Golf is one of the most popular sports and pastimes in the world. The United States boasts around 15,500 different courses where you can play golf. Some are open to the public and others are private which you can’t get in without knowing someone or being a member.
Given its nature and rate of play, it’s a game that is enjoyed by many people of varying ages and physical abilities. No matter the factors, golf is a beneficial activity for just about anyone as it’s been linked to some great health benefits. In fact, researchers say that going for a round of golf at least once per month can lower an older adult’s overall risk of death.
Some of those health benefits that come from teeing off even include the aid in preventing Alzheimer’s. A new study conducted in Japan shows that men who exercise, or participate in sports like golf and tennis, have a significantly lower risk of developing diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Being active and social in these games is equally important.
If you’ve spent any time on a golf course, you know that it’s a game of “gear” and everyone is showing off the latest clubs, sporting their favorite shoes, and driving the newest golf balls. Thing is, you can’t really play golf too long in your backyard. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites. We put together this list of the best golf courses in the U.S. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Golf Courses in the U.S., According To Golf Experts
1. Pine Valley
Much like how Tom Brady easily sits atop the Best QBs to ever play in the NFL, Pine Valley sits atop the list with a crown the size of Texas.
The course’s beauty is in the small things. “Analyzing a golf course need not be complicated. One simple but effective way to judge a design is by the quality of the course’s property, its hazards, and greens. Pine Valley excels at all three,” according to Golf.com.
The private club boasts a mix of excellence. “Throughout the course, Pine Valley blends all three schools of golf design—penal, heroic, and strategic—oftentimes on a single hole,” adds Golf Digest.
When talking about the late owner of the course, Top 100 Golf Courses says, “The legacy he left behind is universally considered to be the perfect example of penal golf course architecture.”
2. Cypress Point
The private club sits at number two with its current 72 par and rating of 73.1 nationally. The California dream is on a lot of golfers’ “to-play-at” lists.
The course originator made a near-perfect course designed against nature. “With its dramatic seaside cliffs, large coastal dunes, and almost-mythical pines and cypress trees, (Alister) MacKenzie fell instantly for the property and spent a great deal of time ensuring his routing fully exploited the natural bounties available,” mentions Planet Golf.
Despite its beauty, it’s full of ways to test your mettle says Deemples, “Aside from one of the most stunning walks of any course, it also features a unique course structure with back-to-back par-5s on the front and back-to-back par-3s on the back for an extra challenge.”
National Club Golfer agrees with the two prior comments, “With a view of the stunning, rough water line of Pebble Beach, California, Cypress Point Club is one of the most picturesque golf courses in the US. ”
3. Shinnecock Hills
This course is based in the unincorporated town of Southhampton. This Long Island establishment is found on close to all lists of the greatest courses of all time.
The Travel Channel talks about its connection with the U.S. Open, “The oldest formal organized golf club in the United States, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in the town of Southampton on Long Island has been host to the U.S. Open four times in three different centuries.”
This is a legacy of the club that should be noted. “Shinnecock Hills Golf Course is believed to be the oldest incorporated golf club in the country (1891), the oldest golf club in America (1892), and the first golf club in the country to allow women members, which it did from the beginning,” says Golf Trip Junkie.
“A gem of New York/New Jersey links design. Shinnecock is the best of breed for a style of course you’ll find plenty of it in the NY/NJ area,” raves Bleacher Report.
4. Augusta National
Even if you don’t play golf, you’ve likely heard of the Georgia staple which is the Augusta National. It’s a picturesque golf course where everyone wants to play 18 holes. Unlike other private golf courses, it’s run as a non-profit.
This famed course boasts many hallmarks on the green: “The course is known for many of its remarkable features — from ‘The Big Oak Tree’ to Magnolia Lane — but none more famous than ‘Amen Corner,’ one of the most memorable stretches on any golf course, located between holes 11 through 13,” says The Travel Channel.
“Nearly every hole at St. Andrews and Augusta National provides a safe route to the green and also a riskier one,” notes Golf.com
It’s a beautiful blend of scenery, “Full of rolling hills, creeks, and a great variety of flowering plants and trees, the site was ideal for inland golf and the pair worked closely to build a strategic masterpiece that formally opened for play in 1933,” adds Planet Golf.
5. Pebble Beach
Another famous spot, Pebble Beach is the only public course on the list. This California gem has hosted many events at its course and is an absolute must for any golfer.
Golf Monthly put it plainly: “Pebble Beach is arguably one of the three most famous golf courses in the world.”
“Pebble Beach is spectacular: solid routing. Unbelievable venue,” adds Bleacher Report.
Golf Digest mentions “Not just the greatest meeting of land and sea in American golf, but the most extensive one, too, with nine holes perched immediately above the crashing Pacific surf—the fourth through 10th plus the 17th and 18th. Pebble’s sixth through eighth are golf’s real Amen Corner, with a few Hail Marys thrown in over an ocean cove on the eighth from atop a 75-foot-high bluff.”
- Golf Digest
- Top 100 Golf Courses
- Planet Golf
- National Club Golfer
- The Travel Channel
- Golf Trip Junkie
- Bleacher Report
- Golf Monthly
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.