North America

10 Amazing Golf Resorts

written by | Posted on May 1st, 2011

We’re serving up some fabulous green in North America, complemented by striking resorts and top-notch amenities.

boca raton resort & club Florida is synonymous with golf, so it’s no coincidence that one of the top golf resort programs in the world, as ranked by Golf Digest and Golfweek magazines, is located in the state—at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf=Astoria Resort. This is no slouch of a resort, offering 1,047 guestrooms inclusive of 58 suites, 76 jr. suites and 60 1-bedroom Boca Bungalows, although for those who like romanticizing the past, recommend the rooms in the Cloister. This is the resort’s original structure built in 1926 and reflecting Spanish-Mediterranean, Moorish and gothic influences and characterized by hidden gardens, archways, intricate mosaics, fountains and beamed ceilings. But we’re here to talk about golf and boy is there lots to talk about, with two courses, a putting green and practice area, and the Golf Academy with Dave Pelz Scoring Game School. The 18-hole par 71 Resort Course, which was originally built in 1926 and was reconstructed in 1999, offers 12 acres of lakes, meaning water comes into play throughout most of the course, and each hole offers five sets of tees. The 18-hole, par 72 Boca Country Club Course is another beauty with subtle hills and valleys, complemented by a 6,000-sq.-ft. putting green. Adding to the greens themselves is a 36,000-sq.-ft. clubhouse, which includes the pro shop and locker rooms with, get this, butler service. More goodies come in the form of 30 tennis courts, an array of dining options, the Spa Palazzo, seven pools, a 32-slip marina and a half-mile of private beach with watersports activities…oh, not to mention the countless dining options, from beachside to ultra-posh.

The Uniquely Boca Summer package, available through Oct. 10, offers rates starting at $219 per night, and includes free and discounted activities for guests such as 25 percent off greens fees and spa services.

Contact: (888) 543-1286; bocaresort.com

innisbrook Another Florida gem and one that has garnered its own share of top accolades, including Golf Digest’s “Top 75 Golf Resorts in America” is Tampa’s 600-room Innisbrook, with not one, not two, but four championship courses, including the famed Copperhead Course. There’s even the 9-hole Fox Squirrel family walking course. The Copperhead, the most heady of all, offers tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain and a lengthy challenge for even the longest hitters at more than 7,300 yards. Nature buffs will love the surrounding lakes and ponds, home to abundant wildlife, including fox squirrels, bald eagles, alligators, and blue herons. And if that doesn’t make your golfers sign on the dotted line, tell them about the par 72 Island Course, with tight fairways and intimidating water hazards, or about the par 71 South Course, which is reminiscent of a links-style design, not to mention the par 70 North Course, known for its daunting par 3s and which some say is one of the resort’s most challenging courses. But because teeing off is not all a luxury vacation is about, the resort, which spans 900 wooded acres on the state’s Gulf coast, also knows how to shine in other departments, with a 20,000-sq.-ft. spa featuring 12 indoor/outdoor treatment rooms, several divine restaurants, 11 courts for tennis aficionados, six pools, and a nature reserve.

The resort’s Classic Golf package, available year-round, starts at $109 per night dbl this summer and includes suite accommodations, one round of golf per night (including one round on Copperhead based on availability), $10 resort credit to be used in any pro shop, advanced starting times at time of reservation, and unlimited use of practice facilities, among other offerings.

Contact: (800) 492-6899; innisbrookgolfresort.com

sea island Located off southeastern Georgia’s coast, Sea Island has been luring guests who seek elegance and luxury along a magnificent 5-mile private beach since 1928. Golfers have a choice of three types of accommodations, all offering the utmost in service during their stay. The five-diamond Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club features butler service for guests of its 40-room English country manor-style hotel and golf clubhouse. A major rebuild in 2007 in keeping with the original Mizner architecture transformed the main building of the 175-room Cloister at Sea Island, the new Cloister Beach Club, Cloister Spa, Yacht Club and Tennis Center. The property overlooks the Black Banks River and Atlantic Ocean. Of the 600 privately owned Cottages on Sea Island, 150 are available for rent for golfers who seek more room with three to eight bedrooms and kitchens. Sea Island’s 36 holes of golf include the par 70 Seaside, an oceanside links course, and the par 72 tree-lined Plantation course with ocean views. Staff at the Sea Island Golf Learning Center have been named as top teachers by Golf Digest. Guests can receive personalized instruction and be part of clinics and group lessons at the center. And when a day of golf is through, restaurant choices range from fine dining at Colt & Alison to casual at The Oak Room.