IF YOU are into golf but your other half hates the game, why not consider a golfing holiday at a resort that offers something for your non-golfing partner to enjoy too? Nowadays, many top quality courses offer a range of alternative facilities so that both players and non-players can expect to have an exceptional vacation. Here are our suggestions …
The American Club, Wisconsin, US
The Midwest’s only AAA Five-Diamond resort hotel, the American Club, is located in Kohler, named the top golf resort destination in the United States by readers of Golf Magazine. Course designer, Pete Dye, created two championship courses at both Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. For non-golfers, the American Club also offers shopping for antiques, visits to the innovative Kohler Design Center, spa treatments, hiking and canoeing.
Williamsburg Inn, Virginia, US
Course designer Robert Trent Jones Sr. called the Golden Horseshoe’s Gold Course his finest design, and many leading golf publications concur. Yet, there’s so much to do and see on a Williamsburg vacation that the allure of the links may fade. Travel back in history as you walk the streets, attend a town hall meeting at the brink of the American Revolution, stroll among the gardens, and dine on authentic 17th century cuisine in the historic centre or sophisticated fare at the elegant Inn.
Greenbrier Resort, West Virginia, US
The three, 18-hole championship courses, and the Golf Digest Academy, attract golf aficionados to White Sulphur Springs. Non-golfers can swim in indoor and outdoor pools, depending on the weather, use the fitness centre and play tennis. They can also tour the secret bunker that was designed to harbour members of Congress during the Cold War. Other past times on offer include balloon rides, white-water rafting and horseback riding.
Turning Stone Casino Resort, New York, US
Turning Stone Casino Resort lies in the midst of central New York’s rolling farmland, an ever-expanding complex that features five golf courses by designers Tom Fazio, Rick Smith and Robert Trent Jones Jr. Non-golfing partners can gamble, swim, use the spa, or visit local attractions, including a huge shopping centre.
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Kohala Coast,Hawaii
Golfers will love the stunning fairways, which roll gently over ancient lava beds, and the 17th hole, which is incorporated into a natural lava amphitheatre. There’s no arguing that the two championship courses at the Mauna Lani are among the most dramatic in the world. The resort’s original course was split in two and nine new holes were added to each side. The North Course is now edged by a protected archaeological area and the South Course winds through the prehistoric Kaniku lava flow. Meanwhile, non-golfers will love relaxing in the private bungalows, checking out the legendary ponds, enjoying an open-air sauna as part of the extensive spa and dining at Canoe House, named the best restaurant on the island.
Casa de Campo, La Romana, Dominican Republic
The off-the-beaten-path aspect of this property will appeal to the most hardened golf widow or widower. The resort also has a great family friendly atmosphere. Whether you want to get the little ones started on their strokes, or just have access to a great children’s programme while you play (lizard hunts are particularly popular), this is a terrific choice. Golfers will love the three Pete Dye-designed courses, which includes the acclaimed Teeth of the Dog. Seven of the holes sit right on the Caribbean Sea and if that isn’t challenge enough, there’s a tricky dogleg to keep you on your toes.
Les Bordes, Saint-Laurent-Nouan, France
Some say that France, and not Scotland, was the birthplace of golf – and the world is now sitting up and paying attention to the French golf scene. This resort is particularly notable because its excellent Woodland Golf Course is flanked by traditional Loire Valley cottages and farm buildings that have been renovated into beautifully rustic accommodation. This former hunting estate was conceived by industrialist Baron Marcel Bich, of bic pens fame, and businessman Yoshiaki Sakurai, whose goal was simply to create a superb golf retreat. Not a golfer? No problem – the resort is just an hour-and-a-half from Paris, where shopping and lunching await.
Four Seasons Golf Club Carmelo, Carmelo, Uruguay
With just 24 suites and 20 bungalows, all decorated with stylish local accents, there’s a nice feeling of intimacy at this countryside retreat on the banks of the Rio de la Plata. The place to visit if you want to play in the unspoiled Uruguayan wilderness, the Four Seasons boasts an 18-hole course that blends pampas grass, lakes, wetland and native trees with excellent bent-grass putting surfaces, hybrid Bermuda fairways and white sand bunkers. Non-golfers can relax and enjoy the fabulous wildlife, including some stunning birds, and you may even catch a glimpse of a wild horse or two.
Le Meridien Nirwana Golf & Spa Resort Bali, Kediri, Indonesia
This is the only hotel on Bali with its own golf course – an 18-hole, Greg Norman-designed layout. From an aesthetic point of view, the best thing about the fairways is the use of rice paddies, which aren’t just for show. Local villagers farm these plots, adding to the unique beauty of the surroundings. The hotel itself offers an elegant modern interpretation of Balinese style, while the oceanfront location, overlooking Tanah Lot sea temple, completes the romantic atmosphere.