There’s no denying that 2020 wasn’t the best year for travel, with the COVID-19 pandemic severely limiting our ability to explore new places. Whilst being stuck at home has been quite boring, it has also given us plenty of time to think about what we’ve missed most about travelling and where we’ll be jetting off to as soon as the restrictions allow. Here are our top 5 golfing destinations that have us wanting to pack our bags and head for the airport.
Pebble Beach, California
Simply put, there’s nothing like Pebble Beach and its iconic coastline. Not only has Pebble Beach Golf Links played host to five U.S. Opens as well as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA Tour and numerous other important championships, but the other courses at the resort aren’t too shabby either. If not for Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill, for example, would probably be a top-10 course, and there’s nothing like having a beer and a brat with sauerkraut in the famous Tap Room at the Lodge. Pebble Beach Golf Links is the only place in the world where I don’t mind a six-hour round.
This small island has some of the best golf you’ll play anywhere in the world. Start with Casa de Campo, home of Pete Dye’s famous Teeth of the Dog Course, regarded universally as the best course in the Caribbean, then head over to nearby Punta Cana, which has 12 courses and counting, including spectacular layouts by Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, P.B. Dye and Tom Fazio.
Bandon Dunes Resort, Brandon Oregon
Bandon Dunes, quite simply, is the spot for serious golfers in the United States. It started with the original David McLay Kidd design in 1999, followed by Tom Doak’s highly-touted Pacific Dunes. Now there are five courses total, including one of the best par 3s in America, all walking with no homes and views of the Oregon coastline that rival most anything offered in Ireland or Scotland.
Kapalua Resort, Maui, Hawaii
In general, Hawaii is a bucket-list destination for golfers, but if I had to narrow it down to one specific location, it would be Kapalua Resort. The Coore/Crenshaw-designed Plantation Course offers ocean views from elevated tees like no other, plus it’s a blast to play. The other course at Kapalua, the Bay Course, doesn’t exactly lack in the scenery department either. Stay at the Ritz-Carlton to round out the experience.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
There are many spectacular golf resorts in Mexico, but Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula may have the best overall collection in the country. There are dozens of courses in the area, many of them overlooking the sea of Cortez, plus Cabo, simply put, is a lot of fun. Highlights include Davis Love III’s Dunes Course at Diamante, a linksy layout right on the ocean, as well as Tiger Woods’ El Cardonal, inspired by the southern California courses he grew up playing.