Planning the perfect golf trip can be difficult. It takes much research and experience to know where to play, when to play, where to stay and how to get there.

Many Dads and buds prefer to stay close-to-home with a weekend at one of the great golf resorts within driving distance, such as Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI, a dramatic, rugged, bunker-lined course along Lake Michigan, host site for the 2020 Ryder Cup. 

Longer domestic trek choices include Bandon Dunes (Oregon); nine courses in North Carolina’s Pinehurst for purists; the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama for best value and more-holes-per-day; and great courses in Florida, Arizona and South Carolina. No golfing bucket list is complete without California’s iconic Pebble Beach (requires deep pockets, but is a great special-occasion choice).

Hawaii offers beautiful vistas, flowering hibiscus, gentle ocean breezes and delightfully distracting scenery. Experience several islands and only unpack once on a Golf Ahoy cruise, including tee times, ground transport, lessons, equipment and player pairing.

Ireland and Scotland top the golf travel list, for good reason. The Emerald Isle offers an unforgettable getaway with superior seaside courses and welcoming pubs. A string of links courses along the Atlantic includes Ballybunion, Doonbeg, Lahinch, Dooks and the idyllic Waterville. Above 300-foot cliffs is the striking Old Head Golf Club. Between rounds of golf, visit castles, go fishing or cruising on the lakes and meet friendly folks in colorful and vibrant towns. 

Visit famous St. Andrew’s Old Course, the “birthplace of golf” where it’s been played for 600 years. Obtaining tee-times either through application or ballot is challenging (but we can help). There are plenty of restaurants and pubs in St. Andrews, as well as other magnificent areas to explore in Scotland.

Look to Italy for a combination of golf-and-wine-tasting in the Tuscan hills, among the history and ruins in Sicily, or on courses with mountain views in the Alps. 

An ultimate choice for thrill-seeking golfers is the Xtreme 19th hole at the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa. Its enormous green, shaped like Africa, perches high on a mountain only accessible by helicopter. The hole-in-one prize: $1 million dollars!

Popular now—European River Cruises featuring golf. Enjoy world-class courses in different countries while staying on a luxury all-inclusive riverboat with all amenities. Concierges provide seamless golfing experiences, transferring via private Mercedes to courses where practice range, carts and a reserved tee time await. Enjoy lunch in the clubhouse before transferring back to relax on the Danube, absorbing the breathtaking scenery.

Alternatively, celebrate a 17-day New Zealand and Australia cruise, including 6-7 rounds of golf in February 2021. Or best of all, there’s the 2021 “Golf-Around-the-World-in-180-Days” cruise on a brand new megaship (100 destinations in 44 countries).  

Whatever your next golf vacation, we’re here FORE you to help!

Sue Shimkus, president of Lake Zurich Travel, is an avid golfer who has played many courses around the world and would love to share her expertise. Visit LZTravel.com or call 847.438.5551.