Fancy playing golf in paradise? Some of the most elite golf courses on the planet will, indeed, have you feeling like you are in the Garden of Eden. You can focus on your game in the midst of lush, gently swaying palm trees, meticulously kept greens, bubbling waterways and majestic mountain ranges.
If you have been thinking this winter might be a wonderful time to pack your clubs and head to more temperate climates where you can spend precious moments on elite golf courses, we have put together this list of 22 courses where living a golfer’s life reigns supreme.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana is well-known for having some of the finest golf courses in the Caribbean. Teeth of the Dog is one of them. On the island’s eastern shore, Punta Espada and Corales have two magnificent seaside golf experiences. Punta Espada, which opened in late 2006, was designed by Jack Nicklaus in the 46-square-mile Cap Cana community 15 minutes south of the airport. The course (par 72, 7,396 yards) is seasoned golfing at its essence and the surroundings are stunning. If the 611-yard second hole doesn't jolt you awake, the ocean spray on the 250-yard 13th, definitely will. You might not be familiar with factoring wind gusts into green reading. You'll need to do that here. If you really want to test your golf skills, make your way to Punta Espada.
Puntacana Resort & Club opened in 1969 and is now the home to Corales, a Tom Fazio designed course that opened in 2010. Corales matches Punta Espada in terms of seaside beauty but offers a much easier playing field.
Here is a list of all the golf clubs in Punta Cana:
1. Punta Espada Golf Club. The first one, Punta Espada Golf club, is the first work of the legendary designer Jack Nicklaus in the Caribbean region. The course is more than 7,000 square meters. The design takes into account the local landscape. You can enjoy magnificent views of the Caribbean Sea with several holes overlooking the ocean.
2. La Cana Golf Club. La Cana is a beautiful 10-minute drive from Punta Cana international airport. Its infrastructure includes a huge 6.5 kilometer long field, a small café, as well as a shop where you can buy or rent the necessary equipment. This club has four holes designed for top-level professionals, as well as 12 holes with sea views for beginners and less experienced golfers.
3. Corales Golf Club. This is an 18-hole course with six seaside holes. Tom Fazio designed this Punta Cana golf club, taking the best of the dramatic landscape with natural cliffs, bays, ocean coves and inland lakes.
4. Las Iguanas Golf Club. This 18-hole course, also designed by Jack Nicklaus, has a quiet and very secluded location. Moreover, the course at this club is next to the reserve giving you the opportunity to enjoy the island’s untouched nature.
5. Punta Blanca Golf Course. This is the first golf course in the Caribbean designed by the famous golfer Nick Price. The course is surrounded by dense vegetation, wetlands and lakes. It’s an 18-hole course interesting for all levels of players.
6. White Sands Golf Course. White Sands is a magnificent 18-hole course considered one of the best on the entire coast. Various championships are held here. The course is ideal for both experienced players and beginners. There are holes of different complexity and length. White Sands has a well-developed infrastructure, including hotels, restaurants, clubs and shops.
7. Iberostate Bavaro Golf Club. The Iberostate Bávaro Golf Club, designed by P.B. Dye, looks really unique. Dye tried to pay special attention to the contrast of white sand and stones with bright green grass. In fact, the impressive landscape of the 18-hole course combines artificial lakes, streams and even desert terrain. The course is part of the Iberostar hotel and the Arena Gorda residential complex.
8. Cocotal Golf Complex. Cocotal is a beautiful complex founded by Jose Gancedo of Spain. A variety of tropical trees, as well as lush coconut groves, grow throughout this 27-hole course which has repeatedly become the venue for several Dominican championships.
Palm Springs, California
Be a part of history and hone your game in the same area many Hollywood greats and former US presidents did – in Palm Springs. Here are some courses you should consider in the area:
La Quinta Resort & Club at PGA West
This venue offers five fantastic public courses, with the Pete Dye-designed TPC Stadium ranked in the 100 Greatest Courses in the U.S. by Golf Magazine. The Jack Nicklaus course is home to the PGA Tour Qualifying School and the stunning Greg Norman course lies in a seabed 40-feet below sea level, surrounded by an immense crescent of burnt umber mountains. The TPC Stadium and Nicklaus courses co-host the annual PGA Tour CareerBuilder Challenge tournament.
The Mountain Course, nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains, has been home to the World Cup, the PGA National Club Pro Championships and the California State Open. The Dunes course is designed on the traditional Scottish mould, with plenty of pot bunkers and water, and is surrounded by jaw-dropping mountain and desert landscapes.
The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa
The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort has the on-site Pete Dye Resort Course which opened in 1987. It’s set among rolling hills with spectacular views of the desert mountains throughout.
Mission Hills North Golf Club offers the excellent Gary Player Signature course, known for its challenging holes and spectacular views across the surrounding San Jacinto Mountains.
Indian Wells Golf Resort
This is another great 36-hole facility in the Coachella Valley. The Celebrity and Players courses jokingly referred to as “Beauty and the Beast,” are ranked in the top-30 of Golf Magazine’s Best Courses to Play in California, and have hosted the Golf Channel’s Big Break, as well as the PGA’s Skins Game. These are two very different courses offering magical mountain views and stunning water features.
Classic Club is a wonderful Arnold Palmer golf course that became famous for hosting the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic from 2006-2008. It is different from your typical desert layout, with rolling terrain, 30 acres of water features and plenty of pine, California pepper and olive trees. A beautiful on-course experience is complemented by the amazing Tuscan village inspired clubhouse and host of Bob Hope memorabilia inside.
Indian Canyons Golf Resort
Once a private club, formerly known as Canyon Country Club, and a favorite haunt of Hollywood celebrities and former presidents, Indian Canyons offers two championship courses. The original North course is heavily steeped in tradition and meanders through Palm Springs’ stylish Canyon region, while the newer South course is shorter but more scenic. Both are well protected by the majestic San Jacinto Mountains.
Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort
Tahquitz Canyon provides incredible vistas when playing these two challenging championship courses. The Legend was designed in the 1950s by William Belland has that more traditional feel, whereas the Resort course is a modern desert layout, crafted by Ted Robinson Sr., making full use of the natural surroundings and environmentally friendly concepts.
This is an Arnold Palmer Classic course set against the natural beauty and backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains, and former home to the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic from 2008-2011. Opened in 2005 and once referred to as “the last great piece of golf property in the Coachella Valley,” SilverRock is the longest course in Palm Springs at 7,578 yards off the tips. It’s a must-play, with postcard views.
When you are in Palm Springs for a golf respite, Cavallo Ranch is an exquisite Mediterranean-styled estate on 20 sprawling acres in the Coachella Valley in which you will feel right at home. Serene, private and stately, this residence presents the epitome of Palm Springs elite living. This home is a perfect getaway for reconnecting with the elements – from sun-kissed recreation to gastronomic indulgence – this luxurious vacation rental leaves guests completely comfortable and pampered. Eight beautifully-appointed bedrooms can accommodate up to 17 guests. A sprawling 8,500-square-foot living space offers a bar with a billiard table, personal gym, and game room for lavish in-home entertaining. There is also an outdoor hot tub, infinity pool and tennis court.
You can’t get much closer to paradise than Hawaii. With its lush flora and fauna and superb golf courses which are meticulously kept. From hidden finds such as the Kahuku golf linx on the countryside of the north shore to signature courses like the Ko'olina – discover the top 11 courses on the island!
Turtle Bay Golf & Resort
Located toward the tip of north shore Oahu, the Turtle Bay Golf & Resort covers close to 900 acres of premier oceanfront property. It’s a perfect setting for the layout of two championship Oahu golf courses. Depending on your game and style, Turtle Bay Golf offers an Arnold Palmer course and a George Fazio course. The Palmer course, also known as the Links of Kuilima, has been the recent home to the PGA & LPGA SBS Open.Set up with five sets of starting tees, this course offers a golfing game for all different levels. If you are feeling the challenge, you can play from the black tees, giving you more than 7,200 yards to concur. Meanwhile, the Fazio course is replete with spacious fairways, moon crater bunkers and nice greens. The best part about this course is that you will most likely get the privilege of having it all to yourself.
Ko Olina Golf Course
Everything about the Marriott Ko Olina facilities are nothing short of being immaculate and the best in class. This club is no exception! It’s rated in the top 100 golf courses in Gold Digest Magazine. Located on the west side tip of Oahu, neighboring the Ko'olina Lagoons, is 6,868 yards of prime green real estate loaded with rolling hill fairways, nicely elevated tee box greens, and water features. Take an extra moment on this amazing Oahu golf vacation, maybe even a photo or two on signature hole 12. You’ll be standing on an elevated rock bed with a cascading waterfall. Arrive at the 18th and you’ll feel like you’ve just entered a water park – a beautiful way to finish a round.
Hawaii Prince Golf Club
On 270 acres of open terrain in Ewa Beach, you’ll find an Oahu golf oasis with 27 greens in pristine shape. Three nine-hole courses (A, B & C) make up the 27 holes. They are intermixed to make 18 holes, which help keep the flow moving, and switches it up to keep you challenged. The fairways, like the greens, are in immaculate condition. You can get some extra yardage on your drives, as your ball rolls down the tight carpet strips. There is a lovely clubhouse, an impressive grass driving range, and practice chipping greens and sand bunkers.
Kapolei Golf Club
The west side of Oahu is warmer, dryer and host to a majority of the golf courses on the island. The Kapolei Golf Club ranks as one of the most pristine golf courses in this region. Not only is it in great shape, but is a well-designed Ted Robinson par 72 course. You will have more than your share of bunkers and five large lakes to deal with, but the course is wide open for the most part with beautiful palm trees throughout the 190 acres of grass. Afternoons can get windy, so consider reserving an early tee time.
Makaha Valley Golf Club
Tiger Woods and his TGR Design Company have announced that they will renovate this golf course. While no timeline was given to complete this project, both courses and surrounding will be renovated. The club is the farthest northwest golf course, and well worth the drive to play on this gem. Designed by William Bell, this course sits back in Makaha Valley, on top on a hillside with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean below, and towering volcanic mountainside behind. This course is rated number one among the best of Oahu golf courses. It’s about 6,350 yards, making it a par 71. With a USGA ranking of 69.6 in difficulty from the white tees, you will have a great time and move quickly through this course.
Waikele Country Club
The dry west side is a haven for golf courses, featuring some of the best on the island. The Waikele Country Club makes that list of best Oahu golf courses, featuring beautiful fairways and greens to play on. Elevated above Pearl Harbor with great views and surrounded with lots of tropical palms and colorful botanical plants, you truly feel like you’re playing in paradise. It’s a signature par 72 Ted Robison course nicely spread out over four sections. It’s fairly open with a 71 rating, allowing for easier play and forgiveness when hitting off the fairways. The club features a splendid clubhouse and restaurant.
Pali Golf Course
The Pali Golf Course is one of the oldest in Oahu, built in 1953. Step onto these grounds, and you’ll feel like you time traveled into the dinosaur age. Surrounded by oversized tropical plants, jungle like surroundings, and dark Ko’olau Mountains towering above the course, they should rename the Pali Golf Course to Jurassic Park Golf Adventure Park. Above you is the Pali lookout, where a famous battle took place and where King Kamehameha led his warriors up the mountain, and literally pushed his enemies off the cliff into the valley below. The beautiful Windward Kaneohe coastline is probably the most breathtaking on Oahu. This 6,525 yard, Willard G. Wilkinson designed Oahu golf course is a little more relaxed, allowing you to enjoy the setting and your game more. The only drawback to playing the Pali course are the Ko’olau mountain winds and occasional tropical downpours that sometimes play a factor.
Villa Ariadne is a magnificent beachfront property on the famed Kailua coastline. Immersed with stunning scenes of white sands and the endless turquoise expanse of the Pacific, this residence carves out a secluded beach paradise presenting the very best of Oahu, a mere 20 miles from Honolulu International Airport. This opulent residence features eight exquisite bedrooms for up to 16 guests. An additional guest house with three bedrooms keeps lodging options versatile. Villa Ariadne offers a show-stopping garden of tropical delights, with exquisitely manicured lawns and a Zen waterfall feature curating a serene personal oasis. A poolside cabana presents additional al fresco options. This exemplary Oahu vacation rental offers the epitome of Polynesian highlife living. Standing as one of the most elite villas for rent in Hawaii, Villa Ariadne will leave an indelible impression on the most discerning guests.
No matter where you would like your golfing adventure to take you, LVH can make it happen. Not only will you be staying in the most elite vacation accommodations with full services and support, we will create a custom-made itinerary for you for the times when you are not on the links. We invite you to reach out to one of our client relations professionals who will get busy to get you onto the golf course as soon as possible so you can start to enjoy those moments that truly matter!