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3 Luxury Golf Courses That are Worth the Trip


Pebble Beach, California
Tee It Up: The U.S. Open returns here next June for the sixth time as the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links celebrates its 100th anniversary. Four greens have been rebuilt in recent years, most notably the distinctive hour-glass shaped surface at the par-3 17th hole. It’s far from the only game in town—not with Spyglass Hill, Spanish Bay and Poppy Hills all nearby, plus private gems like Cypress Point Club and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Farther afield, but well worth seeking out, are Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley and the Alister MacKenzie-designed Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.

Fairway One golf courses
An elegant room at the new Fairway One resort at Pebble Beach

Where to Stay: Fairway One accommodations (from garden view rooms to four-bedroom suites, from $975) were recently unveiled alongside Pebble’s opening hole. The Lodge at Pebble Beach itself has undergone a thorough renovation of all 450-plus rooms. From $900 in advance of the U.S. Open
Off the Course: Check out the extensive golf memorabilia collection during lunch or a post-round drink at The Tap Room inside The Lodge. Cruise the famed 17-Mile Drive through the Del Monte Forest, or travel down the scenic coast to Big Sur. Wineries dot the landscape in nearby Carmel Valley, as do many dining options in the charming downtowns of Carmel and Pacific Grove.

Mammoth Dunes golf courses
Wide fairways on the Mammoth Dunes course at Sand Valley

Nekoosa, Wisconsin
Tee It Up:
Created by the owners of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, Sand Valley already meets the high standard set by its famous West Coast sibling. Located almost three hours northwest of Milwaukee (closer fly-in options are in Madison and Wisconsin Rapids), Sand Valley opened its doors last year with a dazzling Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw-designed layout. It’s joined this summer by Mammoth Dunes, the work of architect David McLay Kidd. He built massively wide fairways amid a huge landscape, creating a layout that’s both extremely playable and very memorable. Also onsite is the Sandbox, a fun 17-hole par-3 course designed by Coore and Crenshaw.
Sand Valley golf courses
Where to Stay: A foursome of on-site lodging options includes Fairway and Dunes lodge rooms, cottages, residences and suites. From $155
Off the Course: You could eat plenty of local favorites, like cheese curds or walleye, in the Mammoth Bar and Lounge (a second dining venue is being added to the clubhouse this summer), or you could play more golf. Like at Kohler, a resort located an hour north of Milwaukee, where you can tee off on four distinct courses, including the bunker-filled Straits Course, which overlooks Lake Michigan and will be the venue for the 2020 Ryder Cup. Or take on Erin Hills, site of the 2017 U.S. Open and just 45 minutes northwest of Milwaukee.

Royal Portrush golf courses
Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush Dunluce Course

Northern Ireland
Tee It Up: The Open Championship returns to the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush in the summer of 2019 for the first time since 1951. In preparation for the biggest sporting event in the country’s history, two new holes have been created and others renumbered on a course already ranked as one of the world’s best. Other layouts of note in Northern Ireland are Royal County Down (perennially ranked among the top 10 courses in the world), Ardglass and Portstewart.

Slieve Donard Resort
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa in Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Where to Stay: The Slieve Donard Resort & Spa in Newcastle overlooks the Irish Sea and is just a short walk away from the first tee at
Royal County Down Golf Club. From $189,
Off the Course: Visit the geological coastline wonder that is The Giant’s Causeway, located a short drive east of Royal Portrush. For whiskey fans, The Old Bushmills Distillery is just a bit inland from the course, while the Titanic Museum in Belfast offers a thorough education about the famously doomed ship and the country’s rich shipbuilding history.

Golf Watch

If you prefer to wear a rangefinder rather than hold one, try the Garmin Approach S10 Golf Watch. A 1.3-inch, high-resolution screen shows distances to the front, back and middle of the green, plus distances to hazards, doglegs and layups. $150

Arccos 360

Arccos 360 is the first and only fully automatic performance tracking system. Recently-upgraded technology relies on ultralight sensors placed in the grip end of each club to record and analyze every shot you hit. $250


The Bushnell HYBRID Rangefinder combines the latest laser and GPS technologies for accurate yardages. It also provides a physical jolt to your hands when it locks on to the target. $400

Text by Tom Mackin
Photos by (Course) Pebble Beach Company; (Fairway One Room) Noah Webb; (Sand Valley) Ryan Farrow

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