“What other people find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.” – Arnold Palmer
There’s nothing like being outdoors on a beautiful course, club in hand, with pristine fairways stretching out before you and blue sky overhead. The moment you step up to the tee to the moment you sink your last putt, it’s an incredible way to spend the day.
And, while iconic golf destinations like Augusta and Pebble Beach might be first to mind when you think of world-class play, there are many premiere courses near Equity Estates residences waiting to be explored.
Our Investor Relations Associate (and avid golfer), Jake, was happy to share some of his top picks for our best golf destinations.
The Big Island is considered the “Golf Capital of Hawaii,” and it’s easy to see why. Though it may not have the most golf courses on the Hawaiian islands, it does have some of the most spectacular. From world-class independent courses and private clubs to renowned resort courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf, there are pristine greens and lush fairways here for every skill level. And, while you’ll be teeing off in paradise wherever you play—thanks to bright blue skies and breathtaking ocean, mountain, or lava-field views—there are a few courses we know you won’t want to miss.
Our ocean-facing Big Island residence is perfectly situated on the edge of the first fairway of Mauna Lani’s famed South Course, so you can get out and play a round or two in your own backyard. But, even if it wasn’t right outside your door, this par 72 course would still be on our must-play list. Winding through a stunning landscape of rugged, prehistoric lava flow, with panoramic ocean and mountain views, and home to one of the most photographed over-the-water holes in the world, playing South Course is like a bucket-list dream come to life.
Not to be outdone, the resort’s North Course features rolling fairways, black lava terrain, and 18 holes surrounded by Kiawe (mesquite) forests, vacation homes, and a 230-acre protected archaeological district at the northern boundary. While you don’t have the dramatic ocean views you get on the South Course, you will enjoy challenging layout and incredible views of the pacific. Jake’s favorite hole is the photo-worthy 17th, with elevated tees that lead to an amphitheater-like green in the base of a natural lava bowl. It’s a quintessential Hawaiian golf experience just a short walk from the Equity Estates home.
This championship course, created by master architect Robert Trent Jones II, is consistently ranked one of the best resort courses in the U.S. Its 18 holes take you through ruggedly gorgeous terrain, with centuries-old lava rock walls, rolling greens and fairways, and plenty of elevation changes that make this the most challenging of Wailea’s three courses. It’s just a short, five-minute drive from your Equity Estates home.
This original 18-hole Wailea Club course, designed by Arthur Jack Snyder, has been attracting players since it opened in 1972, with wide fairways, tropical garden landscaping, and gorgeous views. Though it’s the least challenging of the club’s three courses, well-placed coral sand bunkers, demanding greens, and a classic island resort vibe, make it a fun (and beautiful) course to play.
Located on the northwest side of the island, along the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, about an hour’s drive from the Equity Estates residence, this historic (and challenging) course is a favorite of both casual players and pros, with wide fairways, large greens, dramatic changes in elevation, and ocean views from nearly every hole. This course is home to the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Sunny Los Cabos, on the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, has been called the “Golf Capital of Latin America” by Golf Digest magazine. With 18 remarkable courses, designed by legendary players such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Greg Norman—set within a stunning mountain–desert–beachfront landscape spanning Cabo San Lucas in the south to the town of San José to the north—golf in Cabo is the perfect mix of fun, challenging play, incredible scenery, and gorgeous year-round weather. Our two-story, Spanish-style Equity Estates villa located in Playa Palmilla, puts you in the heart of Los Cabos, close to some of the area’s very best courses.
The Palmilla Golf Club has earned the nickname “Grand Dame of Los Cabos Golf” and is the first high-end and Nicklaus design in Los Cabos. It has an amazing design and breathtaking water views from each of its 27 holes. It’s a challenging course that takes you through natural desert and mountain terrain, to deep canyon arroyos, and alongside the clear blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. The course is divided into three distinct nines (each with their own quirks), that can be played individually, in different 18-hole combinations, or all together.
Big Sky may be best known as a ski town, but during the warmer months, it’s an excellent golf destination. With three world-class, members-only courses and one public resort course—all set against a gorgeous backdrop of snow-capped mountains, open meadows, and lush, evergreen forests—leisurely days golfing in Big Sky is hard to beat. And, with three spacious Equity Estates homes here (two in the exclusive community of Moonlight Basin and a third at Lone Mountain), minutes away from our recommended courses, it’s quick and easy to get out on the greens.
This 18-hole, par-72 signature course from Jack Nicklaus is beautifully designed, with stunning fairways, dramatic elevation changes, tricky greens, and unbelievable views from start to finish. The rugged terrain and blind tee shots on some of the holes may be a challenge, but it’s worth it for the chance to experience such an incredible course. Though the Reserve is a private, members-only club (frequented by celebrities and PGA tour pros), it’s open to guests staying in our Equity Estates Big Sky homes.
Another Big Sky golf recommendation is the award-winning, links-style course at Big Sky Resort. It’s set 6,500 feet above sea level, with small greens, lovely riverside terrain, and wide fairways to help those long high altitude tee shots. This classic course, designed by Arnold Palmer, is a challenging but fair course for every skill level. Play will take you through the picturesque Big Sky Meadow and residential areas near the West Fork Gallatin River, and you may spot local wildlife (moose, elk, and deer) along the way.
Whether you’re dreaming of a golf-focused getaway that keeps you on the greens and fairways every day or just want to play a few rounds during your vacation, our Destination Managers and local hosts are always happy to arrange tee times, carts, rental clubs, lessons, or anything else you might need during your trip.