Many of golf’s best destinations—such as Florida, Arizona or California’s Palm Springs area—are meant to be winter jaunts. But for many folks, the reality is that the summer is usually the easiest time to travel. If you don’t mind the heat, you can take advantage of some nice deals at these bucket-list golf locales.
We worked with our friends at Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR to identify the places that should be on your bucket list for this summer. Prices vary depending on the month, but you can search deals and dates by clicking on each course/destination name below.
Sea Island (contact Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR for pricing)
Sea Island really is an all-year-round destination. It can get hot in the summer, but most of the golf is on the coast providing a steady breeze to keep you cool. The Sea Island Resort offers three championship courses, including the Plantation and Seaside layouts, which annually co-host a PGA Tour event in the fall. Ranked No. 36 on Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, the Seaside course plays along the Atlantic Ocean and features large clamshell bunkers and exposed sand dunes off many fairways.
The Plantation course was recently redesigned by Sea Island resident Davis Love III and his brother, Mark, recapturing the traditional profile of Walter Travis’ 1928 original nine-hole course. The lesser-known Retreat course was also redesigned by the Love brothers (in 2001) and features wide fairways framed by towering Georgia pines.
Just like Sea Island, it’s nice to be in Hilton Head any time of the year. And Sea Pines is the resort that should be on every golfer’s itinerary. Harbour Town Golf Links, the host of the annual RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour, is one of Pete Dye’s masterpieces and still holds up to the modern game. Atlantic Dunes and Heron Point are also located on the resort and worth playing. At these off-season prices, we’d highly recommend considering HHI this summer.
It’s rare you’ll find a price as low as this to stay and play at Kiawah Island, home of The Ocean Course, which hosted the 2021 PGA Championship and ranks fourth on Golf Digest’s most recent ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Public courses. If you can handle a bit of the heat, we’d contact Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR and get to Charleston ASAP to take advantage.
Classic Club (packages starting at $329/two nights and two rounds of golf)
Located in Palm Springs, the Classic Club is an Arnold Palmer design that has previously been one of the host courses for the annual PGA Tour event. Water is in play on 14 of the 18 holes, and with many holes having fairways that slope toward the water hazards, driving the ball is at a premium.
Indian Wells Golf Resort is home to 36 holes set against a stunning mountain backdrop that characterizes Palm Springs courses. The Clive Clark-designed Celebrity course features undulating fairways, meandering streams and pristine ponds that are often connected by flowing waterfalls. The Players course offers wide fairways but small, demanding greens protected by expansive bunkering.
TPC San Antonio (packages starting at $819/two nights and two rounds of golf)
The Oaks course annually hosts the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open and is Golf Digest’s top-ranked public course in the Lone Star State. The 16th hole is a highlight of the round, with its bunker placed in the middle of the green inspired by George C. Thomas’ sixth hole at Riviera. The Pete Dye-designed Canyons course plays over hilly terrain and hosted a PGA Tour Champions event from 2011-2015.
TPC Scottsdale (packages starting at $339/two nights and two rounds of golf)
Host of the WM Phoenix Open, the TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium course features challenging greens throughout and culminates with a memorable finishing stretch, including the par-3 16th (minus the 20,000 rowdy fans). The Champions course, with its pine tree-lined fairways meandering through natural ravines, is also worth playing.
The Coore and Crenshaw-designed Saguaro course is Golf Digest’s top-ranked public course closest to Scottsdale and incorporates all of the typical traits of desert golf while still being walkable. Also ranked inside our top 10 public courses in the state, the Cholla course features narrower fairways than the Saguaro but offers the same stunning views of the surrounding desert and mountains.
Both courses at Troon North rank inside the top 10 of Golf Digest’s best public courses in Arizona and were recently renovated by original designer Tom Weiskopf. A former member of our America’s 100 Greatest list, the Monument course features generous fairways guarded by protruding boulders. Similarly characterized by wide fairways flanked by granite boulders, the Pinnacle course has numerous severe elevation changes that create stunning vistas.
Grayhawk’s Raptor course offers a true championship test, with deep greenside bunkers and devilishly crowned greens. The Tom Fazio design hosted a PGA Tour event from 2007-2009 and is the host of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Golf Championships from 2021 through 2023. The sibling Talon course not only features views of the McDowell Mountains and the Scottsdale skyline, but it has been described by one of our panelists as one of the “most exciting and dramatic” layouts in the southwest.
TPC Sawgrass (packages starting at $1,039/two nights and two rounds of golf)
A golf trip to Jacksonville would be incomplete without a stop at TPC Sawgrass. Home of the most recognizable par 3 in the world, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course is Pete Dye’s most well-known layout, which challenges tour players every year. Across the street, Dye’s Valley Course offers the perfect warm up or cool down after a dance with the devil we see every spring on TV.
Just down the road from TPC Sawgrass, the World Golf Hall of Fame awaits any true player or fan of the game. What’s more, visitors have the chance to play two courses designed by four legends of the game. The King and Bear, co-designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, and the Slammer and Squire, co-designed by Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen, with Bobby Weed, each offer a resort-style golf experience packed with history.
Innisbrook (packages starting at $719/three nights and three rounds of golf)
The site of another PGA Tour stop, Innisbrook Golf Resort operates four courses, including the Copperhead Course, host of the Valspar Championship. Just 20 minutes from the Tampa International Airport, Innisbrook is also a short drive from the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. The Island, North and South Courses are all more playable tracks compared to the Copperhead Course.
Another option in the Tampa area is TPC Tampa Bay. Designed by Bobby Weed in 1991, TPC Tampa Bay quickly garnered attention and has hosted a PGA Tour Champions event for the last 21 years. Just 20 minutes from downtown Tampa, a formidable on-site dining experience isn’t exactly necessary, but the club went ahead and built ‘Cuatro Restaurant & Bar,’ a modern eatery that overlooks the course anyway.
Another Florida resort with 72 holes of golf, Trump National Doral Miami’s Blue Monster, restored in 2014 by Gil Hanse, used to host the PGA Tour for more than 50 years. Miami itself isn’t exactly a golf town, per se, but The Golden Palm, The Red Tiger—14 holes with water in play—and The Silver Fox—six par 3s, 4s and 5s, apiece—are unique playing options in the area.
Keeping with the PGA Tour host sites, Bay Hill offers three nine-hole courses in addition to 70 on-site bedrooms, a trio of restaurants and a poolside bar. The Champion and Challenger 9s make up the 18-hole championship course we see every year during the PGA Tour’s Florida swing. The Charger 9 is the easiest of the three, and much more resort-style, with palm trees and water aplenty.
Another Orlando course designed by Arnold Palmer, Shingle Creek tests players on nearly every hole with water hazards and well-placed bunkers. Since it opened in 2003, it has been among the favorites in Orlando for visitors and locals alike. Out-of-towners shouldn’t be worried about not knowing the course as each cart has a GPS, outlining every hole.
Editor’s Note: This list was compiled and curated by Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR. For more, click here.