If one or both of you golf, you probably want to take your next vacation -- even if it's your honeymoon -- at a resort with a superior golf course and facilities plus other amenities that support the sport.
At the following golf resorts, both players and non-players can expect to have an exceptional time. The majority offer golf vacation packages, and some also feature romance packages. So if you one of you wants tee times and the other loves dinner by candlelight, you can choose a place that offers the pleasures of both.
Ritz-Carlton boasts two award-winning hotels in Naples. This one, where golf is the focus, has been named no. 1 hotel in Florida on Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List. It contains the Tiburon Golf Club with two 18-hole courses designed by Greg Norman and the Rick Smith Golf Academy. Guests have access to The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, also a Mobil Five-Star property, and located just three miles away on the Gulf of Mexico. Non-golfers can revel in the pristine beach, fitness, and spa facilities.
Three 18-hole championship courses and the Golf Digest Academy, which offers advanced instruction, attract golf aficionados to White Sulphur Springs. Non-golfers can swim in indoor and outdoor pools, depending on the weather, use the fitness center, and play tennis. They can also tour the bunker, secretly designed to harbor members of Congress during the Cold War. Additional recreation choices include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and romantic carriage and balloon rides.
The Midwest's only AAA Five-Diamond resort hotel, the American Club is located in Kohler. It's been named the top golf resort destination in the United States by readers of Golf Magazine. Golf course designer Pete Dye created two championship courses at both Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. Both have a surprisingly good restaurant appreciated by both golfers and non-golfers. A vacation at the American Club can include shopping for antiques, visiting the innovative Kohler Design Center, spa treatments, hiking, and canoeing. The resort also hosts weddings.
Golf course designer Robert Trent Jones Sr. called the Golden Horseshoe's Gold Course his finest design, and many leading golf publications concur. Yet there's so much to do and see on a Williamsburg vacation that the allure of the links may fade. Travel back in history as you walk the streets, attend a town hall meeting at the brink of the American Revolution, stroll among the gardens, and dine on authentic 18th-century cuisine in the historic center or sophisticated fare at the elegant Inn.
In the midst of central New York's rolling farmland lies Turning Stone Casino Resort, an ever-expanding complex that features five golf courses. Among the designers: Tom Fazio, Rick Smith, and Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Best beds -- and all-around accommodations -- are in the exclusive Lodge at Turning Stone, a boutique hotel within the property. Non-golfing partners can gamble, swim, use the spa, or visit local attractions (including a huge mall).
Rated the no. 1 golf resort on the Big Island by Condé Nast Traveler, Mauna Lani has two extraordinary golf courses carved out of black lava fields that overlook the sparkling Pacific. At this ultra-luxury resort, you can unwind in a canopied chaise for two on the immaculate beach, experience an open-air sauna as part of the extensive spa, and dine at Canoe House, named the best restaurant on the island. While on the island, don't miss touring still-simmering Volcanoes National Park.
No mention of great American golf resorts is complete without acknowledging the world-class resort golf courses of Arizona. From the posh Phoenician Hotel to the romantic Boulders Resort to 36 holes at the JW Marriott Camelback to the highly rated Four Seasons, it just doesn't get much better. So take your pick, and rest assured that the non-golfer in your relationship with find that the spas, shops, swimming, tennis, restaurants, and weather on your golf vacation fit him or her to a tee.
Twelve-mile-long Hilton Head Island holds an astonishing 22 golf courses, including three at 5,200-acre Sea Pines Resort. When you're not playing golf, there's boating, biking, fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, bird watching, parasailing, and swimming to keep you active on your vacation.
Northwest of Santa Barbara, the Alisal has been welcoming guests since 1946. Two 18-hole championship courses satisfy those who come to golf on either the private and secluded Ranch Course or the scenic and popular River Course. Set on a 10,000-acre working cattle ranch, the Alisal is also favored by horseback riders, who can choose from 100 steeds. If you like, the management will give you directions to a private spot overlooking the lake and a gourmet picnic basket to fortify you.