Editors' Choice: Destinations & Accommodations
March 24, 2020

Best Golf Resorts In The Americas

In an effort to expand the golf experience for a few more hours each day, a number of our selected resorts are now offering, or soon will offer, alternatives to the usual 18-hole round on their glittery regulation courses.

Such hybrid experiences aren’t really new. St. Andrews in Scotland has long featured its mammoth Himalayas putting course, and the 18-hole pitch & putt in front of the Trump Turnberry Hotel is legendary. But it’s finally caught on in America, starting about 15 years ago at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon with the David Kidd-designed Shorty’s, a corner-pocket pitch & putt at the far end of the practice range, followed in 2012 by the Coore & Crenshaw-designed Bandon Preserve, a 13-hole par-3 layout where eightsomes are allowed in the late afternoons, and more recently by The Punchbowl, a 100,000 square-foot putting course designed by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina.

Other resorts took notice. Erin Hills in Wisconsin just opened The Drumlin, Dana Fry’s wildly contoured putting course with indirect night lighting that accentuates the contours. Sea Island in Georgia has The Driftwood, an 18-hole putting course designed by brothers Davis and Mark Love. Sand Valley has Coore & Crenshaw’s Sandbox, a 17-hole pitch & putt. Pinehurst now has The Cradle, a nine-hole pitch & putt designed by Gil Hanse, who also reconfigured the resort’s Thistle Dhu putting course. Streamsong in Florida has the Hanse-designed Gauntlet, a two-acre putting course, and The Greenbrier in West Virginia just opened The Ashford, a nine-hole pitch & putt that imitates famous holes.

More are on the way. This summer, Cabot Resort in Nova Scotia will unveil The Nest, a 10-hole par 3 designed by Rod Whitman and Dave Axland, and young architects Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb are completing HillTop, a 10-hole short course at Michigan’s Forest Dunes Resort. Getting the most attention of all is Pebble Beach’s Peter Hay Par 3, which is being redesigned by Tiger Woods. None of these were determinative of an Editors’ Choice, but they do certainly add value to each visit, whether simply to warm up or cool down, or to settle bets after a round or to engage the entire family for an hour or so.

Editors Choice 2020 Golf Digest.jpg

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