10. The American Club
The American Club has the distinction of being the first and only Forbes Five-Star resort destination in the state of Wisconsin and the recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award for 26 consecutive years. Its four championship golf courses were designed by Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye and have hosted the PGA Championship, the Palmer Cup and will host the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open.
9. The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colorado
This 3,000-acre, lush getaway is the only property ever to win a Five-Star distinction from the Forbes Travel Guide 52 years in a row. Last year, So Yeon Ryu won the U.S. Women’s Open at the Broadmoor and back in 1959, Jack Nicklaus won his first major tournament at age 19 at the resort’s East Course. Nearly 40 years later, Nicklaus reconfigured the club’s Mountain Course.
8. Sea Island
Sea Island, Georgia
The Sea Island Golf Club serves up not one, not two, but three18-hole championship courses on the Golden Isles of Georgia. Since its development in 1911 by Howard E. Coffin, Vice President of the Hudson Motor Company, the club has seen some tough financial times, but it is still one of the country’s most exceptional and enticing golf destinations.
7. The Greenbrier
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Guests of the Greenbrier resort can boast that they have taste of presidential proportions—26 former and current U.S. Presidents have stayed there. The Greenbrier has earned an impressive golf heritage, as well. It’s the first resort to have hosted both the Ryder and the Solheim Cup and its emeritus pro is the legendary Tom Watson.
6. Wynn Las Vegas
You might not think that the Las Vegas Strip is the ideal place for a golf course, but as it turns out, it kind of is. The Wynn Resort features the Strip’s only golf course—a par 70, 18-hole, 7,042-yard beauty designed by Steve Wynn and renowned architect TomFazio. Wynn says his goal was to develop a course that was more than passable—he wanted it to be “second to none.”
5. The Boulders
Breathtaking views are The Boulders’ specialty. Its two championship-level courses, designed by Jay Morrish, are enveloped in the panoramic, sunny surroundings characteristic to the Scottsdale area. Anyone looking to brush up on their skills absolutely must check out a lesson from The Boulders Golf Academy, featuring top-rate PGA and LPGA instructors.
4. Pinehurst Resort
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Pinehurst is a massive resort—in sheer size, legend and historical significance to the game of golf. The resort is home to eight golf courses, three hotels, a spa and several other sports and leisure facilities. The U.S. Department of the Interior made Pinehurst a National Historic Landmark in 1996 and for the first time ever, both the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens will take place at Pinehurst in 2014.
3. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
The Big Island, Hawaii
Hawaii’s Four Seasons Hualalai is the main island’s only AAA Five Diamond rated resort and one of only three in the entire state. In terms of ambiance, this resort can’t be beat—guests can get full views of the Pacific Ocean and the island of Maui on the horizon. When it comes to golf, Four Seasons Hualalai’s par-72 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed course is phenomenal too.
2. Bandon Dunes Resort
Bandon Dunes has built a rapid and remarkable reputation since it opened its first course in 1999. Its four courses have each earned high praise for their Scotland-inspired links and harmonious relationship to the surrounding Oregon coast. Tradition is the name of the game at Bandon, so golf carts are outlawed, layouts are short and the winds are constant.
1. Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach, California
You’re not likely shocked that we think Pebble Beach is the best golf resort this country has to offer. There’s a reason greens fees at Pebble Beach are among the world’s highest—it’s worth it. Pebble Beach is simply one of the world’s most astounding golf courses. It serves up splendid views of California’s Pacific coast on a silver platter (the 548-yard, par 5 18th hole is particularly marvelous) with uniquely challenging links.
Pebble Beach has hosted the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am tournament (a.k.a. the “Clam Bake” or AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) since 1947, but it has also hosted a bevy of other high-profile championships, including the Champions Tour, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.
Jack Nicklaus once said, “If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. I’ve loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world.”