From New Zealand to Scotland and California to the Caribbean, world-class golf is only a short trip away if you know where to look. So whether you want to follow in the footsteps of the greats at a championship golf course or just cross a few items off your bucket list, you’re spoiled for choice. Find out more about the best golf resorts in the world, how much they cost, and what makes them magical golf destinations you won’t soon forget.
The best golf resorts in the world are amazing for their ability to test your skills and offer beautiful scenery, but they offer so much more than that. After you’re done on the golf links, you can enjoy many of the other activities that these resorts have to offer. The only obstacles are how much you want to spend and where you want to go.
To aid you in your quest to find the best golf resort in the world, here are a handful of the best.
Stretching along a scenic stretch of the Pacific Ocean just north of Bandon, Oregon, Bandon Dunes features five 18-hole golf courses and one of the top-rated par-3 courses in North America. As the name implies, much of the golf course is bordered to the west by cascading sand dunes — a rarity within Oregon.
Routinely rated one of the best golf resorts in the world, golfers can choose between:
Following a round, you can treat yourself with many of the onsite activities, including a fitness center, spa, sauna, massage center, fishing, and hiking. However, the crown jewel just might be The Labyrinth — a soapstone maze that will challenge your mind and psyche just as much as the golf course. When you’re done, retire to an oceanfront room and private beach that overlooks the Pacific.
Variety is the so-called spice of life, and you won’t have more golfing options than at Pinehurst Golf Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Nestled in the middle of the Appalachians, Pinehurst is home to nine 18-hole links courses and one nine-hole option. The centerpiece of the resort is Pinehurst No. 2, which has been home to several PGA Tour majors, including the U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup, and the U.S. Championship.
To golf at No.2, make sure you have the budget. As one of the most expensive golf courses in the world, it’ll set you back around $495 during peak times, so plan accordingly. Just remember to meet at the clubhouse before your tee time to mingle with other golf enthusiasts — many whom will give you some tips on how to improve your game.
If you want something a bit more affordable, both No. 6 and No. 8 were designed by world-famous course designed Tom Fazio, giving you a chance to play a golf course that’s just as demanding as it is beautiful.
Other activities at Pinehurst include biking, pools, pickleball and tennis courts, as well as 11 dining options and seven luxurious hotels. Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or a luxury resort getaway, Pinehurst has its rightful place among the best golf resorts in the world.
Located 50 miles southeast of Tampa in Bowling Green, Florida, Streamsong Golf Resort doesn’t carry the same prestige as some other options on this list, but it’s nevertheless a great option for players of all abilities.
Built on the site of a former phosphate strip mine, Streamsong is an atypical country club. However, it’s routinely voted as one of the best public courses in the country thanks to its beauty, design, and commitment to retaining the natural flora and fauna of the Sunshine State.
The resort features a 228-room hotel and four courses — Red, Blue, Black, and The Chain. Created by renowned course designers Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, Red is perhaps the fan favorite due to its challenging layout, as well as landscapes dotted by towering dunes, natural lakes, and sandy fields.
After the fairways, sit back and relax in Streamsong’s hotel or enjoy what the area has to offer. You can always stay onsite and do clay shooting, guided bass fishing, or archery. Alternatively, you can drive to the Atlantic Coast of Florida for some beach time, head to Tampa for a cigar, or catch a Rays game in St. Peterburg.
A success story on the golf course is one thing, but revitalizing an entire community through the game is something altogether spectacular. That’s just what you’ll get at Cabot Golf Resort. While Cabot has locations in Florida, Scotland, British Columbia, and St. Lucia, its Cape Breton course in Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada is one of the most breathtaking best golf resort in the world.
Built on abandoned coal mines, Cabot Cape Breton helped to revitalize the local economy in the late 2000s and early 2010s after the coal industry collapsed. With rolling sand dunes and majestic cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, its natural landscape is almost unrivaled by any course in North America.
Beyond the cliffside bunkers and undulated fairways, Cabot Cape Breton also boasts other unforgettable activities such as:
South Carolina counts itself among the best states for golf thanks to a temperate climate and plenty of oceanfront golfing opportunities. But Kiawah Island Golf Resort takes it to the next level. Located on Kiawah Island, this five-star resort is routinely on top-10 lists of the best golf courses in the world.
Behind its fame is The Ocean Course. Opened in 1991, The Ocean Course features a slope rating of 155 and a course rating of 79.2, making it the most difficult course in North America. Designed by famed golf course creator Pete Dye and his wife, the course has an interesting mix of seaview vistas, perplexing greens, and exposure to winds from the Atlantic — all designed to make the course downright tough. The back nine are particularly difficult, and are often listed collectively as some of the most famous holes in golf.
As a five-star resort, Kiawah Island has almost any activity you could want. From signature dining to private beaches, you can whisk away for a romantic getaway or round up your friends for the most epic week/weekend of golf and fun that money can buy.
You can’t truly play one of the best golf resorts in the world without going to the Scottish Highlands — the birthplace of modern golf. As the oldest course in the world, the aptly named Old Course at St. Andrew’s is the holy grail of golf. Home to 30 Open Championships (British Opens) and famed for British royalty, every footstep you take is in truly regal fashion. Your scorecard may not reflect this, but it’s definitely worth every penny on the trip.
Located at the tip of Baja California in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, Palmilla Golf Club is arguably the best golf resort in Mexico and one of the best golf resorts in the world. Featuring the first Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Latin America, Palmilla has 27 holes of palm tree-lined courses overlooking the Sea of Cortez.
While the course itself only has a pro shop and a cafe, the area is surrounded by beach resorts of all price ranges and levels of accommodation. Whether you’re on a boys’ trip or away with the family, golfing in Cabo at Palmilla is sure to please everyone you bring.
Some might say the African continent is devoid of golf, but that obviously means they’ve never been to Fancourt Hotel and Country Club in George, Western Cape, South Africa. Rated as one of the top 10 lifestyle resorts in the world, and hence, one of the best golf resorts in the world, Fancourt has a little something for everyone.
The heart of Fancourt is three Gary Player-designed golf courses, each with challenges, character, allure, and a landscape to match. Perhaps the most intriguing of the bunch is The Links course, which Player claimed was his greatest feat ever as a course designer — even the majestic swing of his golf club hasn’t always yielded the best results.
Away from the course, Fancourt offers swimming pools, a family-themed leisure center, tennis courts, fishing, and more — all designed for an all-around experience.
Depending on who you ask, Pebble Beach Golf Links might just be the most famous and best golf resort in the world. Home to the eponymous and number one-ranked public course in Pebble Beach, The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass, and Del Monte, it has plenty of chances to put up your A-game at a place where many professionals have enjoyed glory and failure.
If you stay here, you may as well book accommodation at The Inn at Spanish Bay — an idyllic resort every bit as breathtaking as the course itself.
Nevermind which of the best golf resorts in the world you want to add to your bucket list. Before you go through all the planning and budgeting, make sure that you improve your game far before your tee time.
Hop on Vibes Golf to explore ways to improve your game, featuring everything from golf books to putter selection and everything in between. While golf is certainly a physical sport, it’s equally as demanding mentally. Make sure you use every tool at your disposal.
Going to one of the best golf resorts in the world is an awesome experience. The only thing better is bringing home a victory and bragging rights.