Winter Golf: World-Class Resorts to Play through the Cold
'Tis the Season to Swap Snow for Sweeping Greens
When the first snowflake falls, some pack their skis and head for the slopes while others dream of soaking up the sun on a beach or poolside, but golfers? They see nothing but green.
A winter golf break means round after round on peaceful, quiet championship courses, along with the added bonus of less competition for dinner reservations. So why not improve your game on some of the world’s best courses while everyone else is back home shoveling out?
May River at Palmetto Bluff Bluffton, South Carolina, USA
May River at Palmetto Bluff is more low-profile than you might expect from a Jack Nicklaus design, but it fits the low country land it occupies. This 7,171-yard Jack Nicklaus Signature masterpiece plays fast and rolls beautifully through its natural surroundings. It can be intimidating off the tee, as the water, bunkers, and waste areas are always looming, but there’s plenty of room to pull off the necessary shots. Shake off the stress of this challenging course with an evening of fine dining and genteel Southern leisure at Montage Palmetto Bluff where you can wake the next morning and tackle the course all over again.
Pebble Beach Golf Links Pebble Beach, California, USA
Pebble Beach Golf Links, undisputed as the best public course in the country, tops many bucket lists. The course hugs northern California’s rugged coastline and provides wide-open vistas, cliffside fairways, and sloping greens. Every hole is an adventure; however, the infamous 18, where you face the decision of whether to play left or right of the cypress tree, ranks among the most beautiful and challenging in the world. Afterward, head back to either The Lodge at Pebble Beach or The Inn at Spanish Bay for a luxury end to a fantastic day on the fairways.
The Biltmore Golf Course Coral Gables, Florida, USA
Winner of Golf Digest’s 2022 Editors’ Choice Award, the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables was originally designed in 1925 by Donald Ross. Brian Silva updated the course in 2018, and the results are spectacular. Doglegs both right and left figure prominently – challenging enough for the University of Miami's women's team who play here. With its newly laser-leveled tee boxes, and restored bunkers, this iconic course gloriously connects the modern American game with its historic origins. Golfers who choose to stay at the Biltmore Hotel can continue engaging with history at this grand dame known to host Chicago mobsters during their winter vacations during prohibition a century ago.
Plantation Course Maui, Hawaii, USA
What could be better than a winter trip to Hawaii? A winter trip to Hawaii to play golf! The Plantation Course, just steps from the impressive Montage Kapalua Bay offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains and dramatic ocean views. This par-73 challenges the pros but the wide fairways and generous greens make it very playable for the average golfer. And you’ll feel like one of the pros when – with the aid of the aggressive slope of the 18th fairway – you’ll hit one of the longest drives of your life. Don’t pass up the chance to play the Bay Course, either: its famous No. 17 is the only hole to play over the ocean on Maui.
Real golfers don’t put their clubs away when the snow begins to fall at home. They pack their bags and explore world-class courses to share authentic golf experiences. Are you one of them?