Fall has taken over. The Tour has slowed down, but not this caveman. I am all about the beauty of the golf course during the season. Crisp air, fiery colors, and 18 holes of golf. What could be better?!
I’ve rounded up some of the best golf courses to play in autumn. If you live near these or are lucky enough to still have some vac-ay-time left, GO STRAIGHT THERE!
One note, I’ve included only public or semi-public courses on this list. So if you’re wondering why I’m not mentioning say The Country Club in Brookline, MA, that’s why.
When it comes to fall colors, there’s no better place to go leaf-peeping than New England. Golf has a long and proud history in this part of the country and no matter which state you’re in, you’re sure to find beautiful courses to play. We at the Cave have two to recommend.
Omni Mount Washington Resort
First on our list is the Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire. While there you get to enjoy both the restored Donald Ross-designed championship course and absolutely stunning mountain views. The Mount Washington Course has been restored to its original 1915 design and has been voted Golfweek magazine’s Best Course You Can Play in New Hampshire every year from 2009 to 2013.
Belgrade Lakes Golf Club
Next, the public, Clive Clark-designed Belgrade Lakes Golf Club is about a 1.5 hour drive north of Portland, Maine. There you find dramatic panoramic views thanks to the elevation shifts of the course. But what really sets this course apart is its friendly attitude and outlook. Belgrade Lakes has an “all dogs allowed” policy as well as a Director of Outside Happiness. you’re sure to enjoy yourself there.
Sequoyah National Golf Club
Fall in the south might not be as dramatic as up north, but the break from the awful summer heat makes autumn the best time to get out golfing if you’re south of the Mason Dixon Line.
Sequoyah National Golf Club is only 45 minutes west of Asheville, North Carolina and is nestled in the heart of the Great Smokey Mountains. The par 72 championship golf, measuring 6,600 yards and designed by Robert Trent Jones II, offers breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a challenging, dynamic course. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s right in the middle of one of America’s top destinations for fall foliage.
If you’re farther south, check out the many courses at Myrtle Beach. Fall is a great time to go. The weather is mild and you’ll skip the crowds of drunk college students and higher hotel rates!
The Treetops Resort
In the Midwest, fall golf doesn’t get any better than the Treetops Resort and The Golf Club at Harbor Shores both in Michigan.
Treetops Resort, in northern Michigan, boasts some impressive numbers. 81 holes of championship golf, five distinct course including one consistently ranked The World’s Best Par 3 Course. The Masterpiece Course was Robert Trent Jones, Sr.’s final design in Michigan and takes advantage of the surrounding landscape – sweeping valleys, ravines, and plains. The signature sixth hole features a 120’ vertical drop and a panoramic view of the river valley.
The Golf Club at Harbor Shores is almost brand new! All 18 holes of the links style course opened on July 1, 2010 and were Jack Nicklaus. Is this a challenging course? I’m going to say yes seeing as it has already hosted the 2012 and 2014 and will host the 2016 and 2018 Senior PGA Championship! Only 95 minutes from Chicago, you’ll find dramatic views of Lake Michigan, surrounding wetlands, rolling hills, ravines, and a hardwood forest!
Sedona Golf Resort
The desert isn’t the first place that springs to mind for a fall destination, but just like Myrtle Beach, the off season in Arizona is the best time to play! Courses are going to charge about 25% less and the temperature won’t be in the triple digits! Head over to the Sedona Golf Resort for a great golfing experience! The contrast between the orange and red trees and red and white rock formations will have you putting down the club for your camera. You can see it all on hole No. 10. The par-3 hole is the highest point on the course at almost 4,300 feet above sea level!
Let me say one thing here. You’ll notice I haven’t put any California courses on this list. Why Scratch? Isn’t Pebble Beach wonderful in the fall? Yes, it is. But Pebble Beach is wonderful year-round. I’m trying to tell you Rock Head about perfect courses for the autumn.
If you’re on the West Coast, you HAVE TO GO in the fall is Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. This breathtaking resort features four links and a par 3 golf course. Business Insider called it “golf heaven in the middle of nowhere.” Just note that the fall is peak season here, so green fees are going to cost more. If you can wait until November to go, you’ll save some money.
Farther north, take a trip to Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, Washington. This local favorite is located right in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s beautiful year-round, but it’s extra special in autumn. Located right in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, you’ll love the views of the Gorge painted orange and yellow in fall. If you’re traveling with a family, definitely try this course which promotes itself as providing “fun, friendly and affordable golf!”
Didn’t see your favorite fall course on the list? Let me hear all about it in the comments section below!