8Great: Golf Destinations

8Great: Golf Destinations

Spring has sprung and golf season is here. Whether you’re looking for golf destinations that offer casinos, world-class spas, nationally ranked courses or family-friendly activities, here are 8Great options for 2015:

  1. The Canadian Rockies

The majestic Canadian Rockies golf courses offer striking views of towering peaks and turquoise lakes.

The panoramic beauty of The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course will take your breath away. Guests experience luxury accommodations as the hotel is home to the award-winning Willow Stream Spa. Golfers revel in the magnificent course layout and the jaw-dropping scenery.

  1. Golf’s Homeland

Travel to where golf’s roots began – Scotland. Nowhere else in the world can you walk where nearly every legendary figure has played. Roam the countryside, explore historic castles and partake in highland games. Longtime PGA travel partner Premier Golf offers the chance to do all of the above with customizable and all-encompassing golf travel packages.

Every five years, the British Open returns to the Old Course at St Andrews. Luxury packages from Premier Golf for The Open include accommodations, tickets and tee times to the area’s other iconic courses. Watch pros play one day, then golf the next.

  1. Branson/Lakes Area

Known as golf’s Ozark mountain oasis, this area of Southwest Missouri is home to eight courses, including three of the state’s top five (Golfweek’s America’s Best Courses You Can Play, 2015).  The newest is Top of the Rock, a par-3 course created by Jack Nicklaus and played in the PGA Champions Tour Legends of Golf tournament.  Perched above Table Rock Lake and with astonishing views, Top of the Rock’s practice facility was designed by Arnold Palmer and its putting course by Tom Watson.

Sister course to Buffalo Ridge Springs – where live buffalo roam the adjacent, pristine landscape – both are amenities of Big Cedar Lodge, the upscale, family friendly resort that has it all.  After-golf options in the Branson/Lakes Area range from spas, live entertainment theatres and amusement park to a vibrant yet boutique downtown with shopping, restaurants and nightlife at Branson Landing.  Don’t miss the top-notch museums in the destination – Titanic Branson and Ancient Ozarks Natural History – both are unparalleled and mind-blowing (“Hell Cats” and Wooly Mammoths anyone?”).

  1. Mississippi

Dive into the oak forest and find Dancing Rabbit Golf Club among the towering pines. The 7,000-yard course roams through five miles of spring-fed streams and is adjacent to the massive Pearl River Resort. Choose from either The Azaleas or The Oaks, both of which have been featured on Golfweek’s “Best Resort Courses” list.

On the Gulf Coast, you’ll find Fallen Oak, the No. 2-ranked Casino Course in the U.S. and host each spring of the PGA Champions TOUR’s Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Other “must-play” courses on the coast, which also boasts 24-hour gaming action at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Hard Rock Hotel Casino and IP Casino Resort & Spa, include The Preserve, Shell Landing, Grand Bear and The Bridges.

  1. Kauai

Venture from the Big Island and explore Kauai with its black sand beaches and seascape-framed courses. The quality of golf on the Garden Isle is unmatched, whether you tee it up at local favorites like Wailua Golf Course or Puakea Golf Course, or nationally ranked layouts like Princeville Makai Golf Club, Poipu Bay Golf Course or Kauai Lagoons Golf Club.

These renowned courses serve as amenities of similarly celebrated properties in The St. Regis Princeville Resort, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa and Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach.

  1. Telluride

Considered one of the “Best Places You Will Ever Tee,” Telluride Golf Club sits in the heart of the haute Mountain Village. Perched nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, the course offers majestic views as far as the eye can see – snow-capped peaks, towering pines and aspen groves.

Kodak moments and delightful challenges occur the moment one steps onto the first tee, as the steep drop-off and thin air makes this opener temptingly drivable. The dramatic back nine ascends even deeper into the 14,000-foot-plus peaks of the San Miguel Range.

Off the course, enjoy a variety of other activities including mountain biking, ATV tours, a ropes course and more. For the more adventurous soul, there’s the Black Bear Pass off-road tours, which goes down a nearly impassable road through old mining outposts.

  1. Washington

An estimated 35,000 attendees will travel to Chambers Bay in June. Little Creek Casino Resort, conveniently less than an hour from the action, offers guests an exclusive stay-and-play package available June 15-21. The resort offers a spa, state-of-the-art RV Park, Cigar & Wine Lounge, award-winning restaurants and big-name entertainment acts. Salish Cliffs Golf Club has collected numerous honors since opening in 2011, including top-10 status on Golfweek’s “Best in State” and “Best Casino Courses in the U.S.” rankings.

  1. Keswick Hall

Situated on 600 acres just outside Charlottesville in central Virginia’s scenic Hunt Country, few resort destinations combine luxury and spectacular landscapes as does Keswick Hall & Golf Club. Its dramatic new Pete Dye-designed layout, Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club, opened last fall to rave reviews.

The course is the signature amenity to the Forbes Five-Star property’s impressive estate hotel with its newly refreshed 48 guestrooms, many with views of Full Cry. The 18 is a seamless blend of Dye’s expertise and Mother Nature in full glory. Golfers of any and all abilities will find it a thrill to play.