5 Stay & Play Golf Resorts You Don’t Want To Skip

Advice from the Golf Trip Junkie: Sean Petersen

As an avid golfer, I have traveled throughout the United States to try my hands at different golf courses and see how well I can handle them. Year after year, I visit different resorts and play a round or two on their courses. Because of this, I think it’s safe to say that I know a few good places for people to unwind and enjoy this game, either alone or with their family. I have decided to write this article to tell readers about my personal top 5 stay and play golf resorts. I thought about their overall quality, so these places do not only include magnificent golf courses, but they also offer everything necessary to make your vacation as pleasant as possible.

The Wisp Resort in Maryland  •  I recently went to this resort and I must admit, I was dumbstruck when I saw it. Besides its enormous size, I couldn’t believe the variety of activities guests could take part in. The Lodge offers a heated pool, a fitness center, whitewater rafting and even a mountain coaster! The best part of it all is the price. For a few hundred bucks, I was able to enjoy 4 days filled with adventure. I really liked that The Wisp Resort offers two golf courses, so it is impossible to get bored by them while you stay here. The Fantasy Valley and Lodestone courses combine variety, challenge and scenery into the perfect blend. I cannot describe the feeling of putting surrounded by thick forests with the mountain right beside me, like a silent titan watching my game. 36 holes are more than enough to satisfy even the pickiest of golf junkies. I wholeheartedly recommend this resort to anyone who wants variety and quality at an OK price

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina  •  Kiawah Island Golf Resort has been ranked by GolfDigest as the #1 gold resort in South Carolina and as soon as you arrive here you will understand why. You can stay in a hotel or in private homes but, in my opinion, the best choice is to stay in one of their villas. They offer luxurious rooms with breathtaking views. This resort caters mostly to people who want to relax and it presents many ways in which to do so: pools, fishing, spa days, tennis and many other activities. The best part, however, is the golf. They have 5 different courses! That’s a total of 90 holes! I had to see it to believe it. They differ in size and difficulty, so everyone can play, from newbies to pros. I was extremely excited to know that I was playing on the same course on which Tiger Woods played. The Ocean Course gave me one of the most fun games I have ever played in my life, and it also cemented The Kiawah Island Golf Resort into this list.

The Skamania Lodge in Washington  •  The Skamania Lodge makes its guest feel at one with nature. Surrounded by the forests, this hotel gives one of the most mesmerizing views a person could see. The Columbia River, the waterfalls, the wooded areas make it feel like a fairytale destination. The Lodge offers dozens of different activities, for both adventurous types and people who just want to relax. Zip lining, hiking, whitewater rafting, fishing, horse riding and golfing are among some of the activities which will guarantee to keep you occupied and engaged throughout your stay. The golf course is incredible, it almost seemed like it was created naturally and man just found it there. When you are alone, surrounded by the forest and you hear different birds chirping while the sun gently washes your face, the golf game seems to go by in a matter of a few minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by its difficulty. Although incredibly beautiful, at first I thought it would be a walk in the park. After a few holes, though, I realized that I had to bring my A-game as the bogeys started piling up. I highly recommend readers to try this lodge, with my only warning being that with the heavenly scenery, you might even forget about playing golf!

Shawnee CourseThe Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in Pennsylvania  •  The Shawnee Inn Resort almost feels like a portal through time. The scenery and the architecture seem to fit together like two pieces of a puzzle and make the whole location feel like it is trapped in a bubble of its own, unaware of the outside world. The Shawnee Course is located on an island in the middle of the Delaware River. I really liked this because it gives you the impression that the golf course is designed just for you, that in the middle of the river you can escape from your problems in the mainland for a round or two. I highly recommend readers to try this resort in the fall, as this is the season when the course really shines. The brown and orange leaves make a beautiful contrast with the green grass of the course. Combined with a grey sky and a gentle wind, it makes it all look like a picturesque description ripped straight out of a novel.

The La Quinta Resort & Club in California  •  It would be a sin not to put what many consider to be a golfer’s paradise, La Quinta, into this list. The La Quinta Resort & Club was ranked the #1 golf resort in North America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. It offers luxurious hotel rooms, pools, tennis, shopping and hands down some of the best courses I have ever played. It offers 5 courses, but the ones at PGA West are the main attraction and the element that makes me come to La Quinta every year. Even though I may know them like the back of my hand, they are done so in a way that they are incredibly hard to master. Even though it can be a little bit on the pricey side, if you call yourself an avid golf player, trust my word on this one, it is mandatory that you visit La Quinta and get lost in countless hours of golfing.


Sean Petersen is the founder of Golf Trip Junkie. He has always been an avid golfer and he decided to share his knowledge of golfing and golf courses with the world. His company has access to hundreds of golf courses, but they continue on growing as they strive for nothing less than complete customer satisfaction. Before any vacation, Sean asks each and every client what they are looking for, so every vacation is tailor-made for his customers.

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