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Well Played

Golf’s longstanding benefits are being realized in a world of new wellness destinations that are embracing the game. Breathe deeply, open your mind, and swing—you just might live longer

Well Played

Golf’s longstanding benefits are being realized in a world of new wellness destinations that are embracing the game. Breathe deeply, open your mind, and swing—you just might live longer

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ravel has changed over the past few years, and it’s now nearly impossible to divorce the question of wellness from the vacation equation. As the ultimate “get outside” sport, golf long has offered benefits, but only recently have they come into play as part of a greater wellness regimen. The following hotels and resorts have taken a deep dive into the experiences, therapies and modalities that support wellbeing, and it’s notable that golf often is on their menus. If you feel like your mind, body and spirit (and your golf game) could use some attention, these health-focused resorts will help you craft the ultimate feel-good trip—and it just might lower your score. Travel well.

Morocco ↑

Amanjena

With its rosy-pink palatial architecture, elegant courtyards and private guest pavilions, the Amanjena has a thoroughly Moroccan aesthetic, with a thoroughly Moroccan wellness program to match. Beyond the pampering spa menu with treatments starring local argan oil and clay, Amanjena hosts mini full or half-day retreats, sessions with visiting wellness experts and, of course, a traditional hammam experience to polish and revive your skin. A stone’s throw away, you’ll find 27-hole Amelkis Golf Club, which hosted its first PGA Tour Champions event in 2020. It comes recommended by Maha Haddioui, the country’s only professional golfer and the first woman from the region to join the Ladies European Tour. Mint tea and life-changing experiences not guaranteed, but definitely on offer.

Mexico

Chablé Yucatan

Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula has become an established wellness destination in recent years (just look at the proliferation of health-centric hotels in Tulum). But if you want an experience that feels completely immersive, with a strong culturally specific wellness theme, head to Chablé Yucatan—a luxury resort settled in a remote swathe of jungle 30 minutes from Merida. Home to one of the only spas in the world with its own cenote (a natural well, often viewed to have healing or mystical properties), Chablé specializes in Maya-inspired ancient healing treatments and rituals, including a temazcal (sweat lodge) ceremony, alongside more modern offerings. Look for the “Wellness golf,” a mindful approach to the sport set on a course that’s been specially designed to encourage presence and union with nature.

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Costa Rica ↑

Four Seasons Papagayo

Costa Rica’s Pura Vida ethos (an ingrained cultural celebration of the simple, pure joys in life) naturally incorporates daily movement, social connection and immersion in nature—elements that also make Costa Rica one of the happiest, healthiest and longest-living countries on the planet. To dip a toe in the pura vida lifestyle, check into Four Seasons Papagayo. Overlooking the ocean but surrounded by emerald jungle, the resort bills itself as a convenient launchpad for experiencing the best of Costa Rica, from wildlife spotting in the Cloud Forest to surfing the country’s best breaks. While some of the activities on offer are decidedly wellness-y (picture morning meditation, four types of yoga and “sound bath” sessions) others are simply about soaking up the surroundings. Trade the Stairmaster machine for the Pura Vista Climb, a nature trail with 1,000+ steps to the top and back down again, then hit the resort’s Arnold Palmer-designed championship course, keeping your eyes peeled for monkeys. Bonus points for evening nature experiences with the on-site naturalist.

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Hawaii ↑

Sensei Lānaʻi

Situated on the less-visited but no less beautiful Hawaiian island of Lānaʻi, the Sensei Lānaʻi is a luxury retreat co-founded by Dr. David Agus, a world-class oncologist and wellness specialist. If you want to take your wellbeing to the next level, this is where you come. Retreats at Sensei are run by a team of expert “guides,” who customize the experience according to each guest’s needs and preferences, creating a seriously personalized holistic approach to health and vitality.

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Sensei Lānaʻi was created in partnership with Four Seasons and shares a golf course with its sister property, the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi. Perched on a lava cliff with the swirling Pacific Ocean beneath, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course challenges even the most skilled golfers with its landscape of picturesque ravines and gorges. Leaping spinner dolphins and near-daily rainbows over Hulopoe Bay make this a world-class yes.

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Wisconsin ↑

The American Club

Historic, grand and set amidst a pristine natural environment that invites any number of holistic experiences, The American Club is one of the country’s storied golf destinations. Five-star Immersion Weekends offer wellness consultations, private yoga on the lake, guided hikes, fitness classes and mindfulness opportunities, all of which is presented alongside a foundational Kohler Waters Spa—appropriate for the experts in shaping water’s path.

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We are connected by water, and so is the Kohler family of properties, with the sublime treatments of a Kohler Waters Spa available across the brand’s top destinations. Relax, rejuvenate, and relish the restorative power of Earth’s mineral-rich waters, then return home refreshed and ready for your next round.

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Scotland ↑

Old Course Hotel

Herb Kohler, executive chairman of the storied fixtures firm, is as deeply invested in golf as he is in his company, making it perhaps no surprise that, in addition to the American Club, he also owns the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews. Besides an American accent, he has brought to Scotland and to the hotel a Kohler Water Spa that, sited in the ancestral home of golf, is a fair complement to the rugged landscape and history outside.

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Thirteen treatment rooms are ready to accommodate a deep menu of treatment options, which is overseen and directed by Spa Therapists who will custom-tailor a wellness experience for visitors—golfing and non-golfing alike. Bring your sense of adventure and a desire to improve and to indulge, and you will be richly rewarded (not to mention, relaxed).

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Mauritius ↑

Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Reso

It’s hard to picture a location more conducive to wellness than Mauritius—an island nation with a mountainous interior, ringed by the calm Indian Ocean. At luxury Mauritian resort Heritage Le Telfair, intuitive service and customizable itineraries form the foundation of a wellbeing-focused getaway. To start with, you can play as much golf as you like on the resort’s award-winning course, thanks to its unlimited games policy. Follow that up with a consultation at the Seven Colours Spa, where the team will devise a wellness program to suit your needs and goals. These programs weave together fitness classes and pampering treatments with mindfulness exercises, like forest bathing and esoteric therapies like energy healing. It’s a long way to go for wellness, but then how far is too far when one is chasing life experiences?

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New England ↑

Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa

Arriving in the tranquil New England countryside feels like a giant exhale even before you’ve commenced with the wellness activities on offer at Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa. Once you’ve settled into your cozy cottage-style suite, peruse Miraval’s themed “journeys of intention” (think couples’ retreat, mental wellbeing, fitness focus and more).

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Pick from the buffet of related classes, workshops and activities available on-site, including equine therapy, photography excursions, stand-up paddleboarding and mindful golf—the last via instructor-led sessions at the nearby Wyndhurst Manor & Club, which encourage you to let go of judgmental inner dialogues and focus on the game. Can enlightenment really live this close to New England’s urban madness? As it turns out, yes.

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