Summer officially starts tomorrow and, as the saying goes, the living gets easy. It can be even easier if you find yourself at a great golf resort by the beach or in the mountains with a host of other activities to get the most out of these magical months.
Equinox Resort & Spa
Manchester Village, Vt.
History and modern amenities are well paired at this property that dates back to Revolutionary War times. In addition to playing an enjoyable 18-hole layout (originally designed by Walter Travis and updated by Rees Jones), you can also attend a Land Rover Experience Driving School on a custom-built course, use the full-service spa, and choose from among five different types of accommodation options. A favorite summer activity is canoeing or fly-fishing on the Battenkill River. For novice waders, the hotel offers the Orvis Fly Fishing School.
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
Michigan proclaims itself to be America’s Summer Golf Capital. So why not find out why for yourself? The shores of Lake Michigan are home to this 900-acre property, which includes three courses (including designs by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player), a 7,000-square-foot spa, a private beach club, and even a customized retreat for dogs. An annual Beach Week event (June 26–July 6) includes live music, bonfires, and a Beach Olympics, all held at the resort’s private Beach Club on the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Kohala Coast, Hawaii
The Robert Trent Jones. Sr. layout at this iconic property on the Big Island celebrates its 50th anniversary later this year. The par-three 3rd, all carry over water, gets most of the attention, but the entire layout set a high standard for every Hawaiian course to follow. The recently renovated resort overlooks Kauna’oa Beach and includes a new spa. You can also feast on poi, island fish, and other local specialties at an oceanfront Luau on Tuesday and Friday evenings.
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
Stay in a villa or in a mansion? That’s the choice at this Cape Cod resort that also features a Nicklaus Design course. Multiple beaches—with unusually warm water by Northeast standards thanks to being part of an inlet and bay—are reachable by foot or on a resort-provided bike. Or cool off at nearby JT’s Seafood Restaurant with their self-proclaimed largest ice cream cones on the Cape.
Located right in the center of Oregon, Sunriver is home to three quality courses, including Crosswater, the venue for the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship. There’s also glow-ball putting on Tuesday and Thursdays after dusk this summer on a nine-hole putting course right behind the main lodge. Off the courses, there’s 35 miles of bike and walking trails, whitewater rafting in the nearby Deschutes River, guided cave tours, downhill/water mountain bike tour, and paintball.
The American Club
Best known for its quartet of golf courses, including multiple major venue Whistling Straits (overlooking Lake Michigan), The American Club is more than just a collection of tees and greens located an hour north of Milwaukee. There’s canoeing, kayaking, fishing, trap shooting, and archery, among other activities. Or get inspired at the Kohler Design Center for your future bathroom or kitchen remodel project. You can also quench your summer thirst at the three-day Kohler Festival of Beer later this month.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Located 90 minutes south of Denver’s International Airport, the legendary Broadmoor has three courses, including the East, which has hosted a pair of U.S. Amateurs (including the 1959 version when Jack Nicklaus won) and two U.S. Women’s Opens. An outdoor infinity pool features lake and Rocky Mountain views, and you can also play tennis, go whitewater rafting, take rock climbing and fly fishing lessons, ride horses, or just enjoy the pure mountain air.
The Coeur d’Alene
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Home to the famous island par-three hole—accessible only by boat, this resort in the foothills of the Bitterroot Mountains is centered around a sparkling lake where you can take a sunset cruise or rent a boat to explore on your own. There’s also plenty to do on land, including mountain biking, tennis, and taking on the Scott Miller-designed layout that is known as much for its top conditions as it is for memorable lake views. Silverwood, the Northwest’s largest theme park with four roller coasters and water park, is just 20 miles away.
White Sulpher Springs, W.Va.
The PGA Tour returns to this iconic resort with the Greenbrier Classic the week of June 30th, including a concert on July 5th by quintessential summer music man Jimmy Buffet. While the tournament is played on the resort’s Old White TPC course, the resort’s Greenbrier and Meadows courses are worth exploring. So is nearby Oakhurst Links, where hickory clubs and gutta-percha balls are used on a course that dates back to 1884. NFL fans take note: The New Orleans Saints will base part of their 2014 training camp at The Greenbrier for 20 practices starting on July 24th.
The Resort at Pelican Hill
Newport Beach, Calif.
There may be no more luxurious summer resort option than this Southern California property, highlighted by a pair of Tom Fazio-designed layouts that both come with memorable Pacific Ocean views. You can ponder your scorecard while soaking in a Coliseum-inspired pool or while having breakfast on the private terrace of your bungalow. There are also six restaurants and cafes, a full-service spa, a camp for kids, and a complimentary shuttle to nearby Crystal Cove State Park and its 3.2 miles of beaches.