Tee Time! The Top 10 Golf Courses for Dad

Yahoo TravelJune 12, 2014

TPC Sawgrass Golf Course (Photo: Erik Perfectance/Flickr)

Father’s Day is an occasion to give your dad what he really wants: a few peaceful hours, alone with his thoughts and his pals, on the golf course. Golf is the ultimate decompression for many people, and it can also be one of the best ways for fathers and their children to bond. It’s about friendly competition, breathtaking nature, and being somewhere where you’re practically unreachable. It’s about a true moment of calm. So if you want to get your father the gift of relaxation, consider a golf vacation.

Here are the 10 most-searched golf destinations on Yahoo Search and what dads should look forward to if they’re lucky enough to spend a day there.

(See also: Forget the Tie, Dad Wants Travel!)

1. TPC Sawgrass  - Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Whether you watch The Players Championship every year or you just play a lot of Tiger Woods PGA Tour on your Xbox, you’re familiar with this storied destination. With two courses designed by the revered Pete Dye, you’ll be playing on the hallowed ground where Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman have been crowned champion.

Tee off: The par-3 “Island Green,” surrounded by water, is one of the world’s most famous holes.


Pebble Beach Golf Course (Photo: BeautySeeer/Flickr)

2. Pebble Beach Golf Course - Pebble Beach, Calif.

In an area with four golf courses and three resorts, this is an ideal place for dads to spend an afternoon golfing while the rest of the family hangs out at the spa or pool. The Pebble Beach Golf Links course itself has been named the country’s top public course by Golf Digest, and it features the stunning Pacific Coast and cliffside vistas.

Tee off: In 2019, the U.S. Open will be back at Pebble Beach for the sixth time.

(See also: Top Father’s Day Resort Packages)


Harbor Shores Golf Course (Photo: Jacob Vanderheyden/Flickr)

3. Harbor Shores Golf Course - Benton Harbor, Mich.

This Jack Nicklaus Signature course about 90 minutes from Chicago was home to this year’s Senior PGA Tour, but it offers training for duffers of all ages and skill levels. The Lake Michigan course is a study in nature, with hills, ravines, a hardwood forest and holes that border the Paw Paw River as well as Ox Creek’s wetlands.

Tee off: The tee for the par-5 fifth hole is 60 feet above the fairway, giving you gorgeous lake vistas as you line up your shot.


Top of the Rock Golf Course (Photo: Getty Images)

4. Top of the Rock Golf Course - Ridgedale, Mo

This Missouri Ozarks gem, an Audobon Signature course with a commitment to preserving its natural habitat of wildflowers and native trees and grasses, was the first Jack Nicklaus Signature par-3 course ever created. A haven for both beginners and low-handicap hustlers, Top of the Rock also includes an Arnold Palmer-designed practice facility.

Tee off: Top of the Rock’s 70,000-square-foot putting complex, created by Tom Watson, is known as the Himalayas.


Shoal Creek Golf Course (Photo: Getty Images)

5. Shoal Creek Golf Course - Shoal Creek, Al.

With a glorious, heavily wooded backdrop in the southern foothills of the Appalachians,Shoal Creek was home to the PGA Championship in 1984 and 1990. Like many Jack Nicklaus-designed courses, it creates beautiful challenges like three holes where you can’t see the green from the tee.

Tee off: Be careful on the eighth hole known as the “Wee Pond.” The green is surrounded by bunkers and water on all sides. One mishap could turn this par 3 into a wee nightmare.


Prairie Dunes Golf Course (Photo: Getty Images)

6. Prairie Dunes Golf Course - Hutchinson, Kan.

This old-school course, which Perry Maxwell was tapped to design for golf-loving Carey Salt mogul Emerson Carey, unveiled its first nine holes in 1937. It would take 20 years for the next nine holes, designed by Maxwell’s son, Press, to be created. Since then, dozens of amateur and PGA tournaments have taken place here, at what’s widely recognized as one of the world’s most scenic courses, carved out of 480 hilly acres.

Tee off: Check the online virtual tour online to get a sense of all the curves and bunkers.

Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines Golf Course (Photo: Tim Buss/Flickr)

7. Torrey Pines Golf Course - San Diego

Atop coastal cliffs that stare down at the Pacific Ocean, the city-owned Torrey Pines offers endless views from many tees. There’s really no other municipal golf course like this one, known for hosting the most prestigious tournaments

Tee off: Torrey Pines is where Tiger Woods had one of his most dramatic victories. After 90 holes, Woods, running on fumes and hobbling, triumphed over Rocco Mediate to win the 2008 US Open in a sudden-death playoff.


Buffalo Ridge Golf Course (Courtesy: Buffalo Ridge Golf Course)

8. Buffalo Ridge Golf Course - Hollister, Mo.

Formerly known as Branson Creek, this is Golf Digest’s pick for Missouri’s top public course. The course takes advantage of the lush and dramatic Ozarks landscape with its trees and lakes, and a redesign by Tom Fazio and conservationist Johnny Morris has added water features and bunkers.

Tee off: Don’t be surprised if you see free-ranging buffalo at the nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park amusingly staring at you when you shank your drive.


Whistling Straits Golf Course (Photo: Dan Perry/Flickr)

9. Whistling Straits Golf Course - Kohler, Wisc.

Along two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Whistling Straits is home to two Pete Dye-designed courses, known as the Straits (with its giant sand-dune bunkers) and the Irish (with its meandering streams). Good luck avoiding the water.

Tee off: Whistling Straits will be home to the 2015 PGA Championship and the 2020 Ryder Cup.


Wade Hampton Golf Course (Courtesy: Wade Hampton Golf Course)

10. Wade Hampton Golf Course - Cashiers, N.C.

Considered by many to be designer Tom Fazio’s finest creation, this exclusive course is part of a luxurious residential development of just 300 homes. Located up in the Blue Ridge mountains, more than 3,500 feet above sea level, this is rarefied air indeed.

Tee off: The shorter tees, known as Chimney Top, are 5,120 yards, more than 2,000 yards less than the Fazio back tees. It’s up to you what kind of day you want to have.

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