Dogs have been joining humans on the golf course for generations. Hunting hounds used to wander from hole to hole to keep up their fitness during the off-season. Fortunately, there are still a few dog-friendly golf courses that allow canine caddies to join you in the ruff. Remember, most of these courses are seasonal and some are members only, so read the fine print below before you show up with Yappy Gilmore.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. Belgrade Lakes Golf Course
Nestled among rustic woodlands and panoramic hills, Belgrade Lakes Golf Course is a seasonal, 18-hole public course in central Maine. When you arrive, say hello to the owner’s pups, who can often be found giving helpful tips at the pro shop. Unlike most of the courses on our list, your pooch can join you leash free as long as he is under voice command. Your dog might love walkies, but has he tried riding in a golf cart? Dogs are welcome to bark tactics while you drive from hole to hole. However, he’ll need to stay back and guard your precious nine iron when you’re on the putting green, as the pristine conditions need to be maintained.
After spending all day on the course, Fido can unwind at Kate-Ah-Den Cabin. The pet-friendly rental features 2 miles of private trails that weave through 70 acres of woodland.
2. The Goodwood Estate
The Goodwood Estate boasts two world-class, pet-friendly 18-hole courses and is one of the most accommodating places for golfing dogs and their owners. “Dogs have been a huge part of the Estate since the family first came to Goodwood in 1697," says Fran Everest, Head of Sports Marketing at Goodwood. "As many as 50 of our members’ dogs enjoy the courses on a regular basis, from Pugs to Wolfhounds.”
The Estate even offers pet membership at The Kennels, which comes with unique privileges. “We have dog bowls situated on the course, all inscribed with the individual dog’s name,” Fran says. Kennels’ Dog Membership package is £50 per year, with 70% of the fee going to The Kennels’ chosen charity, Hounds for Heroes. After a long day on the greens, enjoy a meaty meal at The Goodwood Estate's restaurant, Farmer, Butcher, Chef. Dogs can join their owners while they eat. Make a weekend of it and stay in one of the many dog-friendly rooms at the historic Goodwood Hotel. When you’re not on the course, you and your pup can roam the South Downs and the beautiful Sussex coast or just explore the magnificent estate together.
3. Discovery Bay Golf Course
The picturesque Discovery Bay Golf Course is an 18-hole marvel in Washington. The oldest public golf course in the state is located in a charming coastal town bordered by the majestic Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. The golf staff is happy to welcome leashed dogs on the links. After showing Fido that you can find lost balls as well as he can, make your way to Quench Waterfront Kitchen and Bar. Dogs are greeted here with a water bowl and a snack, and you’ll enjoy the Hawaiian-inspired cuisine.
This new waterfront cottage is located within slicing distance of the course and comes with stunning views across Discovery Bay.
4. Agate Beach Golf Course
Agate Beach Golf Course is home to a luscious fairway carved into rolling hills that overlook the ocean. Built in the 1930s, the nine-holer is open year round and has been a mainstay for beginner and expert golfers alike. Fido will be relieved to know that “paw-trons” have been bringing their leashed dogs with them for decades. After he’s endured a lengthy round of watching you chop simple putts into the pine and fir trees and sandy bunkers, enjoy a well-deserved bite at the on-site Agate Beach Golf Course Cafe. After tea time, Fido can shed his leash at Agate Beach State Recreation Site , which lies within a golf ball’s throw of the course.
When the sun sets, warm your paws by the beautiful fire pit area and listen to the sounds of the ocean at this cottage in the heart of Newport.
5. Murrayshall Country House Hotel and Golf Club
There’s no better place for your dog to experience the best of Scotland’s greens than at the Murrayshall Country House Hotel and Golf Club near the historic city of Perth. The course spans 350 acres of parkland and is ranked among the finest in Scotland. Fido is welcome to join you as you drive to victory in this secluded wonderland. The estate is steeped in history and includes a statue on the golf course of the two beloved dogs of former Murrayshall owner, Graham Murray, who owned the estate until 1927. Dogs are also welcome in some of the hotel rooms and can even join you for a post-round beverage or bite at Stutts Bar.
6. Emerald Isle Golf Course
Fido will be hoping you can pull off a "barkie" at Emerald Isle Golf Course. This rare phenomenon happens when a golfer makes par on a hole even after hitting a tree with one of their shots. The tree-lined greens of this Oceanside golf spot are the ideal location to pull off such a feat, or better yet a hole in one. Leashed dogs are always welcome to join you for a round at this pretty course that includes water hazards, bunkers and floral displays. Pups can even ride shotgun in the brand new fleet of golf carts.
Share beautiful ocean views with your pooch at Berni’s Castle, a beautiful beachfront vacation rental that welcomes sandy paws.
7. Schoolhouse Nine Golf Course
Round out your tour of pet-friendly golf courses with a visit to Schoolhouse Nine Golf Course. Open every day of the week from 9 a.m. until it gets dark, this classic course allows dogs to accompany their owners from hole to hole. While you play, breathe in the surroundings of Rappahannock County, nestled in the shadow of Old Rag and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and enjoy a course that meanders through a series of native wildflower meadows alongside Thornton River and historic ruins. When your scorecard’s full, swing by Headmaster’s Pub, operated by the course owners, for pub fare at one of the outdoor tables.
Step back in time with a stay in a rustic cabin in nearby Kingsport.
Have you tried golfing with your dog by your side? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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