Golf is part of the fabric of sporting life in the USA. The first evidence of the game being played in the country comes from 1659, the US is home to three of the four Major championships, the world’s richest professional tour and many of the very best and most famous golf courses on earth.
As such, the USA is one of the best destinations for the golfing holidaymaker. Here we look at some of the top courses on both sides of the country:
In 2014 Pinehurst near Fayetteville in the heart of North Carolina played host to the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open, both taking place over Pinehurst’s famous No. 2 course. There are no less than eight courses at Pinehurst with designs by Donald Ross, Tom Fazio and Rees Jones.
There are more than 350 courses in North Carolina set over stunning landscapes from the Blue Ridge Mountains inland, to the amazing beaches and wetlands of the Atlantic coast.
Possibly the best known golfing destination in South Carolina is Hilton Head Island.
Fans of the PGA Tour will be familiar with Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort. Since 1969 it has played host to the RBC Heritage tournament. Designed by Pete Dye, the course is mainly played amongst the trees, before the iconic finish moves the layout to the shoreline. The 17th and 18th holes play along the Calibogue Sound with the final hole directed towards the famous, red and white, Harbour Town lighthouse. You’ll find further superb Pete Dye tracks at Sea Pines and Kiawah Island.
Florida has long been a favourite destination for holidaymakers from the UK, with its beaches, Everglades, amusement parks and top-class golf courses and resorts.
The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach is home to one of the USA’s most iconic golf courses. The Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass and the Stadium Course there has been home to The Players Championship on the PGA Tour since 1982. The course’s par-3 17th, played to an island green, is now one of the most famous holes in golf.
There are five excellent courses at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami and five more at the PGA National Resort & Spa just north of the city.
From the Eastern Seaboard to the Pacific coast and the superb course at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, California. It’s one of the world’s most recognisable tracks having hosted the U.S. Open on five occasions, most recently when Graeme McDowell won in 2010. Also at the Pebble Beach resort are excellent layouts at Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay and the historic Del Monte Course – original host to the Californian Amateur Championship.
South to Los Angeles, there’s a great selection of courses at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad. The Champions course there has welcomed 37 PGA Tour events over the years, but it’s a track that players of all abilities will enjoy.
Inland, Palm Springs is home to more than 100 courses and is a real oasis in the desert. Resorts like PGA West and La Quinta attract golfers from around the world year after year.
Las Vegas is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the USA. The city boasts 149,000 hotel rooms with an occupancy rate of over 85%. That means, at any one time there’s in the region of 250,000 visitors in the city.
They come for the glitzy shows, the incredible selection of amazing restaurants, the casinos, the clubs and the golf. There are more than 60 courses in and around the city of Las Vegas and there are tracks to suit all budgets from exclusive, “high-roller,” courses like Shadow Creek to more affordable and accessible pay and play facilities like Bears Best or Boulder Creek.
There are more options than ever before for the golfing holidaymaker, and some of the low-price offers from emerging destinations are a tempting prospect. But, sometimes these packages can be one-dimensional – there’s golf, a hotel and that’s about it.
The USA delivers a far more complete offering. There’s an abundance of courses, far too many in each region to experience all in a single holiday. There’s also good weather, history, scenery, great food, many and varied off-course activities and a friendly American welcome at every port of call.
Before you get on that Westbound flight, make sure you’ve got adequate golf travel insurance in case anything happens to you or your clubs. With Golf Care’s worldwide golf travel insurance, if anything happens to your clubs, you’ll get replacements straight away so that your golf holiday isn’t interrupted and you can quickly get back out on those beautiful courses.