Head to the Maldives for a wonderful winter, playing golf to your heart's content. This warm oasis has many forms of luxury to offer and the golf courses here are no less.
With more than 1200 golf courses throughout the state, this is indeed a paradise for golfers looking for a sunny retreat in the cold winters. The warm and pleasant weather adds in to your plans of having a calm golfing experience.
Arizona creates quite a picture for golfers with holes between red rocks, canyon and cacti. With unique contours and domain, New Zealand's golf courses are set up at stunning locations.
With the scenic beauty to complement, Australia provides some of the finest golf courses in the world. Check out the 'Sand Belt' around Melbourne and the dunes of Tasmania, for an unforgettable golfing experience.
If hosting the PGA Tour: Hyundai Tournament of Champions is any testimony, then you can estimate how good the courses in Hawaii are. For an affordable yet classy experience, head to the island country of Sri Lanka.
Head to Colombo for one of the best golf courses Sri Lanka has to offer. With beautiful green hills on one side and crystal-like water on the other, the golf courses in Seychelles are a treat for the eyes.
Enjoy your winters golfing surrounded by such lush beauty. The southern coastal region of the country is unsuitable for hotels or agriculture.
Head to Spain's south coast where the warm shoreline will be provided the perfect climate for some winter golf. Puerto Rico has the most number of golf courses than any other Caribbean island.
The Island provides golf courses for both novice and seasoned golfers. When snow blankets the fairways of golf courses to the north, take a cue from snowbirds and head down to states in the lower latitudes.
With some 300 days of annual sunshine and winter high temperatures in the mid-60s F, Scottsdale is an obvious mecca for golfers. The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale is home to the Troop North's two golf courses, Monument and Pinnacle.
Nicknamed the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach draw golfers with its sub-tropical climate, ocean views and more than 100 golf courses. Long a favorite playground for Hollywood celebrities, Palm Springs and the surrounding desert towns in the Coachella Valley features more than 125 golf courses.
The group of six championship courses, by golf legends, including Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus, are often stops on the PGA Tour. The Texas Hill Country golf courses are known for their wide variety of styles and layouts in and around the Austin and San Antonio area.
Boca Raton, located on Florida's southeastern coast near Miami, is an upscale resort town with a number of popular golf courses. Of course, when something hasn’t been done, there’s often a good reason and, in this case, it was the conundrum, “How do you define best ?” Ultimately, the answer came down to one elusive word: goofiness.
So, yes, the accompanying list takes into consideration a number of benchmarks gleaned from statistical information obtained from the National Golf Foundation and elsewhere. These include more-or-less current population estimates of the 50 states, where each state ranks in terms of percentage of estimated golfers, its number of facilities, the state’s total rounds played and rounds played per estimated golfer, in addition to the somewhat more amorphous measurement of passion which the NGC has posited on a 1-to-5 scale, with 1 the highest.
Is it golfer to be able to step outside your door in Naples and play 12 months a year or battle a season shorter than the one for ice fishing in the Iron Range and beat it around until 9:30 p.m. on a July night in Beside? That’s “Pain In The Ass”: Anyone who has sat on the Long Island Expressway or the 405 in L.A. understands this.
When it takes as long to get to the golf course as to play it, that’s just not that golf. Taking into consideration all of this statistical and ethereal data, like a Vegas card counter dealing from a tarot deck, what follows are a subjective state-by-state ranking of American goofiness.
There may have been only two major men’s championships (both PGA's) ever conducted in the state but the first one, in 1971, was in February and the other, in 1987, featured a floating scoreboard attended by a woman in a bikini, photographic evidence that it’s a tad bit steamy during much of the championship season and, therefore, a dearth of majors shouldn’t necessarily be held against the Sunshine State. And we challenge you to add up the number of major men’s championships won by guys who tie up their yachts in Florida.
Plus, there’s enough top-flight resort golf to provide habitat for an alligator population equal to Shanghai, Mumbai, and Mexico City combined. The only days the state takes off from golf are those involving named tropical storms.
At the time of writing, the PGA Tour has five events in Florida alone, not counting Greg Norman’s shootout and Tiger Woods’s brief stopover. And though it wouldn’t be surprising that the most populous states would slide down the scale of the percentage of estimated golfers, Florida comes in at a respectable 20th with an overall level of passion right in the middle of the pack.
Even MLB pitchers and catchers, whose national pastime is actually golf, can’t wait to start spring training in Florida. Michigan is sixth in the country in facilities with outstanding resort golf in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula in particular, and it’s hosted a dozen men’s major championships.
Despite being hit hard by the Great Recession, it’s ninth in population and still an enviable eighth in percentage of estimated golfers, which explains why Michigan ranks fourth in total rounds played, even with a short season. With the likes of Crystal Downs, Oakland Hills, Arcadia Bluffs, True North, Forest Dunes, Grand Traverse, Boyne Highlands, and Point O’ Woods, to name a few, Michigan offers as wide a range of great golf as any place in the nation.
Of course, Jack’s Memorial Tournament, coupled with Firestone, keeps the PGA Tour’s highlight reels flickering into the gloaming. Despite a population slightly larger than Michigan’s, it’s a couple of spots further back in total rounds played, but its percentage of estimated golfers ranks an enviable 12th.
And with courses like Muir field Village, The Golf Club, Scott, Camaro, and Inverness, what otherwise flat piece of sod could be any golfer? The most populous state in the nation, it stands to reason California would be first in rounds played, too.
Its passion for the game rating is, like Florida’s, a respectable three out of five. Because more people live in California than any other state, it’s not surprising there is an inverse correlation with the percentage of estimated golfers, ranking it a lowly 41st.
But Carlsbad is the golf -equipment epicenter, the PGA Tour is in California four times in the winter, once in the spring, and once in the fall, and the LGA plays its first major there every year. Add in 16 professional men’s major championships, including Tom Watson chipping in, Jack Nicklaus hitting the flag stick, and Ben Hogan inventing Jack Fleck, well, the Left Coast’s left-est state is as golf as it gets.
Rounding out the top five is South Carolina, one of just two states with a passion rating of 1. The Palmetto State is 24th in population but 17th in the percentage of estimated golfers and 11th in facilities.
Myrtle Beach remains the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” of golf, retaining the title of every man’s home course. When you add Hilton Head and Kiowa Island, the courses fall tripping off the tongue: The Ocean Course, Secession, The Dunes, Chechessee Creek, Long Cove, Harbor Town, Palmetto.
Sure, Kiowa made the state’s only major footprint with the 2012 PGA, but don’t forget that it was here that the game first arrived at American shores, 276 years ago. While it’s problematic to be too critical of any state with that many grizzly bears, none can rival Alaska for its lack of goofiness.
It’s 47th in population and 45th in percentage of estimated golfers, crashing the frequent inverse proportionality. It’s 50th in total rounds, making it golf’s final frontier.
MICHIGAN The state where Hogan brought the Monster to its knees. CALIFORNIA And if Jack had just one more round to play, it would be at Pebble Beach.
SOUTH CAROLINA The Low country is where golf washed ashore in America. ARIZONA Holy Leaping Cactus, it’s a dry heat and prickly good golf.
WISCONSIN A Midwestern state on the ascendancy: Whistling Straits, Erin Hills. ILLINOIS Like the Western Golf Association, once more major than it is now.
MINNESOTA When the ice melts, its thousand lakes fill up with golf balls. HAWAII Robert Trent Jones Sr. invented lava golf.
MASSACHUSETTS Gotta love a state where they call something by its simplest name: The Country Club. ALABAMA Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is worth its weight in chilling.
TENNESSEE Elvis wasn’t very golf but Cary Middleton could shake, rattle, and roll. OKLAHOMA They’re living on Tulsa time with Southern Hills.
WASHINGTON This year it gets another championship venue, adding Chambers Bay to Shale. VIRGINIA Sam Snead came out of its mountains, Curtis Strange from its coast.
NEVADA Shadow Creek, Butch Harmon, David Copperfield, and Cirque du Soleil. IOWA The field of dreams for Jack Fleck and Zach Johnson.
IDAHO Coeur d’Alene and Sun Valley go a long way when the snow melts. RHODE ISLAND Where Tiger’s won an Amateur, Annika an Open.
NEW MEXICO Land of Enchantment, sunsets, and Pinon Hills. UTAH Let’s face it, golf can’t compete with Robert Redford and Sun dance.
WYOMING Jackson Hole, Eton Pines, the Snake River, and Old Faithful. MISSISSIPPI Rescued by the Gulf Coast courses and turtle soup.
WEST VIRGINIA The Greenbrier stands alone but casts a big shadow. VERMONT It gets credit for Ben & Jerry’s and Keegan Bradley.
SOUTH DAKOTA Far better known for Wild Bill Hickok than Marlene Hague. DELAWARE The place where PGA Tour sponsors go to incorporate.