The 75 Best Golf Resorts
There's a new No. 1 in our ranking of the top destinations in North America
We produced this ranking by surveying the Golf Digest course-rating panelists, a group of more than 1,000 avid players throughout the United States and Canada. They rated each resort they've visited within the past three years on a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing "terrible" and 10 "absolutely perfect." We wanted their overall impression of each resort's quality, not strictly its golf course or courses. We multiplied the average scores by 10 and extended them to two decimal points.---------
1. BANDON (ORE.) DUNES GOLF RESORT (RANKED NO. 3 IN 2009)
Score: 89.81 | Contact: bandondunesgolf.com, 888-345-6008 | Room rate:*: $250
New + Notable: Old Macdonald, the resort's fourth course, is getting raves. A fifth course, made up of 13 par 3s, is set to open next June ... and yet another course is being planned.
2. PEBBLE BEACH RESORT/INN AT SPANISH BAY (1)
Score: 87.76 | Contact: pebblebeach.com, 800-654-9300 | Room rate:: $615
New + Notable: The views, the history, the excellence: They're the reasons the USGA has, on more than one occasion, cut into the traditional 10-year gap for Pebble to host the U.S. Open.
3. THE AMERICAN CLUB (6) Kohler, Wis.
Score: 87.47 | Contact: americanclubresort.com, 800-344-2838 | Room rate: $410
New + Notable: The resort will have included two PGAs, a Ryder Cup and a U.S. Women's Open from 2010-'20. When you play Whistling Straits, make sure you know if you're in a bunker.
4. SEA ISLAND (GA.) RESORTS, THE CLOISTER & THE LODGE (2)
Score: 87.38 | Contact: seaisland.com, 866-879-6238 | Room rate: $525
New + Notable: The learning center at this 54-hole resort has a who's who of teaching greats: Jack Lumpkin, Gale Peterson, Todd Anderson, Mike Shannon, Jared Zak.
5. THE GREENBRIER (8) WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.VA.
Score: 85.88 | Contact: greenbrier.com, 800-453-4858 | Room rate: $359
New + Notable:: Starting next summer, a 240-passenger train will begin serving guests from Union Station in Washington, D.C. The five-hour, nonstop ride will include an open-air car.
6. FOUR SEASONS RESORT HUALALAI AT HISTORIC KA'UPULEHU (4) The Big Island, Hawaii
Score: 85.29 | Contact: fourseasons.com/hualalai, 808-325-8000 | Room rate: $625
New + Notable: Many tee boxes on this Jack Nicklaus design are surrounded by black lava, providing a unique perspective against the clear, blue ocean. Up for 36? The second 18 is included.
7. RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA (15) Maui, Hawaii
Score: 84.56 | Contact: ritzcarlton.com, 808-669-6200 | 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.
8. ONE & ONLY OCEAN CLUB/ATLANTIS (27) Paradise Island, Bahamas
Score: 84.14 | Contact: oceanclub.oneandonlyresorts.com, 888-528-7157 | Room rate: $890
New + Notable: The course is cartpaths-only year-round, so the fairways don't show even the slightest hint of tire tracks. Left-handers, don't fret, Callaway rental clubs are available.
9. FOUR SEASONS RESORT PUNTA MITA (NR) Nayarit, Mexico
Score: 84 | Contact: fourseasons.com/puntamita, +52 329-291-6000 Room rate: $670
New + Notable: Pacifico Golf Course has two par-3 third holes. One version has an island green on lava rock. At high tide, a special vehicle transports you to the putting surface.
10. SANDY LANE (NR) Barbados
Score: 83.81 | Contact: sandylane.com, 246-444-2000 | Room rate: $1,445
New + Notable: If you're going to be playing a lot of golf, the seven-, 14- or 21-day golf passes make it almost like joining a private club for the time of your stay.
11. THE BROADMOOR (12) Colorado Springs
Score: 83.45 | Contact: broadmoor.com, 866-837-9520 | Room rate: $360
New + Notable: These tricky greens will test the very best. At the 2011 U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Women's Amateur champ Danielle Kang had 17 three-putts and a four-putt.
T-12 . ONE & ONLY PALMILLA (11) Los Cabos, Mexico
Score: 83.41 | Contact: palmilla.oneandonlyresorts.com, 866-829-2977 | Room rate: $725
New + Notable: Its 27 holes weave in and around cacti and overlook stretches of ocean. The Classic Golf package includes transportation to and from the airport in a Hummer.
T-12. PINEHURST (N.C.) RESORT (10)
Score: 83.41 Contact: pinehurst.com, 800-487-4653 Room rate: $340
New + Notable: Famed No. 2 reopened in March after a restoration made it look like it did in Donald Ross' day. Resort guests receive drastic discounts on its eight courses.
T-14. FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANA'I (HAWAII), The Lodge at Koele (30)
Score: 83.33 | Contact: fourseasons.com/koele, 808-565-2000 | Room rate: $345
New + Notable: The course is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, giving the superintendent an extra day to keep the fairways in pristine condition. The 17th tee faces a 200-foot drop, ensuring a big drive.
T-14. THE INN AT PALMETTO BLUFF (NR) Bluffton, S.C.
Score: 83.33 | Contact: palmettobluffresort.com, 866-706-6565 | Room rate: $575
New + Notable: Play golf as it was meant to be: on foot. Caddies will help you navigate the May River Golf Club's beautiful-yet-penal oak trees and white-sand bunkers.