TPC Danzante Bay
Some of the best golf courses in the world just have that undefinable, otherworldly feel to them. It’s like you’ve entered a world unto itself, where time is measured by holes, where you get to step into the paintings and hit golf balls at them, where you’re the most important person in the place. The courses are transportive, and the golf is so good you can barely even remember details.
Golf course architects are being teamed up with experts in hospitality management to create total packages where the golf and the overall experience blend together to create a paradise. Here are ten places you need to visit to achieve that perfect confluence of incredible golf and luxury.
THE LOOP | Forest Dunes, Roscommon, MI
Michigan may be the most underrated golf state in the country. Despite weather limiting its golf season to only seven or eight months a year, it boasts some of the finest golf destinations in the country, none more exciting, unique or luxurious than The Loop. Architect Tom Doak’s crowning achievement, it’s a course with 18 greens but 36 holes. The Black Course is a clockwise routing of the course, while the next day the Red Course becomes the counterclockwise route. It’s a genius bit of architecture that must be experienced to be believed. Obviously, you’ll need to stay at the resort and put on your best golf shoes to play the course both ways to get the full breadth of the unique, brilliant course.
Originally available to play only for hotel magnate Steve Wynn and his handpicked casino guests, it’s now available to any guest of the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas who’s willing to pony up for the incredible course.
SHADOW CREEK | North Las Vegas, NV
A truly unique achievement planted in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Shadow Creek is one of the most expensive, best golf courses ever built, reportedly requiring more than $60 million to complete in 1989. But that’s what it took to transform a barren desert into a lush oasis of clear blue waterfalls and deep green fairways, with more than 21,000 trees planted during construction.
Originally available to play only for hotel magnate Steve Wynn and his handpicked casino guests, it’s now available to any guest of the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas who’s willing to pony up for the incredible course. Most recently in the news for the much-publicized pay-per-view match of Phil vs. Tiger, Shadow Creek is becoming less of a secret gem and more of a well-known luxury bucket list golf course.
STREAMSONG BLACK | Streamsong, FL
This course from one of the best golf course designers Gil Hanse is a stunningly beautiful par 73 championship course that opened in 2018 and was quickly named Best New Course of 2018 by Golf Digest. Complete with a breezy 7-hole warmup loop, Streamsong Black is a classic but one-of-a-kind golf experience, with gigantic, dynamic greens and breathtaking panoramic vistas.
SHORT COURSE | Mountain Shadows Resort, Scottsdale, AZ
Once frequented by The Rat Pack and now considered one of the best par 3 courses in the world, The Short Course at the elegant Mountain Shadows Resort is a charming executive course set at the base of the scenic Camelback Mountain. Expect a fun, quick round of golf that won’t offer too much of a challenge. The resort also provides free Tesla Model X shuttles to their nearby championship 36-hole facility, Camelback Golf Club.
EDGEWOOD TAHOE | Stateline, NV
Edgewood Tahoe golf course located at the shores of Lake Tahoe boasts some of the most dramatic views in the world, with the Sierras towering over the shimmering waters of the lake. Multiple holes run lakeside and all features glorious mountain vistas. The course is lush and challenging, with bright white sands and perfect, glassy greens.
TPC Danzante Bay
TPC | Danzante Bay, Loreto, Mexico
An amazing golf course with an unreal setting along the east coast of the Baja Peninsula, this Rees Jones design is the only TPC site in Mexico. The valleys, cliffs and dunes provide a great variety of golf and the views of the Danzante Bay, Sea of Cortez and Sierra de la Giganta mountain range stop nothing short of awesome. Everywhere you turn is yet another Kodak moment.
The Old Course Half Moon Bay
THE OLD COURSE HALF MOON BAY | Half Moon Bay, CA
The Old Course, designed by Arnold Palmer in 1973 and renovated by Arthur Hills, meanders through the cypress forests of the California coastline before finishing dramatically along the Pacific cliffs with the ocean waves crashing below. The Ritz-Carlton hotel, an impressive and award-winning building that gazes out over the ocean, overlooks the 18th hole. You’ll finish your round in front of a gallery of resort guests sipping fancy cocktails in Adirondack chairs while a bagpiper serenades you from the cliffs. It’s the height of luxury, and a hidden gem of California golf.
PINE CANYON | Flagstaff, AZ
Pine Canyon in Flagstaff is the crown jewel of a planned community that rents out its beautiful homes to golfers looking to enjoy a few rounds on the majestic course. Take one of the excellent caddies along to help you navigate the tall evergreens and babbling brooks that lurk amongst the perfect fairways and clever routing of the course. And if you’re tired after your round, they provide a tie-breaking 19th hole, a par 3 to an island green that makes for a perfect, dramatic way to settle all your bets.
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TALISKER CLUB | Park City, UT
Breathe deeply at this highly elevated golf course, sitting amongst the mountains of this ski-focused community at 6900 feet above sea level. The golf ball seems to fly forever at this elevation, and it’s higher than most trees are able to grow. You may even run into Masters champion Mark O’Meara, who makes his residence here and designed the course. Talisker Club is as elegant as they come, and the course is beautifully detailed to match—truly one of the best golf courses in the world.
SAND VALLEY | Nekoosa, WI
One of two incredible courses at this destination resort in the hills of Wisconsin, Sand Valley is an expansive, naturalistic course designed by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. They’re known for their incredible routing of courses to preserve the natural beauty of the property, and Sand Valley is perhaps the best example of their masterful architecture. The sandy hills of Central Wisconsin are a surprisingly perfect setting for golf, as evidenced by its designation as Best Golf Course in 2017 and immediate inclusion on numerous Top Courses in the World lists.