Golfing can be fun for the whole family, but not all courses and resorts are made the same. These top golf resorts around the country offer adult- and kid- friendly courses and plenty of other amenities to keep everyone entertained.
Pinehurst Resort: Pinehurst, NC
The hallowed and historic Pinehurst Resort is more kid-friendly than you might imagine. Family-friendly amenities include spacious suites, a swimming pool, kids' club, and a fabulous year-round pricing plan where kids ages 12 and under stay, play golf, and eat for free when accompanying a paying adult. In the summer, the same deal extends to kids 17 and under.
The resort has established five of its eight courses as family courses, with special family tee markers on courses numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, and 8. The golf club offers family tee times and junior tee times, as well as lessons and clinics. In the summer Pinehurst offers a “Family Fairways” package that encourages families to play golf together. Kicking off every afternoon at 4 pm, Family Fairways includes free rental clubs for the entire family, a one-hour beginners’ or basics refresher clinic, unlimited range usage, and a round of golf on course No. 8, a Tom Fazio-designed championship course.
Princeville Makai Golf Course
The Princeville Makai Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, which opened in 1971 and was recently redesigned in 2009. Junior golfers ages 6 to 15 play for free when playing with a paying adult. Junior golfers ages 16 to 17 play for half of the adult rate. Juniors that do not need adult-sized rentals enjoy complimentary rental clubs all day. Plus, juniors receive complimentary instruction when taking a lesson with a paying adult.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Kiawah Island, SC
From family tee times and junior club rentals to kids' activities and junior lessons, the Kiawah Island Family and Junior Golf Program delivers for families. Three of Kiawah's five courses have junior tee markers during the summer on the front nines and one course, the Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Point, has them on all 18 holes. The Tommy Cuthbert Learning Center at Turtle Point holds clinics for juniors ages 8 to 17 and two-day junior golf camps for intermediate players ages 12 to 17.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa: Carlsbad, CA
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California, offers golf programs for adults at two historic courses, which have hosted Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and more.
Kids can take part in the resort's TOUR Academy Junior Golf Program, whose instructors include past and present touring pros, coaches to top PGA TOUR Champions, and LPGA players. TOUR Academy Junior Golf Camps are available to kids ages 7 to 17 in full-day and half-day experiences for all ability levels.
In addition to golf, the Omni La Costa Resort offers tennis, a spa, and a pool and water park with slides.
Walt Disney World: Orlando, FL
Along with its four theme parks, two water parks, two dozen resorts, and myriad shopping and dining, Walt Disney World also offers five golf courses, including four 18-hole courses and a 9-hole walking course suitable for kids.
Disney’s golf facilities are operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. Lessons include 45 minutes of private instruction, including video analysis, golf club rental and shoe rental. All ages are welcome, and junior golfers ages 17 and under enjoy a lower rate.
In addition, there are summer junior golf camps available for kids ages 8 to 13 that include instruction on the basics of the game and on-course training.
Hershey Country Club: Hershey, PA
Ranked by Golf Digest as one of the top 50 resorts in the U.S., the Hershey Country Club features two 18-hole courses which were once home to golf icons Ben Hogan and Henry Picard. In addition, the club offers the Spring Creek Golf Course, the first in the nation to welcome golfers under 18. The course still offers a friendly atmosphere for younger golfers, including junior rates and junior golf clinics.
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club: Kauai, HI
Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach is a family-friendly resort on 800 beach acres that features the largest single-level swimming pool in Hawaii. The resort is adjacent to the Kauai Lagoons Golf Club, whose championship Jack Nicklaus signature design 18-hole Kiele Course offers mountain and ocean vistas set in a lush Hawaiian setting.
Juniors ages 6-17 can play free anytime on the Waikahe Nine course when accompanied by a paying adult. One child may play for free for each paying adult.
Sunriver Resort: Sunriver, OR
Each of Sunriver Resort's four golf courses was designed by an acclaimed architect. Three are 18-hole courses: Crosswater, designed by Bob Cupp; Meadows, designed by John Fought; and The Woodlands, a championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
The Bob Cupp-designed Caldera Links is a family-friendly 9-hole course that makes the game of golf approachable for all skill levels. Juniors ages 12 to 17 play for just $25.
Wigwam Resort: Phoenix, AZ
The Wigwam Resort in Phoenix offers:
- Family Tee Times: Families can enjoy a game with the kids without the worry of pace of play. Kids ages 17 and under golf for free when accompanied by a rack rate paying adult.
- Golf Lessons: Mom and dad can play a round while the kids learn the game with instruction at the Wigwam's Plane Truth Performance Center. Or, the entire family can participate in a lesson together. Lessons are available for all skill levels.
- Three Courses: The Wigwam's trio of 18-hole championship golf courses (Gold, Patriot and Heritage) offer diversity. Two courses were designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
- Resort Amenities: The Wigwam has a variety of restaurants, swimming pools, and a spa. Kid-friendly activities include dive-in movies, family game nights, tennis clinics and trivia nights.
La Cantera Hill Country Resort: San Antonio, TX
The La Cantera Hill Country Resort has two championship 18-hole courses and offers golf packages with unlimited play and discounted golf rates.
Jekyll Island Club: Jekyll Island, GA
Jekyll Island Club was once the stamping ground of millionaires. The historic golf club is Georgia's largest public golf resort with a 9-hole course and three 18-hole courses, including Pine Lakes with its family tees. Pricing is affordable, with a $45 greens fee to get you 18 holes and a cart on any of its three quality, well-conditioned courses, throughout the year. Lessons and clinics are available for all abilities.
Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort: Phoenix, AZ
The flagship property for the Hilton Golf Academy, the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort has a dedicated instruction area with practice bunkers, pitching and chipping areas, and a full-sized putting green. The academy offers daily clinics to private lessons for adults and juniors.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort: Hilton Head, SC
Golf Digest readers have rated Hilton Head Island among the top 10 golf resort destinations, and the golf course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is the only one with permanent junior tees. Families can play together or kids take lessons or a clinic. Other resort activities include tennis, kayaking, swimming, biking and more.
Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort: Wisconsin Dells, WI
Best known for its 500-square-foot water park, Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort also has a golf club with an 18-hole championship golf course and a 9-hole family course with junior
tees to help build the game of golf for young golfers.
Hyatt Lost Pines Resort: Austin, TX
Accessible to Hyatt Lost Pines Resort guests, Wolfdancer Golf Club was recently named by Golf Magazine as one of the “Best Public Golf Courses in Texas.” It is an official U.S. Kids Golf Family Course with a setup helping kids and beginners play golf from appropriate yardages. Junior golfers ages 6 to 17 pay half of the adult rate. Kids under age 12 play free after 2 pm when accompanying a paying adult.
In addition, the resort offers its special Family Wolf Pack Rate that features fun after 4 pm at the resort. For $150, a family of four will get free rental clubs for everyone, use of two golf carts with GPS, and—if new to the game—a lesson from one of the PGA pros.
Callaway Gardens: Pine Mountain, GA
Callaway Gardens was one of the first resorts to install kids tees on its golf courses. The Lake View course is Callaway Gardens’ original golf course, featuring wider fairways and more water holes, complementing the more demanding Mountain View course.
During a family vacation, the Summer Family Adventure program includes the opportunity for children to take golf lessons as part of the kids' club, more intense golf lessons after the kids' club or a parent/child golf tournament during the week. As a bonus, parents get to play as much specially-priced golf as they want while the children are having a blast at supervised kids' club, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3 pm.
Treetops Resort: Gaylord, MI
Owned by the renowned golf instructor Rick Smith, Treetops Resort is a premier Midwest golf destination with five golf courses to offer challenges for all levels of ability. Named as one of Golf Magazine's "Top 25 Golf Schools in America," the resort's academy is the only school in the nation to have a 2:1 student/teacher ratio and offers lessons for every member of the family. For juniors age 13 and younger, there are clinics and lessons include putting and straightest-drive contests as well as more intensive multi-day camps. For families that book an overnight resort golf package, one junior age 18 and under plays free with per paying adult.