Golf is a sport loved by men and women alike, but it’s also quite the family affair. More and more kids, tweens and teens are picking up this activity and developing the same passion as their parents. That being said, taking a young child to the golf course can be nerve-wracking, nay incredibly distracting. Kids tend to be quite loud which is frowned upon at most courses. There is an etiquette that is required and expected from those who play the course and it can be challenging for kids. Because of this, dads tend to go off on their own to play a round of golf instead of bringing the kids with them, which is fine and could be a much needed break for him, but a bummer for those wanting to play alongside their family.
Golfing families can take heart as there are quite a few resorts that not only welcome families on their courses—they encourage it. Kid’s camps, water-slides, family-friendly courses, and other amenities are Grand Lakes Orlando and Wild Dunes Resort in South Carolina are just two of these resorts offering fun activities for kids, excellent food and golf programs for kids and adults of all ages.
PALMETTO DUNES OCEANFRONT RESORT, SOUTH CAROLINA
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is infamously known as a golf destination. In fact, it is rated as one of the top 10 best golf resort destinations in the world by Golf Digest readers. The golf course here is the only one on Hilton Head that has permanent junior tees. They have two hotels, an incredible amount of condos, and a marina.
The Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head is a great spot for families. Kids can practice golf with their parents or take part in the many activities on-site including tennis, kayaking, swimming, biking and more. A nature or dolphin cruise are also available and happen to be included in several of Palmetto Dunes’ family packages.
PINEHURST GOLF RESORT, NORTH CAROLINA
Located in Pinehurst, North Carolina, this resort will be welcoming the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in 2024. They have all sorts of family-friendly amenities including family-sized suites, spa-services and kids activities, family tee times, junior tee times and a sweet deal. Kids 12 and under stay, play golf and eat for free for every paying adult!
WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT, LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL
Yes, we had to include Disney World! Many people don’t realize that Disney World offers so much for golfers. Four theme parks, two water parks, lots of hotels, shopping and dining is what the resort is known for and can keep any family busy from sun up to sun down. You’ll find five golf courses on Disney’s property, four 18-hole courses – Magnolia, the Palm, Osprey Ridge, and Lake Buena Vista and Oak Trail, a 9-hole walking course that is suitable for youngsters. If your kids range in age, Disney also offers two themed miniature golfing areas – Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland.
HERSHEY RESORT, HERSHEY, PA
It’s the sweetest place on earth and offers more than you can imagine. Hershey is a great spot for families with chocolate as the main theme. The activities are truly endless with the Hersheypark featuring over 65 rides and attractions (including water parks), Hershey’s Chocolate World and Hotel Hershey, the Four Star and Four Diamond resort in close vicinity.
The Hershey Golf Collection is beyond excellent. The East Course has hosted several PGA tournaments and stretches 7,061 yards with a rating of 74.5 and a slope of 136, while the West Course hosted the 1940 PGA Championships and the LPGA’s Lady Keystone Open for almost 20 years. The West Course is a 6,860 yard course, par 73 that has a rating of 72.6 and a slope of 130.
Golf & family vacation at it’s best!
LITCHFIELD BEACH RESORT, PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC
Located on the shores of Myrtle Beach, Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort is perfect for families. They offer three courses: Willbrook Plantation, River Club & Litchfield Country Club and new junior tees that play from 2,500 yards. Another fun perk – Kids Golf Camp. It’s offered from May through August and is suited for kids ranging from 6-16. The Pool & Plaza is a kids dream with fun water games and pools all tied into one. They can also head over to Surfside Beach for waterslides, mini golf and go-cart racing at Wild Water & Wheels.
THE WESTIN KIERLAND RESORT & SPA, PHOENIX-SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
There are three courses at the Westin Kierland – the Acacia, Mesquite and Ironwood. Kids are encouraged and guided by pros who incorporate Frisbees and baseball bats as tools for beginners. Summer programs for various ages, half-day sports camps, 110-foot water slide, 900-foot winding lazy river ride, a Flowrider, children’s play area and other amenities make this a great spot for kids of all ages. Larger accommodations are always welcomed when traveling with a large family which is why we love their villas so much (complete with full kitchens and laundry facilities).
GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO, ORLANDO, FL
Grande Lakes Orlando provides the best of both worlds, offering both the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in it’s vicinity. The two share over 1,500 rooms, a 40,000 square-foot spa, salon and fitness center and free transportation to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld for accommodations and shared amenities.
In regards to golf, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando is an 18-hold, par-72 Greg Norman Signature Golf Course, surrounded by lush greens and incredible scenery. Children and kids 17 and under play for free with each paid adult round of golf.
CALLAWAY GARDENS, PINE MOUNTAIN, GA
There is so much do here including camp! We featured Callaway Gardens in our top 30 Camps For Families and now they’ve made our list yet again. In addition to their cottages, Mountain Creek Inn, villas and their lodge and spa, Callaway Gardens offers Golf packages including junior an adult clinics combined with all-day kids camp and lodging. They have three golf courses which are designed using the U.S. Kids Golf Family Course setup.
WILD DUNES RESORT, ISLE OF PALMS, SC
Everything at Wild Dunes Resort is top-notch, in fact they were named one of Parents Magazine’s Top 10 Best Beach Resorts for Families! In addition to their incredible range of family-friendly accommodations, dining and activities, Wild Dunes offer two 18-hole Tom Fazio layouts and a golf school that offers family lessons as well as introductory lessons for kids ages 9 and under. Kids ages 8-16 can take part in the Rising Star Junior Golf School if they so choose.
TREETOPS RESORT, GAYLORD, MI
Your kids will receive world-class golf instruction at this resort. Located in Northern Michigan, TreeTops features five different courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Tom Fazio, and Rick Smith (who happens to own the place). When it comes to family-friendly accommodations, amenities, and golf, this resort shines! They also offer downhill skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
WINTERGREEN RESORT, WINTERGREEN, VA
Located on top of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Vermont, Wintergreen Resort offers three nines and a special golf academy suited for adults and children. They also offer a Treehouse Children’s Centre, guided horseback rides, fly-fishing lessons, and various sized accommodations (units, condos and homes).
THE WIGWAM GOLF RESORT & SPA, LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ
Offering 440 acres of lush landscape, the Wigwam is a part of Arizona’s history and a member of the Historic Hotels of America (opened in 1929). Luxurious accommodations, award-winning restaurants, and The Wigwam has three 18-hole championship golf courses – 54 holes, including two courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The resort also offers a special three-hole course just for parents and kids.
PEBBLE BEACH RESORTS, PEBBLE BEACH, CA
Stay and play oceanside at one of the many Pebble Beach Resorts in California and experience the most breathtaking views! Golf courses include Pebble Beach Golf Links, SpyGlass Hill Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay, Del Monte and Peter Hay.
Junior and intermediate lessons are available with some of the best instructors in the country.
SUNRIVER RESORT, BEND, OREGON
Whether you are looking for luxurious or moderately priced accommodations, Sunriver Resort delivers. Two of their three eighteen-hold courses are suitable for kids, while Crosswater, their par-seventy-two course designed by Bob Cupp and John Fought is more suited to intermediate golfers. It’s hosted many U.S. open qualifiers and the 2002 U.S. Women’s Amatuer Public Links Championships. Junior golf instructions are available as are family lessons.
KIAWAH ISLAND GOLF RESORT, KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort‘s accommodations include rooms and one to four bedroom villas and five golf courses on property, one of whch (The Ocean Course) has played host to several events including the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 1997 and 2003 World Cup of Golf, the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and most recently, the 2012 PGA Championships. The Turtle Point course is home to The Tommy Cuthbert Learning Center where kids 12 to 17 can take part in two-day junior golf camps. During the summers, kids 17 and under play free with a paying adult in the evening from 6:30 to 7 p.m.
If your kids are too young to take part in the golf camp, they can head to Kamp Kiawah, suited for children ages 3 to 11.
OMNI ORLANDO RESORT, CHAMPIONSGATE, FL
This resort is home to two world-class golf courses, the Leadbetter Golf Academy World Headquarters and offers luxurious amenities and family-friendly accommodations as well as a water playground.
Kids can enjoy Camp Omni Kids Esxape as well as the Lazy River, Zero-Entry family pool and a whole slew of teen activities. Omni Orlando Resort has been named as one of the best golf resorts in America by publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Golf Digest Magazine, and Golf World Magazine.
LA COSTA RESORT AND SPA, CARLSBAD, CA
Kidtopia at La Costa Resort & Spa has taken the children’s program to a whole new level. Kids can make crafts, journey through magical forest, play on the interactive game floor, and observe sea creatures in an underwater wonderland. They are also home to Southern California’s only Gold Medal Golf Resort and have welcomed some of the best golfers in the world. Their Champions Course hosted the 2012 LPGA Kia Classic! They offer many Junior Golf Programs including overnight, full-day and half-day programs.
THE BREAKERS, PALM BEACH, FL
Take a journey to St. Tropez at The Breaker‘s Mediterranean-style Beach Club. The resort has over 1 1/2 mils of private beach, five oceanfront pools, 25 luxury bach bungallows, vistas and rooms as well as 36 holes championship golf, including The Breakers Rees Jones® Course. The Family Entertainment Centre complete with a movie room, game room, arcade, toddler’s play room, sports court, and playground is just one of the kid-friendly offerings this resort provides. Summer camps, kids camps and all sorts of other activities are available for kids of all ages.
SANDESTIN GOLF AND BEACH RESORT, DESTIN, FL
Sandestin does a great job catering to kids. The Dunes Putting Course and EuroBungy and Play Areas are just two of the complimentary activites offered year-round. Their Junior Golf Programs are geared for kids under 17 years of age and are all instructed by PGA golf professionals.
WESTIN LA CANTERA, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort is a Four-Diamond property that has won numerous awards from various publications. They are serious about their golf. With two championship 18-hole courses offering some of the most scenic sights in the Texas Hill Country, one of which (The Resort Course) welcomed a PGA Tour stop for 15 years, is a great spot for family golfing. The second course was designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer. Kids golf doesn’t have to cost! At this resort, junior golfers swing free after 3 p.m. with every paying adult and receive complimentary instruction when taking a lesson with a paying adult.