Springtime and our thoughts naturally turn to… golf. Lots of other things too, but golf is one obsession that seems to gather a certain kind of steam in the spring – like, this year’s going to be awesome (even – or especially – if last year wasn’t). So, with the aim of giving you maybe a few more reasons to obsess about the silliest of games, we’d like to share some of our favourite golf vacation destinations. In no particular order, other than this year’s absolute must-play destination first.
Nova Scotia. Two words: Cabot Links. Two more words: Cabot Cliffs. Nova Scotia would be a great golf destination with just the sublime Highlands Links on Cape Breton to consider. At Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs (the latter due to open in June, 2016) nature and masterful golf course design have combined to create a one-of-a-kind golf experience. The Cape Breton setting and Nova Scotian hospitality ensure a memorable trip for all.
Punta Cana. There’s ocean side golf Cape Breton-style, then there’s ocean side golf Dominican style. Golf Digest named this a “sweet spot” and called the experience at Corales and Punta Espada the best golf in the Caribbean.
Scotland. A visit to the home of the game is something every serious golfer has to do at least once. There are plenty of courses to test your skills, and St. Andrew’s – with its seven courses, including the legendary Old Course – is a rewarding visit even if you only choose to take a guide walk of the course.
Ireland. Some of today’s very best golfers hail from Ireland, and some of the world’s best golf experiences can be found here. Like Scotland, Ireland has an ancient love for the game. At courses like Old Head Links, with its dramatic cliff-side setting, you’ll find Irish charm and hospitality make for a truly unique golfing experience.
Palm Springs. Golf is just part of the draw at Palm Springs, meaning you can stow the clubs and still have a great trip. Yes, there are dozens of courses in the area, with choices for every budget and all skill levels. The golf experience here is truly outstanding. Exceptional dining, entertainment, shopping and recreation – and the Coachella Valley setting – make this a golf destination everyone can enjoy.
Phoenix. The quick math that makes Phoenix a golfer’s dream destination: 330 days of sunshine per year, plus more than 200 golf courses in every conceivable layout and just about every price point. Both Troon North and Grayhawk provide quintessential Phoenix golf, and TPC Scottsdale is a course many golf fans will want to try, but with over 200 courses there’s a track here for everyone.
Bermuda. The highest concentration of golf courses in the world – that’s the first thing many golfers think when they think about Bermuda. Just as there are legendary beaches, there’s legendary golf to be found here at courses like The Mid Ocean Club, Port Royal Golf Club and Fairmont Southampton’s scenic par-3 layout. Yes, Bermuda shorts are encouraged.
Florida. There are enough great courses in Florida to keep a serious golfer busy year-round – that, and the weather, probably explain why so many pro tour players call the Sunshine State home. While Scotland is the home of the game, Florida destinations such as Orlando, West Palm Beach and Sarasota are definitely where the game goes on vacation. We’re thinking this is probably where golf in sandals was invented.
Myrtle Beach. If Myrtle Beach didn’t exist, golf fanatics would have to invent it. Consider: dozens of courses line the stretch of coastline known as the Grand Strand, with accommodations to suit every budget and taste. Caledonia Golf and Fish Club gets many mentions as the must-play course, but there are so many wonderful courses here it’s hard to imagine being anything but satisfied with a trip to Myrtle Beach.
Hawaii. If you’re a golfer, do we even have to convince you? Come on, it’s Hawaii. Combine the amazing scenery with climate that’s the very definition of perfect, and we’re thinking mini-putt in Hawaii would qualify as an amazing golf experience. From the Big Island to Kauai, each island has its share of legendary golf courses, and its own unique pace of play. Wherever you go, no matter how you play, the best thing about playing golf in Hawaii is – yeah, you’re in Hawaii.
So, we’ve got you thinking a golf vacation is a good idea? Get a bit further toward your first tee time with our handy packing tips.
For more great golf course suggestions check out the WestJet Magazine articles below.