In Golf Digest’s recently released list of the 75 Best Golf Resorts for 2011, 14 resorts were anchored by at least one Nicklaus Design course, including six making their debut appearance in the ranking. Thirteen of the 14 resorts made the top 50, with The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., leading the list at No. 5. The resorts featuring Nicklaus Design courses include:
5. THE GREENBRIER (8) WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.VA.
Score: 85.88 | Contact: greenbrier.com, 800-453-4858 | Room rate: $359
New + Notable: Starting next summer, a 240-passenger train will begin serving guests from Union Station in Washington, D.C. The five-hour, nonstop ride will include an open-air car.
6. FOUR SEASONS RESORT HUALALAI AT HISTORIC KA’UPULEHU (4) The Big Island, Hawaii
Score: 85.29 | Contact: fourseasons.com/hualalai, 808-325-8000 | Room rate: $625
New + Notable: Many tee boxes on this Jack Nicklaus design are surrounded by black lava, providing a unique perspective against the clear, blue ocean. Up for 36? The second 18 is included.
9. FOUR SEASONS RESORT PUNTA MITA (NR) Nayarit, Mexico
Score: 84 | Contact: fourseasons.com/puntamita, +52 329-291-6000 Room rate: $670
New + Notable: Pacifico Golf Course has two par-3 third holes. One version has an island green on lava rock. At high tide, a special vehicle transports you to the putting surface.
11. THE BROADMOOR (12) Colorado Springs
Score: 83.45 | Contact: broadmoor.com, 866-837-9520 | Room rate: $360
New + Notable: These tricky greens will test the very best. At the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Women’s Amateur champ Danielle Kang had 17 three-putts and a four-putt.
T-12 . ONE & ONLY PALMILLA (11) Los Cabos, Mexico
Score: 83.41 | Contact: palmilla.oneandonlyresorts.com, 866-829-2977 | Room rate: $725
New + Notable: Its 27 holes weave in and around cacti and overlook stretches of ocean. The Classic Golf package includes transportation to and from the airport in a Hummer.
T-14. THE INN AT PALMETTO BLUFF (NR) Bluffton, S.C.
Score: 83.33 | Contact: palmettobluffresort.com, 866-706-6565 | Room rate: $575
New + Notable: Play golf as it was meant to be: on foot. Caddies will help you navigate the May River Golf Club’s beautiful-yet-penal oak trees and white-sand bunkers.
17. KIAWAH ISLAND (S.C.) GOLF RESORT (7)
Score: 82.56 | Contact: kiawahresort.com, 800-576-1570 | Room rate: $405
New + Notable: Next year’s PGA Championship will be at the Ocean Course, No. 1 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 50 Toughest. If you want to break 90, try some of the resort’s other 72 holes.
18. FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANAI (HAWAII) AT MANELE BAY (T-13)
Score: 82.11 | Contact: fourseasons.com/manelebay, 808-565-2000 | Room rate: $325
New + Notable: Three holes of the aptly named Challenge at Manele are laid out along cliffs. That big splash below might be from your golf ball or from whales migrating there in the winter.
22. RITZ-CARLTON, DOVE MOUNTAIN (NR) Tucson
Score: 81.48 | Contact: ritzcarlton.com, 520-572-3000 | Room rate: $349
New + Notable: Two shorter sets of tees make the course—which hosts the 64 best tour players in the world each February—playable for young kids or beginners (at 1,200 and 1,800 yards).
T-35. CAP CANA (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) RESORT (NR)
Score: 79.33 | Contact: capcana.com, 809-227-2262 | Room rate: $185
New + Notable: Choose from a variety of lodging options: Golden Bear Lodge for Nicklaus fans, adults-only Secrets Sanctuary, Caleton Villas on the Punta Espada course, or the new Fishing Lodge.
T-35. FOUR SEASONS RESORT WHISTLER (B.C.) (NR)
Score: 79.33 | Contact: fourseasons.com/whistler, 604-935-3400 | Room rate: $405
New + Notable: Make a hole-in-one on the signature 17th at the Nicklaus North course, and the resort will pay for a spa treatment and dinner at its new Sidecut restaurant.
41. LA QUINTA (CALIF.) RESORT & CLUB/PGA WEST (56)
Score: 78.14 | Contact: laquintaresort.com, 800-598-3828 | Room rate: $229
New + Notable: In addition to five championship courses, including one among Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, the kid-friendly Little Links Mountain nine-holeris scheduled to open Nov. 25.
43. PRONGHORN (NR) Bend, Ore.
Score: 77.78 | Contact: pronghornclub.com, 866-372-1003 | Room rate: $299
New + Notable: Luxury lodging is available with a view of the 18th hole on the Jack Nicklaus course, No. 23 among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.
71. HAMMOCK BEACH RESORT (NR) Palm Coast, Fla.
Score: 74.71 | Contact: hammockbeach.com, 866-841-0287 | Room rate: $330
New + Notable: Kids can enjoy the Nicklaus- and Watson-designed courses (Jack’s is set by the ocean, Tom’s is inland), with reduced green fees in the afternoon, or the nine-hole putting course