How to find kid-friendly golf courses from California to Florida

Ever since my three kids–now 14, 12, and 9–took up golfing, we’ve planned some of our family vacations around the sport. Parents who golf–or parents of golfers–understand the unique challenge in finding golf courses for kids: you want to experience unique or famous golf courses while on vacation, but you also need to find courses that meet the needs of your kids. Nothing ruins your concentration (and enjoyment) on a premier golf course faster than feeling the pressure from a golf marshall to pick up your child’s ball or move along faster. If you’re packing your kids’ clubs on your next family vacation, here’s a rundown of kid-friendly golf courses across the country:


Note: hover here for more info on buying golf clubs for kids.

Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club:

Naples, Florida is considered the ‘golf capital of the world’. While golfers will find a dizzying array of course options here, the public course at the Naples Golf Club is low-key and relaxed, perfect for kids. Play nine holes or 18, and rest-assured that you don’t need to stay at the resort to get a good rate. The course enjoyed a full refurbishment in 2011, making it one of the top courses in the city, despite accessibility.

Chardonnay Golf Club:

The Chardonnay Golf Club in Napa, California shines for family golf with low-cost rental clubs, golf camps for kids, and golf academies. What this means for visiting families: your kid won’t be the only one out on the links. For adults, the course challenges as it winds through 150 acres of vineyards.  Chardonnay is semi-private.

Mount Snow Golf Club:

Located in West Dover, Vermont, Mt. Snow offers junior golf academies for as little as $12/session, making it easy for vacationing families to join the fun without worrying about spending a lot of cash on an ongoing program. And nearby, Smuggler’s Notch Resort offers a Junior Intro to Golf activity as well as kid-centric mini-golf and driving ranges.

Grand del Mar Golf Resort:

At the Grand del Mar, kids 13-17 golf for half price, and kids 12 and under play free with adults (when availability permits). Junior rentals are complimentary, and golf pros are very pro-family. Despite the welcome of children, the course is very challenging and a destination for serious golfers.

Brasada Canyons golf

Tips for finding a kid-friendly golf experience anywhere:

No matter where you’re headed on vacation, kid-friendly golf courses can be found. Here’s what to look for:

  • Nine hole courses (ideally partnered with a premiere course)
  • Resorts with putting courses (perfect for young children in place of the ‘real’ deal)
  • Clubs with discounted rates for kids (this lets you know children are welcome)
  • Clubs with PGA Tour Academy programming, such as Oregon’s Pronghorn Club
  • Courses designed to circle back to the club house at hole 9 (allowing kids to stop early)
  • Courses attached to kid-friendly resorts, where childcare and kid programming will be on offer

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About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




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