If you have a spouse who loves golf as much as you do, you're one lucky guy or gal. One of the best ways to enjoy the game together is by spending a long weekend (or longer) at a golf resort in one of North America's best destinations.
Golf resorts across the country have especially targeted the better half in the past decade or so, adding luxury spas with full services and amenities, as well as enhancing their dining options.
The golf course at a couples' resort is important, sure, but it doesn't necessarily need to be top 100-worthy to be a great pick. The best couples' courses, especially for those where your golfer skill levels are varying, provide a laid-back atmosphere, scenery and playability.
In celebration of Valentine's Day, the Golf Advisor staff members have put their collective experience together to round up a few of their favorite resorts in North America for couples. We've done our best to find a great romantic getaway in all four corners of North America for a variety of budgets and tastes. (Frankly, California and Hawaii could dominate this list, so we've done our best to spread the love around).
Hawaii, Big Island: Mauna Kea Beach Resort
If you're looking for a romantic golf getaway, it's hard to go wrong with almost any quality resort in Hawaii, but if I had to pick a favorite, regardless of price, it would be the Mauna Kea Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island. Not only is the golf extraordinary with the magnificently restored Mauna Kea Golf Course (Robert Trent Jones/Rees Jones) as well as the Arnold Palmer-designed Hapuna Golf Course, but also the resort -- with its secluded beach, beautifully appointed large rooms (with lavish, large bathrooms, including an open shower with great views) and exceptional dining (both indoor and outdoor) -- is the perfect spot for rekindling love. Packages start at around $600 a night. (http://www.marriott.com/reservation/rateListMenu.mi)
Other Hawaii properties to consider: St. Regis Princeville on Kauai, Four Season Lanai, Four Seasons Hualalai, Turtle Bay on Oahu, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
Monterey, California area: Pebble Beach
It's one of the most beautiful places on earth, so Pebble Beach along romantic 17-Mile Drive has to be on this list. And as you might expect, no detail was overlooked when it comes to staying at this iconic resort. There are several options at Pebble Beach, including the romantic and most expensive Casa Palmero near Pebble Beach's award-winning spa, but if you've never stayed there, you owe to yourself and partner to book at room at the famed Lodge at Pebble Beach. The Lodge (with the new Fairway One Cottages coming this summer) sits above the 18th at Pebble and offers rooms with fireplaces, incredible views and access to fine dining, shopping and perhaps, most important, a tee time at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Right now, packages start at around $2,500 and include rounds at Pebble and The Links at Spanish Bay. (https://www.pebblebeach.com/golf-vacation-packages-and-getaways/fall-stay-and-play/).
Other Monterey area resorts to consider: Carmel Valley Ranch
San Diego: Park Hyatt Aviara
Perhaps the most obvious spot for a couples trip any time of year is to San Diego, where the weather normally cooperates and resorts have been specializing in wellness and relaxation for a long while. Park Hyatt Aviara has a dazzling perch high above Carlsbad with all the luxurious hotel trimmings, from an adults-only pool to tennis and spa. The Arnold Palmer-designed golf course is one of the top resort courses on the west coast, full of ample flora and fauna, marvelous views and playability from all tees.
If you want to spend a little less, check out nearby Omni La Costa Resort's La Costa Experience package, starting at $224/night, offers the ability to either play golf or split a twilight golf/spa credit.
Others San Diego properties to consider: Fairmont Grand Del Mar, The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Napa California: Silverado Resort & Spa
Again, it's location, location, location, and the Silverado Resort is hard to beat, nestled right in the heart of California's wine country. This resort offers everything from a player-friendly golf course good enough to host the Safeway Open on the PGA Tour to luxury accommodations ranging from the cottages to the secluded bungalows as well as bocce ball, tennis and, most important, miles and miles of wine country. The Cabernet Season package starts at around $300 per night and includes accommodations, winery admissions and tastings and a $50 resort credit.
Other Napa area properties to consider: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Carefree, Arizona: Boulders Resort & Spa
What's more romantic than a quiet sky with a million vibrant stars, an incredible spa and your own luxury casita? Very little, which is why the Boulders ranks high on the romance meter. There's the 36 holes of very playable golf by Jay Morrish (North and South courses) routed among huge boulders that date back millions of years. Aside from golf, though, there's the Boulders' renowned spa, which offers every imaginable treatment and wellness activity. Plus, couples can go hiking, rock climbing, ballooning, horseback riding and more. Among the package offerings is the "Love at the Boulders," which starts at around $500 per room, does not include golf, but does include Champagne, spa treatments and a $100 resort credit.
Other Phoenix-Scottsdale area properties to consider: The Phoenician, Westin Kierland, Four Seasons Troon North, J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn and Fairmont Princess at TPC Scottsdale, just to name a few.
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire: Omni Mount Washington Resort
About 150 miles north of Boston is the Omni Mount Washington Resort, which revolves around the centerpiece Mount Washington Hotel -- where presidents and celebrities have been counted among the guests. The magnificent hotel, a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture, is visible from nearly all parts of the resort, but best of all, when you're inside, you're surrounded by old world luxury, including a veranda that goes completely around the hotel, providing great views of The White Mountains. The golf isn't too bad either with an 18-hole Donald Ross gem and a nine-hole course perfect for couples' golf right before a romantic dinner. Besides golf, there's also tennis, indoor and outdoor pools, hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, canopy tours, archery and more. One of the most scenic attractions is taking the free ski lift (during non-ski season), for a relaxing ride to the Latitude 44° Restaurant. Or ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway, which dates back to 1868 and still takes tourists to the top of Mount Washington and back. The "Retreat to Romance Package" starts at around $300 a night and includes a bottle of sparkling wine, $100 food and beverage credit, assistance with romantic requests and late checkout.
South Carolina: Kiawah Island Golf Resort
OK, the Ocean Course at Kiawah might not be the best couples course in America, but there are other golf courses and plenty of other things to do at this magnificent resort, like take a romantic sunrise walk on the beach. There's also tennis, boating, walking tours, fishing, biking and exceptional Lowcountry dining as well as a terrific spa. The accommodations epitomize old Southern hospitality from the grand oceanfront Sanctuary Hotel to Resort Villas. As for the golf, the Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course is famous for its grueling 1991 Ryder Cup as well as other major events, but there's also four other golf courses, including the very playable Gary Player-designed Cougar Point Golf Course. Golf packages start at $424 per person and include a Garden View room at the Sanctuary and a round of golf each day.
Other South Carolina coastal resorts to consider: Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island
Asheville, North Carolina: Omni Grove Park Inn
History oozes from the Grove Park Inn, which opened on July 12, 1913. While the Donald Ross golf course is certainly good, it's the spa that attracts guests by the droves. It's so popular that the resort can't guarantee a day pass, so schedule those treatments to ensure you're pampered properly. The 43,000-square-foot spa is subterranean with cavernous rock walls, arches and tunnels and fireside lounges for men and women. There are 20 water features, including numerous mineral-based pools, a specialty of Asheville, and two therapeutic waterfall pools and a lap pool blanketed with 6,500 fiber-optic stars and fed by underwater music. For golfers, check out the "Build Your Own Package" that will include possible credits for dining, spa or golf and more. The "Retreat to Romance" packages start at around $230 a night and include a $100 cuisine and cocktails credit (does not include golf).
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia: The Greenbrier Resort
Talk about stepping back in time: The Greenbrier Resort at the base of the Alleghany Mountains dates back to 1787, when visitors went there to bathe in the curative waters of its sulfur springs. A lot has happened since then, but the magnificent hotel and resort remains, offering three golf courses, including century-plus Old White TPC Course, home of the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour. This is where Joe and Rose Kennedy, the parents of John F. Kennedy, honeymooned in 1914, and it's reportedly where the Mint Julep was invented. It's also the site of the "Cold War Bunker," which offers tours to guests. As for the resort today, you can simply relax in unparalleled luxury, dance at "42 Below" in the resort's elegant casino, dine at its six wonderful restaurants (including basketball legend Jerry West's Prime 44 West) or even indulge in supervised falconry. Two-night packages that include final-round admission to the Greenbrier Classic, plus a round of golf the next day on Old White TPC start around $900 per golfer.
Northeast Florida: Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island
This hidden little gem is in a part of Florida most people don't think of, but they should. Just below the Georgia border and east of Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a terrific little getaway. The Ritz-Carlton is what you'd expect from a Ritz -- no detail overlooked and luxury throughout from the spa to the accommodations to the fantastic dining, most of which has a terrific view of the Atlantic. Best of all, you can explore the island and the old historic town of Fernandina Beach with its terrific old-world shops, dining and pubs, including what claims to be the oldest bar in America -- the Palace Saloon, originally constructed as a haberdashery in 1878. As for the golf, there's plenty on the island, including the resort's Golf Club of Amelia Island, designed by Gene Littler and Mark McCumber. Packages begin at around $400 a night and include a $100 resort credit.
Other northeast Florida properties to consider: Omni Amelia Island, Ponte Vedra Inn, Sawgrass Marriott
Prince Edward Island, Canada
The golf is exceptional and the views and the seafood are even better on Prince Edward Island, a terrific couples golf destination that's more affordable than you might think. From inexpensive boutique hotels and great shopping and pubs to the Prince Edward Island Culinary Trail with close to 50 stops on it, including the best lobster and mussels on the planet, there's no shortage of romantic spots on this little island on the Atlantic. And there are more than 30 affordable golf courses, all of them fairly playable for couples, even the spectacular Crowbush Cove with its stunning ocean views. Golf packages, depending on hotel and season, start out at around $150 a night.