50 Best Golf Destinations for Your Guys' Trip (or Girls' Getaway)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pebble Beach #7 by Simonds

For most duffers, no matter their skill level, the ultimate buddy trip is a golf getaway. Golf trips are all about golf and quality bonding with your buddies. Rather than worrying about getting dragged to museums, galleries or tourist traps, you're worrying about which courses to play and how to squeeze in as many holes as you can. If done right, the whole buddies' golf trip should be the time of your life.

One of the critical decisions for any golf getaway is the destination. With so many amazing courses not just in the United States but around the world, how do you choose where you and your buddies should go to challenge your game? Are you looking to experience history and tradition, play where the pros play or just try something new? After taking into account the number/ranking of top courses (based on Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and various other sources), quality of accommodations, golf ambiance and surrounding amenities, we compiled a list of the 50 top golf destinations for your buddies trip.

1. Carmel / Monterey, California
Top Courses: Pebble Beach; Spyglass Hills; The Links at Spanish Bay; Bayonet / Blackhorse; Carmel Valley Ranch; Pasatiempo

2. St. Andrews / Dundee / Edinburgh, Scotland
Top Courses: St. Andrews Old Course, New Course, Jubilee Course; Carnoustie; Gullane; Kingsbarns; Muirfield; North Berwick

3. Sandhills (Pinehurst / Southern Pines), North Carolina
Top Courses: Pinehurst No. 2, 4, 8; Pine Needles & Mid Pines; Tobacco Road; Anderson Creek; Little River; Talamore / Mid South

4. Northern Ireland
Top Courses: Royal Portrush; Royal County Down; Castlerock; Portstewart; Royal Belfast; Lough Erne

5. South West Scotland / Ayrshire
Top Courses: Turnberry; Prestwick; Royal Troon; Western Gailes; Machrihanish; Dundonald

6. South West Ireland
Top Courses: Ballybunion; Dooks; Doonbeg; Killarney; Lahinch; Old Head; Tralee; Waterville

7. Bandon / Oregon Coast
Top Courses: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, Old Macdonald; Bandon Crossings; Sandpines

8. Phoenix / Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Courses: The Boulders; Grayhawk; Kierland; Talking Stick; TPC Scottsdale; Troon North; We-Ko-Pa

9. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Top Courses: Barefoot Resort; Caledonia; The Dunes; Grande Dunes; Heritage Club; Legends - Heathland & Moorland; Ocean Ridge Plantation; Tidewater; TPC Myrtle Beach

10. Northern Michigan
Top Courses: Bay Harbor; Arcadia Bluffs; Boyne Highlands Resort - Arthur Hills & Heather; Forest Dunes; TimberStone; Black Lake; True North; Treetops; Lakewood Shores (Gailes)

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11. Palm Springs, California
Top Courses: PGA West; La Quinta; Mission Hills; Classic Club; Desert Willow; Indian Wells; Shadow Ridge

12. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Top Courses: Harbour Town / Heron Point; May River at Palmetto Bluff; Palmetto Dunes; Palmetto Hall; Oyster Reef

13. North West England / Southport
Top Courses: Royal Birkdale; Royal Liverpool; Royal Lytham and St. Annes; Formby; Hillside; Southport & Ainsdale

14. Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Top Courses: Blackwolf Run; Whistling Straits; The Bull at Pinehurst Farms

15. Dublin / East Ireland
Top Courses: Portmarnock; K Club; Carton House; County Louth - Baltray; Druid's Glen; European Club; Mount Juliet

16. Hawaii
Top Courses (Big Island): Hualalai; Mauna Kea / Hapuna; Mauna Lani; Waikoloa Beach Resort
Top Courses (Kauai): Princeville; Kauai Lagoons; Poipu Bay; Puakea
Top Courses (Maui / Lanai): Kapalua; Wailea Golf Club; Challenge at Manele; Experience at Koele

17. Thompson Okanagan / Kootenay Rockies, BC, Canada
Top Courses (TO): Predator Ridge; Tobiano; The Bear at Okanagan; Club at Tower Ranch; Dunes at Kamloops; Gallagher's Canyon; Fairview Mountain; Salmon Arm; Talking Rock
Top Courses (KR): Eagle Ranch; Greywolf; Radium Resort (Springs); Triple Creek

18. Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Courses: Cascata; The Chase at Coyote Springs; Las Vegas Paiute; Primm Valley; Rio Secco; Shadow Creek; Wolf Creek; Wynn Las Vegas

19. The Algarve, Portugal
Top Courses: Monte Rei; Quinta do Lago; Oceanico - Old & Victoria; Qunita de Cima; San Lorenzo; Vale de Lobo

20. Orlando / Tampa, Florida
Top Courses (Orlando): Bay Hill; Eagle Creek; Grand Cypress; Orange County National; Southern Dunes; Harmony Golf Preserve; Reunion Resort; Walt Disney World
Top Courses (Tampa): Innisbrook; Saddlebrook; World Woods

21. Costa del Sol / Marbella, Spain
Top Courses: Valderrama; Sotogrande; Las Brisas; Fina Cortesin; La Reserva Golf Club; San Roque Club; Almenara; Montecastillo Resort

22. Vancouver / Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Top Courses (Vancouver): Bear Mountain; Furry Creek; Morningstar; Northlands; Northview; Olympic View; Westwood Plateau
Top Courses (Whistler): Big Sky; Chateau Whistler; Nicklaus North; Whistler Golf Club

23. Tucson, Arizona
Top Courses: Arizona National GC; Dove Mountain (Ritz-Carlton); La Paloma; Tucson National; Ventana Canyon; Vistoso

24. Los Cabos, Mexico
Top Courses: Cabo del Sol; Cabo Real; Cabo San Lucas CC; Palmilla

25. Jacksonville / St. Augustine, Florida
Top Courses: TPC Sawgrass; Amelia Island Plantation; Hammock Beach; Ponte Vedra Inn & Club; World Golf Village - King & Bear, Slammer & Squire

26. San Diego, California
Top Courses: Torrey Pines; Aviara; Barona Creek; Crossings at Carlsbad; La Costa; Maderas; Journey at Pechanga

27. Denver / Colorado Springs / Colorado Rockies
Top Courses: Bear Dance; Breckenridge; Broadmoor; Club at Pradera; Cordillera; Fossil Trace; Lakota Canyon Ranch; Raven at Three Peaks; Red Sky Ranch; Ridge at Castle Pines North; Sonnenalp

28. Wales, United Kingdom
Top Courses: Royal Porthcawl; Royal St. David's; Aberdovey; Celtic Manor; Conwy; Machynys; Nefyn & District; North Wales; Pennard; Tenby

29. Calgary / Banff / Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Top Courses: Banff Springs; Jasper Park Lodge; Heritage Pointe; Kananaskis Country; Northern Bear; Silvertip; Stewart Creek; Wolf Creek

30. Williamsburg, Virginia
Top Courses: Golden Horseshoe; Kingsmill; Ford's Colony; Kiskiack; Royal New Kent; Stonehouse

31. Prince Edward Island / Nova Scotia, Canada
Top Courses (PEI): Links at Crowbush Cove; Brudenell River; Dundarave; Fox Meadow; Glasgow Hills; Green Gables; Mill River
Top Courses (NS): Highlands Links; Fox Harb'r; Glen Arbour; Northumberland Links; Bell Bay

32. Miami / Palm Beach, Florida
Top Courses: Doral Resort; Boca Raton Resort; The Breakers; Fairmont Turnberry Isle; PGA Golf Club; PGA National; Tiburon GC

33. Lake Oconee, Georgia
Top Courses: Reynolds Plantation - Great Waters, Oconee & National; Golf Club at Cuscowilla

34. Central Oregon / Bend
Top Courses: Crosswater at Sunriver Resort; Black Butte Ranch; Eagle Crest; Lost Tracks; Tetherow; Tokatee

35. Toronto / Southern Ontario, Canada
Top Courses: Bigwin Island; Copper Creek; Deerhurst Highlands; Eagles Nest; Glen Abbey; Lionhead; Muskoka Bay; Osprey Valley (Heathlands); Ridge at Manitou; Taboo Resort; Timber Ridge

36. Melbourne Sandbelt / Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Top Courses: Kingston Heath*; Royal Melbourne*; Metropolitan*; The National*; Victoria GC*; Moonah Links; The Dunes; Woodlands*; Commonwealth*; St. Andrews Beach; Yarra Yarra*; Huntingdale*
* Private clubs that can be played by overseas visitors if you belong to a home golf club or arrange the tee time through a tour company.

37. Virginia / West Virginia Mountains
Top Courses: Canaan Valley Resort; Greenbrier Resort; Homestead (Cascades); Poplar Grove; Resort at Glade Springs; Stonewall Resort

38. Austin, Texas
Top Courses: Barton Creek; Horseshoe Bay Resort; Avery Ranch; Forest Creek; Grey Rock; Star Ranch; Wolfdancer

39. Greater Charleston, South Carolina
Top Courses: Kiawah Island Resort - Ocean Course, Turtle Point; Wild Dunes; RiverTowne

40. Brunswick / Sea Island, Georgia
Top Courses: Sea Island GC; Jekyll Island; King and Prince; Sea Palms

41. Dominican Republic
Top Courses: Casa de Campo - Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore; Playa Grande; Punta Cana; Punta Espada

42. Asheville / Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina
Top Courses: Grove Park Inn; Linville; Mount Mitchell; Olde Beau; Rock Barn; Sapphire National

43. Alabama
Top Courses: Kiva Dunes; Limestone Springs; FarmLinks at Pursell Farms; Capstone Club; Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Capitol Hill, Grand National, Cambrian Ridge, Ross Bridge

44. Puerto Rico
Top Courses: Dorado Beach (East, West, Plantation - Sugar Cane & Plantation - Pineapple); Dorado del Mar; El Conquistador; Palmas del Mar (Flamboyan); Rio Mar

45. New Zealand
Top Courses (North Island): Cape Kidnappers; Kauri Cliffs; Gulf Harbour; Kinloch; Paraparaumu Beach;Titirangi; Wairakei
Top Courses (South Island): Clearwater; The Hills; Jack's Point; Millbrook; Queenstown (Kelvin Heights); Terrace Downs

46. Flathead Valley / Missoula, Montana
Top Courses: Big Mountain; Eagle Bend; Meadow Lake; Whitefish Lake; Canyon River; Ranch Club; Old Works

47. Biloxi / Gulf Coast, Mississippi
Top Courses: Fallen Oak; Grand Bear; Briges at Hollywood Casino; Mississippi National; The Oaks; The Preserve; Timberton (McCumber); Windance CC

48. Brainerd Golf Trail, Minnesota
Top Courses: Cragun's - Dutch Legacy & Bobby's Legacy; Golden Eagle; Grand View Lodge - Deacon's Lodge, Pines & Preserve; Madden's on Gull Lake - The Classic

49. San Antonio, Texas
Top Courses: La Cantera; Canyon Springs; Hill Country; Pecan Valley; The Quarry; TPC San Antonio

50. Emerald Coast / Panhandle, Florida
Top Courses: Camp Creek; Hidden Creek; Kelly Plantation; Sandestin; Shark's Tooth; Southwood

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