What is it like to go golfing in a winter wonderland? For many courses around the country, winter means bare trees, icy waters, and greens white with snow. But winter golf doesn’t have to be like that—there are some places, even in the wintertime, where the land is teeming with wildflowers, the grass is as green as ever, and a cool ocean breeze is welcome on a sunny day. We picked our five favorite courses all over the country where you can play a round year-round.
With a glowing skyline in sight by night and Augusta white sand with palm trees by day, Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a golfer’s winter dream. In fact, this South-Seas-themed course sits right off of the Las Vegas Strip. It was designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley in 2000. Golfers can enjoy a day on the course in sixty-degree weather and then head out for a night on the town. Distinctive holes include number sixteen, a par three island green, and number three, a par four in between a creek and a sandy bunker. Bali Hai even has its own award-winning restaurant, Cili, serving up American-Asian cuisine. Want to check out this course named “One of America’s Top Resort Courses” by GolfWeek? You don’t have to dream. Book tee times here.
Hawaii is a popular winter beach getaway destination, but how about a Hawaiian golf course? At Poipu Bay Golf Course in Koloa, Hawaii, you can combine your love of golf with the beach, mountains, and ocean cliffs. Because it is situated above the Pacific Ocean, you can actually see green sea turtles and humpback whales below you as you play! Its eighteen championship holes were designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The course was the home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994 to 2006. Play where the champions play. See tee times (and a whale!) here.
Nestled in the Sonoran Desert, the Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the embodiment of southwestern allure. The course is surrounded by nature with desert foothills, deep canyons, and giant granite boulders. Troon North contributes to the conservation effort to keep the desert beautiful by being a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Thanks to recent renovations by its original designer and British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf, two beautiful new courses have opened: the Monument and the Pinnacle. Both top most golfers’ bucket lists. Take a look at vacation packages and tee times here.
The PGA West Greg Norman Course in La Quinta, California, is on a seabed (forty feet below sea level, in fact) in Coachella Valley, enveloped by mountains and bursting with wildflowers of every color. Golf legend Greg Norman designed the par seventy-two course in 1999. It’s located just minutes away from Palm Springs and Palm Desert, where you can also enjoy biking, hiking, horseback riding, and much more. The course regularly hosts PGA and LPGA tournaments and is often a stop on the PGA Tour. Stop and smell the roses by booking tee times here.
The grass doesn’t get any greener than the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. This course is located at the center of an extravagant resort and only minutes away from Disney World. Tall pine and cypress trees line the fairways on a wetland preserve. A “throw-back” course designed by Rees Jones, it features eighteen holes modeled after several of the world’s 100-year-old courses. It doesn’t matter your level of play here, either. Anyone can play with the five-tee system that accommodates everyone. The course was recently named one of the “Top Courses You Can Play” by Golf Magazine. See what the buzz is about here.
Just because some of your regular courses may hibernate in the winter doesn’t mean you have to. Luckily for us, winter doesn’t always mean trying to find balls in the snow, as there are some beautiful courses that never have to close. Golf makes for a great retreat from the wintertime blues, especially when courses are located inside resorts and near attractions. Maintain your skills, brush the snow off your clubs, and don’t forget to pack your favorites from Lost Golf Balls.