Whether you’re looking to play a round of golf, take in a tournament, or discover the history and beauty of the game, here are ten courses any self-respecting golfing fan must see.
1. Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, GA
While membership is strictly by invitation only and limited to around 300 high-paying members per year, Augusta is still a must-see for any golf fan. The course is a traditionalist’s dream, where the integrity of the sport is highly guarded. Home of the Master’s tournament, Augusta hosts a weekend of memorable golfing like no other course in the world.
2. Pebble Beach Golf Resort at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, CA
Situated right in between the Del Monte forest and California’s beautiful, jagged coastline, Pebble Beach Golf Links is among the most difficult courses in the world. Host of countless U.S. Opens, history abounds here.
3. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, OR
Proudly self-defined as an homage to ancient Scottish links, Bandon Dunes proves to be a one-of-a-kind American course. As grassy sand dunes meet the Pacific coast, this Oregon course boasts five courses. Noted for its demanding layout, visitors will quickly find they must rely on the ground game and their inventiveness.
4. The Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, WV
Host of the number one tournament on the PGA tour as recently as 2011, The Greenbrier is also the only course in the world to host both the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup. Re-designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus in 1977, The Greenbrier forces controlled iron play and a precise short game.
5. Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC
Known among golfers as the home to eight distinct courses referred to only by number, Pinehurst is another must-visit destination for any golf lover. The largest golf resort in America, Pinehurst’s largest draws are its internationally ranked No. 2, No. 8, and No. 4 courses. As beautiful as it is large, it is hard to find as amazing a place to spend a few days.
6. Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay in Lana’i, HI
Only in Hawaii can you golf above a white sand beach on a red-lava cliff that borders a protected marine preserve. Perched above Hulopo’e Bay, Manele is another Nicklaus masterpiece sure to excite and challenge any visiting golfer. Never driven a fairway over gorges and ravines with the Pacific Ocean as a water hazard? Then consider saying “Aloha!” to the Lana’i Four Seasons.
7. The American Club in Kohler, WI
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more picturesque destination outside of the four Pete Dye designed courses at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. Whether you’re looking for a wooded challenge, rolling fairways, or a coastal and more traditional Irish links experience, it can all be found at The American Club.
8. The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO
Play world class golf at The Broadmoor as you take in the surrounding beauty of the Cheyenne Mountains and Pike’s Peak. Established by Donald Ross following his creation of another top-10 destination course–Pinehurst No. 2–it is no surprise that The Broadmoor is on the must-play list for many avid golfers.
9. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC
Boasting over 7,000 yards of golf winding throughout the May River Forest, Palmetto Bluff encourages its patrons to play the course the way it was designed to be played: on foot. Offering golfers a chance to meander through the beautiful river basin forest, caddie service is required and visitors are highly encouraged to walk and take in the stunning visual landscape. A true experience, Palmetto Bluff is not to be missed.
10. The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA
A sure treat for the golf historian, The Old Course at the Homestead is know for being the the nation’s oldest first tee in continuous use. The same place where legendary golfer Sam Snead propelled his game, there is no shortage of tradition and history at the Homestead.