After scouring the states for the best places to play golf and party down, I have narrowed it down to a couple of my favorite golf trips. For this list I have focused on options that the public can enjoy. While there certainly are some nearby private courses that could add to your golf trip, all of these destinations are available to the common folk, provided you have the financial resources.
Here's the countdown of golf trips you and your buddies should be considering:
8) Kohler, WI
With the US Open coming to Erin Hills in 2017, Kohler should be on your golf radar. The Whistling Straits and Black Wolf Run complexes both feature 36 holes a piece and Pete Dye will give you all of the golf you can handle.
- There are 6 golf courses all within a 1 hour drive that are in the Golf Digest Top 100 public courses.
- Almost all of the top golf courses in the area are open to the public.
- Prepare to drop some $$ if you want to take on the Straits course at Whistling Straits. The green fee runs around $400.
- Whistling Straits – Irish and Straits Course
- Blackwolf Run – River and Meadow Valleys Course
- Erin Hills
- The Bull at Pinehurst Farms
7) Scottsdale, AZ
If you follow where the tour pros go to play, Scottsdale is an obvious selection for one of the best golf trips you can have with your buddies. The spring training trip has become ever popular and offers a great opportunity to mix some baseball and golf. The selection for high-end golf also runs deep.
- When the sun goes down in Scottsdale, the night life scene sizzles with plenty of options to get your party on.
- It gets extremely hot in Scottsdale, so hot that courses will offer discounts in the summer months if you can handle the 100 degree heat.
- Wekopa Sagura and Cholla Courses
- TPC Scottsdale
- Troon North
- Ak-Chin Southern Dunes
- The Boulders
6) Monterey, CA
The greatest meeting of golf and sea may just reside in Monterey, CA. With Pebble Beach being the most well-known attraction, the golf here is hard to beat.
- Just about all of the golf courses are in the same place so you won’t have to go far to go from course to course.
- Some of the greatest golf holes in the world are located here. From Pebble Beach’s 7th and 8th holes to the greatest 3 hole stretch of golf at Cypress Point, be prepared to be blown away.
- The courses here are as expensive as they come. Expect to spend $500 to play Pebble Beach and $300 or so for the other courses in the area. You will find a bargain deal in Pacific Grove Golf Links at about $50.
- Cypress Point is incredibly difficult to get onto. To play this gem, you must know and play with a member.
- Pebble Beach
- Spyglass Hill
- Spanish Bay
- Bayonet and Black Horse
- Cypress Point
- Monterey Peninsula CC
- Pacific Grove Golf Links
5) Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, AL
Without a doubt the best value in golf trips belongs to Alabama and the RTJ trail. If you are the sort of golfer that likes to play 36 or 54 holes a day, you need to head to Alabama.
- Extreme value alert!! Most of the courses on the trail cost around $60. Take a course of this quality and plug it into a location outside of Alabama and it would cost you $200. There are also some outstanding package deals to be had.
- With 26 courses at 11 different locations, you will likely run out of time before you run out of golf holes.
- It is hot in Alabama.
- With about an hour to two in between trail locations, your group must be prepared for marginal travel in between courses.
- Grand National Lake and Links course
- Capitol Hill, Judge, Senator, and Legislator courses
- Ross Bridge
4) Las Vegas, NV
Sin city is not only a great place to lose your monthly mortgage payment but it is also a great place to get a serious golf trip on. Just outside of the strip you will find many options for great desert golf.
- The depth of options for golf in Las Vegas is seriously deep. If you are looking to spend $500 or $40, which covers a wide variety of budgets for golf trips, Vegas has you covered.
- Outside of golf, there are plenty of distractions to keep you busy during non-golfing hours.
- Las Vegas isn’t for everybody. It is important to select your group wisely and plan events accordingly. If you are going to stay out until 4am doing weird Vegas stuff, make sure you can also get up for your 9am tee time.
- Shadow Creek - $500 green fee, but includes classy limo ride from hotel.
- Wolf Creek – The 1 hour drive is worth it.
- Chimera Golf Club
- TPC Las Vegas
3) Coeur D’Alene, ID
Home to the world’s only floating movable green. Coeur D’Alene brings an opportunity to have a truly memorable golf experience in a family-friendly setting.
- The actual town of Coer D’Alene offers a wide range of activities from boating and water sports to seaside dining. The town itself is worth visiting and spending some time in.
- After playing the island green at the Coeur D’Alene Resort Course, they will actually give you a signed certificate of completion and verify your score.
- Gozzer Ranch, Black Rock Golf Club, and Rock Creek are the biggest gems on this trip and they are private and somewhat difficult to get a tee time at. If you can get onto one of these courses and pair it up with the Resort Course and Circling Raven, you have got yourself one of the most memorable golf trips you can imagine.
- Circling Raven
- The Resort Course at Coeur D’Alene
- The Golf Club at Black Rock
- Rock Creek Golf Club
- Gozzer Ranch
2) Pinehurst, NC
Pinehurst is one of America’s greatest golfing locations. with 9 courses this destination must be considered for golf trips. There are also a handful of courses that surround the area that should be played as well.
- There is a tremendous amount of Top 100 golf located in just one central location. After you play 36, you can stop by the Payne Stewart statue or pay tribute to the Little Putter Boy.
- You are not confined to the Pinehurst resort for amazing golf. You can find some tremendous options at nearby Tobacco Road, Mid Pines, Dormie Club and Pine Needles.
- The only real gripe one could make about Pinehurst would be the cost to play Pinehurst #2. The classic Donald Ross design will cost you around $300-$400. It must be added that the recent renovation is outstanding.
- Pinehurst No. 1-9
- Dormie Club
- Tobacco Road
- Mid Pines
- Pine Needles
1) Bandon Dunes, OR - The ultimate when it comes to golf trips!
Heading up the list at no 1 is Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Mike Keiser revolutionized the golf resort when he built Bandon Dunes and the world is a better place because of it.
- The 4 championship courses at Bandon Dunes all reside in the top 15 public courses in America.
- You can play as an eight-some on the Preserve par 3 course. This can accomodate golf trips of any size.
- Best replay rates in the world: Your 2nd round of golf is half off, your 3rd round is free, and Bandon will pay you $100 for your 4th
- There is a 100,000 square foot putting green.
- Bandon Dunes is all about golf, from the Bunker Bar to the walking only policy, the fine folks at Bandon Dunes truly understand the game of golf.
- Weather: Be prepared for wind and rain. Somehow, even fair weather golfers don’t mind playing 36 in sideways rain at Bandon.
- The other bad news about Bandon is that it is hard to get to and once you are there, you won’t want to leave.
- Pacific Dunes
- Bandon Dunes
- Old MacDonald
- Bandon Trails
- The Preserve
- The Sheep Ranch