Golf is a unique way to celebrate sense of place. Not only are you challenging yourself and competing against playing partners, but primarily you’re facing off against the landscape. Unlike other sports, with universally defined courts or fields, each golf course is unique—a puzzle with variable solutions dependent on the day. While tee-ing off, golfers experience the course designers’ authentic interpretation of a destination—its specific topography, native vegetation, and local weather patterns are all factors. Thus, no two rounds will ever be the same. These three coveted Exclusive Resorts golf havens provide golfers the opportunity to check a course off of the bucket list while also experiencing an area through the game’s unique lens. And though Exclusive Resorts simplifies accessing top courses, as for your score, it’s up to you to make the shots.

St. Andrews, Scotland

The Eden Club

The Eden Club at Pittormie Castle offers the perfect staging ground for an authentic Scottish golf outing. Test your mettle on one of the nearly 40 courses in and around St Andrews, golf’s birthplace and original landscape. The Old Course—St Andrews’ signature and arguably the most famous track in the world—is situated on a stretch of Scottish seaside where variable winds pass over grassy dunescapes, or links, to create playing conditions ranging from brisk to challenging. In addition to blustery winds and undulating hills, links-style courses are defined by shoulder height bunkers, ball swallowing fescue, and sandy soil types sustaining firm turf grasses and causing the ball to run rather than sit.  

The Bahamas

The Abaco Club on Winding Bay

A quick flight from Miami, The Abaco Club on Winding Bay features a Scottish-style links course in a more temperate setting. Palm trees replace grazing sheep on these tropical tees, but the pot bunkers remain—though they are filled with gleaming Bahamian beach sand—and the contoured greens are built to play firm and fast. Designed by distinguished British architects Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, the championship course is home to the Great Abaco Classic, a stop on the tour. It’s sunnier than Scotland but wind remains a welcomed challenge, with gusts reaching 25 miles per hour in the final round of this years’ Classic. 

Scottsdale, Arizona

Troon North Golf Club

Scottsdale is home to more than 200 golf courses; they speckle the Sonoran Desert like green oases. Troon North Golf Club represents an iconic desert interpretation of links golf by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Moorish. Weiskopf is a British Open Champion, and though you will find more cacti at Troon than in the UK, there are plenty of nods to Scotland throughout the Monument course. The fifth hole is known as the “Swale”;  hole nine is named “Hell Bunker” (an ode to a particularly unfriendly sand trap on The Old Course); and the 18th is simply called “St Andrews.”