The Best Family Golf Courses
If the family that plays together does indeed stay together, then playing golf can promote family unity. But seeing nothing but green grass and hardwood trees may not be the popular family choice. Keeping golf at the core of your trip mix in some shopping, the thrill of speed and spinning upside down, maybe a splash of water, and of course an array of tastes that will appease appetites.
Here are some options that include golf as a primary reason for taking a vacation:
With 81 holes spread across 5 golf facilities, Disney World
exposes a side of the resort a lot of folks overlook. Built for the family in mind, the 9-hole Oak Trail Course is a great place to start. There, family members can play a 9-hole loop dedicated to walking with clubs provided for those staying at one of the Disney World hotels – so no need to overload the luggage. For families with greater skills, Disney’s championship designs are the Palm, the Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista and Osprey Ridge. Outside of golf, Disney World delights families with world-famous theme parks.
A visit to the Nation’s Capital, Washington, DC
, can include tours of monuments and museums. Or you can enjoy views of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorials while holing out putts along the Potomac River. A family-friendly round of golf can be had at one of 3 layouts at East Potomac Park Golf Course, located in the southwest section of the city, not far. The White Course is a 9 hole, executive course, the Red Course is a 9-hole, par-3 challenge and the Blue Course is a walkable 18-holer with some of the city’s greatest landmarks looming in the background.
San Diego is famous for its moderate, year-round temperatures. It is home to the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Balboa Park (with 15 museums) and Pacific Ocean beaches. Add several outstanding golf courses, and you’ve got a family golf destination that beckons players 365 days of the year. San Diego has many family-friendly golf courses from which to choose, ranging from 22 executive and par-3 golf courses to full-blown, 18-hole layouts. The city even has Mission Bay Golf Course, a night-lighted track run by the city. A 9-hole layout at Balboa Park offers the perfect combination of challenge and breathtaking views overlooking the city.
Estes Park, located an hour and a half northwest of Denver
, serves as the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and leads to outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, fishing, climbing, biking and golf. A stay in a local lodge or cabin allows you access to a number of outstanding golf courses including the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District’s 18-hole golf course that adjoins the national park and its 9-hole executive called Lake Estes Golf Course. Both offer respites from a high-altitude hike or bike ride in the mountains.
At Hershey Park it’s all about family. With a boardwalk, 11 roller coasters, Hershey’s Chocolate World, Zoo America and the Hershey Golf Collection featuring three 18-hole championship courses and a 9-holer, family fun never tasted so good. Spring Creek Golf Course is a 9-hole layout ideal for family play. It was the nation’s first layout created for players under the age of 18, though there is no age restriction. The championship courses are the famed West Course, which plays past Milton S. Hershey’s home; The East Course, which captures the natural beauty of the central Pennsylvania countryside; and the Hershey Links, which plays across ravines and overlooks the town of Hershey.
Bill Kamenjar is the marketing manager for the Nike Golf Learning Center in Northern Virginia and has written about golf for some 15 years.
From the east to the west coast, check out Travel Channel's list of the best golf courses in the United States, including Augusta National, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst and more.