Fore! Get your swing on at these gorgeous golf destinations across the United States.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a series of championship golf courses that stretch from one end of Alabama to the other. Dreamt by Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, Bronner was able to convince Robert Trent Jones, Sr. — one of the best golf course architects in the world — to come out of semi-retirement to take on the huge project in the late 1980s. The Trail is a collection of 468 holes spread across 11 different courses. Diversity was key in this project, as the courses not only range in difficulty but length as well with the shortest course at 4,700 yards and the longest at over 8,100 yards — the third longest golf course in the world. Planning a trip to experience the famed golf trail is easy. Eight of the eleven courses are served by resort hotels. Most Trial courses are near an interstate and each site is within a two-hour drive of at least one other site, making it easy to play many locations during a vacation — or more than one location in a day!
Hawaii is a golfer's paradise. The natural, breathtaking surroundings combined with unique course designs and signature holes draw the attention of golfers from all over the world. Home to more than 70 golf courses, Hawaii's six islands provide something for everyone. Including the world-renowned Mauna Kea Golf Course, Hawaii Island has 16 publicly accessible golf courses. Mauna Kea is famous for its par-3 third hole, which requires golfers to tee off from a cliff-side location, across a bay to a cliff-side green. Talk about a challenge! Oahu hosts the most courses out of the Hawaiian Islands with 40 courses, including five private clubs and nine military courses. The 36 holes at both the Ka'anapali Beach Resort and Kapalua Resort overlook the old whaling village of Lahaina in West Maui. Kauai offers resort courses that have once hosted LPGA events and the PGA of America Grand Slam of Golf.
The often snow-capped San Jacinto Mountain range offers the perfect backdrop to the stunning desert setting of Palm Springs, California. Home to nearly 125 golf courses, Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley offer no shortage of options for players seeking variety in setting and challenge. One of Palm Springs' biggest allures is its collection of celebrity-designed golf courses. The Arnold Palmer-designed Classic Club formerly played host to the Bob Hope Classic, but was recently removed from the Hope rotation due to its windy reputation. The South Course at Indian Canyons Golf Resort was redesigned in 2004 by Casey O'Callaghan, and is regarded among the top courses for women in the country. One of the most difficult courses in the country is the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West, designed by Pete Dye. Nine water holes and deep bunkers make this a course not fit for amateurs.
Colorado hosts such a wide variety of golf courses that they have to be broken down by terrain. If you can handle the elevation, the mountain courses of Colorado are not to be missed. Most courses are situated near major resort towns and weave their way through aspen groves and ponds. The Raven at Three Peaks golf club in Silverthorne has ample elevation changes from tee to green, and the Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club just west of Vail boasts gorgeous views of the Sawatch Mountains. The forested landscape between Denver and Colorado Springs has been luring golfers since Jack Nicklaus designed The Country Club at Castle Pines in 1981 — don't worry, you don't have be a private club member to enjoy what this region of Colorado has to offer. The Golf Club at Bear Dance, located south of Castle Rock, was once voted "Best Overall Public/Resort Course" in Colorado by Colorado Avid Golfer Magazine and is open to all.
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