Spread all over the US from coast to coast are thousands of golf courses. Suntrics states that according to “Golf Around The World”, there are over 34,000 golf courses spread across the world and around 45% of them are located in the United States. Of course, not all of these courses will be up to par, if you know what we mean.
What does a good golf course entail? Well, ideally it should have accessibility, be affordable, have a nice layout, offer amenities and recreational activities, and, of course, be in good condition. In this article, we will present the top 10 golf courses in the United States and give you a little information on each of them. This way, the next time you are planning a golf trip, you already have a little background knowledge as to which courses are worth traveling to. Let’s take a look.
Top 10 Golf Courses in the US
- Sand Hills Golf Club: Set in the rolling dunes of Nebraska, it has naturally occurring greens and fairways. Its bunkers are naturally shaped by the wind and has been called “the most natural golf course in America” according to World Atlas. Though the wind is prevalent, the designers were careful to ensure that each hole is playable. The golf club is a private one, so the number of people that can play here is limited.
- Pebble Beach Golf Links: Located in California’s Monterey Peninsula, this course is unparalleled in its beauty and scenery. It was originally built in 1919 and then remodeled in 1929. Its layout is more formal and manicured than other courses and it is sheltered from the Pacific Ocean so it does not have some of the sand dunes and natural fairway hills. Its seaside holes are extremely eye-catching. Planet Golf compares Pebble Beach to Australia’s Cape Wickham as golf’s most beautiful course.
- Pine Valley Golf Club: Known as one of the best courses in the world, Pine Valley is located in the pinelands of southern New Jersey. It is a private course and is not open for applications, rather the board of directors contact potential members themselves. It is also a men’s only club and members are allowed to bring their wives only on Sunday. The course is carved through a forest of pine trees and covers 200 acres. All of the holes have their own personalities and while the penalties for missed shots are severe, landing areas from the tees are more generous than one would think.
- Pacific Dunes Golf Resort: Opened in Oregon in 2001, Pacific Dunes is the second course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. The course was designed to appear as if it was found rather than designed. Each hole is carefully placed to maintain the ground movement and landforms. It boasts rolling fairways, natural bunkers, and beautiful ocean views. According to Suntrics, it is one of the most photogenic courses in the US.
- Cypress Point Club: This private golf club is located on the westernmost tip of the Monterey Peninsula in California and only has around 250 members. With large coastal dunes, dramatic seaside cliffs, and beautiful pines and cypress trees, this course is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country. Attracting many celebrities and politicians, memberships are coveted. The layout has it all: excellent architecture, a beautiful setting, amazing sand dunes, and one of the finest stretches of holes in the world.
- Merion Golf Club - East Course: This golf course stands out because each of the natural features on the site were incorporated into the design. Located near Ardmore, Pennsylvania, the course has an excellent flow to it. The greens and bunkers throughout the course are exceptional and really create a unique feel for this course. This club is private and one can apply for membership by referral only.
- Shinnecock Hills Golf Club: This is the oldest incorporated golf club in the United States according to Planet Golf. The course was opened in 1931 and has since then been remodeled. It offers a world-class experience, combining the historical with a comfortable, modern clubhouse. It is known for being a tough but fair course and is full of several world-class holes.
- Fishers Island Golf Club: Located in Fishers Island, New York, the course opened in 1926. It is most well known for its quality of holes, steep bunkers, and beautiful ocean and sound views. The quality of the course’s design and the memorable setting are what puts Fishers Island on this list.
- Friars Head: Situated on the North Shore of New York’s Long Island, Friar’s Head was opened in 2002 and is set on rugged sand dunes and farmland. The designers were able to shape contrasting landforms into a memorable and beautiful course. It is a course that offers a great balance, diversity, and continuity, as well as several spectacular holes. Friar’s Head is all about the sand and the holes around the most influential ridge are what steal the show. This course is both beautiful and memorable, but it isn’t the easiest golf club to get into.
- National Golf Links of America: Located in Long Island, this course was built in 1909. The designer’s idea was to incorporate the style of British courses by creating a mix of exact replicas of holes along with some hybrids that go along with the ground movement. His goal was to produce a course layout that rivalled those of the best British links and he accomplished it. This spectacular course is one of the best in the United States with good reason.
With so many golf courses to choose from all across the country, it can be difficult to know which are worth the travel and money. If you are looking for the best golf courses in the United States, these 10 have exceeded expectations and remain some of the best courses in the country, even after all these years. They are sure not to disappoint.