Golf. A sport you can play with your friends and family. A sport that brings people together. But have you played at the 25 best United States golf courses?
Now, hitting golf clubs at home probably isn’t the best for your windows. It’s not like hoops where you can practice dribbling wherever or play pick-up in a driveway somewhere. Or even football or baseball where you can play catch with a nerf ball indoors and a real ball in the front or back lawn with your buddies. In golf, if you want to work on your swing and actually play the game, you have to hit the course.
And when it comes to golf courses, there’s plenty of great ones to choose from. Whether it’s a prestigious and historic PGA Tour course, a local 9-hole course that’s budget-friendly, a country club course in the ‘burbs, or a Michael Jordan course, we’ve got you covered on a full range (all pun intended) of courses throughout the great USA that are some of the best in the world to play golf on.
So, golfers, casual golf fans, the golf gallery, and PGA Tour golfers, whatever suits your fancy in where to play or watch the game, you may have heard of a few of these:
The 25 Best United States Golf Courses
25 – Your Favorite Local Golf Course
Because there’s nothing better than shooting a double-bogey at your local $15 9-hole course spending some quality time outdoors with your family, friends, or work event. In all seriousness, getting out there and just having some fun by playing the sport can be therapeutic, whether you’re good at the sport or still working on your game. Whether you’re drives make the fairway or go for a swim. Because you don’t need a fancy country club membership to play this game. You just need a few golf clubs you can get from a thrift store or borrow them from a buddy, at the least, to practice those swings on the range and get your own tour going near home.
24 – Torrey Pines Golf Course
When you hear Torrey Pines, golf may come to mind. As its site states, “It offers two picturesque and, due to its yearly hosting of the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open event, widely recognizable championship 18-hole golf courses. It is surely the most accessible public facility for the die-hard enthusiast wishing to play at a world-renown facility that nearly all golfers know by name.”
23 – Streamsong
If you like playing golf with a little music in the background, you’ll get a natural ‘Streamsong’ experience here because it’s all in a name.
“The landscape is different than anything we’ve ever worked with,” Bill Coore, one of the golf course’s architects, said per Streamsong. “Some of the most unusual, interesting and dramatic land forms we have ever encountered, from its towering dunes, sandy fields, and pristine lakes.”
22 – Forest Dunes Golf Club
Having been to this course myself, hitting some balls off the tee, I can attest to how incredible the views are when stepping on the course. The smell of fresh grass and trees swaying to and fro with clear skies and a cool, slight breeze, the setting is teed up for a great experience. You’re surrounded by God’s creation playing gold in one of the best places in the world: northern Michigan. You can’t get much better than that in golf!
21 – The Idaho Club
Moose (meese?) are my favorite animal so you already know a golf course with a moose in its logo gets a nod to be on this list. Seriously, though, look at this course and tell me it can’t be one of the best in the country. Wanted this list to expand beyond where you may automatically think a solid golf course is. This, my friends, is in Idaho. And it’s a “Nicklaus Signature Golf Course” per its Instagram bio.
20 – Anchorage Golf Course
See what I’m saying? From Idaho to…Alaska. That’s right, taking you all over the states in this one. To places you might not expect to have good golfing. Well, here’s the Anchorage Golf Course to show you a thing or two about golf in Alaska.
19 – PGA National Golf Club
Per the PGA Resort, here’s what this course is all about: “Do you have what it takes to conquer ‘The Champ’? Considered one of the toughest tests on the PGA TOUR, The Champion golf course at PGA National Resort & Spa is 7,045 yards of peril, with tricky South Florida winds constantly causing havoc, and seemingly tranquil water penalty areas lurking throughout — ready to strike down even the world’s best golfers. Home of The Honda Classic and The Bear Trap, The Champion is a must-play on any avid golfer’s list.”
18 – Golf Club at Red Rock
If you are at any skill level, whether just starting out because you got a new pair of clubs for your birthday or as a hand-me-down or you’ve been playing your whole life and know how to sink par-after-par, birdie-after-birdie, then this course is for you.
Per the Golf Club at Red Rock, “Routed through the Black Hills terrain and located within minutes of Rapid City, the Red Rock golf course features lush fairways, surrounded by native grasses and tall ponderosa pine trees. Dramatic elevation changes, links-style bunkers and USGA specification greens characterize the 7,000-yd, par-72 championship golf course. The Golf Club at Red Rock has been designed to provide an exceptional Black Hills golf experience to both the casual golfers and the more demanding player.”
17 – PGA West Stadium Course
The views alone could make this the best course on this list. Just look around!
When it comes to the course itself, just to get an idea of what it’s like, here’s what its architect said:
“Golf is not a fair game, so why build a course fair?“ Pete Dye said according to PGA West.
Apparently there’s nothing fair about this course as, according to PGA West, it was the “4th toughest course in America in Golf Digest’s ‘Top 50 Toughest Courses in America’ (2007)…there may be no greater challenge or excitement in the game of golf”.
But hey, at least you’ll have a great view while being challenged.
16 – TPC Scottsdale
Having been here at TPC Scottsdale, I can tell you how nice of a course it is. The landscaping, the greens, the fairway is all well kept with mountain views surrounding the area.
And this one’s on the list for everyone out there who’s not a big golf fan but just wants to show up for fellowship and friends. You’re in for easily one of the loudest holes in pro golf at the 16th hole during the Waste Management Phoenix Open where the golf clap isn’t a thing. It’s more like a roar. Talk about a fun, football-like atmosphere watching a usual quiet golf game.
15 – Cypress Point Club
To golf throughout a forest and right next to the Pacific Ocean? That makes for a wonderful combination to play some golf.
“Cypress Point offers natural beauty that is unmatched anywhere. The clandestine approach to (well…renown(ed) designer Alister) Mackenzie‘s achievement is the reality that he did not over power the natural terrain, allowing the course to take shape organically,” Monterey Peninsula Golf stated. “Meandering through the coastal dunes, this immaculate course journeys into the Del Monte forest during the front nine and reemerges to the rocky coastline for the best set of finishing holes of all time. The signature hole #16, which requires a 231-yard tee shot over the Pacific to a mid-sized green guarded by strategically placed bunkers, offers all the dynamics you could imagine on a majestic oceanfront par three.”
14 – National Golf Links of America
Across the pond meets Southampton, New York. British golf course-style meets America soil.
“The National was founded in 1908 under the leadership of Charles B. Macdonald,” National Golf Links of America notes. “The golf course was constructed with the assistance of Southampton engineer, Seth Raynor. After studying many of the courses in Scotland and England, Mr. Macdonald set out to build a first class course in the United States which would incorporate many of the better qualities of golf courses in the British Isles.”
13 – Detroit Golf Club
City meets golf course and country club. Just a 15 minute drive from downtown, you could play 18 in the morning then catch a Tigers game in the evening.
And the history behind this course is something special.
“For over a century, Detroit Golf Club has been home to several of the game’s greats,” Detroit Golf Club stated. “Our professionals have hoisted many of golf’s top trophies throughout the years, including the US Open, the PGA Championship and the Canadian Open. Perhaps the most notable achievement was Horton Smith’s win at the first ever Masters Tournament in 1934, a feat he later repeated again in 1936.”
12 – Payne’s Valley (Tiger Woods and Johnny Morris-Designed Course)
If you’re already in a lot of pain with how your golf game’s been going, just imagine a course with pain in the name. Of course, this is Payne Stewart and Tiger Woods-inspired so there’s not a lot of pain just pure fun on the course playing, pitching, or performing at this golf course in Hollister, Missouri. You may not expect a city with a population over 4,500 (per Data USA) in southern Missouri to be a part of a project like this but this is what makes golf and courses like this on the list unique. And when Tiger’s behind a project, you already know it’ll gain interest in golfers and non-golfers alike to want to play the course with their friends and family.
Big Cedar Golf states this is “America’s first and only Tiger Woods public access golf course…Johnny Morris and Tiger Woods present (Payne’s Valley Golf Course)…in honor of Missouri Legend, Payne Stewart.”
11 – Riviera Country Club
The “venue for Olympic Golf in 2028” according to Riviera Country Club, there’s something special about golf in LA and it will play host on the world’s stage in the 2028 LA Olympics.
Another option that could easily also be included here is the Los Angeles Country Club. Embedded between two sets of skyscrapers in LA, there’s a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life to be surrounded by nature and take out some aggression by hitting some golf balls.
10- Stock Farm Club
Starting out the top 10, let’s head to Montana, “…located in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana,” Stock Farm notes. “Nestled in the hills above the city of Hamilton, is a masterpiece that evolved from the vision of Charles Schwab and his passion for golf, shooting and fly-fishing. Golf Course architect and designer, Tom Fazio, calls Stock Farm Club ‘The Augusta of the West.'”
Why wouldn’t you want to golf at ‘The Augusta of the West’?
9 – Bandon Dunes
Just as Bandon Dunes said in that Instagram post, this course in Bandon, Oregon has “simply, golf as it was meant to be.”
8 – Whistling Straights
With a course like this on the coast, you probable can’t but help but whistle while you work…or golf…at Whistling Straights in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
7 – Pinehurst
You might as well call Pinehurst, North Carolina a golf city. At least in some respect when it comes to Pinehurst, where there’s nine golf courses, a mini-golf course, and a 9-hole course. Also, there’s nothing like the smell of pine trees. I can just imagine how golfing with all the pines nearby would smell like Christmas morning. Everyday!
They also have a lot in store for them as it’s the “anchor site of the U.S. Open” per its site and, according to a Pinehurst press release on the site, there’s a “total $25 million investment over the next several years (which) include…the construction of two buildings to be located on the historic Pinehurst Resort property, housing 50 full-time staff members. The campus will feature the USGA’s Equipment Standards Test Center – a laboratory dedicated to testing golf balls and clubs for conformance to the Rules of Golf. It will replace the current facility on the USGA’s Liberty Corner campus and enable significant new investment in advanced technology required to perform this global governance function.”
6 – The Clearview Golf Club
When you break barriers in golf courses and are a pioneer in the sport, you’re in the top 10 on this list. Because at the end of the day, it’s bigger than just golf.
Enter the Clearview Golf Club.
“When William ‘Bill’ Powell encountered racial discrimination on the golf course after returning home from World War II, he decided to build his own place to play, one where people of all colors would be welcome,” Clearview Golf Club states on its ‘course history’ site page. “In 1946, he established Clearview Golf Club in East Canton Ohio: ‘America’s Course.’ With the help of his wife, Marcella, Powell carved nine holes out of farmland while working nights as a security guard. Without traditional golf maintenance equipment, Bill began building his course by hand.
“The only course designed, built, owned and operated by an African American, Clearview was named a National Historic Site by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2001”Clearview Golf Club
5 – The Grove – XXIII (Michael Jordan’s course)
Whether you saw Space Jam and saw how Michael Jordan was pulled into Looney Tunes land through a golf hole or you know that one of MJ’s hobbies is golf, it’s no surprise at all how on top of having his own sneaker brand or course, majority owning the Charlotte Hornets, he also owns a golf course.
4 – TPC Sawgrass
Even if you’re a casual fan of the game, you may have seen this hole at some point or another as there’s been some historic, exciting shots with that green acting as a peninsula. And just look at the view of God’s creation here. The sky is an immaculate backdrop to the historic hole.
3 – Arcadia Bluffs
Arcadia. Bluffs. Those are the only two words you need when it comes to being one of the best courses in the game. Just look at the backdrop of Lake Michigan and those trees towering above the course. Arcadia, Michigan may have a population of 255 (per Data USA) but what’s small is mighty in this case in the form of this golf course.
2 – Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach and the PGA Tour go hand-in-hand. Pebble Beach has hosted some of the PGA Tour’s best tournaments. And, per its site, “Pebble Beach hosted its sixth U.S. Open in 2019, more than any other course over the last 50 years. Future championships include a first U.S. Women’s Open in 2023, and a seventh U.S. Open in 2027. Every February, the PGA TOUR visits for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a tradition that began in 1947.”
1 – Augusta National Golf Club
Arguably the best tournament in the game of golf, the course where the Masters is played on, Augusta National has to be the best golf course in the United States. The greens where the iconic green jacket is placed on the newest tournament champion, it’s a special place for special moments in golf. And it all happens at Augusta.
There you have it! Twenty-five of the best golf courses in America. Whether this helps give you a recommendation of where to golf next to take that family trip or simply taking a tour on Apple Maps or the golf course’s website, hope you enjoyed this list!
Of course there’s just so may golf courses out there that could easily be on this list. Let me know where your favorite golf course is or where your favorite memory in golf happened in the comments!
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
- 1 The 25 Best United States Golf Courses
- 2 25 – Your Favorite Local Golf Course
- 3 24 – Torrey Pines Golf Course
- 4 23 – Streamsong
- 5 22 – Forest Dunes Golf Club
- 6 21 – The Idaho Club
- 7 20 – Anchorage Golf Course
- 8 19 – PGA National Golf Club
- 9 18 – Golf Club at Red Rock
- 10 17 – PGA West Stadium Course
- 11 16 – TPC Scottsdale
- 12 15 – Cypress Point Club
- 13 14 – National Golf Links of America
- 14 13 – Detroit Golf Club
- 15 12 – Payne’s Valley (Tiger Woods and Johnny Morris-Designed Course)
- 16 11 – Riviera Country Club
- 17 10- Stock Farm Club
- 18 9 – Bandon Dunes
- 19 8 – Whistling Straights
- 20 7 – Pinehurst
- 21 6 – The Clearview Golf Club
- 22 5 – The Grove – XXIII (Michael Jordan’s course)
- 23 4 – TPC Sawgrass
- 24 3 – Arcadia Bluffs
- 25 2 – Pebble Beach Golf Links
- 26 1 – Augusta National Golf Club
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