10 great summer golf destinations

The Midwest dominates our selections, but there are great golf getaway options from coast to coast.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors plays a tee shot on the 17th hole during round one of the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe in Stateline, Nevada.
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This is the summer to get back out traveling again.

Many of the most popular destinations for golf are already booked. If you want to go to Scotland or Ireland, chances are you'll be waiting until 2023. Places like Pebble Beach and Bandon Dunes are booked out for months as well.

The good news is you've still got choices. There are so many great spots for golf in America that demand will never outpace supply. We've rounded up 10 golf destinations we wish we could visit in 2022. You can't go wrong wherever you go. Here's a look:

Northern Michigan

I admit some bias towards the state where I lived most of my life, but northern Michigan's tagline, "America's Summer Golf Capital", has been well-earned. There are five northern Michigan golf resorts with at least 72 holes, the largest cluster of mega-resorts anywhere in the world. A dizzying array of elevated tee shots down ski runs and glacier-cut hills are the region's M.O. However, there's also great variety. Golfers can take on a psuedo-links on the water (Arcadia Bluffs), a reversible course that can be played a different direction each day (The Loop at Forest Dunes), a walkable classic from the Golden Age of architecture (Belvedere) and dozens of modern marvels (Bay Harbor, Tullymore, the Hills Course at Boyne Highlands and more). Don't try to squeeze everything in one trip. Plan to come back a time or two. - JSD

Southwest Pennsylvania

The presence of art complements the golf experience at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

South of Pittsburgh lies a half-dozen golf resorts of all sizes and price points, none more unique that Nemacolin Woodland Resort. This fairytale land delivers a diverse landscape of amenities from a zoo and car museum to 36 holes of Pete Dye/Tim Liddy golf at Mystic Rock (a former PGA Tour venue) and Shepherd's Rock. You could easily stay awhile, but if you're wise, tack on a road trip to the east for another mountain hideway, the Omni Bedford Springs. History comes to life at this property. It's been the vacation of choice for presidents and golfers alike. A restoration of its classic golf course has brought its Golden Age architecture back to life again. - JSD

Wisconsin

The first tee at Mammoth Dunes is steps from the accommodations at Sand Valley.

With must-see courses arrayed around the state, Wisconsin merits a Grand Tour-style trip for adventurous golfers. Destination Kohler is the O.G. of all the resorts, but don’t overlook Sand Valley, which has its own mystique and is in major expansion mode. Then, there are one-off golf courses of distinction like Erin Hills, Lawsonia Links, SentryWorld and the relative new kid on the block, the Club at Lac La Belle. Oh, and in-state destinations like the Wisconsin Dells and Lake Geneva have plenty to see, as well. Better schedule a couple summer trips to make sure you check everything off the bucket list. - TG

Golf Packages
Kohler, Wisconsin
FROM $617 (USD)
Golf Packages
Kohler, Wisconsin
FROM $557 (USD)

Maine

A view of a green protected by bunkers at Samoset Resort Golf Club

New England in the summer is spectacular, tending to deliver warm days and cooler nights, especially as you track north to Maine. With more miles of coastline than California thanks to thousands of inlets and islands, it is also home to a surprisingly strong list of accessible, classic golf courses like the Walter Travis-designed Cape Arundel, the Herbert Leeds-designed Kebo Valley and the Wayne Stiles-designed Prouts Neck, an exclusive private club that accepts play from guests of the nearby Black Point Inn. A round of golf near the ocean like Samoset and a lobster roll – what could be more summery than that? - TG

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

No. 13 showcases the beauty of Coyote Moon.

Until you've been there, it's hard to fathom just how large Lake Tahoe really is. It takes a couple hours to drive around the lake's perimeter, which spans both California and Nevada. The difference between the golf hot spots is profound depending on what state you're in. Truckee on the western shores exudes Californian mountain luxury with high-end alpine courses like Coyote Moon, Gray's Crossing and Old Greenwood, the host of the PGA Tour's Barracuda Championship. South Lake Tahoe hosts the American Century Championship in July, the golf party of the summer at Edgewood Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe where celebrities duke it out for supremacy on NBC. - JSD

Golf Packages
Truckee, CA
FROM $917 (USD)
Golf Packages
Truckee, CA
FROM $527 (USD)

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains

Drop-shot par 3s like the 17th hole on the Norman Course at Red Sky Golf Club are always enjoyed by golfers.

Beer and … grass … aren’t the only reasons why people flock to the Centennial State both to visit and to live. The golf is excellent, too, with one of the West’s most historic resorts in The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, as well as popular mountain gems like the Ridge at Castle Pines North, Cheyenne Mountain, Redlands Mesa, Pole Creek and more. After all, the same mountains that make the state so popular in the winter aren’t too bad to look at from a perched tee box in the summer, either. Neither are tee shots that fly 25 yards farther than at sea level. - TG

FROM $307 (USD)
DENVER, CO | Enjoy 1 night's accommodation at Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas and 2 rounds of golf at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club.

Brainerd, Minnesota

A scenic view on The Classic at Madden's.

Brainerd is one of the many waterfront escapes in "The Land of 10,000 Lakes". Golf helps it stand above the crowd. Golfers can choose from a multitude of family-friendly resorts - Grand View Lodge, Breezy Point, Cragun's and Madden's On Gull Lake - and not feel guilty about leaving the spouse and kids behind to go tee it up. There's something for everyone. The two best courses have always been Arnold Palmer's Deacon's Lodge and The Classic at Madden's. Cragun's is stepping up its game in the midst of a major renovation/redesign by native son Tom Lehman to add nine new holes and revamp the entire golf setup. - JSD

Indianapolis

A view of a green guarded by bunkers at The Fort Golf Resort.

One of the world’s famous car races is part of the reason why golfers should consider basing a summer vacation around Indy. Brickyard Crossing, a unique Pete Dye design open to the public, includes four holes inside the famous oval track. Area visitors are also close to three excellent college courses: the two belonging to Purdue University in West Lafayette, and the recently overhauled Pfau Golf Course at Indiana University in Bloomington. Both college towns are within an hour or so of town. Other notable area courses include The Fort Golf Resort, Prairie View Golf Club and The Trophy Club. - TG

Greater Seattle

Salish Cliffs golf course is part of Little Creek Resort & Casino.

Summer doesn't get any better than the Pacific Northwest ... as long as the sun is shining. That's the caveat. The home of Starbucks, Bill Gates, the Mariners and Seahawks is anchored by Chambers Bay, the 2015 U.S. Open host that's located closer to Tacoma than downtown proper. From there, golfers can scatter to seek out whatever floats their boat. If you want to stick close to downtown, a series of high-end daily fees are available: The 36-hole Golf Club at Newcastle, Druids Glen, Washington National, etc. Driving over the Cascade Mountains brings drier weather and the spoils of the 36-hole Suncadia Resort. Gamblers might try their luck at Salish Cliffs by day and the Little Creek Casino Resort by night in rugged Shelton south of Tacoma. My favorite option is to head west over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the Kitsap Peninsula where Trophy Lake, White Horse, Port Ludlow, McCormick Woods and the 36-hole Gold Mountain will entertain for a week or more. Lovers of fun and bouncy golf will make the three-drive to the Inn at Gamble Sands in the central part of the state. - JSD

Golf Packages
BREWSTER, WA | Enjoy 3 nights' accommodations at The Inn at Gamble Sands and 3 rounds of golf at Gamble Sands - Sands Course and the new QuickSands Short Course.

Upstate New York

What a grand finale at Leatherstocking in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The phrase "upstate" can mean so many things to so many New Yorkers. There are actually at least 3-4 golf destinations tucked within this vast region, depending on what you're looking for off the course. Niagara Falls offers solid courses on either side of the Canadian border. It's touristy, but the falls are a must-see in your lifetime. Turning Stone Casino Resort is a destination unto itself with three strong courses, a shorter routing and endless entertainment after dark: gambling, dining, shows and concerts. The Finger Lakes region boasts a half dozen stand-alone courses worth playing. Then, there's heavy-hitting lineup of the historic courses and resorts near the Adirondacks that I experienced on a trip in 2019. Any combination of the Sagamore, Leatherstocking, Whiteface Inn & Club, Saranac Inn, Saratoga National and the 36-hole Lake Placid Club will make visitors embrace the marketing slogan, "I Love New York". - JSD

What's your go-to destination in the summer? Let us know in the comments below.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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