1. The American Club, Kohler, WI; 800-344-2838, americanclubresort.com
Pair a hotel that's surpassed in the Midwest for dining, service and spa with four of the nation's greatest public-access courses and you've got the region's top-ranked resort. The headliner is its Whistling Straits' Straits course, the faux-Irish, beautiful brute along the shores of Lake Michigan that's twice hosted the PGA Championship. Seventy-foot-tall sandhills cloaked in native fescues, roughly 1,000 bunkers and firm, fast, breeze-fueled conditions make the Straits the next best thing to a trip across the pond. Pete Dye's other three courses, the Irish at Whistling Straits and the River and Meadow Valleys layouts at Blackwolf Run would be standouts anywhere else. The River, in particular, glitters anew, thanks to a recent restoration. With its partly open, partly wooded setting along the Sheboygan River and its spotlight this July as host of the U.S. Women's Open, the River is poised to add another memorable chapter to Kohler's remarkable story.