Playing the Best Golf Resorts for Junior Golfers

By Ryan Watson

Enjoying a nice vacation at a golf resort is a time-honored tradition among hackers. The chance to enjoy luxury facilities and a top notch course or two is many a golfer’s idea of paradise. However, when you’re bringing along a junior golfer some of those pristine courses may be just a little too long for your child to truly enjoy. That’s why we have devised this list of the best resorts for you and your junior golfers so you can all enjoy a great game of golf. The list features some of the game’s greatest facilities, as well as some hidden gems spread out throughout the United States. Just try not to be to upset when your little one sinks par while you’re trying to rescue it from the bunker.

Bandon Dunes

7744 Round Lake
Bandon, OR 97411

Bandon Dunes has long been seen as one of America’s best golf resorts. The resort boasts 4 full courses, including the much lauded Tom Doak designed Pacific Dunes, as well as the original Bandon Dunes course. Really you can’t go wrong with any of the courses as they are a golfer’s dream. The resort has also constructed a 13 hole par-3 course named the Bandon Preserve. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, this par-3 course features variety, smart routing, and excellent use of the natural landscape to create a fun course playable for juniors. Also checkout the fun Punchbowl Putting Course for another junior-friendly golfing activity.

Disney World

1950 W Magnolia Palm Dr.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

A literal no-brainer for family fun, the Disney World Golf Courses feature 3 championship courses. The most famous is Lake Buena Vista, but all the courses provide a fun round of golf that many juniors will enjoy. The 9-hole Oak Trail course is just shy of 3,000 yards and plenty of fun for the whole family. The Orlando area also contains many short courses if you feel the need to leave the land of Mickey and Minnie.

Treetops Resort

3962 Wilkinson Rd.
Gaylord, MI 49735

Treetops Resort is home to designs from Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Rick Smith. However, the par-3 course dubbed the Threetops is widely considered the best par-3 course in America. It features stunning scenery, elevated tees, and enough hazards to foil the best golfer. The course is a challenge, but juniors will enjoy playing what feels like a championship course without needing the power of an adult to play from the tips. The Smith designed Tradition course is also a relatively gentle course, one that some consider easier than the Threetops course. Both are easily accessible for juniors and tons of fun.


80 Carolina Vista Dr.
Pinehurst, NC 28374

Pinehurst Resort is of course home to one of the best courses in the world in Pinehurst no. 2. However, the resort is also one of the most kid-friendly golf resorts on the planet. There are a staggering 9 18-hole courses on the property, and all but the famous no. 2 do not charge for kids 17 and younger to play with a parent. In addition, the 9-hole short course dubbed The Cradle, designed by Gil Hanse and opened in 2017, is one of the most fun experiences for junior golfers. The course is even playable for younger kids, with the longest hole measuring only 127 yards.

Princeville Resort Kauai

5520 Ka Haku Rd.
Princeville, HI 96722

Princeville Resort Kauai, formerly known as St. Regis Princeville, is a beautiful facility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Home to a championship oceanfront course that serves as its flagship, the resort also has a 9-hole executive course name the Woods. The course offers several tee boxes and can play as long as 3.400 yards or as short as 2,829 yards. It allows for fun but challenging golf in a gorgeous setting, and kids 16 and younger play free with a paid adult.

Wilderness Resort

511 E Adams St.
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

The Wisconsin Dells is arguably the Midwest’s premier family destination, and is well within reach of millions of families who don’t want to make the long trip to the coasts. The Wiilderness Resort is best known for the 4 separate waterparks on the property, but it is also home to one of Wisconsin’s best courses. The Wild Rock Golf Club, located at the resort, boasts the championship course designed by Dana Fry and Michael Hurdzan. While teenagers will enjoy the challenge of this course, all junior golfers will enjoy the 9-hole Woods Course. The Woods Course is unique because it isn’t solely a par-3 course like many of the other short courses on this list. Instead this par 30 course provides variety that will help challenge and develop you child’s game.

Big Cedar Lodge

190 Top of the Rock Rd.
Ridgedale, MO 65739

Big Cedar Lodge is located in the scenic Ozark Mountains, better known simply as “the Ozarks”, in rural southern Missouri and offers a plethora of outdoor activities and family fun. It also offers the region’s best golf. Part of the sprawling Bass Pro Shop empire, founder Johnny Morris has brought courses built by Arnold Palmer, Tom Fazio, and Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to the Ozarks. However, the junior golfers will appreciate the walkable 13-hole short course dubbed Mountain Top designed by Gary Player and the famous par-3 Top of the Rock course deigned by Jack Nicklaus. Top of the Rock is the only par-3 course to host professional event. The course meanders through the lush Ozarks with elevation changes, water and limestone rock formations coming into play, all with stunning views of the surrounding area.

The Crystal Springs

1 Wild Turkey Way
Hamburg, NJ 07419

Hamburg, New Jersey’s Crystal Springs resort features 6 courses, including New Jersey’s top-rated Ballyowen and 2 very fun 9-hole executive courses. The Cascades Course is a par-36 course designed by Roger Rulewich that was designed especially for children and beginners, as well as families. It is imminently playable, and 4 person golf carts make it even easier to take juniors with you to play the course. The Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed Minerals course is a par-31 9-hole course widely considered to be one of the country’s best short courses. The course offers beautiful scenery and a fair challenge while still being playable for junior golfers.

Pebble Beach Resorts

Multiple locations
Pebble Beach, California 93953

Pebble Beach Resorts are widely considered to be home of one of the best collections of resort golf courses in the world. Featuring the Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and 6-time U.S. Open host Pebble Beach Golf Links, the resort also boasts some junior friendly courses. The Del Monte Course is very playable and still features beautiful Pebble Beach views. It is also the oldest course West of the Mississippi that is still in operation. After playing Del Monte, junior golfers can head to the Peter Hay Par 3 course, a quick 748 yard 9-hole course.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.