The 10 Most Popular Golf Cities in the United States
Call them the best of the best, the elite, or the Green Berets
of U.S. golf cities.
The ten cities on this list all have one thing common. They occur
on more top-ten golf destination lists than all other cities in
the U.S. How do I know this? By way of research ... lots of tedious,
time-consuming but totally thorough research.
Building the Ultimate List
I began the process by gathering all the lists of popular U.S.
golf destinations I could find. This journey led me from About.com
to Golf Digest, from travel websites to sports websites and everything
in between. I read lists by golfers, journalists, travelers and
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The Envelope Please
When the dust settled, I had 15 lists of popular golf destinations
in the country. Then I began cross-referencing to determine which
cities occurred on the most lists. So here you have the best of
the best ... the elite ... the ten most popular golf cities in the
(I've listed these cities alphabetically, because anything else
would have required way too much math.)
1. Hilton Head, South Carolina
The readers of Golf Digest put South Carolina's Hilton Head Island
at number 10 on a list of the world's best resorts. Do I really
need to say any more than that? Okay, here's more. You can choose
from more than 20 golf courses that wind around marshes, lakes and
lagoons. For more information, visit www.GolfIsland.com.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
Say "Las Vegas" to most people, and gambling usually comes to mind.
But Las Vegas is also a premier golf destination with more than
two-dozen courses. Popular choices include Reflection Bay, Royal
Links and The Canyons. Just be mindful of the time of year -- if
you travel there in the summer, you can expect temperatures over
100. For more information, visit www.LasVegasGolf.com.
3. Maui, Hawaii
Aside from the lush beauty one normally associates with Maui, the
Hawaiian island also offers the state's only 54-hole courses, Wailea
and Kapalua. According to VisitMaui.com, there's plenty of availability
to go around: "Although Maui hosts several well-known professional
tournaments tee times are rarely hard to come by." Learn more at
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
I went on family trips to Myrtle Beach each year for over a decade.
I recall how eager my siblings and I would be to play a round of
Jungle Golf, miniature golf with all the animal props you could
shake a club at. But Myrtle Beach has plenty of golf for "big kids,"
too. Popular courses include The Legends, Grand Dunes, Wild Wing
and Tidewater. Learn at www.MyrtleBeachGolf.com.
5. Orlando, Florida
Orlando conjures images of Disney World, Universal Studios and
similar attractions. But it also attracts plenty of golfers to its
more than 20 courses. Popular stops include Orange County National,
Bay Hill and Disney. Where else can you golf with Mickey Mouse?
Learn more at www.GolfOrlando.com.
6. Palm Springs, California
If you like the idea of golfing on lush green courses with plenty
of palm trees and a backdrop of rugged mountains, Palm Springs is
the place for you. Within the Coachella Valley, there are more than
100 courses. According to GolfDigest.com, "PGA West, La Quinta and
Mission Hills North are the three big resorts in town." Learn more
7. Phoenix / Scottsdale, Arizona
I'm aware that Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona are two different
cities. But they're so close to one another and they appeared together
on so many lists that I felt they deserved to share a spot in my
top ten. The desert landscape alone is worth a trip. Add to that
the abundance of world-class golf courses, and you have a desert
paradise for any avid golfer. Learn more at www.AZgolf.org.
8. Pinehurst, North Carolina
Yes, we're back in the Carolinas again. I'm not biased or anything
the Carolinas just come up on a lot of lists. Pinehurst is both
a resort and a village. The website PinehurstGolf.com explains:
"Pinehurst, the resort, is a wonderful collection of historic hotels
and eight world-class golf courses that is widely considered one
of the top golf destinations in the world. Pinehurst, the Village,
is a quaint New England style town " Learn more at www.PinehurstGolf.com.
9. San Diego, California
I lived in San Diego for three years, so I can vouch that the city
is worth a visit. Whether you go for the golf, the sightseeing or
a combination of the two, San Diego won't disappoint. San Diego
County has excellent weather year-round, allowing for plenty of
golf days on any of the county's 80+ golf courses. Torrey Pines
and La Costa are popular stops. Learn more at www.SanDiegoGolf.com.
10. Williamsburg, Virginia
If you're a history buff as well as a golfer, put Williamsburg,
Virginia on this year's trip roster. Colonial Williamsburg is a
living history museum that lets you step back in time to the days
of the Revolutionary War. And when you're ready to step onto the
green, you'll find more than a dozen top-rated courses to accommodate
you. Stonehouse, Royal New Kent and Kingsmill are popular stops.
Learn more at www.GolfWilliamsburg.com.
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