18 Must-Play Resort Golf Holes in New England
New England is home to many of the best golf courses in the country, an embarrassment of riches with jaw-dropping playing fields and top-rated holes unmatched practically anywhere. But hitting the green at a place that’s also a vacation destination? Well, now you’ve unlocked the next level of summer fun. That’s why this golf season, we decided to “build” our own fantasy resort course from 18 of the toughest and greatest holes within the borders of New England. The result is a must-play gem stretching from Vermont’s Green Mountains to the rocky coast of Maine, from the tranquil woods of Connecticut to the scenic shores of Cape Cod. With so many stunning and challenging holes to choose from, it wasn’t easy to land on the perfect lineup, and many tough choices had to be made. But now it’s time for the big reveal: the 18 must-play resort golf holes—and what to do when you’re not on the course.
Sunday River Golf Club
No. 16 • Par 3 • 142 yards
This may be ski country, but insiders know it’s also a golfer’s delight. Step onto this Robert Trent Jones Jr.–designed course that features 18 holes twisting through the thick and hilly Maine woods, and you’ll immediately understand why it’s one of our favorites. No. 16, in particular, is one dandy of a hole, according to head pro Jerry Roman: At first glance, the approach looks simple, playing downhill to a sloping green and expansive greenside bunker. But the difficulty (and memorability) factor is a 10—you just might walk off thinking you recorded your most pleasurable double bogey ever. sundayriver.com.
STAY: When you think Sunday River, snow-capped mountains might spring to mind—but summer here brings fresh-air fun without the heavy gear and goggles. Western Maine is home to several hidden-gem swimming holes for an après-golf dip, including crystal-clear Frenchman’s Hole. If you’d rather be on the water than in it, Bethel Outdoor Adventure offers kayaks, canoes, and more for trips down the Androscoggin River. Back at Sunday River, ride the “Chondola” up North Peak for breathtaking views before getting your steps in with a downhill hike. And with deep discounts offered for golfers at both the Jordan and Grand Summit hotels on-site, all you have to decide is which heated outdoor pool you’d prefer to swim in.