Want to play golf at a top US resort? Many courses are packed

Want a September or October tea time at one of the top golf resorts in the US? Maybe take a quarter to Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes or to a handful of bucket list destinations? You would have better book now.

And that’s for 2022.

At many resorts, you can forget about making multiple, premier tea times in the fall of 2021. You can come out as a single, and you’re even lucky enough to find a Wednesday slot for a quarter. Are you hoping to book a great buddy trip for different weekends at any time in the next three months? Good luck to you, and plan to throw a wide network.

Many industry observers and managers report that the demand for tea times has not been higher than more than a decade since before the market crash of 2008. With an increasing number of Americans returning on leisure trips after COVID-19 restrictions eased or stopped, Top Golf Resorts are packed.

The rounds of golf played in the US increased in the second half of 2020 as golf was considered a relatively safe activity during COVID-19 losses, and that growth will continue into the early months of 2021. June was considered a major test of sustainable growth, as in June 2020 a 13.9 percent increase in year-over-year rounds was played across the country by June 2019, according to the National Golf Foundation and market research firm Golf Datatech. Could this kind of interest in golf be maintained until 2021? The answer is yes, because June 2021 saw a small increase of 0.4 percent compared to June 2020. It seems, at least for the moment, that a growing interest in golf would be a new normal.

It is after a hard year for many resorts, some of which were forced to close their courses early in the pandemic. When the game started again, many potential guests understandably hesitated to travel. But now, just over a year after being completely reopened and with players struggling to play high-rated courses, many of these resorts are booming.

california spyglass hole 3 photo credit pebble beach company

Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach, California (Powered by Pebble Beach Resorts)

“Golf already had a whirlwind because of COVID, and you’d put people together for a better part of a year, and now people are looking to come out, discover, play golf, take vacations,” said Aaron Flink. , Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Pebble Beach Resorts in California, home to Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and the links at Spanish Bay. “It was nice to see the rebound, nice to see the people on the property again, and nice to see our hotels and golf courses full.”

Pebble Beach runs on its website a warning about limited availability and long waiting times to book calls. The resort’s top three courses are all in the Top 100 on Golfweek’s best list of top resort courses in the country, including the No. 1 Pebble Beach Golf Links. Flink said that the famous course – host of six former US Opens – never had a real shortage of players on the tea leaf. But even with that in mind, the course – which Flink said usually organizes more than 60,000 laps a year – has had its busy season since the 2008 recession. by Tiger Woods.

“We’ll tell people if you want to come to Pebble, get your trip booked now,” Flink said. “If you want to be here in the summer or fall, now’s the time to start planning for ’22.”

The resort operates 495 guest rooms in its three hotels – The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay and Casa Palmero – enough to accommodate all players on its three main courses. However, availability in one of these rooms with an accompanying weekend tea time is extremely limited, based on the resort’s online booking calendar.

An open space is around the winter holidays. There will be rooms available the last two weeks of 2021 and the first two weeks of 2022, and Flink said the location of the resort on the Pacific Ocean offers reasonable and consistent winter weather. The period from December 22nd to January 5th is the best option for Pebble Beach to play for months.

Flink called it “a post-COVID gold rush,” saying that any demand for rounds in the resort’s three main 18s includes a higher percentage of first-time guests. And there are almost entirely homemade travelers who fill the tea leaves — in a normal year, Pebble Beach could have 10 percent or a little more of its guests from other countries, Flink said, but now the resort attracts almost entirely U.S.-based players . When traveling international leisure, demand at Pebble Beach may be even higher.

Bandon Dunes Sheep Ranch

The new Sheep Ranch at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon (Courtesy of Bandon Dunes)

It’s a similar story on the Pacific coast at another top golf destination, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. Like Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes has a warning on its website about extremely high call volumes from people looking for book golf vacations. Bandon Dunes is home to five of the top 10 courses on Golfweek’s best list of top resort layouts in the United States

“We are experiencing record employment rates and golf rounds throughout 2021, including the addition of 24 new guest rooms that we opened on August 1st,” said Don Crowe, General Manager of Bandon Dunes. “This demand will continue in 2022 based on early booking trends and a high call volume in our booking department. For larger groups with multiple night stays, we recommend that groups start the booking process at least one year in advance.

The same thing is happening around the country at top resorts. For a Midwestern example, Destination Kohler in Wisconsin hosts this month’s Ryder Cup on Whistling Straits and home to four top-ranked courses in all — running a website warning about unique call volumes and advising guests to use their new online booking system.

florida streamsong red no. 14 by larry lambrecht

Streamsong Red in Florida (Courtesy of Streamsong / Laurence Lambrecht)

The same is true in the southeast. Craig Falanga, director of sales and marketing at Streamsong Resort in Florida, said the destination’s three courses are already experiencing strong demand for April 2022, month after month of record volumes. Streamsong is home to three courses – the red, blue and black – that all rank in the Top 25 on Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses list.

“I would definitely agree with you that people need to book as early as they normally can as buddy golf trips seem more popular than ever,” Falanga said in an email.

The message is clear: If you want to take a group of players to a top golf destination with great accommodation in 2022, you need to plan now.