From New England's northern harbors down to Florida's southern shores you find world-class, championship-level golf courses that boast high-end designs, polished greens and stunning waterfront views.
The following list presents golf resorts and courses that honor the sport's rich history and genteel culture. As we embrace the warm weather and desire for oceanfront breezes, it's the perfect time to treat yourself to 18 holes at an upscale golfing getaway or consider a membership at one of these summertime destinations.
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Boothbay Harbor Country Club is an 18-hole championship course located in beautiful mid-coast Maine offering three ways to stay and play lodging in the Oceanside Resort, cottages or stunning villas. In 2020, the property introduced new exclusive golf villas that offer six-bedroom luxury rentals equipped with a gourmet open kitchen. Amenities include a wellness center with a heated saltwater pool, fitness center, tennis and pickleball courts. Arrive by sea and dock at the on-site marina or arrive by land and enjoy luxury boat excursions and private coastal tours on a Hinckley picnic boat.
Where to Dock: Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort Marina
Out of this 18-hole championship course, 14 holes offer dazzling views of the Atlantic Coast. Originally designed in 1902 with nine holes, it was rebuilt by architect Robert Elder in the early 1990s. With the help of architects Jeffrey Cornish and Bradley Booth, the later improvements boosted its success and popularity in New England. The Samoset Resort offers lodging in private-terrace guestrooms, suites and cottages overlooking Penobscot Bay. Choose from tranquil views of lush gardens, the pool or the course, plus amenities such as wellness treatment and indoor/outdoor relaxation areas at the spa on-site.
Where to Dock: Journey's End Marina
Resort guests and club members can enjoy plenty of perks when visiting this picturesque retreat. With $50 million put into renovations to its villas, restaurants and mansion rooms, the high-end facilities and amenities at this destination are spectacular. Join the golf club and gain additional access to the fitness center, nine tennis courts, six pools and the nearby Ocean Edge Bayside Private Beach. The private, 18-hole Troon Privé is Brewster's only Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
Where to Dock: Hyannis Marina or Provincetown Marina
A few miles south of Ocean City, Maryland's vacation town, this Scottish-style links boasts views of Sinepuxent Bay overlooking the coast of Assateague Island where wild horses roam freely. This Dye family-designed course is situated on green fairways of bent grass with bayside views on 17 of the 18-hole course. Legends of notorious pirates Captain Kidd and Blackbeard allegedly sought shelter on these grounds during their journeys smuggling treasures across the Bay. Enjoy stay and play options through Ruark Golf Packages offering multiple courses, dining and lodging accommodations on the beachfront shores of Ocean City.
Where to Dock: Sunset Marina
Fishers Island, NY
Just off the coast of New London, CT, at the eastern end of Long Island Sound, you find the charming Fishers Island with a population of hardly over 100 people. The private Fishers Island Club is exclusive to members only but features outstanding amenities such as access to five tennis courts, golf and tennis pro shops, dining, clubhouse and beachfront access. This quintessential coastal club is located among gorgeous beaches, prime real estate and a community of gracious residences. Golf Digest rated the club #10 out of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses in 2019.
Where to Dock: Fishers Island Yacht Club
Myrtle Beach, SC
As Myrtle Beach is a notorious golf hub and home to more than 90 courses, it's tough to choose the best. But when it comes to coastal gems and all-inclusive luxuries, Grande Dunes takes the cake. This resort offers an on-site course that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and lodging at The Marina Inn Grande Dunes luxury hotel with a marina conveniently located next door. Enjoy a variety of stay and play specials and golf vacations at courses all across Myrtle Beach such as Barefoot Resort & Golf and Prime Time Signature Golf Courses.
Where to Dock: Grande Dunes Marina
Kiawah Island, SC
This phenomenal course was originally planned to sit behind the dunes on the eastern end of Kiawah Island until legendary designer Pete Dye's wife, Alice, suggested raising it to give players stunning coastline views from every hole. Designed with two courses in one one for easterly and the other for westerly wind you can experience up to an eight-club difference each round depending on the wind's direction and strength. Choose from nearly 500 resort villas and private homes that can accommodate up to 15-20 people an ideal vacation for anything from golf buddy trips or a couple's retreat to an extended family getaway.
Where to Dock: Bohicket Marina & Market (local) or Safe Harbor Charleston City (transient)
Hilton Head Island, SC
For more than a half-century, the world-class golf course at Palmetto Dunes has been a crown jewel of Hilton Head Island. The beachside resort is packed with everything an outdoor enthusiast could desire: three championship courses, tennis, pickleball, biking, fishing and more. Choose courses from renowned designers including the Robert Trent Jones course where a lagoon winds its way through half of the holes, the challenging George Fazio course guarded by bunkers and water hazards, or the Arthur Hills course, regarded as one of South Carolina's most unique layouts.
Where to Dock: Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
Fernandina Beach, FL
The enchantment of Amelia Island is legendary throughout Florida and this Pete Dye-designed championship course is one of Omni Resorts' finest destinations. Just off the coast, you can enjoy challenging courses with beautiful views overlooking the marsh and amenities such as a full-service spa, pool, dining, heath and fitness center, and luxurious oceanfront resort accommodations.
Where to Dock: Oasis Marinas at Fernandina Harbor Marina
Sea Island, GA
This exquisite performance center is perfect for golfers of all skill levels and dedicated to those who want to improve their game. Instructors tailor to individual needs and use state-of-the-art technology to make the most of lessons. Try one of the championship courses: Seaside (15 holes flanked by marsh and ocean views), Driftwood Putting Course (adjacent to the lodge with more ocean views), and the Retreat Course (sand bunkers and undulations for a challenging game). For full access to the golf club and tons of amenities, stay at The Inn at Sea Island, The Lodge, The Cottages or The Cloister.
Where to Dock: Morningstar Marinas Golden Isles
Juno Beach, FL
Century-old banyan trees and lush green landscapes align this regal members-only club designed with elevation changes based on Atlantic winds. As one of the most exclusive private golfing communities in South Florida, the course borders Seminole Landing, a posh gated community and ex-home of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. The community has easy access to boating excursions, tennis, beachfront property and much more.
Where to Dock: Palm Harbor Marina or Loggerhead Marina, Palm Beach Gardens
Key Biscayne, FL
Just 10 minutes from Miami, this colorful course on the clear waters of Biscayne Bay is an exotic golfer's paradise. Surrounded by mangroves, tropical foliage and breathtaking waterfront views, the 18-hole championship course was the site of the Senior PGA Tour for 18 years. Enjoy unique game experiences such as challenging sand traps, mangrove thickets and saltwater lakes. Lessons with pro instructors are also offered at the Crandon Golf Academy.
Where to Dock: Crandon Park Marina