Twenty-four years after Golf Magazine began ranking the game’s greatest resorts, a true pioneer has reached the summit. Our new No. 1 resort in North America is Oregon’s Bandon Dunes, the realized vision of Mike Keiser.
The golf purist dreamed of simple, perfect, public-access golf, with accommodations to match. According to the 7,252 votes cast at Golf.com, he delivered.
Only one resort climbed the ladder to earn the coveted Platinum status for 2012-13, but it’s a stunner: the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay in Hawaii. Newcomers populate the Gold and Silver categories, including newly gilded La Costa, in Carlsbad, Calif., fresh off a $50 million makeover, and the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz., host of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Of course, many of us remain on tight budgets. Fortunately, every medal-winning resort offers some kind of deal or package. We also have a guide to winners by region, and category leaders (golf, lodging, food & drink, service), and an Eco-Friendly Hall of Fame, which features three properties newly honored with Green Awards.