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The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach, California - © Evan Schiller

Readers' Choice 2015: Top 20 Golf Resorts

By Andrew Harper

The Hideaway Report | September 1, 2015

For the fourth year running, The Lodge at Pebble Beach claims first place on this list of reader-favorite golf resorts, and the Four Seasons Hualalai and The Sanctuary Hotel remained firmly in the top five. More remarkable was Ashford Castle’s move from 16th to fifth, and the strong support of The Broadmoor and One&Only Ocean Club, neither of which appeared on the 2014 list.


1. The Lodge at Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach, California — Distinguished resort with glorious views of Carmel Bay and the 18th green of the famed Pebble Beach links. An extensive 22,000-square-foot spa, 12 tennis courts, beach club, riding stable and hiking trails complement the incomparable golf facilities.

2. The Resort at Pelican Hill

Newport Coast, California — Lavish and well-managed resort on 504 acres south of Los Angeles. The property offers golf at two Tom Fazio championship courses and nearby Oak Creek Golf Club, in addition to a stunning circular mosaic glass-tiled pool and a spa.

3. Four Seasons Hualalai

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii — Grand resort in dramatic grounds along a half-mile rocky shoreline on the north Kona Coast. The property features a spa (the island’s best), as well as a gym, seven pools, tennis courts, and a manicured Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

4. The Sanctuary Hotel

Kiawah Island, South Carolina — Beautifully appointed resort set along a 10-mile beach on private Kiawah Island. The property offers five championship golf courses designed by the likes of Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

5. Ashford Castle

County Mayo, Ireland — Newly refurbished castle-hotel in a 350-acre woodland park on the shores of Lough Corrib, 45 minutes north of Galway. Crenellated battlements incorporate the remnants of a 13th-century castle.

6. The Broadmoor

Colorado Springs, Colorado — World-class sporting facilities draw visitors to this grand 3,000-acre resort along the eastern slope of Colorado Springs in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain. The property features three 18-hole championship golf courses.

7. One&Only Ocean Club

Paradise Island, Bahamas — Beachfront colonial-style plantation resort of 105 guest rooms, suites and residential-style villas on the mainland of New Providence Island. The property features a three-mile beach, nearby golf and children’s programs.

8. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Bluffton, South Carolina — Plantation-style residential resort amid 20,000 scenic Lowcountry acres. The property features a strikingly designed Jack Nicklaus signature golf course complemented by a timbered clubhouse.

9. Keswick Hall

Charlottesville, Virginia — Stylish country house hotel-resort in the rolling hills of Virginia near Charlottesville, two hours southwest of Washington, D.C. The 600-acre estate is centered on a golf course dotted with ponds and woodlands and private fairway homes.

10. Four Seasons at Wailea

Maui, Hawaii — Luxurious resort on 15 oceanfront acres at the south end of Wailea Beach. A U-shaped building contains spacious rooms overlooking landscaped courtyards. There are three 18-hole championship golf courses adjacent to property.

11. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Kohala Coast, Hawaii — Renowned 252-room resort founded in 1965 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, overlooking an exquisite white-sand beach on the Kohala Coast. The property features a revitalized 18-hole Robert Trent Jones golf course, plus clubhouse.

12. Esperanza

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — Luxurious resort terraced into Punta Ballena’s panoramic bluffs, overlooking two private coves. Clusters of earth-toned casitas contain 57 rooms. The property features oceanfront pool, sandy beach for lounging, refreshed spa and excellent golf nearby.

13. The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club

St. Simons Island, Georgia — Tranquil golf-oriented oceanfront hotel situated at the end of an avenue of live oaks, adjacent to the spectacular 18-hole championship Plantation links. Forty luxurious guest quarters have been designed to resemble an English manor house.

14. The Breakers

Palm Beach, Florida — Legendary oceanfront resort with an Italian-Renaissance décor amid 140 acres. Amenities include two golf courses, an extensive spa, 10 Har-Tru tennis courts, two fitness centers and a Mediterranean-style beach club with four heated swimming pools.

15. The Cloister

Sea Island, Georgia — Renowned family-oriented resort and golf community on a 10,000-acre island estate. The property offers a full spectrum of resort activities and amenities: a lavish 65,000-square-foot spa; world-class sporting facilities and a five-mile beach.

16. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Matauri Bay, New Zealand — Plantation-style lodge on 6,000 scenic acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and its own world-class championship golf course. The Pebble Beach-like golf course features six dramatic cliffside holes, plus nine others with ocean views, and holds an excellent practice range.

17. The Lodge at Torrey Pines

La Jolla, California — Charming resort hotel adjacent to the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course and a 2,000-acre seaside nature reserve. The rambling lodge embodies a distinctive early 1900s California architectural style. Tee times can be reserved for Torrey Pines’ two legendary municipal links.

18. Blantyre

Lenox, Massachusetts — Tudor-style mansion set on 117 acres of grounds near Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Twenty-one beautifully decorated guest quarters are housed within The Main House, The Carriage House and several secluded cottages.

19. Rancho Valencia

Rancho Santa Fe, California — Spanish hacienda-style resort enclave 30 minutes north of San Diego in Rancho Santa Fe. The property features excellent golf nearby, an outdoor heated swimming pool and 18 Plexipave tennis courts.

20. The Gleneagles Hotel

Perthshire, Scotland — Imposing golf resort boasting three 18-hole championship courses. The property features Scotland's PGA National Golf Academy and pitch-and-putt golf course. The country club atmosphere is enhanced by lavish salons and fine restaurants.

1. Pebble Beach - © Joann Dost 2. The Resort at Pelican Hill - Courtesy of Pelican Hill 3. Four Seasons Hualalai - © Don Riddle 4. The Sanctuary Hotel - © Steve Uzzell 8. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff - © Montage Hotels 10. Four Seasons at Wailea - © Harvey Lloyd 13. The Lodge at Sea Island - Courtesy of Sea Island 14. The Breakers - © Nile Young Photography 15. The Cloister - © Evan Schiller 16. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs - © Gary Lisbon 19. Rancho Valencia - © Rouse Photography 20. The Gleneagles Hotel  - Adventures in Golf © Ian Haddow

Andrew Harper Photo Andrew Harper is the editor of The Hideaway Report, a luxury travel newsletter that first appeared in 1979. He travels anonymously and pays his own expenses in pursuit of unique properties that offer unusually high levels of personal service. Hotels have no idea who he is, so he is treated exactly as you might be.

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