Top 10 Most Beautiful Golf Courses In The US
When it comes to playing a round of 18 in the United States, the good news is that you have access to some of the best golf courses in the world. They have not only hosted some of history’s most important golfing events, but they also cover a diverse range of landscapes and challenges that will put any handicap to the test. Furthermore, they are well-known as some of the best golf courses in the United States.
What makes a beautiful golf course? While the answer may be subjective, here is Merriam-Webster’s definition:
a: resembling a painting; implying a painted scene
b: attractive or quaint in appearance
We’ll stick with the idea that these courses offer numerous photo opportunities.
This ranking, while heavy on PGA Tour courses as well as top-ranked courses on national lists, lays out one version of the most picturesque courses in the United States.
Address: E Main Rd, Fishers Island, New York
This course, located on an island off the coast of Connecticut, is arguably the pinnacle of architect Seth Raynor’s work. This course is both beautiful and challenging, with geometric greens, steeply banked bunkers, and tumbling terrain. The course is completed by two Redan greens and an exhilarating 3rd-5th hole stretch.
Architect Seth Raynor’s masterpiece, who died in early 1926, before the course officially opened. His steeply banked bunkers and geometric greens complement the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound’s linear panoramas perfectly. The hole quality is also excellent, with all of Raynor’s usual suspects, including not one, but two Redan greens, one on a par 4.
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Address: 3150 17 Mile Dr, Pebble Beach, California
Cypress Point, the sublime Monterey Peninsula work of sandbox sculpture, whittled Cypress, and chiseled coastline, has become Exhibit A in the argument that modern technology has rendered classic architecture ineffective.
That argument does not hold water with me. Those who believe Cypress Point is defenseless are missing the point of Alister MacKenzie’s brilliant design.
MacKenzie loved the idea of Cypress Point having multiple ways to play each hole. That philosophy is still alive and well, especially since veteran course superintendent Jeff Markow faithfully restored MacKenzie’s original bunkers over the last decade.
Address: Round Lake Dr, Bandon, Oregon
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Coos County, Oregon, offers four courses with wide rolling fairways and vast expanses of gorse: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, and Old Macdonald.
Unlike the other entries on this list, this spectacular piece of coastal property has four golf courses. Thus, in a sense, it’s the most scenic, as the views with the most holes are the most scenic.
The Bandon courses, like Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, are built on an incredible piece of oceanfront property. Having some of the best architects in the game design the courses, on the other hand, elevates the Oregon golfing paradise to a whole new level.
Address: Pine Valley, Pinelands, New Jersey
This 620-acre golf course is truly one-of-a-kind.
H.S. Colt, A.W. Tillinghast, George C. Thomas Jr., Walter Travis, and Hugh Wilson succeeded George Crump in developing the New Jersey marvel.
One of Crump’s fundamental principles, that no hole should be visible from another, results in some truly one-of-a-kind views. Pine Valley is a truly unique and special track.
Address: Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, California
The fourth through tenth holes, as well as the 17th and 18th, are perched directly above the crashing Pacific surf, making it not only the greatest meeting of land and sea in American golf, but also the most extensive. The sixth through eighth holes at Pebble Beach are golf’s true Amen Corner, with a few Hail Marys thrown in from atop a 75-foot-high bluff on the eighth. Pebble Beach hosted a successful US Amateur in 2018 and will host a sixth US Open in 2019. Recent enhancements include the redesign of the once-dangerous 14th green and the reshaping of the par-3 17th green, both of which were planned by Arnold Palmer’s Design Company a few years ago—as well as the current changes to the iconic eighth hole. In 2023, Pebble Beach will host the Women’s US Open for the first time.
Address: Tuckahoe Rd, Southampton, New York
It’s widely regarded as one of America’s earliest links, having been heavily remodeled by C.B. Macdonald and then replaced (except for three holes) by William S. Flynn in the early 1930s. It’s so beautiful that its architecture hasn’t been changed in nearly 50 years. Most of the trees that once framed many holes have been removed, and the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw did make a few changes in 2012 to prepare Shinnecock for the 2018 U.S. Open, which was won by Brooks Koepka. Shinnecock Hills will host the US Open once more in 2026.
Address: Lambton Shores, Ontario, Port Franks Road
Sand Hills is one of the list’s youngest members, having been built in 1995 by Bill Coore and Crenshaw. Its designers were inspired by the undulating landscape of Mullen, Nebraska. The natural lay of the land was preserved with great care, even allowing the wind to shape the bunkers.
The golf course was discovered rather than designed. Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore trudged back and forth across a thousand acres of rolling sand hills in central Nebraska, flagging out naturally occurring fairways and greens. The duo created the most natural golf course in America, a timeless course design, by moving only 4,000 cubic yards of earth and letting the winds shape the bunkers. Winter winds had always reshaped the bunkers for decades, but course officials have recently discovered a way to prevent this. At the end of the season, they spray the sand in bunkers with a product that forms a crust to withstand the howling winds.
Address: Hulton Rd, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Oakmont’s original penal design was re-established after tens of thousands of trees (mostly planted in the 1960s) were removed between the early 1990s and 2015, with the game’s nastiest, most notorious bunkers (founder-architect H.C. Fownes staked out bunkers whenever and wherever he saw a player hit an offline shot), deep drainage ditches, and ankle-deep rough. Oakmont also has the game’s swiftest putting surfaces, which were showcased during the U.S. Open in 2016, despite early rains that slowed them down a bit. Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner made bunker modifications and expanded the greens throughout the course in 2023 in preparation for the 2025 U.S. Open. The USGA has already awarded Oakmont three additional Opens between 2033 and 2049, reinforcing its title as it the Host of the Most U.S. Opens ever.
Address: Sebonac Inlet Rd, Southampton, New York
This course launched the career of renowned architect Seth Raynor. The course was originally designed by C.B. McDonald to reflect the traditions of the grand old British holes. The National Golf Links of America has had a reputation of being one of the U.S.’ most exclusive courses since its establishment in 1911. The host of two Walker tournaments, it’s considered a strategic masterclass to this day.
Address: Washington Rd, Augusta
Home to the annual Masters Golf Tournament, the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most lauded courses in the world. The 12th hole, Golden Bell, is one of the most popular due to its tree-lined green and beautiful azaleas. Though it’s very difficult for nonmembers to play this course, you can admire the views if you attend the Masters, which is held every spring. In addition to being a golfer’s paradise, Augusta also beckons to history lovers with its monuments to the U.S. Civil War.
These are all about the most beautiful golf courses in the US. The fresh air and gorgeous natural surroundings add to the appeal. So if you love the game, check out these seven courses, because they are regarded as some of the best and most beautiful in the United States.
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