Susan Comolli Davis
Austin is a gateway city to the storied Texas Hill Country—home to German beer, Texas wines, barbecue and some excellent golf courses. The rolling hills, dotted with lakes, limestone cliffs and caverns, natural springs and stands of cypress and oak, make for dramatic and challenging layouts. Add to that the state's golf pedigree—Ben Hogan, Harvey Penick, Kathy Whitworth and Byron Nelson all hail from here—and you've got a historical backdrop as well.
The town of great pizza and the 2016 World Series champs has a roster of stellar private clubs—Medinah, Olympia Fields and Butler National come to mind—but Chicago may be better known as the public golf capital of the U.S., offering an astonishing number of nationally recognized daily-fee courses.
You'd think an area known for its Bentleys and billionaires would be too pricy for a golf getaway, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, there are many exclusive private clubs in Palm Beach, but there are far more courses in the affordable category, including some outstanding municipals—one even designed by Jack Nicklaus. And then there are the resorts, which offer a good mix of classic and contemporary designs by the likes of Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. No matter where you choose to play, you'll get the built-in pleasures of Florida golf — water, sand, birds, gators, ocean breezes, palms — plus ideal year-round weather and easy access to off-course diversions, from beaches to baseball.