1. Hyatt Tamaya Resort and Spa, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM; 505-867-1234, tamaya.hyatt.com
A half-hour north of the Albuquerque airport is the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, New Mexico's finest all-purpose golf resort. With plenty of family activities, plus Twin Warriors next door and the very good 27-hole Santa Ana Golf Club five minutes down the road, the Hyatt Tamaya offers something for everybody -- especially for those who like long, scenic golf courses. Twin Warriors, a 10-year old Gary Panks design, tips the scales at 7,736 yards. Even at the mile-high altitude, this is a workout, as evidenced by the 244-yard, par-3 15th that plays across the sacred "Snakehead" rock butte. Your after-workout cooldown in the resort's attractive pool will make all those lengthy approaches worth the effort.
2 of 10Kohjiro Kinno / SI
2. Pebble Beach Resorts, Pebble Beach, CA; 800-654-9300, pebblebeach.com
Say what you will about the Pebble Beach price tag -- somewhere north of five Franklins these days -- but as once-in-a-lifetime experiences go, the cost is irrelevant. It's all worth it for one magical round at this seaside gem that's played host to five U.S. Opens and millions of memories. No more thrilling, spectacular stretch of holes exists anywhere than holes 7 through 10. They might be worth $100 bucks apiece. Pebble's siblings suffer by comparison, but there's no better opening five holes in public golf than at Spyglass Hill and at Spanish Bay, the low-profile holes along the Pacific meld seamlessly with the forested tests. The capper is a single malt scotch at sunset, accompanied by a bagpiper. Good for what ails ya.
3 of 10Courtesy of Bandon Dunes
3. Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon, OR; 888-345-6008, bandondunesgolf.com
It's tough to beat a stunning, cliff-top setting, rock-solid accommodations and four of the finest public courses on Earth -- unless you add a spectacular 13-hole, par-3 course, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw -- which is what Bandon Dunes did in 2012. Called Bandon Preserve, it joins our top-ranked public course, Tom Doak's Pacific Dunes, David McLay Kidd's Bandon Dunes and two other superstars by the sea, Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald in forming an unbeatable golf draw. The remote location, wacky weather and walking-only policy are plusses for some, drawbacks for others, but for purists, Bandon Dunes is the ultimate buddies trip in the U.S.
4 of 10Courtesy of The Boulders Resort
4. The Boulders Resort, Carefree, AZ; 480-488-9028, theboulders.com
This aptly named resort north of Scottsdale is more mild west than wild west, thanks to plush casitas that melt into their surrounds, the superb Latilla restaurant and sybaritic treatments at the Golden Door Spa. Yet, if you're looking for the authentic Southwest, you'll find it on the two 18-hole Jay Morrish designs that ribbon through forests of ancient Saguaro cacti and among the ancient gigantic rocks that give the resort its name. Summertime is indeed warm, but the Boulders sits high above the Phoenix Valley floor, affording cooler temperatures during the day and soothing breezes at night.
5 of 10Courtesy of Aviara Golf Club
5. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad, CA; 760-448-1234, parkaviarahyatt.com
Thirty minutes north of San Diego, amid one of the nation's most perfect summer climates sits this luxury hilltop hotel overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon, within sight of the Pacific Ocean. The slightly inland locale removes it from the cold coastal fog, but keeps it bathed by sea breezes, which caress even the hottest of golfers after yet another three-putt on the wildly undulating greens. Actually, the greens aren't quite that demanding on this memorable Arnold Palmer design -- but perhaps folks are distracted by the handsome, but pesky wetlands and the colorful bursts of flowers that unfold across the layout. The Aviara Golf Academy and TaylorMade Performance Lab are two added enticements. After all that golf, rejuvenate in of the region's top spas.
6 of 10Courtesy of Chambers Bay Golf Course
6. Chambers Bay, University Place, WA; 253-460-4653, chambersbaygolf.com
Giant sand dunes, rumpled fairways, coastal breezes, stunning sea views. Where are we? The surprise answer is Washington State, specifically, Chambers Bay, 45 minutes south of Seattle. Planted atop an old gravel mine, this 7,500-yard, walking-only municipal layout slotted to host the 2015 U.S. Open boasts many distinctive features. Among them are the shared fairway between 1 and 18, the par-4 5th called "Free Fall," that plummets 80 feet and the par-5 18th that plays alongside 40-foot-tall concrete structures that in a former life were sorting bins for the gravel operation. Massive, tattered-edge bunkers and a closing stretch that peers over the Puget Sound make Chambers Bay a legitimate rival to its Oregon rivals.
7 of 10Courtesy of Indian Wells Golf Resort
7. Hyatt Grand Champions Resort / Indian Wells Golf Resort, Indian Wells, CA; 760-341-1000, grandchampions.hyatt.com
Palm Springs usually isn't the first place one associates with "summer fun," but when the destination is the Hyatt Grand Champions -- at a quarter of the prices you'd pay in mid-March -- the triple digit temps don't bother a bit. That's because wise travelers play their golf in the morning, at two outstanding courses, the Celebrity and the Players at the adjacent Indian Wells Golf Resort. Clive Clark redesigned the old West course and replaced it with a tight but stunning track rippled with babbling cascades of water, brilliant white jigsaw puzzle-piece traps and clever mounding. John Fought then pulled off a similar feat with the Players course. Each features staggering views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Cool off after golf in Hyatt's Aqua Serena Spa -- or in a poolside cabana -- and enjoy the sweet life at a small price.
8 of 10Courtesy of Shadow Creek
8. Shadow Creek, North Las Vegas, NV; 702-791-7161, shadowcreek.com
MGM/Mirage's hangout for high rollers remains the ultimate Hollywood set come to life, an oasis of pine trees, rolling hills, flowers and waterfalls hewn from a poker table-flat, lifeless plot of desert by magicians Tom Fazio and Steve Wynn. Tiger Woods and Fred Couples share the course record of 60, but Michael Jordan has likely logged the most rounds. More than 20 years after its debut, the risk/reward par-5 18th, with each shot menaced by water, remains one of the greatest holes you can play. There's no better gambler's par 5 than here among the high rollers. You can get home in two and putt for eagle, provided you carry a lake edged with waterfalls. With a slender green cocooned by grassy slopes, pine trees and flowers, you'd never believe you were in the desert. You still must stay in an MGM/Mirage property to even have a chance to play Shadow Creek, but if that doesn't work out, Vegas is brimming with other terrific tracks and a few other distractions ... so I've heard.
9 of 10Courtesy of Red Sky Resort
9. Red Sky Resort, Wolcott, CO; 970-754-8425, redskygolfclub.com
If slalom is your thing and you're checked into a Vail Ranch lodging, you'll sure enjoy the slopes of two guests-only masterworks from Tom Fazio and Greg Norman. The Fazio hairpins through sagebrush and aspen forests, it's forgiving fairways traversing precipitous peaks and valleys by an alpine lake, amid eye-catching views of Vail's Back Bowls. Norman's design soars higher in the hills, affording panoramic vistas of mountain peaks and ski runs as it glides through dry gulches, hardy scrub oaks and clusters of Alister MacKenzie-style bunkers.
10 of 10Courtesy of Coeur d'Alene Resort
10. Coeur d'Alene Resort, Coeur d'Alene, ID; 208-667-4653, cdaresort.com
Hard to believe, but it's been more than 20 years since golf's first floating island green rose to the surface, but as gimmicks go, it's one of the best ever. The green at the Coeur d'Alene Resort's par-3 14th hole has been one of the most popular (and never duplicated) attractions in the history of golf course design. Players are escorted to and from the 15,000-square-foot, red geranium-ringed putting surface via the Putter Boat shuttle -- and a certificate awaits those who score par or better. Nonetheless, Coeur d'Alene is more than a one-hole wonder. Magnificent conditioning, some stout par 4s and the acclaimed resort that overlooks Lake Coeur d'Alene make Coeur d'Alene a bucket list summer resort destination.
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