There are a great many world class golf destinations. Choosing one for that all-important, once-in-a-lifetime golf vacation can be an exciting, though daunting, project. Your choice will revolve around a range of criteria, including location, aesthetics, accessibility, cost, and the golf courses themselves. But where do you start? How do you even begin to figure it all out? To give you a “quick start” to choosing your World Class Golf Destinations, I offer ten of my own personal favorites for your consideration:
- Amelia Island Plantation
Amelia Island Plantation, located on the southern most of the Atlantic barrier islands in extreme northeast Florida, and across the St. Mary's River from Georgia, is one of Florida's premier resorts. Nestled among centuries-old Live Oaks, a maritime forest, vast tracts of salt marshes on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Island Plantation is an old-world luxury resort with an AAA Four Diamond designation. A world-class facility, it stands on 1350 pristine acres overlooking the blue waters of the Atlantic to the east and the beautiful marshlands of Intracoastal Waterway to the west.
- Barefoot Resort Myrtle Beach, SC
Touted as “the ultimate golf getaway,” the new Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, features not only Four Championship Golf Courses on Property , but a variety of villa-style accommodations, dining at Docksider's Grille, South Carolina's largest pool complex, four incredible golf courses on property, and a fresh water marina with 142 premium slips.
- Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa
Featuring two world-class golf courses, Daufuskie Island Resort is set on one of South Carolina’s “sea islands,” one of several dozen large islands fronting the Atlantic Ocean, between the Santee River north of Charleston and the southern coast of Georgia, Daufuskie Island has an intriguing history. Life on the island has been traced by archeologists as far back as 9,000 years; pottery shards have been found dating back to 7,000 BC. Life on Daufuskie has always been comfortably. Wildlife, shellfish, and marine life thrive in the nutrient-rich marshes off nearby Hilton Head Island.
- Emerald Grande Resort, Destin, Florida
The Emerald Grande is Destin’s newest resort and condominium complex – golf is available at the resort’s Emerald Bay Golf Club. Located at the foot of Destin's Marler Bridge in HarborWalk Village, just 4 miles west of the Mid-Bay Bridge, The imposing, Palace-like Emerald Grande complex has become Destin’s landmark.
- Ginn Reunion Resort, Florida
The Ginn Reunion Resort is nestled among more than 2000 acres of gentle rolling hills in Central Florida. The Resort is famous for its grand golf courses designed by such legends as Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. These great courses are complimented by a world-class organization where good service and luxury accommodations are a watch word. Located just minutes away from Walt Disney World Resort and the Orlando International Airport, it’s a golf destination with plenty to offer the entire family.
- High Hampton Inn & Country Club
High in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, on a knoll overlooking a cool mountain lake, the High Hampton Inn & Country Club is a reminder the great Adirondack camps of the 1920s and 30s. With its classic style and an expansive estate, the great lodge offers a unique blend of outdoor recreation and up-scale hospitality. At a 3,600-foot elevation, close to Cashiers, North Carolina, High Hampton is one of last, old-world mountain resorts. The near-perfect climate, the silence and mystique of the great outdoors, and an overall sense of serenity makes it, perhaps, the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of big city life.
- Hilton Head Beach & Golf Resort and Spa
The Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa, sometimes known as the Hilton Head Beach & Golf Resort, offers a toprated spa, three champonship golf colf course, tennis, hiking trails, horeseback riding and all the fun-in-the sun you can stand on their stretch of Hilton Head beach. The AAA Four Diamond property also boasts an outdoor and indoor pool, whirlpools and sauna, plus Spa Soleil. Hilton Head Island itself is a whole new world of outdoor and cultural activities: Coastal Discovery Museum, Sea Pines Forest Preserve, the amazing Intracoastal Waterway (the fishing is great) and even dolphin watch cruises.
- Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa. Puerto Rico
Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa features two world-class golf courses and is situated on what once must have been an elegant, old-world Spanish estate. To the north, Rio Mar is bounded by one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean; to the south by El Yunque, a 28,000-acre tropical rainforest, the only one of its kind in the US National Forest system.
- PGA National Resort Spa
The PGA National Resort and Spa is also the current home of the Honda Classic, but has also hosted more than a dozen PGA Senior Championships, the 1983 Ryder Cup, and the 1987 PGA Championship, But that's not all there is to PGA National. In addition to its five tournament-level courses, the resort boasts a 40,000-square-foot European spa, a vast , and a top level golf academy. PGA National is a perfect destination, not just for golf, but for romantic getaways, weddings, family vacations and unique corporate outings.
- RockResorts - Vail, Colorado
RockResorts, Vail, CO is a collection of luxury resorts in stunning natural locations across the U.S. Caribbean and Mexico owned by Vail Resorts of Vail, Colorado. The resort hotels, more than a dozen of them, feature award-winning dining, state-of-the-art RockResorts Spas and fitness centers, world-renowned golf courses and a variety of outdoor activities ranging from skiing and sleigh rides in winter to fly fishing and golf in summer.
Making the right choice for your golf destination is so important. Get it wrong and you may not be miserable – who could be miserable playing golf? – but how about your family, companions, group? The listings above represent just a few of my own personal favorites. I hope my choices will help make a good decision.