Golf is one of those sports that you can transport you to some of the world’s most beautiful and luxurious places. Rewarding yourself with a stay at one of the top golf resorts is a sure way to ensure you improve that handicap, and to give yourself an unparalleled golfing experience!
I personally started my golf career on the plain simple grounds of Australia as that country is blessed with a good part of its land being a natural golf course. Lucky Australians, although golf course qualities varies of course. Australia is a country where some of the world’s prime golf resorts are located. I was lucky enough to stay at Port Douglas’s fabulous golf resort, the Mirage Country Club, for example.
However, we don’t need to fly to the other end of the world in order to find a top quality golf resort. There are many top quality golf resorts in the US, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
Top Golf Resorts In the US
The top 10 US Golf resorts as it stands today:
The Pinehurst Resort in Northern California
Kiawah Island Resorts in South Carolina
Pebble Beach resorts in California
Kapalua Bay Hotel and Ocean Villas in Hawaii.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon
Princeville Resort in Princeville, Hawaii
Dora Golf Resort in Miami Florida
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North in Arizona
The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa in Arizona
The Greenbrier in West Virginia
This list of 10 golf resorts is chosen by Travel & Leisure’s discriminating readers. There are however other ratings with hundreds of panelists who decide which is the best golf course, depending on various factors ranging from yards, par, points, the course ambiance, the overall feel and atmosphere of the golf course & resort.
So, check these golf courses, but sure don’t limit yourself to just these. There are wonderful golf courses the world over and America is home to some of the best ones.
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Yes, it is usually pretty balmy here in Hawaii, but are you prepared for all of the different weather that you will find in the islands?
The weather can vary greatly within a few miles. For instance, Mount Waialeale on Kauai is the wettest spot on earth with over 460 inches of rain a year (in 1982 it actually rained 666 inches!) However, just a few miles away is a desert that receives less than 10 inches of rain per year. So as you can see the weather varies quite a lot just on one island.
Hawaii weather is greatly influenced by the trade winds that generally blow at speeds of 10-20 MPH. Sometimes the winds will be light to non-existent and sometimes they will blow much stronger–into the 30 MPH range.
The trade winds have a welcome cooling effect. Even though it may be 85 degrees with 80% humidity, the trade winds make it feel much more comfortable.
The opposite wind is called the kona wind. The kona winds tend to bring hot, humid weather, and sometimes rain. The kona winds are not as prevalent as the trade winds. (Don’t confuse kona winds with Kona side of the Big Island which tends to be hot and dry.)
Hawaii has semi-tropical weather. Temperatures usually range from 75-90 degrees year round in the daytime, and 70-80 degrees at night. Temperatures in the winter months may be a little cooler, where nighttime temperatures can sometimes fall into the 50’s. (It feels much cooler than that with a 20 MPH trade wind blowing.)
At the higher elevations of the islands (such as up country Maui and Big Island) temperatures can drop to the 30’s or 40’s and snow often falls at the very high elevations of Haleakala and Mauna Kea!
Rain showers can appear at any time of the year but they most often fall between the months of November-February. Even though these winter months are technically the “rainy season”, the rains are generally short lived, and sunshine and blue skies return quickly.
We call these short, light showers “blessings.” Sometimes you can’t even seem to find the clouds that are producing these “blessings”, but if you look around you will probably see the rainbows they leave behind!
Hawaii also has what are called “Mauka Showers.” Mauka means “inland” or “toward the mountains.” It will often be raining in the mountains or valleys, but be dry on the beaches.
Sometimes during the winter months it does rain for 2-3 days straight. The good news is that since there are so many micro-climates on the islands, you can often just go a short distance to find dry weather.
Hawaii does, on rare occasion have a hurricane pass our way, although this happens much less often than it does in Florida or other parts of the US mainland. It is always good to be prepared, of course, but the last hurricanes to hit Hawaii was “Iniki” which hit Kauai in 1992. Hurricane season runs between June-December.
Even given these general guidelines, the weather can vary quite a bit depending on where you are on the island. The windward (Northeast) sides of the islands are generally the wettest and coolest, and the leeward (Southwest) sides are generally the driest and hottest.
So as you can see, there can be quite a variety of weather in Hawaii. Be sure to pack a light jacket, rain coat, or sweater so you’ll be comfortable on the cool Hawaiian nights and in your visits upcountry.
If you plan on visiting Maui or Big Island you won’t want to miss the summits of Haleakala (elevation 10,023 feet) and Mauna Kea (elevation 13,796 feet.) Just make sure you pack a heavy jacket!
This is the second article in a series of 3 on America’s top 25 Golf destinations.
9. Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen
These are the small towns that have more than forty well-known and classy golf courses. They have a perfect setting for playing golf as the sky is blue and the surrounding is colorful with a lot of greenery. This location has been renowned as a first class golf course location. The courses here are public as well as private. Some courses are part of the resorts. Whispering woods, Anderson creek, and Legacy are few well-known courses. You can stay at the Residence Inn by Marriot when you are in the area.
10. Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach in California is a place where tournament action first took place in the late 1920s. A huge number of tournaments have taken place in the golf course of Pebble Beach. The US Open has taken place in this location four times. The 18th Hole of Pebble Beach is very popular among the Golfers. Places where you can stay are The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay, etc.
11. Palm Springs
You will find more than a hundred golf courses at Coachella Valley in Palm Springs. This location has spectacular desert landscape, low humidity and plenty of sunshine. Few well-known golf courses in Palm Springs consist of Westin Mission Hills, Tahquitz Creek, Shadow Mountain, Marriot Desert Springs, LaQuinta Resort, Landmark, Golf center at Palm Desert Cathedral Canyon, etc. L’Horizon, Villa Royale Inn, Hyatt Regency Suites are some of the hotels where you can put up your family and yourself in when you are at Palm Springs.
Orlando in Florida is considered as the Golf Capital of the World. There are excellent golf courses on the suburbs of Orlando Metro region. It has approximate a hundred and fifty golf courses. This location has more to it than just golf courses. There are Seaworld, Disney World, Universal Studios, EPCOT and MGM Studios in Orlando. Some popular examples are North Shore, Mission, ChampionsGate, etc. The hotels where you can stay at are Marriot Orlando, Westin grand Bohemian, etc. So this is one perfect place to go to with your family.
Maui, an island in Hawaii is home to United States’ finest golf courses. Usually the climate there is very good but sometimes the wind blows a little hard. If you are tired from playing golf then you can relax or take a swim in the beaches in Maui. After all, Hawaii is well known for its beaches. Maui Seaside Hotel, Sunseeker Resort, etc, are places to stay at when in Maui.
14. Las Vegas
We all know Las Vegas to be a city of entertainment and gambling but not everyone knows that it is also a great place to be to play golf. There are number of courses in the city as well as on its suburbs. Most of the courses are resort or public. So a golf vacation in Las Vegas can get you all the fun that one can get as you can have lots of entertainment when in this city. Few hotels that you can book yourself in are Marriott Suites, Venetian Hotel Resort, The Mirage, etc.
15. Kiawah Island
It has been said that Kiawah Island holds some of the best golf courses in the United States. You can try out tennis, beaches, bike trails, etc when you are tired of playing golf. When in Kiawah Island, check out the designs of five contemporary golf course designers. Holiday Inn, The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island Golf and Tennis Resort are few places where you can think of staying when in Kiawah Island.
16. Hilton Head
Hilton Head is an Island where many families go to for their vacations. It has forty golf courses and as such, you can spend your golf vacation hoping from one golf course to another. Choose from various kinds of resorts ranging from private to public, to semi-private to resort-type courses. The Beaches in Hilton Head are also very clean and safe so when you are done with golfing you can always go to the beaches. Hilton Oceanfront resort is one great place to stay at.
Going to a spa is the perfect way to unwind and revive yourself while you are on your relax vacation. There are different kinds of spas and you can be assured of finding one that seems to be tailor made for your particular needs.
The Aveda Spa at Alexis Hotel – You can choose from a total body massage, which starts from $ 45, to the special Himalayan Rijuvenation Body Treatment at approximately $125. This treatment is a holistic rejuvenation treatment using both herbs and aromatherapy. There is also the Total Body Elixir Treatment, which costs about $75. Should you want to continue your treatments after going home, then you can buy the skin care products that are sold at the Spa.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – This spa gives you a choice of fitness and health services. Private treatment rooms are available where hydrotherapy, mineral soaks as well as Swedish and Sports massages are offered. In addition to healing rubs, total body composition analysis and fitness evaluation can be had here.
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa on Maui – This famous spa offers a variety of treatments in its facility which spans 50,000 square feet. With a choice of five aromatic baths, all the benefits of aromatherapy, which is a multifaceted art, are available to you. The Spa however is famous for the Termé Wailea Hydrotherapy. For about $500, you can indulge yourself and your partner in a Sandalwood Serenity wrap, which is a Speciality Bath for two, and then have a side-by-side massage for the two of you. This treatment at the Spa Grande is sure to completely revive you and relax you.
Marriott’s Wentworth by the Sea at New Castle – The complimentary beverages which are served in the relaxation room set the right note to the kind of pampering that you can expect at this wonderful spa. Facial treatments, which include the French Ogenage Facial and the Royal Gentleman’s Facial, are offered, as also are Paraffin hand treatments. Warm stones, aromatic essential oils along with Reiki are all used in combination to give massages that are truly relaxing. There are special maternity massages that are totally safe for mothers to be.
Sandy Lane Resort of Barbados- With a price tag of just $220, the Dr.Hauschka Classic Treatment is a perfect way to rejuvenate your skin in two hours. There is also the complete spa treatment over six hours which starts with a water massage, and then a hydrotherapy bath which precedes a body massage, aromatherapy facial, exercises for complete relaxation followed by manicures and pedicures.
About the Author
Vince Paxton’s informative papers can be encountered on several web sites linked to Spain. You can come across his contributions on Golf in Spain at http://www.alicante-spain.com and different sources for Golf in Spain knowledge.
Because of the rise in wellness tourism business owners on the Big Island of Hawaii have got together to promote a travel initiative that they collectively hope will prove so successful that it will eventually be adopted by the rest of the state.
The Hawaii Island Wellness Travel Association, composed of 120 business owners and holistic professionals, has set up a meeting with both the Big Island Visitors Bureau and Hawaii County officials to take the initiative further at which they hope to agree marketing strategies, develop effective packaging and adopt a set of rules for health and wellness travel to Hawaii, which they regard as a booming business.
As recently as 2005 almost $50,000 was set aside by Hawaii Tourism Authority to be used to quantify how well wellness tourism could be developed in the archipelago. A leading research company was approached to produce a comprehensive study of the health and wellness tourism market for the state of Hawaii. However, significant progress stalled once the report had been produced, and only now, some two years later, is the idea being re-launched.
One of the most vociferous proponents and advocates of wellness tourism Lew Whitney, co-founder of the Kokolulu Farm and Qigong Center based in North Kohala said: “We’ve been trying for years to persuade the Hawaii Tourism Authority that this (wellness) offers a great opportunity for the whole state of Hawaii and not just the Big Island.” Over the last nine years the Center has offered a range of cancer retreats and meditative healing programs and Whitney admits that it has been a struggle getting the message across to tourism chiefs. However, Whitney highlights that the Center, located on the northern tip of the Big Island, has been successfully trading for almost 10 years, and with little promotional help from the Hawaii Tourism Authority has managed to remain in business, albeit with the help of some charitable contributions.
Indeed, leading research group Mintel produced a comprehensive Market Research document which looked at wellness tourism being offered throughout the world in places as far flung as Japan, Hungary, India, Austria and Thailand. It concluded, amongst other things that markets were expanding as more and more people, of all ages, made their vacation choices based on health and wellness travel demonstrating that that the sector had a bright future.
As more people take to using alternative and natural remedies, tying wellness into hotel deals in Hawaii could herald a bold new initiative that in the long run may well add an extra string to the already well developed tourism bow for the state.