We write a lot about "buddy trips" (often all-male or all-female) as a main type of golf vacation, but we know all too well that these are far from the only way to craft a memorable golf travel experience.
I was reminded of this when I received a note about the International Husband & Wife Golf Championship. The "IH&WGC" is being played for the 32nd time this year (host sites rotate around the Caribbean), and even though team golf can get intense at times, we're not aware of it ever resulting in divorce proceedings.
In other words, spousal golf is happy golf, so if you and your better half are looking for a great golf getaway, below are some of our best suggestions.
Trump National Doral - Miami, Fla.
One could say the thrice-married Donald has a lot of experience with matrimony, so it's a good assumption that upon assuming control of Doral, he would focus on making it a particularly appealing destination for couples. His team succeeded - in addition to making improvements to all on-site golf courses, the 48,000 square foot spa is now undergoing a major renovation project that will bring it into similar prominence.
Hammock Beach Resort - Palm Coast, Fla.
Many top-echelon golf resorts' courses tend not to be very female-friendly, but this is not the case at Hammock Beach, whose golf offerings feature enough width off the tee and manageable approaches to greens that husbands and wives alike enjoy playing both the Tom Watson-designed Conservatory Course and the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course. The resort even offers a popular "Couples Golf Package" for traveling lovebirds.
Destination Kohler/The American Club Resort - Kohler, Wisc.
On the golf side, the Whistling Straits facility has gotten the bulk of recent press, having hosted the 2015 PGA Championship. But its Blackwolf Run complex is equally as famous in the women's game, having hosted two U.S. Women's Opens. The resort's overseers understand the appeal to couples, as evidenced by the popular Celebration Experience package, which includes champagne, chocolates and rose-petal turndown service. Furthermore, the Kohler Waters Spa, one of the best of its kind in the world, is particularly known for its range of couples' massages. What could be better before or after a round on one of the resort's four Pete Dye-designed courses?
Royal Isabela - Isabela, Puerto Rico
Royal Isabela is one of those under-the-radar, peaceful enclaves that the Caribbean seems to be losing in favor of overcrowded, noisy resorts that seem to pack people together like sardines. Its quiet beauty makes it especially well-suited to those looking for a romantic getaway, as the resort's accommodations consist of 20 separate, 1,500 square foot "Casitas," each with a pool.
Arizona Biltmore - Phoenix, Ariz.
On the flip side from the likes of the smaller Royal Isabela lies the grand Arizona Biltmore, which dates to 1929 and has hosted Presidents and their wives, who have taken advantage of the facility's intricate gardens, eight swimming pools, spa and two championship golf courses. Now under the Waldorf Astoria aegis, the Arizona Biltmore offers the same level of service those familiar with the brand's flagship New York location have come to expect and appreciate.
Pebble Beach Resorts - Pebble Beach, Calif.
It should come as no surprise that perhaps the most visually stunning golf destination in the United States is also ideal for couples, especially now that Casa Palmero, a 24-room Italianate boutique hotel, is part of the accommodations offerings. Located next to the award-winning Spa at Pebble Beach, it is a terrific option for a couple looking for a quiet post-golf retreat.
Do you take many golf vacations with your significant other? What are some of the couple-friendliest golf resorts you've visited?