When it comes to U.S. golf destinations, these resorts lead the way—each with more than 100 holes of golf to play.
Pinehurst Resort (North Carolina)—171 holes
With 10 courses in total, Pinehurst is well-deserving of its nickname, “The Cradle of American Golf.” There are nine 18-hole championship courses, each designated by number, and all located within about 10 minutes of each other. The centerpiece of the resort is No. 2, which has been the site of both U.S. Opens (men’s and women’s) as well as the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup. Architect Donald Ross, who worked on more than his share of courses in the Pinehurst area, has called No. 2 the finest test of championship golf he’s ever designed, while Tom Fazio, Gil Hanse, Ellis Maples, and Jack Nicklaus are the resort’s other designers of record. Most recently, Hanse completely overhauled No. 4 and added a par-3 course known as The Cradle that’s located adjacent to the clubhouse—in the same area where the original nine holes of America’s first golf resort were carved out of the sand back in 1898.
Boyne Golf (Michigan)—162 holes
While Boyne Resorts owns resorts from Maine to British Columbia, its best golf (and the Boyne Golf umbrella) can be found in northern Michigan. Technically, the 10 courses there are spread across three resorts—Boyne Mountain, the Inn at Bay Harbor, and The Highlands and Harbor Springs—so we’ll consider it one destination. All are within a 45-minute drive of one another and trip packages like the “Michigan Magnificent 10 Vacation” allow golfers to play them all, often more than once, in a single journey. There are two 18-holers at the Boyne Mountain Resort, three distinct 9-hole designs along the shores of Lake Michigan at Bay Harbor Golf Club, and four 18-hole courses plus an executive layout at Boyne Highlands. The latter is also looking to get in on the par-3 movement with a planned 9-hole short course on the resort’s ski slopes.
Reynolds Lake Oconee (Georgia)—117 holes
Midway between Atlanta and Augusta, Reynolds Lake Oconee is more than a thriving golf community—it’s also a popular vacation destination, with a Ritz-Carlton hotel as well as resort-style cottage and condominium rentals that offer all the comforts of home, and a wealth of golf. There are six championship golf courses on and around Lake Oconee, a massive man-made lake that has four times as much shoreline as Georgia’s Atlantic Coast, among them the Jack Nicklaus-designed Great Waters that recently underwent an extensive renovation. There’s also the 27-hole National from Tom Fazio and four other 18-hole layouts: The Oconee course from architect Rees Jones, the private Creek Club (Jim Engh) for members, and The Landing and The Preserve courses built by Bob Cupp that first helped stamp Lake Oconee as a golf destination.
Gull Lake View (Michigan)—108 holes
The oldest and largest golf resort in southwest Michigan opened its sixth and newest 18-hole course, Stoatin Brae, in 2017. The layout from Michigan native Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design is situated on a former apple orchard high above the Kalamazoo River Valley and joins the property’s five other courses, all of which are within a 12-mile radius. Gull Lake is a family-owned property, now operated by the fourth generation of the Scott family, which designed four of the six courses at the facility: Gull Lake View’s West and East layouts, and the Stonehedge North and South courses. The resort, which has a devoted core of repeat regional customers, also purchased a former private course, Bedford Valley, back in 1988.
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Bandon Dunes (Oregon)—103 holes
The Oregon coastal resort that ushered in a new era of destination golf. Bandon Dunes added Sheep Ranch as its fifth 18-hole course in 2020 and will be getting even bigger, with Tom Doak working on plans for another par-3 course located on land not far from the property’s current short course, 13-hole Bandon Preserve. It’s fair to argue that there are actually 112 current holes at Bandon Dunes. While it has no official starting times, the 9-hole, par-3 practice course known as Shorty’s is open four afternoons a week at the resort’s practice center as a complimentary guest amenity. Shorty’s was designed by David McLay Kidd, who also created the original course at Bandon Dunes and also happens to be working on a nearby 18-hole public course (New River Dunes) for resort owner Michael Keiser.
Other sizable U.S. golf resorts (75-99 holes):
- PGA National Resort (Florida)—99 holes
- Bethpage State Park (New York)—90 holes
- Crystal Springs Resort (New Jersey)—90 holes
- Kiawah Island Golf Resort (South Carolina)—90 holes
- La Quinta Resort & Club (California)—90 holes
- Pebble Beach Resorts (California)—81 holes
- Treetops Resort (Michigan)—81 holes
- Streamsong Resort (Florida)—80 holes* (*Fourth 18-hole course in progress)
- Big Cedar Lodge (Missouri)—77 holes