I was in Scottsdale last week doing site inspections at some Virtuoso resorts, and it made me remember how fun it is to golf in the winter. I decided to dedicate his week’s blog to some of the incredible places in the world to golf on vacation.
If you live in a cold climate, there are few better places to golf in the winter than the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. While there are multiple courses worth playing, here are just a couple that I got to see (along with the resorts you can enjoy during your stay):
Troon North is a Par 71/72 target golf complex consisting of two courses. You can improve your game with a professional forecaddie who can help you navigate the challenging desert golf style.
The Monument Course was inspired by golfer Tom Weiskopf and offers a challenge to golfers of all handicaps with stunning desert vistas.
The Pinnacle Course offers spectacular scenery from its five sets of tees, including mountain peaks and statuesque saguaro cacti.
Another stellar 36-hole facility is Troon North’s Monument and Pinnacle courses—ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the state, and Monument is No. 25 on Golf Digest’s latest Best in State ranking.
When I toured the Four Seasons, they mentioned their guests have Troon North golf privileges. The Concierge has a tee sheet, so you can conveniently sign the charges to the room. There is also a shuttle that takes guests from the resort to the course, so there’s no need to rent a car! In addition to beautiful guest rooms with desert-style décor, there are 2-3 bedroom standalone units for larger groups and families. The Four Seasons Club Aviara Residences condo-style (with studio, 1br, 2 bedroom king units with a full kitchen). Residential with barbecues and its own clubhouse and restaurant. The resort also has a gin bar where they do mixology classes.
When I was in Scottsdale last week, the TPC Scottsdale Stadium course was setting up for the Phoenix Open, and white tents could be seen for blocks! Although Stadium is one of the more extraordinary experiences, the Champions course is also tons of fun. Who doesn’t want to play where the pros play?
The Fairmont Princess is a great resort associated with this iconic golf complex. Upon arrival at the pet-friendly Fairmont Princess, you will be greeted by their Golden retriever lobby ambassadors trained therapy dogs. When I was sitting in the lobby waiting for my rep to take me on a tour of the resort, one of the dogs walked up to me and just put her head on my lap! It made me instantly feel at home!
At the Princess, you can also enjoy access to some of the finest golf courses in Scottsdale, including TPC Scottsdale, with guest rates at the Champion and Stadium TPC and Grayhawk courses. The resort provides transportation, and their Golf concierge can book any of the 200 golf courses in the valley.
After a long, hot round of golf, the resort’s 44,000sf spa (with a Sisley spa – one of only 27 worldwide) welcomes you. The Sisley is a spa-within-a-spa with six new private treatment facilities, a white-glove private attaché (very French!), and a personalized shopping opportunity. The Sisley experience is perfect for pampering your skin that has been weathered by the Sonoran Desert sun.
Wildfire Golf Club is located at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. It features two championship courses, the Palmer Signature Course and the Faldo Championship course, designed by legendary golfers Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo (obviously). Wildfire was named one of Travel & Leisure Golf’s “World’s Best Golf Resorts” and Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Golf Resorts. The resort also has a world-class racquet center featuring five premier hard tennis courts and twelve pickleball courts. The Pro Pickleball Association conducted a tournament with over 1000 players when I was there! It inspired me to plan a pickleball group trip for January 2023, so stay tuned for more details on that.
Why not pair a 3-4 night stay in Scottsdale with a relaxing few in Sedona or Amangiri? This is the perfect combination to recharge your batteries!
Charleston, South Carolina, claims to be one of the birthplaces of American golf, and it is also one of the best at accommodating all skill levels. Some of the best golf you can play near this charming Southern city is Kiawah Island.
Kiawah Island is a golfer’s paradise with five fantastic golf courses designed by Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player, and Clyde Johnston. It is the only resort in the country with three courses ranked on Golf Digest’s list of “America’s Top 75 Resort Courses.”
No golf trip to this region would be complete without a stay at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, located along the spotless shores of Kiawah Island, South Carolina. This exquisite hotel captures southern hospitality’s spirit, history, and charm just thirty minutes from downtown Charleston.
The resort is one of the finest oceanfront hotels built on the East Coast in 20 years. Each spacious room features luxurious five-fixture baths, large marble showers, dual vanities, private water closets, shuttered bathroom windows, and balconies. A private concierge level offers the most exclusive, personalized services and private elevator access, while the concierge club features exquisite food presentations throughout the day. After a full day of golf, you can relax in the charming Forbes Five Star spa, named one of the best in the world by Travel & Leisure.
Play the 18-hole PGA Championship Greg Norman-designed El Camaleón course, set in diverse ecosystems including dense mangroves, freshwater canals, tropical jungle, and pristine Riviera Maya ocean. This beautiful course offers impressive views and accommodates golfers of all abilities. The perfect place to golf while on a beach vacation!
Nearby Mayakoba luxury resorts such as the Rosewood, Banyan Tree, Andaz, and Fairmont just happen to be a part of some of the elite hotel programs I mentioned in last week’s blog, so Premiere Luxury Travel can offer VIP amenities at these resorts, as well!
This new state-of-the-art facility features the latest technology – ideal for beginners and experts. Combining practice and entertainment, Hawaii’s first TopGolf® Swing Suite® boasts the newest full swing simulator technology in a relaxed, modern lounge setting.
Test your skills on the Resort’s Jack Nicklaus-signature course with lush fairways and oceanfront holes. Relax on the beach, poolside, or with a sunset cocktail before adjourning to your newly renovated guest room or suite.
The Four Seasons Hualalai is located in one of my favorite parts of the Big Island of Hawaii. The white-sand beaches juxtaposed with black lava surroundings make this resort a site to behold! Of course, you will also experience the extraordinary service that the Four Seasons is known for! The fact that you can take advantage of my new preferred partner program with Four Seasons, which provides my clients with VIP status at participating Four Season properties, is a bonus!
Situated on over 300 acres and nestled in Anguilla’s Rendezvous Bay, Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club (formerly Cuisinart) is a five-star beachfront resort on the unspoiled Caribbean island of Anguilla. Aurora International Golf Club is an 18-hole world-class golf course designed by golfer Greg Norman. It reopened in November 2021 after an extensive enhancement and is the only golf course on the island.
Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club offers luxurious beachfront accommodations and private luxury villas. The resort’s instantly recognizable whitewashed architecture creates a visually stunning contrast against sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea beneath brilliant blue skies. The resort’s crown jewels include an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course, the spa, and world-class dining at five restaurants. Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club is a member of Leading Hotels of the World.
The iconic St. Andrews Old Course is on every golf lover’s bucket list. Ranked 3rd best golf course globally, it is known as the “Home of Golf.” The perfect place to stay here overlooks the legendary Old Course links. Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa is a stately beauty in the heart of Scotland’s “Home of Golf.” St. Andrews’ premier five-star hotel and spa overlooking the 17th fairway of the famed Old Course and the North Sea beyond. Relax at the award-winning Kohler water spa, or enjoy a pint and meal in their six restaurants and bars. Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa is home to quite possibly the most famous 19th hole in golf – the Jigger Inn.
Portmarnock Golf Club was founded in 1894. It is consistently ranked amongst the top golf courses in the world. With a rich history closely aligned to golf progression in Ireland, Portmarnock has hosted many major professional and amateur events.
Portmarnock is ranked 48th best golf course in the world and offers 27 holes of championship links golf.
Don’t mistake this one for its neighbor next door: Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, which itself is an upscale, 180-acre 4-star golf resort set on the coast. The hotel was completely renovated within the last 5 years and boasts an upscale brasserie, whiskey bar, spa, gym, and 18-hole championship golf course.
Well, not exactly on the river, but for golf enthusiasts, imagine golfing at some of Europe’s most prestigious golf courses in 5 different countries all on one trip! With AMA’s Concierge Golf Program, tee times, transportation, club cleaning, etc., are all done FOR you. I can’t wait to try the Penati Country Club in Slovakia, which counts as the longest hole in Europe among its challenges. The par 6, 787 Yard 15th hole offers 11 tees. The view alone is worth the price of admission!
A travel advisor with relationships with all the different resorts and cruise lines can be incredibly valuable in helping you sort through all the options to find the perfect fit! Golf trips are also ideal for small groups of friends, family, or even work colleagues who would like to travel together. Who would you like to spend time with on an incredible golf vacation?
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