8 amazing resorts for golfers (and their families!) to visit this fall

From top right, clockwise: Omni Bedford Springs Resort; Omni PGA Frisco Resort; The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch; and Pinehurst Resort.

From top right, clockwise: Omni Bedford Springs Resort; Omni PGA Frisco Resort; The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch; and Pinehurst Resort.

Top right, clockwise: Courtesy (2), Brian Oar, CHIP HENDERSON

Fall golf is arguably the best golf. Good prices. Comfortable weather. Those colorful leaves. What’s not to love? Here, in our Fall Trips package, our experts ready you for everything fall golf (for this year or next). We’ve unveiled favorite fall courses, resorts, value spots, must-have apparel and more. The goal? To educate and motivate you for your next golf trip. So read up, then grab your clubs and bags, and maybe a sweater or two.


8 awesome resorts (for golfers or families) to visit in the fall

The Coeur d’Alene Resort, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho — There’s only one course at Coeur d’Alene Resort, but let’s get real, look at this place. If you are going here, you better have more than just golf on your mind. Nestled among the mountains and hard on the lake, there’s hiking, biking, boating and a ton of other activities. The golf course, a Scott Miller design, is one of the best public courses in the state. Rates drop in October (from about $250 to $165) and this course also boasts a bucket-list experience any golf fan would love (and something you might have seen advertised on glossy magazine pages over the years) — there’s a floating island green. [Book here]

The famous floating green at The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course. Joel Riner/Quicksilver Studios

Giants Ridge, Biwabik, Minn. — To find what’s arguably the best 1-2 punch of public golf in Minnesota, you need to head north. And, no, you won’t be sorry. Giants Ridge, about a three-hour drive from the Twin Cities (or 75 minutes from Duluth), has 36 holes in the Quarry and Legend, with the Quarry often in the debate — or winning the debate — about the best public golf course in the state. The Legend is no slouch, either, and its more forgiving fairways and picturesque par-3s are often preferred by higher handicappers. Rates are good, too, and the resort’s 37-hole special (two rounds with a lunch) is a hot ticket, topping out at $200 on the weekends. It’s a great spot for non-golfers as well, as there’s an indoor pool and superb mountain biking (you can rent them at the resort). Rather go skiing? Come winter, you can do that, too. Giants Ridge is one of the state’s most popular skiing and snowboarding destinations. [Book here]

The short par-4 13th hole at the Quarry at Giants Ridge. Josh Berhow

French Lick Resort, French Lick, Ind. — Coming in at No. 4 on GOLF’s 2019 list of the best resorts for families, French Lick has four courses and more than a dozen (yes, a dozen) restaurants on property. There’s also a casino, if that’s your thing. The courses are headlined by a pair of Donald Ross and Pete Dye designs, and there’s a handful of golf packages from which to choose. The Pete Dye Course gets the headlines and has a hefty price tag, but the Donald Ross Course can be played for less than $100 in the spring or fall, or for $65 at twilight. There’s also a sprawling list of kids’ activities, with things like scavenger hunts, pool parties with DJs, yard games, movies on the lawn and more. [Book here]

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick. Brian Walters

Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, Pa. — When you aren’t getting lost in the views of the Allegheny Mountains or Cumberland Valley, you might get lost in the beauty of the 220-room Omni Bedford Springs Resort. Or maybe the golf-course architecture at its Old Course will do the trick. It’s touted as one of the first-ever in the United States — built in 1895 by Spencer Oldham — and over the years was also worked on by A.W. Tillinghast and Donald Ross. Ron Forse oversaw its most recent restoration, and it was ranked No. 80 in GOLF’s latest ranking of the Top 100 Courses You Can Play. For the non-golfers, there’s indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, hiking, historic tours, a giant spa and everything from (very) fine dining to more casual fare. Oh, and the chefs also created a special in-room menu for your traveling dog, too. Homemade dog biscuits and frozen bananas with peanut butter? Now that’s living the good life. [Book here]

The 10th hole at the Old Course at Omni Bedford Springs Resort. Courtesy Photo

Omni PGA Frisco Resort, Frisco, Texas — One of the newest and most hyped properties in the golf world is the 500-room Omni PGA Frisco Resort, which opened in May of this year and, sitting just outside of Dallas, works as a superb fall destination with comfortable temps in the mid 70s to low 80s. For those who aren’t familiar with this spot, you will be soon. The PGA of America moved its headquarters here, and it has two sparkling new 18-hole courses in Fields Ranch West (designed by Beau Welling) and Fields Ranch East (Gil Hanse). The East is about to get plenty of TV time, too, as it hosted the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in May and will host five more major championships (two Senior PGAs, two Women’s PGAs and two PGAs) over the next 12 years. A Ryder Cup will likely be in the future as well. PGA Frisco also offers the perfect family-friendly complement to the “big courses” with The Swing and The Dance Floor. The Swing is a 10-hole par-3 course, and The Dance Floor is a rollicking two-acre putting course. Both are lighted, so the games can continue when the sun goes down. Hungry? There’s 13 restaurants. Enough said. [Book here]

The 15th hole at Fields Ranch West at Omni PGA Frisco Resort. Courtesy Photo

Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C. — Pinehurst in the fall? OK, twist our arm. The whole area is graced with comfortable temperatures come autumn, which is perfect for golfers who want to play during the day and toss on a warm quarter-zip for dinner (or for drinks on the Deuce porch). Anyway, back to the reason we are here: Pinehurst is always great, but we love it in the fall. You know the drill here. Nine courses (and another on the way). Scrumptious dining. A cool little village with restaurants and shops. Pools. A great brewery. Mouthwatering BBQ. A sweet little short course in The Cradle. Continue your bets with your buddies on the Thistle Dhu putting course. While this isn’t the cheapest golf trip on this list, it’s a bucket-list spot for golf nuts everywhere. The easiest way to tell that is by hanging out in the main pro shop, where golfers fill their arms like they are shopping in the Masters Golf Shop. Pinehurst No. 2 ranks second on golf’s top public courses list (and is playing host to next year’s U.S. Open), and Pinehurst No. 4 ranks 26th. But the menu of courses has something for everyone. Go see for yourself. [Book here]

The 5th hole at Pinehurst No. 4. Courtesy Photo

The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch, Seneca, Ore. — OK, hear us out: Goat caddies. Yes, it’s a thing here, at Silvies Valley Ranch, nestled in eastern Oregon. While this resort might not be as talked about as much as Oregon’s golf-trip mecca Bandon Dunes, give this destination a chance. It has an 18-hole reversible course (so we’ll count that as two courses), a 9-hole par-3 course, 7-hole short course and 18-hole reversible putting course. Um…yeah, that will keep your buddies busy. (And like we said, the short courses have goat caddies.) There’s also fishing and shooting. Still not sold? OK, how about SVR’s collection of more than 110 different scotches and 50 other whiskeys? And with hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking and wagon rides complete with Clydesdales, this place is great for families, too — it ranked third on GOLF’s 2019 ranking of the best resorts for families. [Book here]

The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch. Brian Oar

Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa, Calif. — Wine Country in the fall? Sold. But you should make time to put down the glass of red and check out the two championship courses at Silverado, the North and South. The former hosts the PGA Tour’s Fortinet Championship. You can play it, too, when you aren’t doing other things like hanging by the pool, playing tennis, pickleball or hiking. There’s over 300 rooms and suites on property, and there’s a ton of packages to choose from. It’s essentially luxurious living surrounded by good golf and hundreds of wineries. Need we say any more? [Book here]

Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. Courtesy Photo
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