Golf travel demand is in full swing with a revival to the game of life in recent years. According to the National Golf Foundation, 80% of Core golfers have plans to tee up a golf-getaway in 2022, so we’ve curated a collection of unique courses around the world on par with an unforgettable trip. From a 9-hole course carved in the canyons of Laguna Beach to a cliffside course in New Zealand designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, these golfing destinations are made for enthusiasts and beginners alike.
Golf in the Canyon at Ben Brown’s Golf Course – Laguna Beach, California (pictured)
The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s 9-hole course is carved into the naturally dramatic and lush walls of Aliso and Wood Canyons, creating an ultra-private playing experience with stunning views and elevation changes on every fairway. An off-the-beaten-path location with not a house in sight means a quiet playing experience that offers a rare chance to connect fully in nature. Speedy greens and a commitment to proper tee box and hole placement keep the game fast, fun and inviting. This is not your stuffy country club experience - the laid-back atmosphere welcomes novices, families and avid golfers alike.
Swing by Cal-a-Vie for an all-encompassing golf getaway – Vista, California
Cal-a-Vie is the only destination health spa with an 18-hole link-style golf course, Vista Valley Country Club. Nestled in a tranquil valley, the golf course offers stunning views of the Southern California landscape. The beautiful par 71 course features over 240 acres of rolling greens and fairways, made complete with a putting green, driving range, private lessons, and group tournaments available. With 3, 4, and 7-night options, guests can choose from a range of golf packages to make the most of their stay. Each features rounds of golf at Vista Valley Country Club plus spa services, three meals per day, a golf cart, and clubs included.
Chablé Yucatán’s Wellness Golf Program Puts Health in Full Swing – Merida, Mexico
Wellness Golf at Chablé introduces a relaxed approach to ‘the game of life’ for enthusiasts and beginners alike to reconnect with mother earth. The ‘Wellness Golf’ concept was created by award-winning architect Agustín Pizá who has worked on several world-class golf resorts. Guests are invited to play barefoot and sip a great tequila in company of friends or family while connecting with nature on the professionally designed 9-hole course surrounded by a lush Mayan Forest on Mexico’s famed Yucatan Peninsula. Distinct shot values and angles, in tandem with the serene environment, create a challenging yet relaxing experience for all to enjoy.
Ace at One of The Great Marvels of Golf – Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape and with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays high above the ocean atop dramatic cliffs. With cliff-edge fairways perched 140 meters above sea level and with a surface that remains firm and fast, this course offers holes unlike anything you find elsewhere in the world. While every hole has a spectacular view of the Bay, some play cautiously alongside deep ravines as others intimidate golfers with deep cliff top bunkers and sheer drops off the very edge of the earth.
Tee Off a Cliff at Kauri Cliffs – Matauri Bay, New Zealand
At Kauri Cliffs, you can play golf like you’ve never played before. The par 72 championship golf course offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level. Fifteen holes view the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs which plunge to the sea. The beautiful inland holes wind through marsh, forest and farmland, with famous course designer David Harman having ensured that no two holes played are the same. Recently renovated by world renowned golf course architect Rees Jones, the 5th hole received a complete redesign and was transformed from a long, uphill, forced carry par-3 to a short "drop shot" par-3. Other notable changes were the addition of tees on the 2nd and 9th holes and a bunker renovation on the 4th hole. The Kauri Cliffs course is a must-do for any golfer – whether you rate yourself a novice or a pro. Kauri Cliffs is currently ranked #37 in the world by Golf Digest Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World.
Photo courtesy of The Ranch at Laguna Beach