Scotland was the birthplace of golf dating back to the 15th century. Ever since its creation players from all around the world have given the club-and-ball sport a try. Just like any other sport, golf is played by a wide variety of people who strive for a challenging and competitive game.
Something quite unique about golf courses is that even though the same game is being played on each of them, they all look completely different from one another. There are thousands of golf courses all over the world and these are some of the best.
Pine Valley Golf Club Has Spectacular Architecture
Settled in the town of Pine Valley, New Jersey, the Pine Valley Golf Club is a golfer’s paradise. Golf enthusiasts praise this course for its impressive architecture and complex layout. There are parts of the course that look like a desert, but other areas are lush with bright green lawns and enveloped by pine trees.
One of their signature events is the Crump Cup, an amateur competition open to the public. Pine Valley’s founder, George Crump, made sure the course was created by some of the best architects of the 20th century.
Augusta National Golf Club: A Distinguished Landmark
Towards the South of the United States is the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It stretches about 7,435 yards and was built in 1933. Originally the land was where Belgian immigrants built the Fruitland Nursery, a large-scale horticultural area. Later, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts bought it to construct the golf club.
Many golf fans probably have heard of this course because it’s the location of the annual Masters Tournament, which is one of the biggest golf competitions in the world. Its rich history and famous visitors are what make it such a distinguished golf landmark.
Cypress Point Club Has Dramatic Views
Don’t mistake this course for the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links. Even though Cypress Point Club is in Pebble Beach, California the courses are actually very different. It was designed by Alister MacKenzie, first trained as a surgeon and later on created courses across four continents.
All areas of the course are on a beautiful piece of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There are holes in open spaces, the forest, and some carved from sand dunes. Players are able to golf in a stimulating environment that exudes dramatic aesthetics.
There’s a Lot of History at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Some golfers may recognize the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, New York. The course had the honor of hosting the U.S. Open golf tournament five times dating back to 1896. It’s the oldest organized golf club in the United States and was also the first to let women play.
Many courses are often renovated to keep up with the times, but Shinnecock Hills has barely been touched over the last half-century. Some players mentioned that the place feels almost like it’s still the late 1800s due to their exquisite clubhouse and rustic course.
There’s Always a Tournament at Royal County Down Golf Club
The United States isn’t the only country with magnificent golf courses. Right next to the birthplace of golf is Scotland’s neighbor Ireland, which features the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle. Players and golf fans make their way to this spot often for tournaments like the British Amateur, Curtis Cup, Walker Cup, Palmer Cup, and the Irish Open.
After opening on March 23, 1889 the course is now one of the oldest in all of Ireland. It sits against the backdrop of the majestic Mountains of Mourne and the Irish Sea. On each hole players can enjoy a different vista at every angle.
Cross Pebble Beach Golf Links Off Your Bucket List
When golfers think of bucket list courses, Pebble Beach Golf Links in California is probably one of the most common. This 6,828-yard course was build in 1919 by architects Jack Neville and Douglas Grant and holds a great deal of history.
Not only is it in a beautiful location surrounded by the Monterey Peninsula and Pacific Ocean, but it’s an annual tour stop. The course has hosted five U.S. Opens and is even open to the public. It’s hard to decide whether players should golf here or at Pebble Beach’s other famous golf course, Cypress Point Club.
Muirfield is One of the Oldest Courses
Since golf originated in Scotland it would be a fun idea to play there. Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland is a course with one of the oldest golf clubs in the world called The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Their first chapter dates back to 1744.
Besides having the honor of hosting The Open Championship 16 times, Muirfield is remembered for its unusual layout. The course is arranged as two loops of nine holes facing opposite each other. Also, it wasn’t until March of 2017 that women were allowed to play the course.
The Natural Beauty of Sand Hills Golf Club
Right in the center of the United States is Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Nebraska. For those that are looking for more of a minimalist course, Sand Hills is very natural with windblown bunkers and pre-existing dunes. Architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw barely had to move any of the earth to create the layout in the rural area.
Golfers who wish to get away from bustling city or suburban life can find peace and serenity in the natural scenery. Each hole that makes up the course flows naturally to the next, proving that it’s possible to construct a course with what’s already provided by the earth.
Play at the Beach in Pacific Dunes
Up the coast of Bandon, Oregon is Pacific Dunes where players can golf practically on the beach. It’s one of the top courses to utilize the panorama of the ocean with holes that are able to emerge from the landscape. Unlike the Sand Hills Golf Club where barely any earth was moved in construction, architect Tom Doak ended up digging up and moving a great deal of land.
Pacific Dunes is a links course, the oldest style of golf course first developed in Scotland, where there are coastal sand dunes. This is a pretty challenging course and it’s expected players will take many shots to score.
Fishers Island Club is Totally Elegant
On the East Coast of the United States golfers need to check out Fishers Island Club in New York. Seth Raynor designed the course in 1926 and he passed away just before it officially opened. Fishers Island sits on top of the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound and includes deep bunkers with interestingly shaped greens.
The clubhouse is also something to be admired. Its simple Cape-Cod-style against the mystical ocean background gives it both elegance and charm. For the best view of the water the 18th hole is a perfect place to admire the surroundings.
Journey Through Friar’s Head Golf Club
Right next to Fishers Island Club is Friar’s Head Golf Club in Baiting Hollow, New York. There golfers can journey through meadows, farmland, and dunes right next to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s almost like playing separate games within the same course.
Architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were challenged with building on top of sand dunes and a potato field to create Friar’s Head. Their solution was to reshape the land and move the routing back and forth. Something unique about this course is that it’s a strict walking-only area, so no golf carts are allowed.
Wade Hampton Golf Club is Filled with Nature
Wade Hampton Golf Club is named for Confederate cavalry leader General Wade Hampton III who ended up becoming a U.S. Senator during the 19th century. This 7,395-yard course is located in Cashiers, North Carolina and was built by well-known golf architect, Tom Fazio.
The mountain course itself caters to players of all levels with slick greens and tight fairways. Gigantic pine trees encircle the entirety of the course and players should be on the lookout for a fair amount of water hazards. Also, since the course is built into the mountain there are plenty of elevation changes.
Shadow Creek Costs How Much?
Most recently Shadow Creek was the setting for “The Match,” a golf competition between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson during November of 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada happens to be a popular golf destination, and this course is one of the reasons why.
It has a reputation for being one of the most expensive courses ever, coming in at $47 million. Like Wade Hampton Golf Club, Shadow Creek was also famously designed by Tom Fazio who explained that the budget was necessary. In order to make the course somewhere worth playing, Fazio and his team had to transform the flat desert of Las Vegas floor into rolling hills and canyons with continuously pumping water.
Be Peaceful and Serene at Camargo Club
For golfers who might find themselves near the countryside of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Camargo Club is a course to check out. It was one of the 100 courses Seth Raynor built and was opened to the public back in 1925. Players are likely to be impressed with the par threes, one-shotters, and inspired routing.
This is a bit of a challenging course with difficult terrain and contours on the putting greens. Luckily, the Camargo Club is known for making sure the course is perfectly maintained. Since this is a private course members need to offer others an invitation to play.
Some Surprises Await at Castle Pines Golf Club
Castle Pines Golf Club is just south of Denver, Colorado and maintains the tradition of being a course that naturally follows the contours of its terrain. The rolling hills and forestry landscape are meant to challenge golfers, but give them a picturesque view throughout.
Players can select to play a distance starting at 5,488 yards and maxing out at 7,701 yards. And after a long day on the green go inside to grab a bite to eat. The club offers some delicious homemade potato chips and chocolate milkshakes.
Beware of Alligators at Whispering Pines Golf Club
Make sure you’re not afraid of alligators before playing at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. Its final six-hole stretch runs along the reptile-infested Caney Creek. Since this course is in the middle of the woods it’s almost always incredibly quiet with only the sounds of nature.
The marshy land and sandy soil creates an interesting woody terrain for players. Whispering Pines’ design wouldn’t be complete without the wide fairways and deep bunkers. If someone isn’t from the area the club offers private cabins near the course for guests.
Old Sandwich Golf Club is a Masterpiece
It may seem like a strange name for a golf course, but Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts has one of the craftiest designs out there. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw created a masterpiece full of classic concepts, including contours on the green, angular fairways, uniquely-shaped bunkers, and precise tee boxes.
Some holes that stand out are the 4th, 5th, and 7th where players are able to use the gorgeous terrain to actually help them make their shots.. One example is the par 5 on the 6th hole where golfers hit a blind tee shot on a raised plateau.
Maidstone Club: An Exclusive Golf Experience
Maidstone Club gets its name for East Hampton, New York’s original name of Maidstone. After almost 130 years the course is still one of the best in the world and is extremely difficult to get into. Even celebrities like Groucho Marx, George Plimpton, and Diana Ross were all denied membership.
Dunes are scattered around the course to protect it from the destruction caused by the Atlantic Ocean. No two holes are set in the same direction, so players can expect something different along the entire course. The combination of its rich history, the beach environment, firm greens, and classic link holes keep golfers coming back for more.
Myopia Hunt Club is a Course Like No Other
South Hamilton, Massachusetts is the setting for Myopia Hunt Club’s quirky course layout. When golf was just starting to become popular in late-1800’s America, most were nine-hole courses that later expanded to 18-holes toward the turn of the century. There isn’t a course quite like this one anywhere on earth.
There are random and haphazard bunkers that appear in odd places. These bunkers have weird shapes that almost look like bathtubs across bathmat-like greens. Be on the lookout for the 12th hole, which is considered one of the toughest in golf history.
The Valley Club of Montecito Is an Exquisite Experience
Alister MacKenzie was the mastermind behind the design of The Valley Club of Montecito in Montecito, California back in 1929. This exclusive course of only 300 members is actually known for being quite laid back. Golfers have come to appreciate this simple and subtle course featuring impressive bunkering, routing, and greens.
The Valley Club of Montecito was built in an area where players can experience a ton of wildlife and have clear views of the majestic mountains at any angle. It’s definitely a challenging course with differing elevations and lots of bunkers, but it’s kept in great condition. There are also cottages available to rent for out of town golfers.