santo da Serra Golf Club: Just a short distance from the capital city of Funchal, this 9003-meter and 27-hole golf course offers a range of difficulty levels, perfect for beginners and professionals alike. Set in what is truly a botanical garden with its rich flora and four lakes, Santo da Serra Golf Club offers a wide view over the Machico bay for players to enjoy from the course’s extraordinary fairways and greens.
- Palheiro Golf: Integrated into the parkland area of Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro, Palheiro Golf sits 500 meters above sea level with its landscape featuring the outline of Madeira’s mountains and views of the Funchal bay. With 6000 meters and 18 holes between valleys and several hillsides, this course presents a challenge for both first-time golfers and more experienced players.
- Porto Santo Golf Club: Located 40 km from Madeira Island, its neighboring island Porto Santo offers a golden sandy beach and a 6434 meter golf course spread over 18 holes. The Porto Santo Golf Club crosses over the island, featuring privileged views over both the north and south coasts, where both beginners and professionals can enjoy the unique surroundings.–