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Tee Up Stateside – Driving to Play By USA Golf Region

May 30, 2020

Driving the ball in the fairway is a great thing. So is driving your automobile short distances to play golf.

As global travel is limited in these uncertain times, staying closer to home makes lots of sense now. Domestic air travel is only gradually progressing back to normalcy, so presently golf trips within driving distance are just more practical for many golfers.

That said, we’ve compiled a list of popular U.S. golf regions that are within driving distance to key urban centers:

East Coast South – Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina

West Coast South – California

West Coast North – Oregon and Washington

South West – Texas

North East Coast – New York, Washington D.C,  Boston, Atlantic City

North Central – Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan

This is the first in a series of posts this summer detailing drive-to courses and resorts by region.

East Coast South

From the sandhills of North Carolina to the oceanside setting in South Carolina and palm studded layouts in Florida, this region has courses for every golfer’s wants and needs. Best of all, you can tee up year-round and the menu of resorts and courses is long and varied. While this region is dotted with bucket listers like The No. 2 Course at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina and Blue Monster at Trump National Doral in Florida, there are also numerous other celebrated layouts like Copperhead at Innisbrook and Red, Blue and Black courses at Streamsong Resort in Florida and  Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia.

Distance From Atlanta, GA:

  • Hilton Head Island: 280 miles
  • Kiawah Island: 305 miles
  • Pinehurst Resort: 352 miles
  • Streamsong Resort: 499 miles
  • PGA Village: 552 miles
  • PGA National: 586 miles

Distance From Charlotte, NC:

  • Pinehurst: 101 miles
  • Kiawah Island: 233 miles
  • Hilton Head Island: 247 miles

Distance From Memphis:

  • Hilton Head Island: 670 miles
  • Kiawah Island: 695 miles
  • Pinehurst: 716 miles

Distance From Miami:

  • Trump National Doral: 13 miles
  • PGA National: 79 miles
  • PGA Village: 121 miles

Distance From Orlando:

  • Streamsong Resort: 85 miles
  • PGA Village: 123 miles
  • PGA National: 158 miles
  • Trump National Doral: 239 miles

West Coast South

California is calling! After you make an obligatory pilgrimage to the Monterey Peninsula to play Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass and Links at Spanish Bay, there’s so many other places to tee it high and watch it fly. The golf rich San Diego area has an impressive golf menu of more than 90 courses highlighted by Torrey Pines, La Costa Resort and Rancho Bernardo Inn to name a few. In Palm Springs, a certifiable golf mecca, there are over 100 courses with headliners like Desert Willow Golf Resort, Indian Wells Golf Club and PGA West.

From San Francisco, CA:

  • Pebble Beach: 123 miles
  • San Diego: 501 miles
  • Palm Springs: 487 miles

From Los Angeles, CA:

  • Pebble Beach: 322 miles
  • San Diego: 120 miles
  • Palm Springs: 106 miles

From Las Vegas, NV:

  • Pebble Beach: 510 miles
  • San Diego: 332 miles
  • Palm Springs: 232 miles

From Reno, NV:

  • Pebble Beach: 321 miles
  • San Diego: 558 miles
  • Palm Springs: 506 miles

West Coast North

Stunning coastline golf courses, beautiful tree-lined layouts with towering pines and lush green turf are just a few of the enticements for golfers to this region. The unofficial capital of golf in the northwest U.S.A. is Bandon Dunes Golf Resort which has five phenomenal 18-hole golf courses hugging the magnificent southern Oregon coast and provides golfers with links style experiences similar to those found in Scotland and Ireland. A don’t miss play is Bandon Dunes’ newest course, Sheep Ranch, a recently debuted Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw design that has 9 coastline greens and ocean views on all 18 holes. Heading the line-up of bucket listers in the region are Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon and Pronghorn Golf Club in Bend Oregon.

From Portland, OR:

  • Bandon Dunes: 241 miles
  • Chambers Bay: 137 miles
  • Pumpkin Ridge: 22 miles

From Seattle, WA:

  • Bandon Dunes: 415 miles
  • Chambers Bay: 41 miles
  • Pumpkin Ridge: 194 miles

From Spokane, WA:

  • Bandon Dunes: 593 miles
  • Chambers Bay: 299 miles
  • Pumpkin Ridge: 373 miles

South West

Some of golf’s most influential golfers like Ben Hogan, Ben Crenshaw and Lee Trevino hail from Texas and the state has an impressive golf legacy. Cities like Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are peppered with excellent golf courses and resorts. Heading the list of golf vacation options are resorts like Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Los Colinas in Dallas, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, The Woodlands Resort near Houston and Omni Barton Creek Resort in Dallas.

Distance from Dallas, TX:

  • Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas: 14 miles
  • Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: 273 miles
  • The Woodlands Resort: 210 miles
  • Omni Barton Creek Resort: 195 miles

Distance from Austin, TX:

  • Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas: 195 miles
  • Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: 80 miles
  • The Woodlands Resort: 165 miles
  • Omni Barton Creek Resort: 12 miles

Distance from San Antonio, TX:

  • Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas: 273 miles
  • Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: 18 miles
  • The Woodlands Resort: 216 miles
  • Omni Barton Creek Resort: 80 miles

Distance from Houston, TX:

  • Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas: 252 miles
  • Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: 197 miles
  • The Woodlands Resort: 29 miles
  • Omni Barton Creek Resort: 165 miles

North East Coast

Encompassing cities like Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., this region of the U.S. offers numerous drive golf vacation possibilities. Other areas that draw lots of driving vacationing golfers include Atlantic City, New Jersey, Long Island, New York, the Poconos in Pennsylvania and Connecticut’s casino district. Arguably, the region’s most popular pubic access course is Bethpage State Park, where the bucket-list Black Course is located on Long Island. While on the island, don’t miss playing Montauk Downs, a fantastic muni. For those who enjoy casino gaming to accent their golf vacation, the options are numerous headed by Turning Stone Resort in New York, Atlantic City Country Club in Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Connecticut.

Distance from New York City, NY:

  • Bethpage State Park: 36 miles
  • Turning Stone Resort: 261 miles
  • Atlantic City Country Club: 124 miles
  • Mohegan Sun Golf Club: 142 miles

Distance from Boston, MA:

  • Bethpage State Park: 227 miles
  • Turning Stone Resort: 281 miles
  • Atlantic City Country Club: 335 miles
  • Mohegan Sun Golf Club: 101 miles

Distance from Washington, DC:

  • Bethpage State Park: 260 miles
  • Turning Stone Resort: 406 miles
  • Atlantic City Country Club: 185 miles
  • Mohegan Sun Golf Club: 366 miles

Distance from Atlantic City:

  • Bethpage State Park: 160 miles
  • Turning Stone Resort: 347 miles
  • Atlantic City Country Club: 9 miles
  • Mohegan Sun Golf Club: 267 miles

North Central

Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin dominates the golf scene this year in this region as site of the 2020 Ryder Cup matches in September. The Destination Kohler complex features four excellent golf courses and a world-renowned spa. Other great places to play in Wisconsin are Erin Hills Golf Resort and Sand Valley Golf Club. In Michigan, vacationing golfers flock to resorts like Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, The Lodge at Arcadia Bluffs and Treetops Resort in Gaylord. In Illinois, top places to tee up, include Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena and Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center in Chicago.

Distance from Chicago, IL:

  • Whistling Straits/Blackwolf Run: 145 miles
  • Erin Hills Golf Club: 125 miles
  • Sand Valley Golf Club: 240 miles

Distance from Milwaukee, WI:

  • Whistling Straits/Blackwolf Run: 55 miles
  • Erin Hills Golf Club: 37 miles
  • Sand Valley Golf Club: 168 miles

Distance from Minneapolis, MN:

  • Whistling Straits/Blackwolf Run: 341 miles
  • Erin Hills Golf Club: 303 miles
  • Sand Valley Golf Club: 211 miles

Photos courtesy of: Omni Barton Creek Resort, Destination Kohler, Bandon Dunes Resort, Kiawah Island Resort