Whether its the smell of freshly cut grass, the whack of a ball over a driving range, or the clank of golf clubs hoisted over your shoulder, one thing’s certain: golfing addicts take their game seriously. Especially if they travel to play. A golfing vacation this spring might be just what you need to loosen up, ditch your office woes, and shake winter cobwebs off your clubs. America’s 17,000+ golf courses—from golfing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to courses in Phoenix, Arizona—give you a variety of greens, climates and course levels to choose from. Now, the trick is picking where to go. Here are four must-play courses to add to your golfing repertoire.
Myrtle Beach National Golf Course, Kings North, South Carolina
Arnold Palmer, regarded as one of America’s greatest professional golfers, returned to Myrtle Beach National Golf Club in 1996 to participate in a course-redesign that now includes its island green and South Carolina-shaped sand traps of Hole 3; a tempting short cut on the island fairway of Hole 6; and over 40 sand traps guarding the fairway on Hole 18. The course has been awarded the Top 100 Courses For Women, in America’s Top 10, and South Carolina’s 1997 Course Of The Year. Amenities include a bar, restaurant, showers, water hazards, pull carts, a driving range, and a chipping area. Skills a little rusty? Book a lesson with one of the course’s teaching pros to brush-up before you tee-off. More info here.
Rio Salado Golf Course, Arizona
If you’re looking for a quicker game, head to 9-hole Rio Salado Golf Course in Temple, Arizona near Phoenix. It’s a newer public golf course that opened less than 20 years ago, and measures 2,700 yards from the longest tees. The course features two sets of tees for beginner and intermediate skill levels. For just $19, you can book a tee-time and hit the course seven days per week, year round. Not only is it cheap, but also you don’t have to worry about dress code here, so if you’re swinging through Arizona and want to golf a quick game, Rio Salado Golf Course makes a nice, 9-hole pit stop. More info here.
Pebble Beach Golf Course, California
Just 19 minutes from the nearest major airport on the Monterey Peninsula, this seaside 18-hole course offers a reduced fee at twilight, and is open January-December. Call at least a day in advance because this $495.00 green-fee course fills their tee-book fast. Located close to Cali’s major cities, Pebble Beach Golf Course offers accommodation so you can stay right next to the course (ideal for early a.m. tee-times). More info here.
Brandon Dunes Golf Resort, Oregon
Brandon Dunes Golf Resort is your best bet if you’re looking for a golfing weekend sans big city. Over three hours away from Eugene, OR (the nearest major city) and Mahlon Sweet Field Airport, Brandon Dunes Golf Resort is literally in the middle of no where, and for good reason. For a green fee of $275.00 (reduced for junior golfers), you can set a tee-time up to 21 days in advance. This Scottish-themed golf course aims to put the game back to its Scottish roots: its fairways sweep Oregon’s rugged coast in four distinct courses, and players walk miles over the course of the game. More info here.