Best Golf Courses In U.S.
If you are a golfing fan, whether out on the fairway or as a virtual player from the comfort of your sofa, you’ll know that the U.S is home to some of the world’s top golfing venues. Inspiring and challenging in equal measure, these are golf courses that offer breathtaking landscapes while giving even the pros a run for their money. We take swing at some of the best golf courses in America, so you can decide which greens you want to add to your own personal G.C bucket list.
Nestled in Camden County, New Jersey, Pine Valley is consistently voted into the top US golf courses by the golfing press and it’s easy to see why. A 623-acre site, surrounded by lush pine forest, it is a stunning course, created as a labor of love by its founder, George Crump, from what was a sandy, barren landscape. There is a unique architectural feel to the site, and each one of its 18 holes is a masterclass in golf course design.
The downside to Pine Valley’s success is that it’s an exclusive private members’ club, with non-members only getting the chance to tee off by invitation. But it does open its doors to the public once a year, for its annual Crump Cup, so get on the ticket list and discover just how a golf course should be done.
Augusta National, Georgia
The home of the US Masters Tournament, Augusta National is probably one of the most famous – and exclusive – golf courses in the world. Designed by golfer Bobby Jones and architect Alister MacKenzie in the early 1930s, this is a quality course that has stood the test of time. Laid out on a sweeping meadowland, you get broad expanses of immaculate fairway, sheltered by pine and punctuated by the brilliant white of the sand. The result is a super neat and super elite course that challenges even the world’s top pros. It has had a bit of a checkered past when it comes to its membership and even now it’s still by invitation only. But for the golfing fan, Augustareally is a golf course to aspire to or admire from afar.
Cypress Point, California
If you like a bit of drama to your golfing game, then Cypress Point is not going to disappoint. This private, 18-hole golf course in Pebble Beach near Monterey, California is famous for its series of holes that play against the dramatic Pacific coast. Opened back in 1928, Cypress Point runs across a range of terrain, from sand dunes and forest to the rocky coastline, making for a course that embraces its natural environment and is all the better for it. If you are one of the lucky few who get to tee off on this awesome, wild course you are in for a treat. The rest of us, well, we can Californian dream.
Designated a National Historic Landmark, Oakmont is not only one of the oldest courses in the US, but with 175 ‘mean’ bunkers it’s also considered to be one of the most difficult. And that just helps to increase its appeal. Second only to Augusta, Oakmont has hosted more major championships than any other course and its fast greens and immaculate design are all part of the draw. If you like the challenge of a deep bunker or the thrill of a fast putter on a hard, sloping green then this is the course for you. But sadly, as with pretty much all of the US’s leading golf courses, Oakmont is a member-only club, so you need to think about how you are going to wangle that invitation!
Shinnecock Hills, Long Island
A links-style golf course on Long Island, New York, Shinnecock Hills is widely considered to be the oldest course in the US, making it a shoo-in for our best golf courses in American top list. As an oldie, it is also a goodie when it comes to both its design and the sheer experience of getting the chance to play. Working with the natural hilly environment, you get a course that will really test your golfing mettle and leave you wanting more.
Having hosted five US Opens, you just know the course is world-class and as the complete American golfing package it is a heady combination of home-grown golfing history and a pretty damn fine course. Sadly, the only way to get a game on this grandfather of US golf is by member invitation but it will be hosting the US Open in 2026, so get yourself a ticket.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful golf courses in America, Pebble Beach Golf Links is a public golf course that sits on the rugged coastline of California. A favorite with many of the well-known golfers and host to several of the major championships, this is a top-notch course that is accessible to the amateur. While you can only dream of playing at the nearby private members-only Cypress Point, Pebble Beach is open to the public, although at more than $400 a round, be prepared for some eye-watering fees. But when it comes to teeing off, you get your money’s worth. Against a dramatic coastal backdrop, and with a course carved out of the dunes and headland, it’s a tough ask to keep your eye on your game. But make the effort and you’ll be rewarded by a roller-coaster of a game that will test and inspire you in equal measure.
Sand Hills, Nebraska
A youthful edition to our best golf courses in America list, compared to the older contenders, Sand Hills was built in the 1990s, from a 130-acre site in Mullen, Nebraska. The remote location, and the fact that this quality course is closed for around eight months of the year, makes it a very covetable place to play. Its minimalist design makes for an exciting and honest game and the course is consistently ranked in the world’s top list. Yes, it is a member-only club and the membership is limited, but it is possible to play on this awesome and isolated golf course if you can bag that invitation. With its wide-open fairways and huge dunes, Sand Hills is a big game course but the sand (and there’s plenty of it) will bring even the most skillful player down to earth. Challenging, enticing and ultimately rewarding, we couldn’t have a best US golf course review, without the magnificent Sand Hills wrapping up the list.
- The 25 best golf courses in America in 2019, ranked – Business Insider