By Robyn Ware | March 20, 2018
His heart is on the course but hers is where the water meets the land. On the day when their lives unite as one, more couples are venturing where their passions may also unite — and world-class golf resorts are welcoming them with open arms.
With award-winning golf resorts in some of the most game inspiring locations in the United States and abroad, it’s no surprise that the golf tourism industry garners the largest volume of revenue of any other type of special travel. And as art imitates life, wedding trends follow closely behind those of travel and style.
“Destination weddings at golf courses are a rising trend due to the increased popularity of the sport,” says CEO of Elite Travel, Tammy Levent. “People are usually surprised that they can have a stunning wedding at golf resorts.” A golf course isn’t only good for playing golf; many golf courses provide a beautiful storybook setting for a perfect wedding. The lush landscaping, impeccably decorated clubhouse, and first-class dining experience make golf resorts a great venue for a wedding reception.
Palm Harbor, Florida, Innisbrook Golf Resort and Spa
A Salamander Golf and Spa Resort, Innisbrook is nestled on 900 acres of rolling hills and 70 acres of lakes on the west coast of Central Florida. Just 20 miles from Tampa International Airport, Innisbrook appeals to guests seeking the ultimate golf resort experience in a locale that is easily accessible and is within minutes of the beaches on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico. Innisbrook’s celebrated collection of four championship golf courses is among the finest in America and is a host of the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship every March.
Innisbrook’s stunning natural settings, combined with 100,000 square feet of versatile event space, makes it the perfect luxury resort for a wedding of any size, with guest rooms accommodating up to 400 guests. The 14,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom features a unique 8,000-square-foot foyer. Elegant indoor and outdoor options are available including the poolside, golf course or spa terrace ceremony setting for beautiful views of Innisbrook’s lush landscape or championship golf courses.
St. Lucia, Sandals La Toc Golf Resort and Spa
Nestled between a half-mile of crescent-shaped Caribbean shoreline and lush hillsides, the legendary Sandals La Toc estate has become a favorite for lovers tying the knot or just seeking an escape from the bustle of daily life.
As one of the Caribbean’s most challenging and majestic courses, the rolling hills of the Regency golf course offer endless entertainment and a breathtaking backdrop for golf-loving guests. Many couples remain at the resort for their honeymoon after guests have left, as there’s no need to hassle with travel arrangements when paradise is right outside your villa door.
Scotland, St. Andrews Golf Resort and Spa
Where better for the die-hard golfing couple to begin their story together than where the story of golf originated, at St. Andrews’ “Old Course”. The most popular ceremony sites are the bright and whimsical Conservancy that overlooks the Old Course for summer weddings and the dramatic Hall of Champions during winter months.
Voted Scotland’s leading spa resort for three years in a row, Kohler Waters Spa uses the therapeutic benefits of water to relax and purify the body and melting away any wedding day jitters. With centuries of experience in the business of luxury, St. Andrews has perfected the art of the detail on the course and down the aisle.
Morocco, Mazagan Beach Resort
In the quest to create a truly unique wedding experience, more couples are choosing to wed in North African countries, like Morocco. Opened in 2009, Mazagan Beach Resort was designed with traditional Moroccan charm steeped into every detail. The expansive resort boasts 500 guest rooms, eight restaurants, a casino, nightclub and an 18-hole beachfront golf course designed by golf legend, Gary Player.
On and offsite excursions like helicopter tours, falconry shows, belly dancing and camel rides offer an experience as distinctive as the couple themselves.
Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica, Four Seasons Golf Club
This five-star hotel and golf club brings the luxury that is synonymous with Four Seasons to one of the world’s most untouched tropical locales. The bride and groom can say their “I Do’s beachside, course-side or in one of the award-winning resort’s exclusive ballrooms. Nearby excursions include a suspended bridge hike, hot springs, catamaran cruises, horseback riding and zip-lining through lush rainforest.
Designed by Arnold Palmer and overlooking the crystalline waters of Bahía de Culebra, the 18-hole, par-72, championship golf course spans 220 acres across the tip of Peninsula Papagayo.