The 50 Best Golf Courses in America
The 50 Best Golf Courses in America

Across the country, golf courses are laid out like strips of paradise, meticulously manicured for their clientele. The top courses in the country naturally cost a hefty sum to play, but for most golfers, the price is more than worth the chance to play 18 holes.

In the conversation about the nation's best golf courses, talk typically centers around the classics like Augusta National or Pebble Beach. But there are so many other courses the casual fan is unaware of that fill out any reputable ranking.

With this in mind, WanderBat, a travel data site powered by Graphiq, ranked the top 50 golf courses in America. To do this, we turned to experts at Golf Digest and Golf.com to guide our selections, then included data on all 50 courses to help give a more complete picture on what makes each so great.

With 11 courses, New York is the most represented state, followed by California with seven. We'll start at No. 50 and count down until we reach the best golf course in the country.

Note: In the event of ties, the course with the most yardage was ranked ahead.

50: Baltusrol Golf Club (Upper)

Golf Digest rank: 58
Golf.com rank: 67

Location: Springfield, NJ
Yardage: 7,348
Designed by: A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1922

The first of eight courses designed by A.W. Tillinghast, the Upper Course at Baltusrol Golf Club was part of the first 36-hole design in America, along with the Lower Course, which appears later on the list.

49: Somerset Hills Country Club

Golf Digest rank: 73
Golf.com rank: 38

Location: Bernardsville, NJ
Yardage: 6,756
Designed by: A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1918

The Somerset Hills Country Club was originally founded in 1899 for social and recreational purposes. It now is consistently ranked among the top courses in the country.

48: Quaker Ridge Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 71
Golf.com rank: 40

Location: Scarsdale, NY
Yardage: 7,008
Designed by: A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1918

Quaker Ridge Golf Club is located near the site of the Battle of White Plains, a legendary Revolutionary War battle in which George Washington was nearly captured by British Gen. William Howe.

47: Inverness Club

Golf Digest rank: 69
Golf.com rank: 42

Location: Toledo, OH
Yardage: 7,255
Designed by: Donald Ross
Opened: 1919

The Inverness Club has played host to four U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships, most recently in 1979 and 1993, respectively.

46: Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club

Golf Digest rank: 30
Golf.com rank: 81

Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Yardage: 7,317
Designed by: Tom Fazio
Opened: 2007

The lone representative from Idaho, Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club is located on 700 wooded acres and is one of three courses on the list designed by Tom Fazio.

45: Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Golf Digest rank: 48
Golf.com rank: 58

Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Yardage: 6,960
Designed by: Robert Trent Jones
Opened: 1966

Spyglass Hill Golf Course is one of three courses on the list located in Pebble Beach. Its design drew inspiration from Robert Louis Stephenson's classic novel, "Treasure Island."

44: Peachtree Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 34
Golf.com rank: 70

Location: Atlanta, GA
Yardage: 7,414
Designed by: Robert Trent Jones & Bobby Jones
Opened: 1947

Peachtree Golf Club is one of two courses designed by legendary golfer Bobby Jones.

43: Winged Foot Golf Club (East)

Golf Digest rank: 59
Golf.com rank: 44

Location: Mamaroneck, NY
Yardage: 6,792
Designed by: A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1923

The East Course of Winged Foot Golf Club is over 500 yards shorter than the West Course. The East Course has hosted two U.S. Women's Opens and one U.S. Senior Open.

42: Old Macdonald

Golf Digest rank: 55
Golf.com rank: 48

Location: Bandon, OR
Yardage: 6,944
Designed by: Tom Doak & Jim Urbina
Opened: 2010

Old Macdonald is one of three courses on the list located in Bandon, and it's the newest of any of the top 50. Its design pays homage to legendary golf course architect Charles Blair Macdonald, who designed the National Golf Links of America and the Chicago Golf Club.

41: Shadow Creek Golf Course

Golf Digest rank: 32
Golf.com rank: 66

Location: North Las Vegas, NV
Yardage: 7,560
Designed by: Tom Fazio
Opened: 1990

Shadow Creek was built by casino magnate Steve Wynn. The course exists on 350 acres of flat, dry desert and is near the Nellis Air Force Base.

40: Sebonack Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 38
Golf.com rank: 59

Location: Southampton, NY
Yardage: 7,534
Designed by: Jack Nicklaus & Tom Doak
Opened: 2006

Sebonack Golf Club is one of five courses on the list stretching over 7,500 yards. It's also one of two featured courses designed by The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus.

39: Ballyneal Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 54
Golf.com rank: 41

Location: Holyoke, CO
Yardage: 7,147
Designed by: Tom Doak
Opened: 2006

Ballyneal Golf Club is the lone representative from Colorado. It's one of four courses on the list designed by Tom Doak.

38: The Honors Course

Golf Digest rank: 31
Golf.com rank: 55

Location: Ooltewah, TN
Yardage: 7,450
Designed by: 1983
Opened: Pete Dye

At the time of its opening, The Honors Course was considered radical due to its unusual Zoysia grass and fast greens. Pete Dye designed the course with his famous death-or-glory approach in mind.

37: Medinah Country Club (No. 3)

Golf Digest rank: 39
Golf.com rank: 46

Location: Medinah, IL
Yardage: 7,657
Designed by: Tom Bendelow
Opened: 1928

The No. 3 course at Medinah Country Club is the most celebrated of the trio. It has played host to three U.S. Opens (1949, 1975 and 1990), two PGA Championships (1999, and 2006) and one Ryder Cup (2012).

36: TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)

Golf Digest rank: 47
Golf.com rank: 29

Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Yardage: 7,215
Designed by: Pete Dye
Opened: 1980

TPC Sawgrass was the first Tournament Players Club course to be built. It hosts The Players Championship annually, which has among the largest purses of any tournament on the PGA Tour.

35: Garden City Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 49
Golf.com rank: 26

Location: Garden City, NY
Yardage: 6,922
Designed by: Devereux Emmet
Opened: 1899

Garden City Golf Club is one of three courses on the list to be opened in the 19th century, and the only top-50 course designed by Devereux Emmet.

34: The Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 36
Golf.com rank: 39

Location: New Albany, OH
Yardage: 7,439
Designed by: Pete Dye
Opened: 1967

The Golf Club was one of the earliest courses designed by Pete Dye. It was created with input from Ohio native Jack Nicklaus and was remodeled by Dye in 2013.

33: Wade Hampton Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 21
Golf.com rank: 52

Location: Cashiers, NC
Yardage: 7,302
Designed by: Tom Fazio
Opened: 1987

Of the three Tom Fazio-designed courses in the top 50, Wade Hampton Golf Club is the oldest.

32: Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower)

Golf Digest rank: 41
Golf.com rank: 32

Location: Springfield, NJ
Yardage: 7,400
Designed by: A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1922

The Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club has played host to five U.S. Opens, most recently in 1993. It also hosted the 2005 PGA Championship and will host the tournament again in 2016.

31: Bandon Dunes

Golf Digest rank: 37
Golf.com rank: 35

Location: Bandon, OR
Yardage: 6,732
Designed by: David McLay Kidd
Opened: 1999

The Bandon Dunes Course was the first course opened at Bandon Dunes Golf Club and features expansive ocean views at nearly every hole.

30: Bethpage State Park (Black)

Golf Digest rank: 43
Golf.com rank: 24

Location: Farmingdale, NY
Yardage: 7,366
Designed by: Joseph H. Burbeck & A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1936

In 2002, the Black Course at Bethpage State Park became the first publicly owned and operated course to host the U.S. Open. It hosted the tournament for a second time in 2009.

29: Olympic Club (Lake)

Golf Digest rank: 33
Golf.com rank: 33

Location: San Francisco, CA
Yardage: 6,934
Designed by: Sam Whiting
Opened: 1924

The Lake Course at the Olympic Club hosted five U.S. Opens, most recently in 2012, when Webb Simpson won his first and (at the time of writing) only major championship.

28: Southern Hills Country Club

Golf Digest rank: 29
Golf.com rank: 34

Location: Tulsa, OK
Yardage: 7,184
Designed by: Perry Maxwell
Opened: 1936

Southern Hills Country Club has hosted seven major championships -- three U.S. Opens and four PGA Championships. Its most recent major was the PGA Championship in 2007, which was Tiger Woods' last win at that event.

27: Oak Hill Country Club (East)

Golf Digest rank: 16
Golf.com rank: 37

Location: Rochester, NY
Yardage: 7,145
Designed by: Donald Ross
Opened: 1925

The East Course at Oak Hill Country Club has hosted three U.S. Opens and three PGA Championships, most recently in 2013, when Jason Dufner won the PGA Championship.

26: San Francisco Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 35
Golf.com rank: 16

Location: San Francisco, CA
Yardage: 6,830
Designed by: A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1918

After its opening in 1918, A.W. Tillinghast redesigned the San Francisco Golf Club in 1923. Its signature hole is the Par 3 No. 7 -- known as the "Duel Hole." The hole's green is located at the site of the final legal duel in California, where Senator David Broderick lost to California Supreme Court Justice David Terry in 1859.

25: Whistling Straits (Straits)

Golf Digest rank: 22
Golf.com rank: 27

Location: Haven, WI
Yardage: 7,790
Designed by: Pete Dye
Opened: 1998

The Straits Course at Whistling Straits has hosted three PGA Championships, most recently in 2015, when Jason Day won with a score of 20-under par.

24: Los Angeles Country Club (North)

Golf Digest rank: 26
Golf.com rank: 20

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Yardage: 7,236
Designed by: George C. Thomas Jr.
Opened: 1921

The Los Angeles Country Club underwent a massive redesign in 2010 by Gil Hanse. The course is set to host the U.S. Open in 2023, which will mark the first time the tournament is played in Los Angeles since 1948.

23: The Ocean Course

Golf Digest rank: 20
Golf.com rank: 25

Location: Kiawah Island, SC
Yardage: 7,356
Designed by: Pete Dye
Opened: 1921

The Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is perhaps the most famous of the five courses. It played host to the 2012 PGA Championship, where Rory McIlroy won by a record eight strokes.

22: Friar's Head Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 23
Golf.com rank: 21

Location: Baiting Hollow, NY
Yardage: 7,049
Designed by: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw
Opened: 2002

Friar's Head Golf Club is one of two top-50 courses designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. It overlooks the Long Island Sound.

21: Prairie Dunes Country Club

Golf Digest rank: 25
Golf.com rank: 18

Location: Hutchinson, KS
Yardage: 6,940
Designed by: Perry Maxwell (1937) & Press Maxwell (1957)
Opened: 1937

The lone top-50 course located in Kansas, Prairie Dunes Country Club opened as a nine-hole course in 1937 designed by Perry Maxwell. In 1957, nine more holes were added, designed by Perry's son, Press Maxwell.

20: Muirfield Village Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 15
Golf.com rank: 28

Location: Dublin, OH
Yardage: 7,392
Designed by: Jack Nicklaus & Desmond Muirhead
Opened: 1974

Since its opening, Muirfield Village Golf Club has been remodeled by Jack Nicklaus multiple times. It now has 71 bunkers and features water hazards on 11 holes.

19: Riviera Country Club

Golf Digest rank: 24
Golf.com rank: 19

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Yardage: 7,040
Designed by: George C. Thomas Jr. & W.P. Bell
Opened: 1926

The Riviera Country Club currently plays host to the Northern Trust Open. The par three No. 6 hole is famous for featuring a bunker in the middle of the green.

18: The Country Club (Clyde/Squirrel)

Golf Digest rank: 19
Golf.com rank: 22

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA
Yardage: 7,350
Designed by: Willie Campbell (1895) & Alex Campbell (1902)
Opened: 1882

The Country Club was established in 1882 as an equestrian and social club. Willie Campbell designed its first 18-hole course in 1895, and it is one of the founding clubs of the U.S. Golf Association.

17: Oakland Hills Country Club (South)

Golf Digest rank: 17
Golf.com rank: 23

Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI
Yardage: 7,445
Designed by: Donald Ross
Opened: 1918

The South Course at the Oakland Hills Country Club has hosted nine major championships -- six U.S. Opens and three PGA Championships -- and one Ryder Cup.

16: Pinehurst Resort (No. 2)

Golf Digest rank: 28
Golf.com rank: 10

Location: Pinehurst, NC
Yardage: 7,565
Designed by: Donald Ross
Opened: 1935

Pinehurst Resort features eight courses, two of which designed by Donald Ross, including the historic Course No. 2. The renowned course has hosted four major championships, most recently the 2014 U.S. Open, won by Martin Kaymer.

15: Pacific Dunes

Golf Digest rank: 18
Golf.com rank: 14

Location: Bandon, OR
Yardage: 6,633
Designed by: Tom Doak
Opened: 2001

The highest ranked of the four Bandon Dunes courses, Pacific Dunes is unusual in that it features four par threes on the back nine. It is the fourth-shortest of the top 50 courses.

14: Chicago Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 14
Golf.com rank: 17

Location: Wheaton, IL
Yardage: 6,846
Designed by: C.B. Macdonald
Opened: 1894

The Chicago Golf Club is one of the oldest 18-hole course in America, and it's withstood the test of time. It was renovated in 1923 by Seth Raynor, who was a longtime assistant of original course designer C.B. Macdonald.

13: Crystal Downs Country Club

Golf Digest rank: 13
Golf.com rank: 15

Location: Frankfort, MI
Yardage: 6,518
Designed by: Alister MacKenzie & Perry Maxwell
Opened: 1931

Crystal Downs Country Club is known for its zigzag layout and fast greens. It is one of two Michigan courses to appear in the top 50.

12: Seminole Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 12
Golf.com rank: 12

Location: Juno Beach, FL
Yardage: 6,836
Designed by: Donald Ross
Opened: 1939

Seminole Golf Club is the highest-ranked course designed by Donald Ross. It is known as one of the most exclusive golf courses in the world.

11: Winged Foot Golf Club (West)

Golf Digest rank: 9
Golf.com rank: 13

Location: Mamaroneck, NY
Yardage: 7,258
Designed by: A.W. Tillinghast
Opened: 1923

The West Course at Winged Foot Golf Club has hosted five U.S. Opens -- most recently in 2006, when Geoff Ogilvy won with a final score of five-over par. It also hosted the 1997 PGA Championship.

10: Fishers Island Club

Golf Digest rank: 10
Golf.com rank: 11

Location: Fishers Island, NY
Yardage: 6,566
Designed by: Seth Raynor & Charles Banks
Opened: 1926

Fishers Island Club is the third-shortest course among the top 50. It's well-known for its steep bunkers and expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

9: Sand Hills Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 11
Golf.com rank: 9

Location: Mullen, NE
Yardage: 7,089
Designed by: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw
Opened: 1994

Sand Hills Golf Club is aptly named for the acres of sand hills that occupy central Nebraska.

8: National Golf Links of America

Golf Digest rank: 8
Golf.com rank: 7

Location: Southampton, NY
Yardage: 6,935
Designed by: C.B. Macdonald
Opened: 1911

The National Golf Links of America hosted the first-ever Walker Cup in 1922. It has been called the "snootiest" course in America due to its extreme exclusivity.

7: Merion Golf Club (East)

Golf Digest rank: 5
Golf.com rank: 8

Location: Ardmore, PA
Yardage: 6,886
Designed by: Hugh Wilson
Opened: 1912

The East Course at Merion Golf Club has hosted the U.S. Open five times, most recently in 2013. That year, Justin Rose took home the title with a final score of one-over par.

6: Pebble Beach Golf Links

Golf Digest rank: 7
Golf.com rank: 5

Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Yardage: 6,828
Designed by: Jack Neville & Douglas Grant
Opened: 1919

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Pebble Beach Golf Links has long been considered one of the most beautiful courses in America. It has hosted one PGA Championship and five U.S. Opens, including in 2000, when Tiger Woods won by a record 15 strokes.

5: Oakmont Country Club

Golf Digest rank: 6
Golf.com rank: 6

Location: Oakmont, PA
Yardage: 7,255
Designed by: Henry Fownes
Opened: 1903

Oakmont Country Club is the only course designed by Henry Fownes to appear in our top 50. The course is notorious for its deep, well-placed bunkers that punish golfers who hit errant shots.

4: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 4
Golf.com rank: 4

Location: Southampton, NY
Yardage: 7,041
Designed by: William Flynn
Opened: 1931

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is noted for having hosted the U.S. Open in three different centuries -- in 1896, 1986, 1995 and 2004. Unlike many of the nation's oldest golf clubs, Shinnecock has always allowed women as members.

3: Cypress Point Club

Golf Digest rank: 3
Golf.com rank: 2

Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Yardage: 6,524
Designed by: Alister MacKenzie & Robert Hunter
Opened: 1928

Named for the many cypress trees that line the course, Cypress Point Club's No. 16 hole is famous for forcing players to hit over the ocean.

2: Augusta National Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 1
Golf.com rank: 3

Location: Augusta, GA
Yardage: 7,435
Designed by: Alister MacKenzie & Bobby Jones
Opened: 1933

Perhaps the most famous golf course in the world, Augusta National hosts the Masters Tournament each year and is one of the most exclusive clubs.

1: Pine Valley Golf Club

Golf Digest rank: 2
Golf.com rank: 1

Location: Pine Valley, NJ
Yardage: 7,057
Designed by: George Crump & H.S. Colt
Opened: 1918

Pine Valley is consistently ranked among the best golf courses in the world, and it earns the top spot on our list. The course has never hosted a major tournament, but that's mostly due to its limited seating to accommodate spectators. Based on quality alone, there's no doubt Pine Valley is major worthy.

 

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"The 50 Best Golf Courses in America"