GolfBlogger’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Golf Travel Experiences

GolfBlogger’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Golf Travel Experiences

For the ultimate holiday gift, I suggest a golf travel experience. Here are a few that The GolfBlogger has enjoyed:

Pinehurst Resort: Bucket List Golf

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Pinehurst

In 2021, I was able to check off a bucket list experience with a trip to Pinehurst Resort.

One of the best deals at the resort right now is the “Donald Ross Package,” which includes three rounds of golf, lodging in the Carolina Hotel, Holly Inn or Manor, Southern breakfast each morning and a three-course dinner each night.

The breakfast is terrific and held me through two walking rounds in a single day, with only a brief stop for a snack between. For dinners, be sure to make reservations early; I didn’t and missed the chance to eat at a couple of the resort’s better options.

There are the usual restrictions and details to pay attention to, so visit for more information.

Boyne Golf: Northern Michigan’s Magnificent Ten

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Boyne Hills Course
The thirteenth at The Hills Course at Boyne Highlands is a 570 yard par 5.

If your goal is to go on a golf bender, there’s no better place to do it than Northern Michigan. At the height of summer, the region enjoys some fifteen hours of daylight. On my summer days “Up North,” I often finish rounds after 9 pm with light to spare. Two rounds a day with time for a leisurely meal between is often my schedule.

Northern Michigan’s Boyne Golf offers three resorts and ten courses, which between them have more holes of golf than any resort in the United States. It’s the perfect place to OD on golf.

I have played all of Boyne’s courses, and thoroughly enjoyed each one.. Boyne’s Bay Harbor is ranked #63 on Golf Digest’s list of best public courses. The Heather is a 1966 course designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones. If you have not been to Boyne, you can get a sense of the courses by reading The Golfblogger’s Reviews on Boyne’s Bay Harbor, Arthur HillsCrooked TreeHeatherAlpineMoor, Monument and Donald Ross Memorial

Boyne offers some great golf travel deals with custom packages that can include not only unlimited golf and lodging, but meals and non-golf entertainment. There is nothing quite like golf in Northern Michigan.

Bandon Dunes: Dream Golf

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Pacific Dunes
Pacific Dunes

With six highly regarded courses, Bandon Dunes golf resort is indeed dream golf. Currently, the resort’s Pacific Dunes is ranked #2 by Golf Digest among public courses, Bandon Dunes is #7, Old MacDonald is #12 and Bandon Trails is #13. The new Sheep Ranch is #15.

I visited Bandon four years ago — before the Sheep Ranch was built — and it was one of my favorite golf experiences. You can read accounts of my Bandon Dunes adventures, Bandon Dunes course reviews and photos at the link.

I hope to return to Bandon soon to play the Sheep Ranch.

Bandon offers a variety of lodging options from single bed to cottages for larger groups. Located as it is on the Oregon Coast, Bandon Dunes golf resort is open for play year-round. January temperatures average in the low fifties. July temperatures are in the mid sixties.

Forest Dunes: Three Top 100 Courses

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Forest Dunes
Forest Dunes

Only a few golf resorts in American can offer three top 100 courses in one compact spot. Forest Dunes Golf Resort in Northern Michigan is one of those.

The original Forest Dunes golf course by Tom Weiskopf is in my estimation the best public course in Michigan. It’s ranked #33 in Golf Digest’s list. Tom Doak’s “The Loop” is an unique and intriguing reversible course that is ranked #59 in its clockwise routing and #78 in its counterclockwise routing.

You’ll need to stay at least two days at Forest Dunes because The Loop reverses on alternate days. Play The Black one day, and The Red on another.  Schedule the must-play Forest Dunes on a third day. In 2020, Forest Dunes added a ten-hole short course called The Bootlegger, after the property’s Prohibition gangster past. Forest Dunes has a lodge, villas and cottages for overnight stays.

Rumbling Bald: Golf In the North Carolina Mountains

On my trip to Pinehurst, I also had the chance to stop in for a round at Rumbling Bald, a resort in the North Carolina mountains. With thirty-six holes and a wide range of activities at the resort and nearby, Rumbling Bald would be perfect for a family getaway.

I played one of the two courses, Apple Valley, through a driving rain but still very much enjoyed the course. (Read GolfBlogger’s Apple Valley review and see photos of a drenched GolfBlogger with a smile on his face.)

While I was in the area, I also made a short drive to Chimney Rock State Park, where mountain scenes from the 1992 Last of The Mohicans movie were filmed. And speaking of movies, much of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing was filmed at Rumbling Bald, including a scene shot on the 16th green on the Bald Mountain course.

Starting at $300 per golfer for two nights and two rounds on Rumbling Bald’s marquee course, Apple Valley, late fall and early winter package rates are offered from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. Other packages are available as well. To learn more about Rumbling Bald’s golf courses and packages, visit, or email [email protected].

Morocco: An Exotic Golf Adventure

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Royal Palm GC
A view of the fourth green at Royal Palm Golf.

Visit Morocco Website. 

In 2016, I went play golf in Morocco in what was absolutely the trip of a lifetime. The golf is spectacular, the culture is exotic, the people are friendly, and the dollar goes a long, long way. I can’t recommend it enough.

On my trip to Morocco, I played Royal Dar Es Salam (a Robert Trent Jones design) in Rabat, at the Mazagan Golf Resort, and at the Royal Palm golf resort in Marrakech.  And, of course, I soaked in the local culture and food. I want to spend so much more time exploring that amazing country. Read about my Adventures in Morocco.

Gaylord Golf Mecca: Seventeen Courses

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Black Lake
The ninth at Black Lake is a 560 yard par 5.

Seventeen courses and a two dozen lodging options within a short drive of downtown Gaylord, Michigan, make up the The Gaylord Golf Mecca. The consortium has a group of area golf travel experts who can help you put together a great golf vacation in Northern Michigan.

Among the courses are Black Lake, which I think is in the conversation for best course in Michigan, Gaylord Golf ClubIndian River Golf Club, The Loon Golf Resort, Michaywe Pines, Otsego Resort, The Natural At Beaver Creek, and the courses Treetops: PremierSignatureMasterpieceTradition and Threetops. Reviews at the links.

Gull Lake View: 108 Holes of Golf

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Stoatin Brae

With six quality courses — including the award-winning Stoatin Brae — Gull Lake View Resort, near Battle Creek, Michigan has more holes of golf than all but three resorts in the US (Gull Lake View has 108; Pinehurst ,171; Boyne, 162; Renolds Lake Oconee, 117)

Gull Lake Views’ Stoatin Brae was the 2021 National Course of the Year and sits at No. 96 on Golf’s Top 100 You Can Play list. [resort website]

During the Michigan golf season, I make a point of making at least one golf travel trip to play a Gull Lake View course. I enjoy them that much.

Because I live relatively close to Gull Lake View, I haven’t tried any of their stay-and-play options. I am confident, however, that Gull Lake View has lodging options that will fit your needs.

Island Resort: Get Away From Everything

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Sweetgrass
Sweetgrass Hole 6, a 630 yard par 5

If you really want to get away from it all, Island Resort Casino in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the place for you. [resort website]

The resort has two absolutely outstanding courses in Sweetgrass and Sage Run. Sweetgrass is a prairie-links style course that has perhaps the best conditioning I have ever seen. Sage Run is routed through woods and across a large drumlin — a hill created by glacial ice.

Nearby, you’ll also find the highly acclaimed Greywalls and Timberstone.

Island Resort’s Perfect 4-Some package combines Island Resort & Casino’s Sweetgrass and Sage Run courses, together with the acclaimed Greywalls course in Marquette and TimberStone course in Iron Mountain make the region a top golf destination. Perfect 4-Some packages include 3, 4, and 5-night lodging options at Island Resort with four rounds of golf.

Tullymore Golf Resort: Two Distinct Courses

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Tullymore
The sixteenth at Tullymore is a 608 yard par 5.

Tullymore Golf Resort in Canadian Lakes, Michigan features two fun golf courses. [resort website]

Tullymore is a fabulous Jim Engh design: imaginative and spacious. St. Ives, from well-known Michigan golf course designer Jerry Matthews, is a more traditional mitten state layout, with tree-lined fairways and significant elevation changes.

The resort has a hotel, condos, and cottages that sleep up to ten. The fabulous Lodge at Tullymore has ten bedrooms, each with two queen beds and a private bathroom.

Eagle Ridge: Great Midwestern Golf

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Eagle Ridge

Eagle Ridge, in Galena, Illinois boasts three-and-a-half courses: The GeneralThe NorthThe South and the nine hole East.

For the non-golfer, the resort also has a spa, pools, horseback riding, bicycling, boating and fishing. Nearby downtown Galena is also a really neat place.

For lodging, Eagle Ridge has hotel rooms, villas and houses. Eagle Ridge is a neat midwestern resort.

Turning Stone: Golf, Gambling and Entertainment

GolfBlogger's 2022 Father's Day Golf Gift Guide: Golf Travel Pictured: Atunyote Clubhouse
Atunyote Clubhouse

Turning Stone is a vast casino and entertainment complex in Western New York that features five outstanding courses: Atunyote, Kaluhyat, Shenendoah, Pleasant Knolls and the par three Sandstone Hollow. [resort website]

Atunyote is a Tom Fazio design that once hosted PGA TOUR events. Kalhuyat, a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design, is as challenging as you might expect.

Because Turning Stone is a casino resort, lodging ranges from adequate to extravagant. You can get in a lot of activity at Turning Stone. It is another one of those resorts where even a non-golfer can have a good time.

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