I'm often asked about not only where the world's best golf destinations are, but also where I can go to find exceptional value.
Over the years covering buddies trips for Golf Digest and now Golf Channel's Morning Drive, I've determined these 10 destinations do golf on a budget better than anywhere else in the United States.
And with fall around the corner, this is a particularly good time to take a value-based golf trip. Destinations like northern Michigan and Myrtle Beach drop their rates, while other destinations are in prime time, like Crossville, Tenn. and San Diego.
The most recent query came from Twitter user @KingElder10, which I used to revisit and update my 10 best budget buddies trip destinations.
Top 10 budget buddies trip destinations
1. Northern Michigan
The best budget buddies trip on earth combines quantity, quality and value. My ultimate itinerary in northern Michigan flies into Traverse City and starts with a round at Black Forest, followed by a stay-and-play at Treetops Resort for the Signature, Masterpiece, Premier and Threetops.
Wrap up your trip by heading an hour south on I-75 to Forest Dunes Golf Club (which is on pace to open Tom Doak's reversible course late next summer).
2. Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (Alabama)
This revolutionary golf trail concept changed the landscape of value golf forever. There are 11 hubs and 22 courses that attract golfers from all over the country. $65 courses leave you feel as though they're worth so much more. It's easy to book four nights and eight rounds for less than $800.
3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Legendary variety and value await along the Grand Strand, home to 100-plus golf courses of all shapes and green fees. Less than $100 per person per day can get you an awful lot at resorts like 54-hole Legends Golf Resort.
GolfHoliday.com offers a limitless amount of golf packages and travel tools. While April is the busiest and priciest time of year for golf, the last two weeks of November is the best time to find value here.
4. Crossville, Tennessee
Home to 10 courses within a 30-minute drive, Crossville is the golf capital of Tennessee, between Nashville and Knoxville. Affordable, well equipped accommodations complement great golf at courses like Stonehenge and Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain. September is a peak season here and five-night/five-round packages can be found under $500.
5. St. George, Utah
It's about a two-hour drive northeast from Las Vegas to St. George, Utah, where the ambiance and scenery is a total change from the bright lights of the Strip. There are exceptional resorts like Entrada at Snow Canyon, but public courses with a little more value include Coral Canyon, The Ledges, Sun River and Sky Mountain Golf Course.
6. Tampa, Florida
There are a tremendous amount of golf courses in Tampa-St. Pete, which leads to plenty of tee time bargains. Buddies trips should head north to World Woods, a 45-hole playground for classic buddies trips. This secluded property features two very different Tom Fazio designs, Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks, plus a huge practice facility and short course, plus on-site villas.
7. Orlando, Florida
An abundance of golf awaits throughout Orlando, and the best facility for golf-til-you-drop buddies trips is Orange County National. This mecca of golf, which has affordable on-site accommodations, is perfect for a three- or four-night stay, thanks to two championship courses, a practice facility that stays lit until 11 p.m. and an exceptional short course, The Tooth.
8. Brainerd, Minnesota
Stay, fish, and play golf at family-friendly Madden's on Gull Lake. The resort's Classic Course, a top-100 pick, is still underrated. Maddens promotes walking and has a caddie program.
Jason Scott Deegan recently wrote about how to make $200 stretch over three days of golf in the Brainerd area.
9. San Diego, California
With 90-plus courses in temperate San Diego County, you can name your price for golf 12 months out of the year. The ultimate splurge is a stay-and-play at the Lodge at Torrey Pines. You can offset the high green fees of the famed Torrey Pines South Course with budget rounds at Coronado and Balboa Park.
10. Atlantic City, N.J.
Two hours from Manhattan, less than an hour from Philly, golf here dates back to 1903 and Atlantic City Country Club, which has hosted six USGA major championships and is now open to the public. Round out your golf and gaming vacation with rounds at Sea View, Twisted Dune, Shore Gate Golf Club and player-friendly Vineyard Golf at Renault Winery.