Golf tourism is growing and it’s growing fast.
Millennials continue to promote the game in droves, while Gen Z golfers are already showing signs of a passing of the torch.
Global revenues related to golf tourism are expected to almost double by 2030 to $41.9 billion.
So which courses are at the top of every young golfer’s bucket list?
We’re here to let you in on that secret. Read on to find the top golf destinations worldwide for groups of both new and established golfers.
How We Selected Our Top Golf Destinations
While not every Millennial and Gen Z golfer are the same, we looked at several key components to find the best golf destinations for both younger generations.
A green fee in the United States will set you back, on average, between $120 and $175. However, prices can reach up to $500 and beyond for more elevated experiences. For instance, the base green fee for the TPC at Sawgrass, located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is $600.
It’s no secret that golf can be pricey. The good news is that with the right golf club membership, you can experience even the most iconic and upscale places — more on that later!
When referring to the layout of a destination, we mean both the routing and design of its courses as well as the general layout of the surrounding area. A top golf destination should contain multiple courses that provide variety and challenges while being accessible and playable for diverse handicaps. When creating our list, we looked at:
How many Par 3’s, Par 4’s and Par 5’s the courses have
How fast the greens are
Where the water hazards and bunkers are located
What the terrain is like
How far apart the separate courses are
Whether planning an extended golf vacation or a special one-day trip, clubhouse amenities can play an important part in the experience. From independent 19th hole bars to all-inclusive hotels on golf resorts, our list has golf travel destinations of all styles to choose from.
The best golf courses are only as good as where they are located. From stunning views to ideal weather, the location of a course has one of the greatest impacts on the entire experience.
As links golf enthusiasts, our list only includes destinations that are home to at least one links golf course and are within touching distance of the sea.
The 7 Best Golf Destinations for Millennial & Gen Z Golfers
From the awe-inspiring to the iconic, the top seven golf destinations for Millennials and Gen Z golfers each provide a unique and unforgettable experience.
1. St Andrews, Scotland
No list of golf destinations would be complete without mentioning St Andrews. Home to the ‘Home of Golf’, the town itself is eternally intertwined with the history of the sport.
St Andrews Golf Links is the primary destination at St Andrews. It has a set of testing, yet enjoyable courses for all generations to savor.
Playing the iconic Old Course is a bucket list item for many, but it's not the only option in the area. The New Course offers a cheaper alternative in a renowned links destination.
The off-course offerings at St Andrews are almost as iconic as the fairways themselves, with many choosing to lodge at the Old Course or Rusacks hotels.
While the Old Course doesn’t openly offer its own bar, you won’t have to travel far to find two of the most renowned pubs in golf — The Jigger Inn and The Dunvegan. Be sure to take a look at the framed faces of famous visitors on the walls of the latter!
2. Pebble Beach, California
While it can be a costly trip (without a Links Golf Club membership!), Pebble Beach ticks all the boxes for an unrivalled stay-and-play golf vacation.
Visitors to the Monterey Peninsula usually tackle The Links at Spanish Bay before moving onto Pebble Beach Golf Links — a five-time U.S. Open host claimed to be the most beautiful course in the world.
Pebble Beach’s three resorts, The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay and Casa Palmero, include 15 restaurants to satisfy post-round appetites.
However, it’s The Tap Room that captures the atmosphere best. Also known as The Trophy Room, the restaurant is brimming with memorabilia from some of golf’s most important moments.
3. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island is popular with golf enthusiasts worldwide. It offers opportunities for groups of all sizes, making it an ideal destination for Millennial and Gen Z vacations.
While the island hosts 20 courses, no visit to Hilton Head would be complete without playing the Harbour Town Golf Links. Playable for 48 weeks a year, the course is famed for its red and white lighthouse that sits behind the 18th green.
With plenty of 5-star hotels and countless waterfront bars and restaurants, Hilton Head is a hotspot for golf trips. Still, resorts like The Sea Pines provide endless spa and leisure alternatives that offer much more than a round of 18.
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Representing a more budget-friendly option along the South Carolina coastline, Myrtle Beach is known as the ‘Golf Capital of the World’.
Myrtle beach is home to 80 courses, making it an ideal destination to find the right course for your handicap and requirements.
One of the area’s favored locations is the Legends Golf Resort, which hosts three on-site courses including a Scottish links-style heathland course.
Oyster Bay Golf Links is an alternative option just across the border in North Carolina.
The most famous spot at Myrtle Beach is the Broadway at the Beach shopping center and entertainment complex.
However, Millennial and Gen Z golfers looking for a fun experience should visit the Alisa Pub —named one of the best 19th hole bars in the world!
5. Ayrshire Coast, Scotland
Scotland isn’t all about St. Andrews. Its windswept coastlines also offer stunning links courses on the west coast, specifically in Ayrshire.
As the world’s first golf resort, the Trump Turnberry has had over a century to perfect its offering as a high-quality golf destination. Its courses include the Alisa and the King Robert the Bruce, known for their wetland areas and iconic gorse.
An Ayrshire alternative that’s just as intriguing can be found at Royal Troon — the Open Championship course known for being the home club of Colin Montgomery.
Visitors to Ayrshire may not receive the same fanfare as a journey along Myrtle Beach, but they don’t need to stray far from the greens to receive an exclusive stay-and-play experience at the Trump Turnberry resort.
If you’re wanting to explore beyond the grounds of the Trump Turnberry, nature and history are the two key attractions in this part of Scotland, with the Isle of Arran and Culzean Castle being two popular local day trips.
6. Royal County Down, Northern Ireland
Royal County Down represents an opportunity to play some of the world’s best links golf courses outside of Scotland.
Pluck up the courage to play the Championship Links at Royal County Down. Designed in 1889, the course has fast greens and "bearded” bunkers to challenge its challengers.
A less daunting round is also available at the Annesley Links. While this course is more accessible to a range of skillsets, the scenery and experience remain equally as breath-taking.
Visitors to Royal County Down often stay at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, or in Belfast itself. Aside from trying a Guinness at the clubhouse lounge, Royal County Down doesn’t waste its time with fancy amenities; a trip to Northern Ireland is all about the links.
7. Nova Scotia, Canada
A trip to Nova Scotia means playing two world-renowned links golf courses, with just a little extra travel needed in-between.
The first key destination in Nova Scotia is Cabot Cape Breton. The resort features two acclaimed courses, including the Cabot Links, as well as a 10-hole Par 3 course for added entertainment.
To gain the full Nova Scotia experience, however, you’ll need to take a 2.5-hour drive to Cape Breton Highlands Links to discover one of the most scenic courses golf has to offer.
Choosing the Cabot Cape Breton as your base means picking either a room or villa and enjoying one of three on-site restaurants between rounds.
However, a non-golf must is to take one of the boat tours that explore the local waters — sailing by natural beauty while searching for whales.
Experience the Most Iconic Golf Destinations with Links Golf
Looking to book a tee time at one of golf’s most desirable locations, without expensive non-member green fees or private club memberships? We offer a member-to-member reciprocity platform at Links Golf Club.
In addition to sharing your love for the game at your home club, as a host you can receive extra perks and participation rewards to incentivize the program and extend the number of member-to-member connections.
What kind of discounts and perks exactly? More on that below!
Links Golf Club Membership & Discounts
Becoming a Links member means more than simply opening previously closed clubhouse doors. There are countless membership benefits and brand partnerships designed to elevate the experience for golfers of all ages and skill levels, including Millennial and Gen Z golfers.
Utilize a vast network of partnerships to gain access to, and discounts for, numerous golf packages. Golfbreaks: Up to $400 off PGA Tour-promoted golf trips Top Golf: Discounts at Top Golf locations in the U.S. IMG Prestige: Access to an elite network of over 200 golf courses in 40 countries
Enjoy discounts and special offers from some of golf’s biggest brands. Callaway: Exclusive member benefits and discounts on iconic equipment Bridgestone Golf: Member privileges, benefits and perks on online purchases Arccos: 30% discount on the golf caddie bundle
Save on clothing and footwear to meet entry requirements and look like you’re on top of your game, no matter what. William Murray: 20% membership discount on selected items True: Members’ only discount on all footwear and apparel Birdie & Ace: Exclusive discounts on women’s golf apparel
Book Your Next Golf Vacation as a Links Golf Club Member
Ready to expand your horizons and explore some of the best destinations golf has to offer?
With a Links Golf Club membership, you can gain access to countless clubs and courses across the world — including the most iconic and historic golf destinations!
From partnering with local hosts in our reciprocity program to receiving discounts on golf vacations, Links Golf offers the opportunity to benefit from being part of a growing golf community — a truly modern golf membership that’s nothing like the rest.
Membership Designed For The Modern Golfer.
Join a thriving community of like-minded golfers, experiencing the best the game has to offer, both on and off the course.