9 family-friendly golf resorts worth visiting this summer

slides at omni homestead

At Omni Homestead Resort, the off-course diversions include waterslides.

Courtesy of Omni Resorts

There are two types of golf trips (buddies’ trips and family trips) and they are not at all the same. Some resorts cater to the latter by pairing great courses with activities and attractions for all ages. With summer approaching, here are nine destinations where you and the whole gang can get your kicks.

Big Cedar Lodge

Ridgedale, Mo. / Learn more or book here

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris has been called the “Walt Disney of the Ozarks.” Think of Big Cedar as his theme park. Designed to celebrate the natural beauty of the Missouri region where Morris was born and raised, the resort combines a quintet of top-notch courses (including Payne’s Valley, Tiger Woods’ first public access design) with a bounty of outdoor activities. Of course, there is fishing — lots and lots of fishing — as well as kayaking, boat cruises, biking and guided tours of an astounding network of limestone caves.

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Carsblad, Calif. / Learn more or book here

With two 18-hole courses (including the newly renovated North Course, which hosted this year’s NCAA Division I Championships), Omni La Costa offers all the golf you can eat. But it also serves the game in bite-size portions, with “express tees” on both layouts that measure under 5,000 yards, ideal for beginners of all ages. Children under 15 play for free, and the family-friendly perks don’t end there. Upon arrival, kids receive a backpack filled with menu items, a fitting introduction to a property that features a full slate of activities and attractions, ranging from nighttime s’mores roasting and poolside ‘dive-in’ movies to a pair of 100-foot waterslides. 

golf course scenic
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Courtesy Photo

Boyne Mountain Resort

Boyne Falls, Mich. / Learn more or book here

Boyne there, done that? Then you probably know about the two terrific courses — the Alpine and the Mountain. But if all you did was play golf, you missed out on all kinds of other diversions, including hiking, biking, fishing, zip lining and the family-centric fun of an indoor water park.

Omni Bedford Springs

Bedford, Pa. / Learn more or book here

Everything old feels new again at Omni Bedford, including the Old Course, an historic design (it bears the imprint of both Donald Ross and A.W. Tillinghast) that has been restored to its Golden Age roots. For golf architecture buffs, it’s the anchor attraction of a restful destination in the Allegheny Mountains, where guests can also test their aim in archery and axe-throwing or simply take it easy with a soothing spa treatment or a swim in one of the country’s first indoor pools.

Onmi Bedord Springs Resort features a pool and spa fed by natural springs.
Omni Bedford Springs Courtesy Photo

Shangri-La Resort

Monkey Island, Okla. / Learn more or book here

Situated on the shores of Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Shangri-La takes great advantage of the great outdoors. Hiking. Biking. Fishing. Water-skiing. We could go on. The resort’s recreation complex has basketball and pickleball courts, an upscale arcade replete with simulators and a mini-Fenway Park as a whiffle ball field. And that’s before we get to the game we love most. There are 27 holes of champion golf here, complemented by an 18-hole par-3 course called the Battlefield, which opened last year, with each hole named in honor of an Oklahoma veteran of World War II.

Omni Mount Washington

Bretton Woods, N.H. / Learn more or book here

Sitting alongside 800,000 acres of White Mountain National Forest, guided spring-through-fall activities include mountain biking, horseback riding, fly fishing and rock climbing. There’s also disc golf. And traditional golf of the highest quality on two courses, the historic 9-hole Mountain Pleasant Course, which first opened for play in the late 1800s, and the 18-hole Mountain Washington Course, designed by Donald Ross.

omni mount washington in new hampshire
Omni Mount Washington Courtesy Photo

Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Scottsdale, Ariz. / Learn more or book here

There are water hazards at the Westin Kierland, but this is 27-holes of user-friendly resort golf (you can even rent Segways to get around), with fairways so wide, it’s hard to get wet. An easier way to do that is on the FlowRider, a simulated wave designed for everything from boogie-boarding to standup surfing (instructors are on hand to show you the ropes). If slower going family fun is what you’re after, try the 900-foot lazy river. You can navigate its mellow currents on an inner tube, though your kids might prefer the waterslide. A nice bonus: the restaurants here are great, but a short walk away you’ll find even more shopping and dining options.

The Hotel Hershey

Hershey, Pa. / Learn more or book here

If Willy Wonka were a golfer (and who’s to say he wasn’t?), he’d want to hang out at this well-appointed hotel, where guests can take advantage of two 18-hole courses (the East and West; the latter a former longtime LPGA stop that also hosted the 1940 PGA Championship), plus a 9-hole course and a putting course, both of which were designed with juniors in mind. Let’s be honest, though. The biggest draw for kids lies down the road at Hershey Park, an iconic amusement park that tops off its many thrills and spills with a Hershey’s Chocolate Tour.

The stately Hotel Hershey.
The Hotel Hershey Courtesy Photo

Omni Homestead Resort

Hot Springs, Va. / Learn more or book here

You can hardly swing a sand wedge around these parts without knocking into mention of Sam Snead, who got his start in golf on the Cascades Course, a William Flynn design that has long been a fixture on best-of lists. The Cascades is one of Omni Homestead’s two 18-hole courses (the other is the Old Course, which has the country’s oldest first tee in continuous use). Snead once said that he played golf to support his fishing habit. He’d be happy to know that the Omni Homestead offers that (guided fly fishing tours), along with horseback riding, clay shooting and other outdoor activities. Indoors, there’s a range of options, including a turn-of-the-century movie theater and a kids’ adventure program filled with rainy-day diversions such as giant Jenga, giant checkers, Twister and more.

Josh Sens

Golf.com Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.