best golf resorts america

The best golf resorts in North America

09 Jul 2024 | Updated on: 11 Jul 2024 |By Annie Lewis

America doesn’t do things by halves – and its golf resorts are no exception. Tee off at these top-notch courses across the pond, from Florida to Colorado

Dotting the southern plains from Colorado to California, the tropical coastlines of Puerto Rico to the sandy deserts of Arizona, America is a golfer’s paradise. The tees, designed by the best architects in the world, feature natural gorges, waterfalls and ravines while jungles and deserts fringe the fairways to create a sporting experience that would have even the most discerning of linksmen in awe. Having hosted presidents, politicians, and professionals, America’s top courses do not disappoint – and come with five-star hotels to match. Read on to discover the best golf resorts in America. 

Sonnenalp, Colorado

Cosy and quaint, Sonnenalp is a mountainside 127-key hotel in Colorado’s Vail Village that offers far more than meets the eye. Steeped in history – the five-star establishment was built by the German Faessler family as a copy-cat of its Bavarian sister in 1979 – the name translates to ‘sun on the mountains’ and acts as an all-year resort for keen athletes, who can enjoy Vail’s slopes in winter and tee off on an award-winning golf course during the warmer months. 

The challenging 18-hole championship links-style course was meticulously designed by renowned architects Jay Morrish and Bob Cupp, and has a recommended play time of around four hours. Offering one of the longest golf seasons in Vail Valley, also don’t miss the club’s state-of-the-art fitness facilities, including an extensive fitness centre, spa and tennis courts. After a day on the tees, head to the Harvest restaurant for American homestyle cooking served against beautiful mountain vistas.

From £350 per night. 

Primland Resort, Virginia

Situated at the heart of a 12,000-acre estate, Primland Resort – part of Auberge Resorts Collection – in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a luxurious back-to-nature escape unfolding across the highlands of Virginia. Nominated as the one of the best resorts in the US by Condé Nast Traveller and named in the top 28 golf resorts in the US and Canada by Golf Magazine, Primland Resort is a perfect mix of luxurious accommodation – with 47 rooms boasting mountain or fairway views – and sporting adventure, making it the go-to hotel for those looking to tee off by day, and unwind by night. 

Showcasing panoramic mountain vistas at every turn, the Highland Course at Primland seamlessly blends into the natural landscape to offer all players a challenge. Opened in 2006 by renowned architect Donald Steel, the 18-hole course winds through mountainous terrain, ridgetops and valleys, and the hotel’s team of PGA professionals are on hand to help you ace your technique. From one-on-one experiences, which can be tailored to any aspect of the game, to multi-day lesson plans at the resort’s School of Golf, take your game to the next level with modern swing analysis, game management, putting, pitching, and bunker shot practice and more. After a long day on the greens, we recommend enjoying elegant fine dining in the Lodge at Elements, informal imbibing at the 19th Pub, or follow the forested trails to Stables Saloon to discover traditional Southern food and music at its very best. 

From £440 per night. 

Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Hawaii

Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Hawaii

White Lotus fans no doubt have Four Seasons Resort Lanai on their bucket list (the five-star hotel was used as a filming location for season one of the hit HBO show), but golf enthusiasts should look beyond the camera to discover its beautiful Manele Course. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course is located, alongside the hotel, on the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii but thanks to its numerous accolades, it’s a bucket list-worthy golf destination. Built on lava outcroppings, the Par 72 features three clifftop holes that use the Pacific Ocean as a water hazard, while tee shots over natural gorges and ravines call for perfect precision. In winter months, the fairways are among the best vantage points for spectacular sightings of whales making their annual migration.

Elsewhere, while away the hours at the lagoon-style pool, visit the on-site botanical gardens to discover native flora and fauna, unwind at the Hawanawana Spa, and enjoy classic Japanese cuisine at cliff-side Nobu Lanai. Golfing holidays don’t get much better than this. 

From £935 per night. 

The Resort at Pelican Hill, California

The Resort at Pelican Hill
Image: The Resort at Pelican Hill

With 36 holes designed by award-winning golf architect Tom Fazio, a luxurious clubhouse, a signature al fresco restaurant, and a stunning natural seaside setting at Newport Beach, Pelican Hill is one of America's top golf resorts. Originally opened in the early 1990s and designed in harmony with the dramatic coastline, the 18-hole Ocean North and 18-hole Ocean South cover nearly 400 acres of land next to the Pacific Ocean. Fazio returned in 2005 and spent two years revamping the course for it to reopen to critical acclaim, while the state-of-the-art clubhouse with its dramatic combination of elegant Californian style with European inflections, designed by renowned Italian architect Andrea Palladio, is the place to see and be seen. 

Head to the clubhouse to dine at the Pelican Grill, which celebrates the best of Californian lifestyle with a delectable menu of high quality, locally sourced foods, local wines, and a relaxed bar dotted with flat screen TVs for spectators to enjoy sport off and on the course. Rest your head at the resort’s private, residential-style bungalows and villas, with personal butlers on hand to take care of your every need. 

From £1,245 per night. 

St Regis Bahía Beach Resort & Golf Club, Puerto Rico

Situated on a former coconut farm and nestled between the El Yunque National Forest and Espíritu Santo River State Preserve, the St Regis Bahía Beach Resort is spread across 483 pristine Puerto Rican acres, offering uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean. The luxury beachfront retreat blends history, elegance and tropical splendour at every turn, from comfortable guest rooms conceptualised by local designer Nono Maldonado to bistro-style cuisine at Seagrapes, serving delectable native dishes under white cabanas with views of the ocean beyond. 

Guests can enjoy a thrilling round on the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr golf course, which is strategically designed to be perfect for beginners yet challenging enough for the most seasoned players. Impressive scenery features throughout, showcasing two miles of beach, an Audubon International Gold Signature Sanctuary, and views of the rainforest from nearly every hole.

From £720 per night. 

The Broadmoor, Colorado

Gearing up to host the 45th US Senior Open Championship next summer, The Broadmoor is a seasoned stalwart on America’s sport scene. It’s home to two iconic courses designed by some of golf’s greatest names, Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones, and has played host to numerous national tournaments in its time, including the US Women's Open, US Senior Open, and PGA Cup Matches, as well as presidents, politicians, celebrities, and athletes. Head to the East Course, nestled on the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of more than 6,300 feet, for a game on challenging terrain accompanied with mountain vistas, before putting your skills to the test on the West Course, featuring rolling fairways and demanding hazards that have more doglegs and steeply-angled greens than you can shake a stick at. 

Post-match, relax in one of the 784 guest rooms before dining at one of the seven restaurants across the hotel, each of which focuses on locally-sourced produce. For example, the wagyu is sourced from the nearby Eagles Nest Ranch and is one of the most genetically pure in the country, while the abundant vegetable gardens on the property are a source of inspiration for the brigade of bakers that shape 75 different slices and loaves everyday. 

From £345 per night. 

The Boulders Resort, Arizona

Situated in the cacti-dotted hills of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert, The Boulders Resort is one of Arizona's best golfing hotels. Pick from a number of adorable casitas (little houses) and suites designed with western interiors, wood-burning fireplaces, and natural stone showers, or kick back at one of four sparkling pools with a cocktail in hand to experience the height of Arizonian luxury. Enjoy southwest flair in cuisine and décor at Palo Verde – think breakfast enchiladas and huevos rancheros featuring toasted quesadillas, borracho beans, eggs, guacamole and queso fresco – while overlooking the sixth fairway before getting out on the award-winning South Course to sample one of the two top-rated golf landscapes designed by American architect Jay Morrish. 

Seamlessly integrated with the desert's natural boulder formations and vegetation, the aforementioned South Course is famous for its dramatic fifth hole and par 71 challenge, while the North Course offers a challenging 18-hole layout with a 137 slope. For those looking to enhance their game, book one of the resort’s lesson packages led by acclaimed instructor Donald Crawley

From £200 per night. 

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico

dorado beach ritz carlton reserve

Built in the 1950s, Dorado Beach was once an intimate refuge in a far-flung paradise frequented only by the lucky few, but under the Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio has been expanded to cater to discerning travellers looking to experience Caribbean luxury at its finest. Beachfront suites come as standard here, with private plunge pools, furnished verandas, indoor and outdoor showers and walk-in wardrobes, while star-studded restaurant Coa enables guests to sample the very best of Puerto Rican cuisine prepared in a custom-made, wood-burning oven called Mi Brasa, alongside bottles from a 670-strong wine cellar. 

However, the real star of the show is the on-site, world-class links: the East Course and the Sugarcane Course. When not playing host to the PGA Tour, the Grand Reserve Golf Club at Dorado Beach offers a one-of-a-kind tropical experience via its lush green links alongside a turquoise ocean, which earned high praise from American golfing legend Jack Nicklaus – who named the fourth hole on the East course one of the best in the world.

From £1,460 per night. 

PGA National, Florida

PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens boasts six internationally-renowned golf courses, inviting linksmen to walk in the footsteps of sporting legends such as Doug Tewell, Larry Nelson and José María Cañizares. Following a $100 million transformation in 2022, enthusiasts can enjoy the addition of two new fairways by architect Andy Staples, enhancing the resort's 90 championship holes, and book professional lessons courtesy of Florida’s top sport schools. 

Also following the renovation, the resort now boasts redesigned guest rooms and villas inspired by 1960s Palm Beach chic. Pick from six new culinary concepts, including signature restaurants by acclaimed chefs Jeremy Ford and Lindsay Autry, to satiate your appetite morning, noon and night, before unwinding at the luxurious spa, redesigned by Venus Williams, which offers a serene escape with mineral pools and Himalayan salt rooms.

From £178 per night. 

The Boca Raton, Florida

Set among 200 oceanfront acres, The Boca Raton is renowned for leading the transformation of Palm Beach and bringing a new type of luxury hospitality to the South Florida hotel scene. New for 2024, pick from the 11-strong Tower Suite Collection boasting sweeping vistas across the Pacific Ocean and while away the days at the private golden beach, racquet club and pool club. However, the jewel in the hotel's crown is, of course, its championship-level golf course.

This 18-hole, par 71 plays across 6,253 yards of dramatic landscapes. Golfers can perfect their swing at the driving range, where each hitting station is complete with cutting-edge Top Tracer technology, evaluating the speed, distance, and spin rate of each ball. Looking for a more personalised approach? The Boca Raton’s team of golf specialists are on hand to offer private lessons to all levels of skill. After a long round on the tees, grab a refreshing drink and light bite to eat at Mulligan’s while overlooking the fairways.

From £265 per night.

Read more: The most luxurious golf resorts in the UK and Europe