First US Trip

Well lads!

First post in the refuge, been stalking posts for a while now.

I am planning a US trip next Summer with some mates and I am looking for some suggestions if possible! (4 Of Us)

We were looking at Pinehurst or Bandon but if there was other places we should be looking at let me know. We are looking for some potential price ranges for 4-5 days or if you have gone about it in another way any help would be brilliant.

Thanks for any help :partycage:

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Pinehurst will be very hot and humid in the summer months if you are not used to higher temps

Welcome @TheShamMan

Will boil down to a few major things in my opinion

  1. Budget
  2. Do you want wall-to-wall golf or do you want to be somewhere that you can do other things / see more of the US?

If you go to Bandon during the summer months (Jul-Sept) you’re looking to pay $450/day for 36 holes…so if you do that for 4-5 days, you’re looking at at least $2000 on golf alone. Also, if you go to Bandon, you’re at the resort and playing golf…with not much else to see

If you go to Pinehurst during the summer months, you might melt (hot / humid as @country35 alluded to)

At the end of the day, if I were you (and your friends) I would come up with a short list of some potential places (which it appears might already be Bandon / Pinehurst) and dig in on other threads about those places and talk to people who live nearby or have made these trips

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Nice!

How long of a trip? What part of the summer?

Second what @pushdraw said about trying to decide wall to wall golf or to see more of the country. Happy to provide some conversation about pros/cons of different areas.

I will say that depending on how much time you’ve got, Bandon isn’t THAT far out of the way from the major west coast cities. And, having been to both Pinehurst and Bandon (i’m obviously biased living in Oregon), I’d take Bandon every time.

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I’m on the same page with @golftoursoregon @pushdraw and @country35 . Pinehurst also includes a slight chance of Hurricane action in the summer timeframe too (earlier, like June, is safer and longer days too). With Bandon, one of its negatives (its only negative) is how long it takes most to get there, seems like you got a hike regardless of where you land! So I’d give Bandon the lean over Pinehurst for the summer trip.

Keeping (slightly cooler) temps for Summer options in mind, a couple other options:

I know the NLU boys were not high on Whistling Straits - but I really enjoyed it, but similar price point concerns that Bandon has exist here as well. The Irish is a significantly underrated course in America, and Blackwolf Run gets overshadowed a bit based on the attention Straits gets. Its probably a better course that Straits, but without the dramatic lakeside views. I had way more fun on Irish and Blackwolf, than I did getting beat up on Straits!

Staying in Wisconsin, I just wrapped a Sand Valley/Lawsonia trip which was an absolute blast. You can add SentryWorld into that or add Erin Hills to your arrival or departure day agenda too (as you could with Straits as well).

Northern Michigan is awesome in the summer too - Forest Dunes + Arcadia Bluffs is an awesome pair and plenty of other courses around Traverse City to fill a trip as well. Might not be a “quintessential America golf trip” but was one of my favorites for a summer location if avoiding the hot humid south (where, frankly, more of the 4-5 day trip targets exist).

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Cheers for the insight @golftoursoregon @pushdraw @country35!

We would be looking for about 5 days and prob a very golf intense trip to be honest. We might head somewhere else for some activities after the golf trip but yeah that sounds right up our street.

As 3 Irish lads the Pinehurst Heat sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen… We’ll definitely take a look into the different options here.

Thank so much @chrismarz!

We will take a look into all of those recommendations! We would go anywhere to be honest so these all sound class. Thanks again man!

Sorry I missed the 4-5 days!

If that is the entire length of the trip, I might stick to the east coast because getting all the way across the US will almost double your travel time. Would absolutely caution against Pinehurst in the summer, however, they used to have a pretty good package deal around July 4th to try and get people to play in the oven that is North Carolina in July.

@chrismarz is spot on with Northern Michigan. Would add a Mackinac Island trip in there just for the oddity of it. If lengthening the trip is possible, you can’t go wrong venturing out west! :slight_smile:

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Agreed. In that timeframe go do a WI trip. Play some mix of Erin Hills, Sand Valley, Kohler (Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits), Lac La Belle & Lawsonia.

Fly into Chicago or Milwaukee, hit Kohler (4 courses, play them all over 2 days) then drive to Sand Valley (2 days 36 a day) then somewhere else depending on where you fly out from (Minneapolis, Chicago or Milwaukee).

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If you want the true American experience, you need to go to Myrtle Beach. Find some courses you can play for $50, including a 6-pack, but some American flag shirts and rip the sleeves off and have a blast!

Just kidding.

If you connections to get on some private courses, central Ohio and Philly could be really good in the summer. Really there’s some good public options around Philly and it would be an easier flight from the UK. You could even just fly into NY direct and take the 2-hr drive to Philly.

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If you have a 4-5 day trip, the Wisconsin “loop” could be something you would be able to fit in fairly well, hitting Erin Hills or Straits on day 1, both with options for 36, followed by Sand Valley for 36 a day for 2 days, ending at either place you didn’t hit in Erin HIlls/Whistling on the way back out. If you wanted more diversity, you can always add in Lawsonia, various private clubs throughout the arc of the trip, most of which will accept you if you have your local pro call if you’re coming all that way. Flying in/out of Chicago (ORD) isn’t awful and you’d have around 500 miles of driving with those 3 destination type places, all of which have lodging on site.

This basically expands on what @chrismarz mentioned about golf in Wisconsin.

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805 Km

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Pinehurst could be really good if you Dormie, Mid Pines, Pine Needles, and Tobacco Road. That wouldn’t be crazy expensive.

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its not far from DC at all but those places in June/July for someone from the UK could get super hot

One thing not mentioned is that the travel TO Bandon from Ireland (where I think you are from) is … that’s a LONG travel. You’re spending a full day each way, with multiple stops.

Pinehurst would be much more direct, flying into Charlotte or Raleigh/Durham with likely only one stop, if that. As others have said I think a Wisconsin or Michigan trip would be the other obvious trip but with the brutal cold winters and swelteringly humid summers there’s a fairly narrow window.

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Highly recommend Lollipops in Daytona Beach as long as we’re here talking

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As a US resident, if I had an unlimited budget and could get on any courses in a small area I’m going
monterey peninsula no doubt about it tho

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Does your trip have to take place in the summer? I’ve not been to Bandon, but did a make quick trip to SW Ireland a few years ago. My friends that have done both all say the travel to Ireland is quicker/easier than getting to Bandon from the central US, and the courses there are more enjoyable/quirky. The only advantage they see with Bandon, is that everything is in one spot.

If you’re more interested in seeing something other than links golf, and getting a little taste of America, I’d suggest pushing the trip until later in the year and visit Pinehurst in the early fall.

Someone above mentioned Philly, my current location. There is a wealth of good golf here, but most of it is private. In my two years in the area, I haven’t been able to play any of the big ones and it’s hard to envision a scenario in which I would any time soon. Still a couple great public options.

But I do have a suggestion that could keep your flights short (and likely more cost effective). You could fly into either Philly or NYC (about 100 miles/160km apart for reference) and play a couple of the public courses near Atlantic City (ACCC being the crown jewel that I have yet to play but plan to soon). And then mix in Bethpage, ideally Black and Red courses on Long Island. Now, I will caveat that the Black course requires an overnight stay in the parking lot, but it’s a lot of fun and I recommend it.

This scenario allows you to:

-Have short and less expensive flights
-Limit the travel between locations to a couple hours at most
-Have only public courses on the itinerary so you don’t have to chase down members
-Incorporate NYC if you haven’t been and have wanted to visit
-Be close to the beach (Jersey Shore, Long Island) if you wanted to mix some of that in since it would be summer

Things in the Northeast are relatively close by so you could even expand it a bit more. And the courses I mentioned are a couple of the best public tracks in the US (ACCC, Bethpage Black) but there quite a few others in between that could be great options too that if you went with this kind of option you’d get plenty of recs from this community and maybe even an invite or two for a private club round.

I moved to Charlotte from Newcastle, England in 2012 and I am still no use in the summer heat/humidity here. It can be a real killer, and especially if you’re enjoying some drinks in the evening then you’ll likely be battling dehydration the next day like crazy. Doing it in April or May, or September would likely be the best time to do Pinehurst, IMO.

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