The United States of America is blessed to have a large number of different golf regions all offering a different golf experience. From the tropical beauty of Hawaii through to the almost Scottish links feel of Bandon Dunes, the USA contains an amazing selection of high quality, public access (or resort) golf courses that welcome visitors with open arms.
Be prepared however to pay high amounts for your golf but be assured you will receive the best of service.
No matter what you’ve heard or seen in feature films, nothing can prepare you for the jaw dropping beauty along Monterey's fabled coast and village-like pedestrian thoroughfares. The Monterey Peninsula is famous for its natural beauty, blending land and sea like few other places in the world. With magnificent landscapes, compelling attractions are abundant, such as the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, Steinbeck's historic Cannery Row and the charismatic Fisherman’s Wharf. Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for its compelling art galleries and quaint little shops, while Carmel Valley is celebrated for its world-renown wineries. Pebble Beach features the distinguished 17-Mile Drive, Stillwater Cove and the iconic Lone Cypress.
The Monterey Peninsula is a world-renowned golf destination, offering some of the most dramatic, natural, settings for golf anywhere in the world. Regarded as the mecca by enthusiast of golf, this region hosts more world-class golf courses than any other.
Pebble Beach Golf Links opened in 1919 and was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant. The original layout has changed very little over the years, with the exception of some changes made by Jack Nicklaus prior to the 1992 U.S. Open and in 1998. Ranked the #1 public course in America by Golf Digest Magazine along with a #1 rating among the "Top 100 Courses You Can Play in the U.S." by Golf Magazine, Pebble Beach Golf Links is arguably the greatest course in the world. Featuring nine holes directly on the bluffs over looking the majestic Pacific Ocean, Pebble Beach is both spectacular and challenging – with narrow fairways and well protected postage-stamp greens. Pebble Beach has played host to 10 USGA Championships as well as co-hosting the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. Pebble is also scheduled to host the 2010 U.S. Open in June.
Amongst the world of golf, few courses are as revered as Cypress Point. Cypress Point was created by the world renowned designer Alister Mackenzie and opened in 1928. Consistently rated as one of the top 3 golf courses ever created by all major publications, Cypress Point offers natural beauty that is unmatched anywhere. Meandering through the coastal dunes, this immaculate course journeys into the Del Monte forest during the front nine and reemerges to the rocky coastline for the best set of finishing holes of all time. Ranked #2 in Golf Magazine's list of "Top 100 Golf Courses in the World," behind Mackenzie's other masterpiece, Augusta, Cypress Point will always have its place in the upper echelon of golf history.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and opened in 1966, Spyglass Hill is a course of two extremes. The first five holes are played along the ocean dunes, allowing the wind to be a factor when it is breezy and then from the 7th hole onward the course transforms into the Del Monte Forest, featuring pine tree lined fairways and large tiered greens.
This is one of the most challenging courses on the peninsula and the PGA Tour regularly rates a few of the holes among the hardest on tour. Spyglass Hill Golf Course was named after from Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, Treasure Island. Stevenson is said to have wandered the Spyglass area generating ideas for his novel. A unique aspect of this course is that the holes are named after characters in Treasure Island.
Poppy Hills offers a magnificent layout created by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. which opened in 1986. Located in Pebble Beach, California, in the Del Monte Forest, this course features large undulating greens that are well guarded by either water or bunkers. Pine tree lined fairways require accurate, premeditated drives. The front-nine zig-zags on a ridge in front of the clubhouse with many dog-legs. As you journey to the back-nine, you will find yourself moving deep into the Del Monte Forest.
One interesting fact about the course is that it has five par three holes and five par five holes, compared to most other golf courses that normally have four, at the most! Poppy Hills was the co-host of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am from 1991-2009. Ranked among the best courses in Northern California, Poppy Hills has been named "Golf Course of the Year" by the National Golf Course Owners Association, along with being in the "Top 20 Courses in California" by Golf Digest.
The Links at Spanish Bay was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom Watson and Sandy Tatum, who created a links course so authentic that players could be forgiven for thinking they are experiencing the rugged, natural beauty of Scotland rather than Monterey. Opened in 1987, the 6820 yard golf course provides players with challenging decisions on every hole as strong wind, sandy rough and plenty of water come into play.
Bayonet Golf Club is a superbly manicured layout featuring long, cypress and pine tree lined fairways with fast undulating greens, many of which are multi-tiered. Beautiful views of the Monterey Bay are located throughout this course. Bayonet Golf Course is regularly touted as one of the toughest courses in California with a slope of 138 and a rating of 75.3.
Destinations Magazine rated Bayonet as the 13th most challenging golf courses in the State of California. Golf Digest rated this course #71 under the category of "America's Top 75 Affordable Courses" in their list of "America's Best Golf Courses Everyone Can Play." Bayonet is one half of the 36 hole facility which includes Black Horse Golf Course.
Pasatiempo Golf Club was designed by world-renowned golf architect Alister MacKenzie. Even though MacKenzie also designed Augusta National and Cypress Point, Pasatiempo was his favorite layout and where he made his American home, which still borders the sixth fairway.
Today, this historic top 100 course is a semi-private golf club that sets aside certain tee times each day for public play. Pasatiempo was ranked #11 in Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play 2008 and ranked #31 in Golf Digest’s 2005 America’s Greatest Public Courses. With spectacular views of nearby Monterey Bay, Pasatiempo delivers a memorable golf experience.
Designed by Johnny Miller & Chi Chi Rodriguez, Badlands Golf Course is the ultimate Las Vegas golf adventure. Featuring 27 holes of breathtaking holes that demand accurate golf shots, this course offers an exciting challenge to both casual and experienced golfers. Carved through canyons, this course is consistently considered among the top courses in Nevada. The greens are relatively large and are quick and almost every hole puts you in the position to have to carry the ragged desert to find the fairway and any errant drive is heading for trouble. This is not a place for the big hitter to try and overpower the course.
The Revere Golf Club is located just minutes out of Las Vegas Nevada. The 36 hole golf club managed by Troon Golf is draped through the rugged desert canyons and valleys of the Las Vegas foothills. With awe-inspiring views of the city below and mountains beyond, the Lexington course’s stunning 7,143 -yard, par-72 layout will test players’ shot making capabilities. The latest creation, the Concord Course offers a 7,034 yard par-72 layout with Bermuda fairways and large greens.
La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs offers challenging play on five resort courses designed by golf legends Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman. Known as the Western Home of Golf and Hospitality in America, this world renowned destination is the perfect destination for Greater Palm Springs golf vacations.
La Quinta Resort Mountain Course is famous for its unique design and stunning visuals. This challenging layout is ranked among Golf Magazine's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play". At 6,756 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72, the Mountain course has a rating of 74.1 and it has a slope rating of 140 on Bermuda grass. Designed by Pete Dye, the Mountain golf course opened in 1985.
Like the Mountain course, the PGA West Stadium Golf Course was also designed Pete Dye and is described as a "must play" for all who seek the ultimate challenge. Ranked among Golf Magazine´s "Top 100 Courses You Can Play”. The course was also voted the 4th toughest course in America in Golf Digest's "Top 50 Toughest Courses in America (2007). Host to PGA Tour "Q-School" Finals every other year, PGA Tour hopefuls must steady their nerves to navigate the island green of hole #17, known as Alcatraz.
PGA West Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course combines dramatic backdrops with challenging design to leave a lasting impression on golfers of every level. Challenge, beauty and drama permeate every Jack Nicklaus Course, and the masterfully designed Nicklaus Tournament is no exception. It is one of the only courses in the world to feature two island greens. The enormous and undulated double-green of holes 9 & 18 are perfectly viewed from the Stadium Clubhouse.
La Quinta Resort Dunes Course is a wonderful layout and enjoyable to play. Golf Digest ranks this as 75th in America's Best 75 Resort Courses. This Pete Dye-designed course was opened in 1985 and provides a relaxing round of golf surrounded by dramatic landscapes. Featuring 6,074 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72, the course rating is 73.1 and it has a slope rating of 137 on Bermuda grass.
The PGA West Greg Norman Course offers spectacular desert terrain with limited turf thereby giving players a unique and challenging experience. PGA West's Championship Course "Six Pack" was completed in May of 2000 with the desert-scaped, target-style layout of The Greg Norman. A prehistoric ocean bed 40 feet below sea level is now the territory of emerald green fairways, crushed white marble bunkers and shark blue waters. Vibrant wildflowers are a stunning contrast to the surrounding crescent of terra cotta mountains, creating a golf experience like no other. A co-host for the PGA Tour Pre-Qualifying Tournament in 2006 and 2007, the Norman also hosts "The Prestige at PGA West," one of college golf's most acclaimed Intercollegiate Invitational events, drawing only top-ranked universities.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is located 5 minutes from the seaside town of Bandon and 25 minutes drive from Southwest Oregon Regional Airport. At Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, you'll find four distinctly different links style courses built on a beautiful stretch of sand dunes perched 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes feature a dozen holes that run along the bluff overlooking 23 miles of sweeping, undisturbed shoreline. Bandon Trails begins on a massive dune, works its way through open meadows and upland forest, and then finishes in the dunes. Old Macdonald moves through dune to ocean revealing breathtaking views throughout.
Bandon Dunes Golf Course opened in 1999, designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd. Bandon Dunes unfolds along pristine native dunes where expansive ocean views are revealed on nearly every hole. The course is completely natural and routed through an environment of indigenous vegetation. Beyond breathtaking scenery lies the game of golf in its truest form. This is a thinker's course. Winds are ever-present, and the varying elements create a new experience each time you play. According to Golf Magazine, Bandon Dunes is "probably the finest land made available for a golf course in America since Alistair Mackenzie was shown the site for Cypress Point Club on Monterey Peninsula..."
Designed by Tom Doak, Pacific Dunes opened in 2001. It is remarkably different in character and shot making requirements than the other courses at Bandon Dunes. Pacific Dunes doesn't feel like it was built as much as it was discovered. Rippling fairways remain just as they were found and natural bunkers line the landscape as they have for centuries. The course emerges from shore pines to spectacular 60-foot sand dunes. When the wind blows, precise approach shots are a necessity. Pacific Dunes is short enough to give you hope, but rugged enough to test every facet of your game.
When Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw began working in the sand to uncover our third course, they faced the challenge of following Bandon and Pacific Dunes. Opened in 2005, Bandon Trails Golf Course begins atop a massive sand dune, quickly opens into a sprawling meadow, works higher into the coastal forest, and finally returns to finish in the dunes. The course is enjoyable to walk and is a constant reminder of how the game was originally created among inland rolling dunes with dramatic ocean vistas.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort will be opening their fourth course, 'Old Macdonald', in June 2010. The layout is a tribute to Charles Blair Macdonald (1856-1939), the father of American golf course architecture and founder of the U.S. Golf Association. Designed by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina, Old Macdonald features the classic principles and strategies that Macdonald incorporated into his own courses, chiefly National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York.