Here in the Midwest, you wouldn’t know it if you looked outside, but spring is just around the corner. As the temperatures begin to rise and the last bit of snow melts away, it’s time to toss those clubs into the trunk of the car and start planning for yet another season on the links.
Although most of us are familiar with many of the top private courses in America, the chances that we’ll have the opportunity to tee off on one are slim to none. There are, however, several public courses that offer amazing views, pristine fairways and greens, and beautiful scenery scattered across the country. Below, we’ve listed the top five best public golf courses in the U.S., courtesy of the Back9Network.
- Pebble Beach (Pebble Beach, CA): A mainstay at the top of most best courses lists, Pebble Beach offers some of the best holes in the world, including nine right on Carmel Bay. Although the design isn’t perfect, the course’s amazing scenery more than makes up for it. This course should be on every golfer’s bucket list.
- Bethpage Black (Farmingdale, NY): An advanced course, Bethpage Black has been a U.S. Open stop, and offers a great weekend rate ($150) for out-of-towners. The course’s green is walking only, so expect a good hike as you make your way through Bethpage Black’s twists, turns, and elevation changes. Important note: Reservations are required to get a tee so book well in advance of your visit.
- Pacific Dunes (Brandon, OR): This course, located in Oregon, “emerges from shore pines to incredible 60-foot sand dunes, some natural some not.” According to Phil Oscarson of the Back9Network, even the sand pits seem like they were made from the ocean and not the course designer.
- Whistling Straits (Haven, WI): Featuring the best par-3 holes, Whistling Straits was transformed by Pete Dye from a “dead-flat two-mile stretch off Lake Michigan” to the course it is today. Notable features include “tumbling golf holes, ragged sand blowouts and howling wind” not to mention the beautiful Lake Michigan backdrop.
- Pinehurst Resort – No. 2 (Pinehurst, NC): A great second-shot course “due to its convex greens that demand precise iron play,” this course was recently restored by Bill Coore and professional golfer Ben Crenshaw. As part of the pair’s restoration, “hard pan rough and distressed turf” were added off each fairway putting the pressure on players to hit great shots off the tee.
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