Ojai Valley Resort #4

21 Great Golf Resorts for Couples

This article originally appeared on GolfVacationInsider.com

I'm not someone who goes overboard for Valentine's Day, but with the "holiday" falling today, I thought it would be a great time to answer a question I get quite often.

It goes something like this...

"I want to take my [special someone] away for [a special occasion]. Which golf resorts best combine a truly romantic, couples retreat with high-quality golf?"

A tall order, to be sure -- especially if your mate doesn't play the game -- but a few places are so good, you'll both be on cloud nine on and off the course.

Here are some of my top picks, and I definitely want to hear yours.

Unless noted, all of these romantic retreats have golf on site....

United States...

Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach Resorts, CA

CordeValle, CA (golf course photo below)


Barnsley Resort, GA

Four Seasons Resort Lanai, HI

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, HI

Inn at Palmetto Bluff, SC (photo below)

(Montage Palmetto Bluff)

The Lodge at Koele, HI

The Grand Del Mar, CA

Destination Kohler, WI (photo below)


Keswick Hall at Monticello, VA

Lake Placid Lodge, NY (offsite golf)

Resort at Pelican Hill, CA

Ojai Valley Inn, CA (photo below)

Ojai Valley Resort #4

Twin Farms, VT (offsite golf)

WaterColor Inn and Resort, FL


Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico (photo below)

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf Resort & Spa

Grand Hotel Villa d'Este, Italy

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Mexico

Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand

Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, Indonesia

Royal Isabela, Puerto Rico (photo below)

The private casitas at Royal Isabela are little havens of utter relaxation. They're hard to leave, which is why guests who want to relax amongst incomparable scenery love this boutique resort. (JoAnn Dost)

Have you been to any of these golf resorts or others that are great for couples and golf?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

Feb 14, 2017

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Kelly Owen's avatar
Kelly Owen wrote at 2017-02-22 22:22:15+00:00:

The Great Barrier Reef course at Hamilton Bay put Pebble to shame! Don't even think about walking it and bring A LOT of balls-and your camera! We were on a cruise and didn't stay there but I believe you can.

Mike D's avatar
Mike D wrote at 2017-02-15 04:23:30+00:00:

No Pinehurst? My wife loves that place. The Boulders, Chateau Elan (GA), Ventana Canyon, JW Marriott San Antonio, Casa de Campo (DR) were all great couple places as well. My wife woudl go back to nay of these places in a heart beat.

Roy Hoffinger's avatar
Roy Hoffinger wrote at 2017-02-14 20:04:45+00:00:

A good addition to your list would be the Inn at Entrada in St. George, UT. Romantic suites, gorgeous scenery, terrific private golf course with other exceptional courses nearby.

PJ Thompson's avatar
PJ Thompson wrote at 2017-02-14 19:44:36+00:00:

Lake Placid Lodge is great too. The Whiteface Club is technically off site but the course surrounds the lodge's access road. An older layout that is much fun to play...

I would add Carmel Valley Ranch, too!

PJ Thompson's avatar
PJ Thompson wrote at 2017-02-14 19:38:06+00:00:

May River Golf Club has changed names and is now Palmetto Bluff Golf Club. They are currently under renovation so will have only nine available until later in the Spring.

Construction on the new Inn ended last Fall and the new facilities are fantastic!

David Rafus's avatar
David Rafus wrote at 2017-02-14 18:39:23+00:00:

Sea Island Resort, GA

Three greats course with the best range in the US. Beautiful little downtown. Seaside course is a Colt design and hosts the RSM each November. Ocean Forest is also there, but you'll need to call in some favors to get on it.

Eidz60's avatar
Eidz60 wrote at 2017-02-14 18:12:34+00:00:

Two places not mentioned:

1.Tortuga Bay, Punta Cana. Wonderful villas--right on the ocean and La Cana Golf Club.

Corales, Punta Espada minutes away. Both great tracks--user friendly.

Great spa. Great weather. Great couples golf.

2. Southwest Ireland. Most courses have a couples rate! Weather often milder than the rest of Ireland. Lahinch (stay at Vaughan Lodge), Ballybunion, Waterville, Dooks, Tralee. All have lovely B&B's nearby. Killarney a lovely town. Wonderful hiking on Ring of Kerry. Take a day trip to Portmagee and Dingle. Unforgettable charming villages.

(Warning---Ireland golf gets addicting. It will forever ruin golf in the States.)

THE SOCIAL GOLFER wrote at 2017-02-14 17:37:59+00:00:

In my second travel book.... living the dream.... i visited both Kauri and the Cape... both extensively covered... we preferred the intimacy of Kauri better... the spa the pink beach etc., although the golf at the cape was unbelievable....

Barnbougle Dunes in tasmania is a miss i think..... as well as gleneagles here in uk.

Andrei's avatar
Andrei wrote at 2016-02-13 15:37:12+00:00:

We spent a long weekend at CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa in Anguilla, BWI. The place was amazing! My wife and I had the best meals at the resorts three restaurants, and played two rounds of golf and got spa treatments afterwords. I have never even heard of the island, but we are definitely going back. We are from Philly, and it's an easy flight down. LOVE IT

Ron Reilly's avatar
Ron Reilly wrote at 2015-01-07 01:25:23+00:00:

I am planning to travel to New Zealand next January for a two to three week golf jaunt. I found the information under "Over the Hill" extremely interesting and helpful. If the writers could contact me with additional information, I would be very appreciative.

All the comments are interesting and helpful.


Steven Birnbaum's avatar
Steven Birnbaum wrote at 2015-01-06 15:12:52+00:00:

Cape Kidnappers is incredible...a 5,000 acre working sheep ranch with a 5 star lodge and food and the most beautiful golf course in the world which is empty most of the time. Second place goes to 4 Seasons Manele Bay in Lanai, the second most beautiful course in the world with ocean views from every hole, incredible terrain and the 12th and 17th holes which are out of this solar system in beauty and challenge. Having been a member for a number of years at Sky Meadow in Nashua, NH, I would have to think whoever entered that in this list was injecting something in themselves much more powerful than I have ever had.

OverTheHill's avatar
OverTheHill wrote at 2014-04-08 04:18:15+00:00:

For Mo Maybruch;

Unsolicited response to your note to Harrison Hine - hope you won't mind. My wife and I have been going to New Zealand since 1987 and have spent every Northern Hemisphere winter except one there for over a decade. Three things to keep in mind about golf in New Zealand.

FIRST, their "season" for club play is during their winter - which makes being there in their summer (between December and April) a great time to be golfing. Things won't be crowded, and the Kiwis will invite you to join them on club days, which are popular even in their off-season.

SECOND, you don't have to play the big name courses (and pay the big bucks) to have wonderful golf experiences. You can check out most courses on golf.co.nz. Many have very good websites. We have been members at Wairakei International and Ohope International for several years. Wairakei is a woodlands course, and is in the Kauri Cliffs, Kidnappers, and Kinloch class (and Kinloch, a Nicklaus Signature course, is only 20 km away). Ohope is a links course built in the dunes on shore of the Pacific Ocean. They couldn't be more different.

THREE, only Scotland has more courses per capita than New Zealand. If you run your own trip, you are more likely to play some local courses with Kiwis as well as some of the famous (tourist) courses. Kiwis are great hosts, avid golfers, and some of the nicest folks on Earth.

If you want a unique experience, play the Five Courses Stableford Competition in Tauranga in early February. It is billed as the largest Stableford competition in the world - about 400 golfers on five courses over five days.

I firmly believe you will enjoy a golf trip to NZ more if you organize it and run it yourself - and you can save a bunch of money compared to what the tours will charge you. They tend to be of the "forced march" variety - cramming three pounds of golf in a two-pound bag. I know this is heresy, but there is more to life than golf. Don't limit yourself. Besides, if you go to New Zealand on a tour with a bunch of other Americans, you might as save the airfare and go to Myrtle Beach or Bandon Dunes.

My wife and I have played all over both the North and South Islands, on some top tier courses and some not so much. Our most enjoyable experiences have been on local courses that the tours never see. Some are very good. Some are pretty basic. We've played a few where the sheep are the groundskeepers for everything but the greens. But you can play $400+ green fees for Kauri and Kidnappers if you want, and you will probably come away feeling like it was actually worth it. They ARE fantastic. Just take a LOT of balls for those two.


golferwannabe's avatar
golferwannabe wrote at 2014-03-29 12:26:21+00:00:

Beautifiul, especially those sea view courses.

As my nickname suggets I'm keen to learn golf - course is being built in my Adriatic neighbourhood (Lustica Bay). Anyone has more info about this resort? They didn't show much on their site. Thanks!

Wayne Stevenson's avatar
Wayne Stevenson wrote at 2014-03-08 17:34:40+00:00:

Don't forget Mahogany Run Golf course in St Thomas. Holes 13.14.15 are special.

Cherie McDaniels's avatar
Cherie McDaniels wrote at 2014-02-27 20:11:33+00:00:

The newly purchased and renovated Semiahmoo and Loomis Resorts in Blaine Washington, boast 2 beautiful and different courses with views to die for. A short drive from Seattle with a far away romantic getaway feel.

Mo Maybruch's avatar
Mo Maybruch wrote at 2014-02-19 19:22:23+00:00:

I am reaching out to Harrison Hine. My wife and i are planning a trip to New Zealand one of these days and it sounds like your itinerary is one that we would love to follow.

If you have a chance I would be grateful if you could forward to me.

V Ease's avatar
V Ease wrote at 2014-02-19 19:03:45+00:00:

Perranporth Cornwall great course open all year links over looking the sea

Jim Crall's avatar
Jim Crall wrote at 2014-02-19 18:39:39+00:00:

Casa Palermo is part of Pebble Beach Resorts a beautiful setting and golf at PB doesn't get any better. If you can afford it do it you won't be sorry !

Jim Cornell's avatar
Jim Cornell wrote at 2014-02-19 18:16:04+00:00:

My wife and I just played four rounds at the CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa in Anguilla. It was designed by Greg Norman and the original developer spent $50 million constructing it. CuisinArt was already recognized as one of the best dining destinations in the Caribbean, along with having one of the best spa facilities, and beaches. When you add the golf experience to this package you have all the components of a great couples vacation.

Don Baker's avatar
Don Baker wrote at 2014-02-15 15:36:03+00:00:

Primland in Virginia should be on the list. Small resort with wonderful golf, lots of walking trails and fine accommodations.

Scott's avatar
Scott wrote at 2014-02-13 15:21:01+00:00:

You are spot on with the two Four Seasons Resorts in Lanai (Manele Bay & Koele). The two courses are both incredible, with Manele Bay easily one of the best in the world, with the resorts to match. It is one of my most favorite places to play in the world, and easily my wife's favorite place to escape and vacation.

Steve Hunt's avatar
Steve Hunt wrote at 2014-02-13 13:15:14+00:00:

Need to check out Primland in Virginia

Alan Cooper's avatar
Alan Cooper wrote at 2014-02-13 05:00:39+00:00:

Barnbougle in Tasmania, Australia! We stayed overnight at Barnbougle Lost Farm and played the course in the morning. Then, after another night's stay it was a short (car) drive to Barnbougle Dunes where the golf and scenery were everything you'd want. The isolation along with the in house dining and facilities at Lost Farm make it an ideal golf holiday for couples.

Elliott Aspinwall's avatar
Elliott Aspinwall wrote at 2014-02-13 02:10:35+00:00:

It would be great to have a vacation like one of these. We haven't had one in five years do to my health,

Mike Darling's avatar
Mike Darling wrote at 2014-02-12 23:53:47+00:00:

My wife and I stayed at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff last March and we loved it. The accommodations are excellent (the photo shows exactly what we had). The food and the service are first-rate. The May River golf course is private, but guests at the Inn can play the course. You have to take a forecaddie, but our caddie was definitely worth what we paid him. We teed off around 9:30 and the temperature was in the high 50s, which we think is just fine for golf, but none of the members would play until it warmed up, so we had the whole course to ourselves. It's an excellent course (a Jack Nicklaus design)--not exceptionally beautiful in terms of views, but well-designed. My wife has a high handicap, but she could handle the course and was keen to play it again, which we did. All in all, this is a great place for couples. One word of warning--the Inn has been bought by a company that's putting $100 million into an expansion of the resort, meaning that the hotel may well be closed during construction and no doubt prices will go up as the level of luxury rises.

Rick Ridder's avatar
Rick Ridder wrote at 2014-02-12 23:44:39+00:00:

1. Playa Papagayo - Costa Rica. Mentioned above. Wonderful beach and fabulous golf

2. Punta Mita - Mexico - Great golf, beach, spa and gym. Very romantic.

3. My wife loved Royal Dornoch. She hiked and/or walked the courses while I golfed.

Glenn Camp's avatar
Glenn Camp wrote at 2014-02-12 22:29:54+00:00:

Two that we love - Pinehurst Area or the Pinehurst Resort - Spa and lots of golf an on an entirely different note Royal Golf Hotel and Royal Dornoch in Scotland. No Spa, but great golf for both men and women.

Paul B's avatar
Paul B wrote at 2014-02-12 22:10:00+00:00:

I concur with the Hammock Beach Resort, I go there twice a year, and it

is first class. Go in December, and get a great rate. My son got engaged at Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach, it is spendy, but great place.

The 4 Seasons on Lanai is also a great get a way

Ken Kopelman's avatar
Ken Kopelman wrote at 2014-02-12 21:48:30+00:00:

Agree that Royal Isabela is absolutely top of the line. Each of the casitas (bungalows) is set off on its own and completely private -- with its own outdoor plunge pool, and an unobstructed view of the ocean. The rooms are all tastefully and luxuriously furnished. Our in-room massages were terrific. The food is glorious, the vibe is laid back, and the course dramatically beautiful and plenty challenging.

Mike Henderson's avatar
Mike Henderson wrote at 2014-02-12 20:39:19+00:00:

How can you leave out Pine Needles when they even have a couples "golfari"!

John Jagger's avatar
John Jagger wrote at 2014-02-12 19:49:13+00:00:

Glorious courses in Dominican Republic at casa de campo - especially Teeth of the Dog and the hotel is one of the Leading Hotels of the World but for out and out splendour go to Playa Papagayo in Costa Rica - simply superb hotel right on TWO oceans and an Arnold Palmer layout to test the best. Nearer home (I live in the U.K.) enjoy Muirfield and the Greywalls hotel nearby.

Paalua's avatar
Paalua wrote at 2014-02-12 19:07:46+00:00:

Absolutely loved Royal Isabella! The course layout is visually appealing even with the beautiful scenic distractions, it demands critical thinking at all times and most of all the wind tests every level of skill and causes you to play within yourself! (maybe I should play every course like this?

Harrison Hine's avatar
Harrison Hine wrote at 2014-02-12 18:55:50+00:00:

We had the opportunity to play at Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand in 2011. Although there had been a lot of rain the previous days the course was spectacular and the staff and facilities were really first rate. The thing that was so distracting to us during our round were the beautiful ocean views from every hole. We spent 23 days playing 15 courses from Kauri Cliffs in the North to Jacks Point in the south. Although our favorite was Cape Kidnappers Kauri Cliffs was a close second. We were two couples and we really enjoyed the entire New Zealand experience.

Greg's avatar
Greg wrote at 2014-02-12 18:45:10+00:00:

Seems to me that every place named should have a picture ... please :)

bruce bedard's avatar
bruce bedard wrote at 2014-02-12 18:17:02+00:00:

Skymeadow cc in nashua NH Beautiful 18 holes The Head pro Richie is awesome.... Very friendly to females as well as couples!

David DeSmith's avatar
David DeSmith wrote at 2014-02-12 18:15:01+00:00:

I heartily recommend The Village at Machrihanish Dunes in Scotland. Its David McLay Kidd links course is incredible, and the hotels are luxurious -- perfect for couples. There's even a wonderful spa. Plus, it's in one of Scotland's most beautiful areas, and with short reach of Turnberry, Troon, Prestwick and even the great courses of Northern Ireland.

paul and rosthema kastin's avatar
paul and rosthema kastin wrote at 2014-02-12 17:34:56+00:00:

love pelican hill, kohler, bandon dunes, sea island, and many others but we believe the omission of cape kidnappers in new zealand must have been unintentional, as it’s at least top 5 in the world in our opinion.

Jim W's avatar
Jim W wrote at 2014-02-12 17:24:06+00:00:

Surprised that The American Club in WI is not on your list. Your significant other will be so lost in their Spa, that you can play all four of the great courses and not be missed.

Matin Gorman's avatar
Matin Gorman wrote at 2014-02-12 17:00:15+00:00:

One our favourite couples resorts we've stayed at recently was the Lodge at Hammock Beach Resort. There are about 15 rooms right on the Ocean. Rooms are on the top floor of the Lodge (3 stories) - a wonderful restaurant on the second floor - and the pro shop on the first floor.- with The Ocean Course right outside. There is also a wonderful spa in the main Hammock Beach Resort Building which we loved.

Martin and Nancy Gorman Toronto, Canada

Mark Zaontz's avatar
Mark Zaontz wrote at 2014-02-12 16:53:44+00:00:

Park Hyatt at Aviara is a former four seasons resort and the accommodations and golf course are amazing and female friendly, very romantic location in beautiful Carlsbad California

Darren's avatar
Darren wrote at 2014-02-12 16:42:24+00:00:

Cape Kidnappers on the North Island of New Zealand is run by the same people who run Kauri Cliffs - a truly amazing place and amazing golf in an amazing setting....

Craig Better

Staff Writer

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.