Golfers and skiers are always at odds. Skiers can't wait for snow to fall. Golfers can't wait for snow to melt.
Despite their differences, golf and skiing form a formidable twosome at resorts around the country. These two leisure pursuits anchor the summer and winter seasons, keeping these unique resorts open year-round.
Only 38 of the roughly 800 U.S. golf resorts offer both golf and skiing. Even so, the competition to make our top 25 was fierce. Strong golf retreats like Treetops Resort in northern Michigan and the Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia didn’t have enough on the ski side to make the cut. Top golf/ski resorts from Colorado and Vermont lead the charge, but others can be found from Michigan and Minnesota in the Midwest to Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia in the East and Montana and California in the West.
Even if you're not into skiing, golfers would be wise to seek these places out. Mountain golf often rides thrilling, challenging terrain. Plus, resort ski villages can be absolutely magical in the summer and fall, hosting concerts, beer tents and outdoor festivals. Summer chairlift rides deliver the spectacular views skiers enjoy without the chill. The changing of the leaves brings even more stunning natural beauty.
Many of these resorts are in the real estate business, too. After buying your dream vacation home or condo, how about a golf-and-ski membership to stay active year round?
Please note that these 25 selections are not ranked in any particular order. They all sound like heaven on earth to me:
Boyne USA Resorts, Boyne City and Harbor Springs, Michigan
Golf courses: Alpine and Monument at Boyne Mountain Resort; Donald Ross Memorial, Arthur Hills, The Moor and The Heather at Boyne Highlands Resort.
Ski facts: Boyne Mountain: 12 lifts, 60 runs, 500-foot vertical drop. Boyne Highlands: 10 lifts, 55 runs, 552-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Both the Mountain and Highlands, located about 30 minutes apart in northern Michigan, sport ski runs and golf. With the Avalanche Bay indoor waterpark, Boyne Mountain has an advantage in attracting families in summer and winter.
MICHIGAN: Homestead (18 holes. 5 lifts, 15 runs, 320-foot vertical drop). Caberfae Peaks (18 holes. 5 lifts, 36 runs, 485-foot vertical drop). Treetops (5 courses. 5 lifts, 23 runs, 225-foot vertical drop), Otsego Club (36 holes, 5 lifts, 32 runs, 400-foot vertical drop). Pine Mountain Resort (18 holes, 4 lifts, 35 runs, 500-foot vertical drop).
WISCONSIN: Christmas Mountain Village (27 holes. 3 lifts, 16 runs, 250-foot vertical drop), Alpine Valley Resort (27 holes, 12 lifts, 21 runs, 388-foot vertical drop), Devil's Head (36 holes, 12 lifts, 27 runs, 500-foot vertical drop), Grand Geneva (36 holes. 6 lifts, 20 runs, 211-foot vertical drop).
NEW YORK: Peek’n Peak (18 holes. 10 lifts, 27 runs, 400-foot vertical drop).
WEST VIRGINIA: Oglebay Resort (36 holes. 1 lift).
VIRGINIA: Omni Homestead Resort (36 holes. 2 lifts, 10 runs, 700-foot vertical drop).
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Crotched Mountain Resort (18 holes. 5 lifts, 25 runs, 1,016-foot vertical drop).
* The website OnTheSnow.com provided the ski data.
SugarLoaf, Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Golf course: Sugarloaf Golf Club.
Ski facts: 13 lifts, 162 runs, 2,820-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Sugarloaf is a beautiful and demanding playground for golfers and skiers. Golfers must conquer the "String of Pearls", a stunning stretch of holes along the Carrabassett River. At the base of the mountain sits the Carrabassett Valley Academy, a private middle/high school that has produced 11 Olympians, including Bode Miller.
Copper Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain, Colorado
Golf course: Copper Creek.
Ski facts: 24 lifts, 150 runs, 2,738-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Experience winter pursuits in summer at Copper Mountain. The "Ride with Woodward" lesson program teaches multiple outdoor and X-games-style disciplines, including ski, snowboard, skate, BMX and scooter. Of course, riding in a golf cart on the par-69 course is just fine for most of us.
Shanty Creek Resorts, Bellaire, Michigan
Golf courses: Summit. The Legend. Schuss Mountain. Cedar River.
Ski facts: 11 lifts, 53 runs, 450-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Shanty Creek is actually three resorts in one with different locations for accommodations, restaurants and other amenities. The Summit and Schuss Mountain courses are both nicely intertwined with the ski mountains of the same name. In summer, golfers favor the other two courses, designed by Palmer (The Legend) and Weiskopf (Cedar River).
Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
Golf courses: Beaver Creek Golf Club. Norman and Fazio courses at Red Sky Ranch.
Ski facts: 26 lifts, 150, 3,340-foot vertical drop.
Comment: In addition to the onsite RTJ II-designed Beaver Creek Golf Club, golfers who stay at any of the five signature properties at Beaver Creek - The Pines Lodge and The Osprey at Beaver Creek, both RockResorts; The Elkhorn Lodge, St. James Place and Trapper's Cabin - can also gain access to Red Sky Ranch, a 36-hole private club in nearby Wolcott. The popular "Cookie Time", where free homemade chocolate chip cookies are handed out at 3 p.m. daily in the ski village, hopefully returns in 2021 when the pandemic subsides.
Killington Resort, Vermont
Golf course: Killington Golf Course.
Ski facts: 22 lifts, 163, 3,050-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Beyond the golf, hiking and mountain biking at Killington, are you ready to tackle the Woodward WreckTangle, an obstacle course for wannabe ninja warriors? Or just take it easy at the spa.
Big Sky Resort, Big Sky, Montana
Golf course: Big Sky Resort Golf Course.
Ski facts: 36 lifts, 117 runs, 4,350-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Big Sky's course is noteworthy as Arnold Palmer's first design. Big Sky offers four hotels in the Mountain Village and countless condos, villas and private homes for rent, but if you're looking for luxury, the Montage Big Sky is scheduled to open in 2021 and will provide access to The Club at Spanish Peaks, a private Tom Weiskopf course.
Sonnenalp Hotel, Edwards, Colorado
Golf course: Sonnenalp Club.
Ski facts: 31 lifts, 195 runs, 3,450-foot vertical drop at Vail.
Comment: Staying at the high-end Sonnenalp Hotel near Vail gets you inside the gates at the private Sonnenalp Club. Half- and full-day train rides can lead to short hikes discovering secluded canyons, waterfalls and lakes.
Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, California
Golf course: Links at Squaw Creek.
Ski facts: 34 lifts, 245 runs, 2,850-foot vertical drop.
Comment: The resort will change its name in 2021, removing the derogatory term "Squaw". The AAA Four-Diamond Resort, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, offers an RTJ II design, three outdoor pools (including a water slide) and Mountain Buddies, a supervised children's program that lets the adults go hiking, biking, fly fishing and more.
Golf course: Mountain course at Spruce Peak, Stowe Country Club.
Ski facts: 12 lifts, 116 runs, 2,350-foot vertical drop at Stowe Mountain.
Comment: The Mountain course, a private members club that offers some access to resort guests, and the more walkable, gentler country club form quite the contrast 5 miles apart. Spruce Peak, closest to the Mountain course, features 300 accommodations between the luxury Lodge and penthouses.
Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, Michigan
Golf courses: Mountain Ridge. Betsie Valley.
Ski facts: 8 lifts, 58 runs, 375-foot vertical drop.
Comment: The Michigan Women's Open, held at Crystal Mountain annually, is often decided on Mountain Ridge's finishing par 5 that tumbles down the ski hill. Beyond the golf, children will love the outdoor pool complex and Michigan's only alpine slide.
Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Golf courses: Mount Washington. Mount Pleasant.
Ski facts: 10 lifts, 63 runs, 1,500-foot vertical drop.
Comment: The Omni captures the hearts of guests with classic New England charms, from its Donald Ross-designed course to luxuries like fine dining and a signature spa. Experience the 800,000 acres of the White Mountain National Forest by flying high on nine different zip lines, rock climbing, river tubing or on a Ranger Mountain Tour.
Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Golf course: Rollingstone Ranch.
Ski facts: 18 lifts, 169 runs, 3,668-foot vertical drop.
Comment: This premium vacation ownership resort sits next to the Christie Peak Express for ski-in, ski-out access, as well as golf, hiking and mountain biking in the summer. The full kitchen, washer-dryer and balcony/patio give guests enough space to spread out and stay awhile. Rollingstone Ranch is one of several RTJII designs in this story.
Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Idaho
Golf courses: White Clouds. Trail Creek. Elkhorn.
Ski runs: 18 lifts, 120 runs, 3,400-foot vertical drop.
Comment: A historic resort built by Union Pacific Railroad in 1936, Sun Valley's sheer size delivers variety and choices - 45 holes of golf, 13 restaurants, 17 tennis courts, indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks (even in summer), bowling, whitewater rafting, a gun club and the Sun Valley Stables. What to do, what to do?
Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, Utah
Golf course: Canyons Golf Course.
Ski facts: 41 lifts, 341 runs, 3,226-foot vertical drop.
Comment: The course became a part of the sprawling Canyons Ski Village in 2014. It might be the most mountainous course in America. It's got 550 feet of elevation change in a small space, just 6,050 yards. Two unique summer amenities are one of the longest alpine slides in America and the longest mountain coaster in the state.
Stratton Mountain Resort, Stratton Mountain, Vermont
Golf course: Stratton Mountain Country Club.
Ski facts: 11 lifts, 99 runs, 2,003-foot vertical drop.
Comment: The four-season destination in the Green Mountains hosts all the usual recreational opportunities of a ski resort in summer - chair rides, hiking, biking, etc. - but it does have two ways to differentiate from its competitions: the only red-clay tennis courts in New England and the 27-hole Stratton Mountain Country Club, which hosted the LPGA Tour from 1990-95.
Northstar California Resort, Truckee, California
Golf course: Northstar California Golf Course.
Ski facts: 20 lifts, 100 runs, 2,280-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Northstar is located less than a half-hour from Lake Tahoe, which is loaded with summer adventures. Northstar California's course is a tale of two nines, the front winding through the Martis Valley with the back nine climbing into a challenging mountain setting. Guests of the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe can take the gondola down to the ski village to explore, purchase a day pass to relax at the exclusive Lake Club or enjoy a golf package to play nearby Old Greenwood and The Golf Club at Gray's Crossing. So many choices, so little time.
Mountain Creek Resort, Vernon, New Jersey
Golf course: Great Gorge Golf Club.
Ski facts: 10 lifts, 46 runs, 1,040-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Mountain Creek became a golf resort by purchasing the 27 holes at Great Gorge in 2016. The resort, home to a 52-trail bike park, has repurposed the infamous Action Park (look up the HBO Max documentary 'Class Action Park') as the Mountain Creek Waterpark with some of the same thrill-seeking rides.
Sunday River, Newry, Maine
Golf course: Sunday River Golf Club.
Ski facts: 18 lifts, 135 runs, 2,340-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Of all the accommodations at Sunday River, The Jordan Hotel is the most ideal for golfers with its upscale lodging and its location adjacent to the Sunday River Golf Club, a strong Robert Trent Jones II design. Adventures await outside of golf between mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, chairlift rides and hiking to swimming holes.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort, West Virginia
Golf course: The Raven Golf Club.
Ski facts: 7 lifts, 35 runs, 1,500-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Hiking. Driving a Polaris RZR. Riding a horse, e-bike or segway. Ripping down a mountain trail at a Bike Park ranked as the best in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Playing golf on a scenic Gary Player design. Welcome to 11,000 acres of summer fun in West Virginia's Appalachian Mountains.
Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, Virginia
Golf courses: Devil’s Knob. Stoney Creek.
Ski facts: 5 lifts, 26 runs, 1,003-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Guests have room to explore on the 11,000 acres of Wintergreen Resort, located on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Forty-five holes of golf includes Devil's Knob, the highest-altitude course in the state that is only accessible to members and resort guests.
The Peaks Resort, Telluride, Colorado
Golf course: Telluride Golf Club.
Ski facts: 19 lifts, 148 runs, 4,425-foot vertical drop.
Comment: The mining town of Telluride, a National Historic Landmark, connects to the Mountain Village (built in 1985) by a free pedestrian gondola, the only one of its kind in North America. The village, home to several hotels such as the Peaks Resort, is surrounded by the highest concentration of 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks in America. The golf is as wild and untamed as the ski runs.
Angel Fire Resort, Angel Fire, New Mexico
Golf course: Angel Fire Golf Club.
Ski facts: 7 lifts, 81 runs, 2,077-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Like many resorts in this story, Angel Fire began as a ski destination (1966) before branching out into golf (1972). Your ball should soar in the high altitude. Angel Fire is located at 8,600 feet above sea level with views of Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico. The nearby Monte Verde Lake adds fishing, boating and more water sports to the mix of summer outdoor activities.
Giants Ridge, Biwabik, Minnesota
Golf courses: Legend. Quarry.
Ski facts: 7 lifts, 35 runs, 500-foot vertical drop.
Comment: Located in the Iron Range of the rugged Superior National Forest, Giants Ridge is one of America's most remote golf outposts with two of Minnesota's (and the Midwest's) best golf courses, both by Jeff Brauer. It is served by the 67-room Lodge at Giants Ridge, along with one- to four-bedroom condos.