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Top Five “Boutique” Golf Resorts (Part One)

As a confirmed golf addict I am constantly feeling the pressure to make up for my obsession by taking my wife on a “special” vacation. However, as a confirmed golf addict I cannot resist making such sojourns to a place where I can sneak in some top quality golf. During my quest to play America’s Top 100 courses available to the public, I found a number of excellent options that could distract my spouse long enough for me to play a round (or two). This included a number of large resorts as well several smaller, boutique facilities.

Typically, these smaller resorts offer access to only one golf course. In most cases the facility is private, and can only be played while staying on-site. As such, I was forced to spend the big dollars (ouch) if I wanted to play these golf courses. On the positive side, I found several of these to be very nice. All offer Stay and Play packages that are often more affordable than the big resorts. In reverse order are my top 5 boutique golf resorts.

5) The Lodge at Arcadia Bluffs (Arcadia, Michigan) offers 15 modern rooms, 10 of which have views of Lake Michigan. All of the rooms have balconies with golf course views. The units are on the second floor of the main building which sits at the highest point of the golf course. The ground floor includes the pro shop, a very good restaurant and one of the top ranked 19th holes in the world. Of the top 5, this one is associated with the best golf course. However, you do not need to stay in the Lodge to play Arcadia Bluffs, and there are fewer activities on-site for the non-golfing partner. Nevertheless, the amenities of the Lower Peninsula are available within reasonable driving distance. The Stay and Play package includes breakfast and golf. This is a great facility with terrific views and great accessibility to an excellent golf venue. They offer an excellent discounted Sunday Play and Stay special. (

4) CordeValle (San Martin, California) is an exclusive resort situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The golf course has hosted several PGA tour events, including the tournament and will be home to the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open. The golf course is private, but may be played by guests at the resort. There are a total of 45 rooms including bungalows, fairway homes and villa suites. This upscale operation houses one of the world’s great golf libraries. The accommodations include detached, large layouts. We stayed in a 750 square foot bungalow, with a private entrance that was terrific. The resort includes a wonderful spa (per my wife), walking trails, a first class restaurant and a winery, with wine tasting room that is accessible via an on-site shuttle. The project also includes an expansive tennis center. The golf course is excellent. Stay and Play packages include accommodations, breakfast and golf. They also have a package which includes play at Pasatiempo; another top 100 venue. For all of the wonderful things on site, I think my wife liked the outlet mall in neighboring Gilroy best of all. I was partial to the wine tasting; second to the golf of course. (

Next post will include the top 3.

Weekly Observation: Thank goodness there is no World Cup coverage on the Golf Channel. At least there is one outlet where I can watch an exciting sport.

By Paul Laubach


Paul Laubach is completely unqualified to provide expertise with respect to golf course rankings and design, however, he is a highly opinionated golf addict who believes everyone should be entitled to his thoughts. He is in the process of completing the story of his journey to play America’s top 100 courses. Please visit this website regularly for more useless information.

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