PGA Coach Abby Parsons' Favorite Golf Trip Destinations

By Abby Parsons, PGA
Published on
A view of the eighth hole at Grayhawk Golf Club. (Photo by Hornstein Creative/PGA of America).

A view of the eighth hole at Grayhawk Golf Club. (Photo by Hornstein Creative/PGA of America).

When looking for the perfect golf destination, it is becoming more of a challenge to narrow down your options. Golf continues to grow, and golf courses continue to up their game to account for all of the new visitors. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the country to play at a multitude of different courses, so I will list some of my favorites that are worth a visit. 

Arcadia Bluffs: Arcadia, Michigan

Golf in the Midwest is becoming more and more prominent, and it is places like Arcadia Bluffs that makes it happen. Located on Lake Michigan in the most prime sunset-watching location, The Bluffs course is a Warren Henderson design that captures so much beauty in 18 holes of golf. With some of the most intimidating tee-shots I’ve ever encountered, the course sets up for a tough day… especially if it is windy. Long, scenic par 3s add so much to the golf course as well, but expect a few lost balls when you tee it up. The South Course is equally fun so be sure to leave time to tee it up at both incredible courses at Arcadia Bluffs.
There are plenty of other great golf courses in Michigan to try out during your tour of Midwest golf. Some honorable mentions include: 
  • Forest Dunes Golf Club - Roscommon
  • Bay Harbor Golf Club
  • The Bear Golf Course

TPC Harding Park: San Francisco, California 

This trip would be for more than just the golf; however, TPC Harding Park is one of my favorite courses I have ever played. Tree-lined, thick rough, and micro-climates make this golf course a journey from start-to-finish. There will be a stretch of holes that are sunny and dry, then a few holes later you are hitting into dense fog and chilly winds. The golf course has character from the 1st tee till the 18th green, and when it is over you want to do it again. San Francisco is arguably one of the most fun, and coolest cities in the world on top of the great golf courses. If you make a trip out there, it will be good times for all. 
You could spend weeks playing great San Francisco golf, but here are a few to give a try when visiting the Bay area:
  • Old Course at Half Moon Bay
  • Presidio Golf Course
  • The Course at Wente Vineyards

Grayhawk Golf Club: Scottsdale, Arizona

I have only recently moved to the golf-mecca that is Scottsdale, Arizona; however, the amount of public golf course options in this area is, for the lack of a better word, awesome. Both courses, Raptor and Talon, are two of the more popular public courses in the area. With Grayhawk recently hosting the NCAA National Championship and the PGA Jr. League Championship, both courses continue to be in great shape for all of its guests. The location is prime, surrounded by iconic private clubs in the area like Silverleaf, the Country Club at DC Ranch, Estancia and more - Greyhawk Golf Club holds its own.
Here is a short list of what could be a much longer list of courses to play during your trip to Scottsdale, AZ:
  • We-Ko-Pa: Saguaro
  • The Boulders Club: South
  • Talking Stick Golf Course: O’Odham Course