Words by Carlie Tucker
Those that golf will tell you the best travel is that which takes you to the links. The sport is beloved around the globe, making it easy to find quality courses in far flung locations where natural beauty abounds and any barriers (cultural or otherwise) are broken down over 18 holes.
What's better is that many of these golfing destinations also incorporate luxury resorts where every whim is not only met but exceeded. This is certainly true of the United States where legendary courses are accompanied by premium accommodation that's just as famous as their fairways.
So, when it comes time to book your next holiday, let your clubs gauge your direction and book at one of these top US luxury golf resorts.
Pebble Beach: Pebble Beach, California
Arguably the most famous course in the US, Pebble Beach holds a place on many itineraries for golfers around the world. The course was established in 1919 and has since hosted five US Opens. It's stunning location is as much of a drawcard as its unique challenges, hugging the rugged California coastline to create staggering ocean views and cliffside fairways.
Embracing the famed 18th hole, the Lodge at Pebble Beach rivals that of its expansive course. 161 rooms and suites maintain a high level of elegance and comfort cultivated over nearly 100 years. The Spa at Pebble Beach offers premier treatments incorporating indigenous Monterey Peninsula plants and minerals, while four separate restaurants serve up world-class meals.
Avid golfers and luxury seekers will also appreciate a further three courses (Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish bay and Del Monte) as well as two additional premium resorts (The Inn at Spanish Bay and Casa Palmero) to choose from in the area.
The American Club: Kohler, Wisconsin
Home to the Whistling Straights and Blackwolf Run, the courses at the American Club rank among the best in the US. In fact, as recently as 2014 they were included in the top 100 courses in the country by Golf Digest. There are four individual courses to choose from conceived by legendary designer Pete Dye, with Blackwolf Run considered to be one of his best achievements.
Staying overnight at the resort is as much of a pleasure as gracing the greens with four top accommodation options to choose from. While all feature the trappings expected of a luxury resort, it's the American Club Hotel that takes premium service to the next level. Its Turdor-style architecture and lavish interiors are complemented by such additional amenities as a full service spa, first class dining, shopping experiences, a children's club and much more.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'Upulehu: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
The Four Seasons may be synonymous with luxury, but this highly acclaimed resort giant also offers up some pretty fantastic golf in the Hualalai Jack Nicklaus signature course. Often described as the perfect combination of nature and skill, its wide greens are accentuated by black lava contours and a final three holes that showcase the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean. Up the ante by taking advantage of the Golf With A PGA Legend experience offered by the hotel.
Like the course, the Hualalai resort was designed to make the most of its sensational Hawaiian location. There are 243 guest rooms, suites and villas emphasising sleek style with natural finishes and incredible views. Everyone from couples to families are catered for with such unique amenities as the Ka'Upulehu Culture Center and King's Pond – one of six resort pools that also happens to be a diving aquarium fed by ocean tides and natural artesian wells.
Pinehurst: Pinehurst, North Carolina
If variety is the spice of life, Pinehurst is paradise. Considered by many to be hallowed golfing ground, it was established in 1898 and continues to draw legends of the game to its nine different courses. Number 2 is held in particularly high regard. Pinehurst has hosted more championships than any other course in the country thanks to its diversity, using masterful design and mother nature to challenge players at all levels.
Like it's courses, Pinehurst accommodation offers up an abundance of choice. Four expertly-appointed hotels provide options for travel groups of all sizes; though, it's the Holly Inn that stands as the centrepiece in the Pinehurst crown. 82 guestrooms and suites incorporate the best in style and comfort all the way down to the jewel-toned Tiffany lamps.
Like any world-class resort, a full service spa is also available along with no less than eight dining options. This includes locally-sourced ingredients prepared by award winning chefs at the 1985 Grille.
The Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North: Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale at Troon North utilises its stunning Sonoma Desert setting to create two fun and fair courses that challenge players at all skill levels with boulder obstacles, bunkers and gently undulating greens. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, it was recently voted into the top 75 courses in the US by Golf Digest, and is widely considered to be the pinnacle of desert golf design.
Overlooking the course, the 5-star Four Seasons resort also draws inspiration from the amazing desert setting. 210 luxury guest rooms and suites were designed to coexist with the environment, allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate while soaking up the surrounding beauty. This includes 22 luxury adobe casitas with private landscaped terraces or balconies.
Along with the top links, premium accommodations and superb amenities, the Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North provides guests with a few exclusive desert experiences. This includes their Cowboy for a Day experience in which you will don custom western wear to head to a local ranch for lessons on roping and riding before commencing a trail ride through the Rio Verde region.