The great game of golf may have been born in Scotland, but there are breathtakingly beautiful, wonderfully challenging courses all over the world-particularly in the U.S., home to 50 percent of the world's courses. Whether you're looking for a links-style course or a parkland design, these resorts feature some of the world's best fairways, with stunning scenery to take in while you work on lowering your handicap. From California to South Carolina, and Nova Scotia to South Africa, here's where you'll find the world's best golf resorts.
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Where: Fife, Scotland
Any conversation about golf has to begin with St Andrews. This town of 17,000 on the east coast of Scotland is widely considered the "home of golf," and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, founded in 1754, has hosted The Open Championship more than any other club. Nearby, the 600-year-old St Andrews Links operates seven different courses, including the famous Old Course, which is set to host The Open Championship next year. The area features stunning beaches, gentle rolling hills, and notoriously biting Scottish weather, though braving the elements is part of the St Andrews experience. True enthusiasts can stay at the Old Course Hotel for luxury alongside the links.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's St. Andrews Guide
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Where: South Carolina
Boasting 90 championship holes, this small barrier island 45 minutes from Charleston is a golfer's seaside paradise. Kiawah Island Golf Resort features courses designed by Gary Player, Peter Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, and Clyde Johnston, and The Ocean Course is consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the world. Holes that don't afford sweeping views of the Atlantic take players through wooded groves of magnolia trees and alongside saltwater marshes-you'll almost certainly see alligators while you play. There are countless accommodation options on Kiawah Island, ranging from resorts to condos to private home rentals, while extensive tennis offerings, spa treatments, pools, and a stunning beach will all keep you occupied off the fairway.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's South Carolina Guide
Photo Credit: © Valentineroy | Dreamstime.com
Pebble Beach Resorts
It's impossible to highlight just one set of 18 holes at Pebble Beach without shortchanging some of the best courses in the country. Pebble Beach Golf Links, set atop the jagged coastline cliffs, is perhaps the most famous, with jaw-dropping ocean views, particularly at the eighth hole. Spyglass Hill, with holes named after Treasure Island, is another can't-miss course, while The Links at Spanish Bay aims to recreate a traditional Scottish course. For the ultimate in luxury, stay at The Lodge of Pebble Beach, or for a more laidback atmosphere, head to the Mediterranean-style Casa Palmero.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's California Guide
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