When the time is right, make golf the center of your family vacation. The game provides youngsters the chance to develop skills in a sport that can be played for a lifetime. Here are five places where your crew can tee it up together.
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kids can make their way to the junior tees on three nine-hole tracks in a resort town where sun-drenched golf attracts professionals and part-time players. Youngsters age 15 and younger play free with a paying adult. Junior clubs, lessons and course activities are also available. Take a break from play to ride a gondola around the lake, take a two-wheeled spin through the nearby greenbelt or cool off in the water playground where 10 pools, a sandy beach and water slides entertain. Simplify your travel by sending your clubs directly to the pro shop via Shipsticks.
Contact: hyatt.com; shipsticks.com; ExperienceScottsdale.com
Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Va.
Families can play three championship caliber 18-hole courses that offer rolling hills, tree-lined tracks and coastal play along the James River. Young family members can learn from the resort’s PGA professionals who use a personalized approach through a variety of schools that feature putting, short game and instruction geared specifically for junior golfers. Participants receive equipment evaluation, a take-home video analysis and a video instruction page.
They’ll experience play on courses designed by legendary players including Arnold Palmer and Curtis Strange. The family-friendly resort also offers hiking, biking, Segway tours and fishing as well as organized kid’s activities. Accommodations include one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums and riverfront cottages with three or four bedrooms.
Madden’s in Minnesota
Games take center stage when you visit Madden’s on Gull Lake in Minnesota, a classic Midwestern resort in the land of 10,000 lakes.
Take a family stroll around the Social 9, a casual, tree-studded setting where eight par threes and a lone par four provide an ideal introduction for new players or a tune-up for the more experienced. Then, test your skills on one of three longer tracks. Don’t miss the Classic, where stunning views, challenging shots and punishing pin placements make for an unforgettable round.
For more game time, add a little croquet, horseshoes, badminton, shuffleboard or fishing competition to your itinerary.
Contact: maddens.com; exploreminnesota.com
Oasis at Death Valley Resort, Furnace Creek, Calif.
At 214 feet below sea level, the rolling 18-hole, par 70 Furnace Creek course scores extra points as the world’s lowest elevation golf course. Palm trees frame the fairways and majestic mountains provide arresting vistas throughout the course. Water comes into play on nine holes and multiple sets of tees provide a challenge for every member of the family. The course is located at Death Valley National Park, where hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, star-gazing, swimming in spring-fed pools and exploring old movie sites are all possible. Ask about golf packages.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Lanai City, Hawaii
It’s a lush island of contrast, where sea-faring activities and land adventures compete for your attention. Play a round of sunset golf on the stunning, oceanside Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course, where the views will take your breath away. They don’t get much better than this coastal feast for the senses, served up by the Jack Nicklaus-designed Manele course on the southeastern shores of the island. Built on lava outcroppings, you’ll be hard-pressed to keep your eye on the ball. Your biggest hazard on at least three holes? The Pacific Ocean. Complimentary clubs, including sets for junior players, are available. Off the course your family can relax amid the towering pines, tropical flowers and brightly hued birds on the property. Spend a day at the beach where surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and turtle watching are on the itinerary.