top of page
  • Writer's pictureGolf

Top of Golf: Top 11 Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the US


Beautiful Golf Course Illustration


Embarking on a journey through the most beautiful golf courses in the United States unveils a tapestry of lush greens, stunning landscapes, and unparalleled challenges.


This article delves into the essence of these golfing havens, each with its unique charm and architectural brilliance.





Table of Contents




Introduction


The Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the United States unveils an unmatched blend of natural beauty and challenging play. From coast to coast, these golf courses stand as a testament to the passion and dedication of golf enthusiasts.


Within this list, you'll discover golf courses where the fairways meet the Pacific Ocean, alongside others adorned with captivating dunes. There's undoubtedly something to suit every golfer's preference.


It's crucial to note that these courses aren't just aesthetically pleasing; they also fall into the category of exclusivity. While some present a considerable challenge to gain access, others offer a more convenient entry. However, booking a tee time can still pose a substantial challenge.


Therefore, if you aspire to play on these exceptional courses, we extend our best wishes for a stroke of luck!





Map of the Most Beautiful Golf Courses






Top 11 Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the United States


Presenting our thoughtfully curated compilation of the most exquisite golf courses in the United States. Spanning from coast to coast, these golfing gems serve as a testament to the unwavering passion and commitment of golf enthusiasts.


Join us as we delve into the lush greens, awe-inspiring vistas, and golfing prowess that collectively define these courses as a true haven for golfers.


11. Pebble Beach Golf Links


Location: Del Monte Forest, California




The captivating Monterey Peninsula in California is a haven for golf enthusiasts, boasting numerous exceptional and picturesque golf courses. Among them, Cypress Point stands out as the premier destination.


Notably, Cypress Point is a course that remains exclusive, not open to the public at Pebble Beach. However, golf aficionados can take solace in the fact that Pebble Beach Golf Links, another gem in this coastal region, is accessible to all (Securing a tee time remains a persistent challenge).


Renowned golfer Jack Nicklaus, with a discerning eye for exceptional courses, once expressed his admiration for Pebble Beach, stating, "If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play at Pebble Beach. I loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world."


Should you manage to overlook the breathtaking beauty that envelops you and maintain an unwavering focus on your game, achieving a good score becomes possible.



10. Los Angeles: North


Location: Los Angeles, California





The Los Angeles Golf Club undeniably stands out for its breathtaking beauty. It holds the distinction of being one of the world's most exclusive clubs, boasting a membership of just 800 individuals and requiring a hefty $250,000 initiation fee. Despite its current valuation of approximately $8 billion, the club benefits from two Californian laws enacted over 45 years ago, enabling it to save a substantial $80 million on taxes annually. Los Angeles Country Club is renowned for its opulence and secrecy.


The course layout is a thrilling masterpiece, featuring hills, ridges, swales, and valleys that add an exciting dimension to the golfing experience. With two 18-hole courses, namely the North and the South, securing a game might be a challenge due to its exclusivity.


However, if limited to just one round, persuading a member to play the North course is recommended. The Los Angeles Golf Club boasts an array of outstanding holes, making it difficult to highlight them all. Notably, the par threes are particularly formidable, characterized by their length and precision.


While the 9th hole is often considered the signature, with the clubhouse as a striking backdrop, many members regard the 11th as the star of the show, framed by the downtown LA skyline.


9. Merion Golf Club: East


Location: Ardmore, Pennsylvania




Merion East has consistently held the reputation of being the premier course on the most confined acreage in America. Even when it welcomed the U.S. Open in 2013, marking its return after 32 years since 1981, the contemporary era of powerful hitters found themselves challenged by this cunningly designed course.


Often hailed as having "the finest finishing holes in golf," the last five holes at Merion East showcase the brilliance of course architecture. The overall golfing experience on the east course is truly exceptional, allowing players to immerse themselves in a spectrum of vivid green hues that paint the entire landscape.


8. Oakmont Country Club


Location: Oakmont, Pennsylvania




Regarded by numerous golf enthusiasts as the most challenging golf course globally, Oakmont is nestled amid the hills of Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. Renowned for its meticulously crafted greens, Oakmont boasts some of the finest putting surfaces in the golfing world.


The exceptional quality and diverse nature of these greens are truly remarkable, featuring undulations in every direction. The intentional design compels golfers to employ a myriad of approaches, navigating challenging angles and lies that add to the course's unparalleled level of difficulty.


7. Sand Hills


Location: Mullen, Nebraska






6. National Golf Links of America


Location: Southampton, New York





Nestled in an unincorporated area of the Town of Southampton on Long Island, New York, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club epitomizes the quintessential links-style golf experience. Its picturesque location between the Peconic Bay and the Atlantic Ocean adds to its allure.


Established in 1891, Shinnecock Hills holds the distinction of being believed as the oldest incorporated golf club in the United States. The club boasts the oldest golf clubhouse in the country, dating back to 1892. Notably, Shinnecock Hills holds the honor of being the first American golf club to welcome women as members right from its inception. Remarkably, it stands as the exclusive golf course to host the U.S. Open in three different centuries.


On the shores of Peconic Bay in Southampton, Long Island, you'll find the National Golf Links of America. As Bernard Darwin eloquently expressed in "Golf Between Two Wars," it's a spot that doesn't need elaborate description but is hailed as one of the best and most enchanting courses. Commonly referred to as 'National,' this masterpiece is the brainchild of Charles Blair Macdonald, the pioneer of American golf course architecture, who is credited with coining the term 'golf architect.'


Shinnecock Hills Golf Club holds a distinguished place as one of the five founding members of the USGA. Moreover, it stands as the site where one of the earliest purpose-built golf clubhouses was erected. Designed by Stanford White in the shingled style of the region, the clubhouse stands proudly on the highest point of the property. Just steps away from this columned architectural gem, the first tee box offers panoramic views of the shimmering Peconic Bay in the distance, with the expansive 300-acre golf course unfolding before it—a breathtaking scene that captures the essence of Shinnecock Hills.


5. Shinnecock Hills


Location: Southampton, New York





Shinnecock Hills Golf Club boasts a rich history steeped in old traditions. Scottish professional Willie Davis, supported by 150 Indians from the adjacent Shinnecock Reservation, is credited with creating what is believed to be the first authentic golf course design in the United States. Dating back to 1891, Davis laid out the initial twelve holes, and head professional Willie Dunn added six more by 1894.


Not only is Shinnecock Hills Golf Club one of the five founding members of the USGA, but it also holds the distinction of having one of the earliest purpose-built golf clubhouses. Designed by Stanford White, the clubhouse reflects the shingled architectural style of the region, proudly perched on the highest point of the property.


Just a few steps away from this white-columned structure is the first tee box, offering a panoramic view of the shimmering Peconic Bay in the distance. In the foreground unfolds the expansive 300-acre golf course, gracefully descending from the clubhouse.



4. Fishers Island Club


Location: Southold, New York




Nestled on a slender island spanning a mere two miles wide and eight miles long, Fishers Island Club in New York is a picturesque haven situated between the National Estuary of the Long Island Sound and a network of lakes and ponds. This idyllic landscape serves as a rich watershed, where saltwater converges with freshwater, creating a diverse habitat for plant and animal life.


The golf course, designed by Seth Raynor in a links-style fashion, offers a heavenly experience with breathtaking natural water views from almost every hole. Established in 1927, the club features a layout characterized by Raynor's signature stage-like plateaux greens, intricately guarded by expansive bunkers. Achieving a favorable score hinges on precise approach play. Since 1995, Gil Hanse has provided guidance on course restoration at Fishers Island Club.



3. Pine Valley Golf Club


Location: Pine Valley, New Jersey




Nestled in the sandy pine barrens of southwest New Jersey, Pine Valley Golf Club stands as a truly authentic and distinctive golf destination. The course seamlessly incorporates all three schools of golf design—penal, heroic, and strategic—sometimes within a single hole. Certain points on the course unveil stunning vistas of the sandy landscape that defines its routing.


Renowned as one of the most challenging golf courses in the United States, Pine Valley delivers a distinctive golfing encounter. Amidst its impressive and picturesque layout, concentrating solely on the game becomes a delightful challenge.


2. Augusta National Golf Club


Location: Augusta, Georgia


Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National stands as one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the United States, boasting approximately 300 members. This exclusive venue, renowned for hosting The Masters, is home to arguably the most famous golf course globally, making securing a tee time challenging for the general public.


Originally a 315-acre property named "Fruitland," purchased by Dennis Redmond in 1853, it flourished with peaches, grapes, strawberries, apples, and diverse flora. Mr. Redmond initiated the construction of the grand "Fruitland Manor." Today, adorned with flourishing flowers and majestic trees, Augusta National is unequivocally the most beautiful golf club in the United States.





1. Cypress Point Club


Location: Pebble Beach, California


Cypress Point Golf Club in Pebble Beach, California


When considering the top spot, Cypress Point emerged as our choice, aligning with similar rankings elsewhere.


Perched on the cliffs of the Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach Golf Links is synonymous with seaside beauty and golfing prestige. You can immerse yourself in the legacy of this iconic course, where each hole presents a new visual spectacle with the vast Pacific Ocean as your constant companion. Especially Sunset tee times at Pebble Beach offer a breathtaking backdrop, creating a golfing experience that transcends the ordinary.


What sets Cypress Point apart is its location at the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, situated on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, offering a diverse and exhilarating cliff-top terrain. The beauty of both the course and its surroundings has prompted numerous superlatives.


The allure of playing at Cypress Point is undeniable for any avid golfer. However, the stark reality is that, unless privy to exclusive information, only a fortunate few will ever secure the opportunity to tee off on their first hole. Legendary tales, such as J.F. Kennedy being denied entry to the restaurant, circulate. With membership limited to just 250 individuals, regular people face significant challenges securing a round at this prestigious club.


Explore Bob Fagan's experience playing at Cypress Point and crossing off a noteworthy item from his bucket list in the featured article.







Conclusion


The Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the United States provide a rich tapestry of golfing experiences, blending natural wonders with the sport's essence.


Whether you seek the coastal allure of Pebble Beach or the historic elegance of Augusta National, each course contributes to the vibrant golfing culture in the United States. Plan your golfing odyssey and savor the beauty that awaits on these remarkable greens.


As we meticulously compiled this list, should you wish to delve deeper into this topic, we highly recommend exploring the comprehensive database and articles crafted by the experts at top100golfcourses. They are doing an exceptional job, providing an elegant and insightful resource for golf enthusiasts.





FAQs about Top of Golf Courses


What makes a golf course beautiful?


A beautiful golf course combines stunning landscapes, thoughtful design, and challenging play. The most beautiful golf courses in the United States excel in these aspects, offering a visual feast for golfers.


Are these courses suitable for all skill levels?


Yes, many of the golf courses in this list cater to various skill levels, providing both challenging layouts for pros and more forgiving options for beginners.


How can one book a tee time at these courses?


Tee times can typically be booked online through the respective golf course websites or by contacting their pro shops directly. Ensure to plan in advance, especially for renowned courses like Augusta National.


Do these courses host professional tournaments?


Certainly, several courses, such as Augusta National and Pebble Beach, host prestigious professional tournaments, adding to their allure.


What is the best time to visit these courses?


The best time to visit varies by location, but generally, spring and fall offer pleasant weather conditions. Check each course's seasonal recommendations for an optimal experience.


Can non-golfers also enjoy these courses?


Absolutely! Many of them offer scenic views and upscale amenities, making them enjoyable for non-golfers who can appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.



Comments


bottom of page