There is an abundance of golf courses in the US, ranging from cozy venues to expansive landscapes with undulating terrain. Whether it’s Nanea Golf Course in Hawaii or Pinehurst Golf Course in North Carolina, golf enthusiasts quickly recognize that skilled architects like Alister MacKenzie, Bill Coore, and Ben Crenshaw meticulously plan every facet of a golf course. Their aim is to ensure a balanced blend of challenge, scenic beauty, and a dynamic layout that keeps the game engaging.
Top 15 Best Golf Courses in the US
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Address: 1700 17 Mile Dr, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Pebble Beach Golf Links in California has consistently earned the title of the best public golf course in America according to Golf Digest, a distinction it has held since 2003. This stunning course boasts breathtaking vistas along cliffs that overlook the majestic Pacific Ocean. Over the years, Pebble Beach Golf Links has served as the venue for the US Open on six occasions and has garnered praise from renowned professional golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller. One notable challenge it presents to golfers is its notoriously compact green sizes, measuring in at approximately 3,500 square feet, making them the smallest on the PGA Tour.
Augusta National Golf Club
Address: 2604 Washington Rd, Augusta, GA 30904
Augusta National Golf Club, nestled in Georgia, serves as the hallowed grounds for The Masters championship golf tournament. This prestigious club was founded in 1932 by the visionaries Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, who collaborated with renowned golf course architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie to bring their dream to life. What makes this golf course truly unique is that each of its 18 holes possesses its own distinct narrative, named after various plants, a nod to the club’s historical origins as a plant nursery. As you navigate this remarkable course, you’ll encounter lush, vibrant green fairways, the native flora of Georgia, and shimmering bodies of water. Augusta National Golf Club is actually an iconic name in the world of golf.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Address: 57744 Round Lake Rd, Bandon, OR 97411
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, located in Oregon, stands out as a prominent destination with multiple golf courses in the US that consistently rank among the best. This resort offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience several championship-level courses all in one place. Drawing significant inspiration from the storied golf courses of Scotland, which pioneered the sport, Bandon Dunes exudes a rich tradition.
The inaugural course, Bandon Dunes, holds a special place on the property, granting players breathtaking vistas from its elevated bluffs that command spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. In 2001, Pacific Dunes was introduced, a creation by the visionary architect Tom Doak, renowned for its seamless integration into the natural landscape. Its fairways and bunkers seamlessly meld with the existing terrain, affording magnificent views of seaside dunes.
Old Macdonald, aptly named after a celebrated golf course architect, sprawls across undulating emerald hills. Bandon Trails, a creation by the skilled hands of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, offers a diverse landscape journey. This course meanders from a sandy dune to a serene meadow, ventures through a tranquil forest, and returns to the captivating dunes.
Pine Valley Golf Club
Address: 1 E Atlantic Ave, Pine Valley, NJ 08021
Nestled within its namesake pine forests, Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey embodies its natural surroundings. This esteemed course consistently earns accolades for its exceptional character and diverse layout, frequently securing its place among the top golf destinations in the United States as recognized by Golf Digest. Established in 1912, the club’s golf course welcomed its first players in 1919. Encompassing over 200 acres of land, this course seamlessly integrates a blend of architectural techniques, prominently featuring a penal design approach. Each hole boasts distinctive attributes, offering players a unique and engaging experience. For added convenience and preparation, golfers can explore the clubhouse or fine-tune their skills at the driving range.
Cypress Point Club
Address: 3150 17 Mile Dr, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Cypress Point, a stunning masterpiece on the Monterey Peninsula, is a remarkable blend of natural beauty and meticulous craftsmanship. Its windswept cypress trees and intricately carved coastline stand as a testament to the enduring allure of classic golf course architecture, even in the face of modern technological advancements.
MacKenzie was the designer of this course. His vision for Cypress Point was rooted in the belief that it should offer golfers a multitude of strategic options for every hole. This philosophy continues to thrive, especially in recent years, thanks in no small part to the dedicated efforts of course superintendent Jeff Markow. Markow’s meticulous restoration of MacKenzie’s original bunkers has breathed new life into this timeless course, preserving its legacy for generations to come.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Address: 200 Tuckahoe Rd, Southampton, NY 11968
Located in the illustrious Hamptons of New York, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club stands as a renowned establishment in Southampton with a rich history dating back to 1891. Notably, Shinnecock holds the distinction of being the inaugural incorporated golf club and played a pivotal role as a founding member of the USGA. The course boasts impeccable greens, adorned with the native grasses of Long Island, artfully interspersed throughout the landscape. These verdant fairways encompass the main clubhouse, clad in charming shingles, creating a picturesque setting.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club has had the honor of hosting the prestigious U.S. Open Championship on multiple occasions. Furthermore, it is slated to be the esteemed venue for the tournament once more in 2026.
Oakmont Country Club
Address: 1233 Hulton Rd, Oakmont, PA 15139
Between the early 1990s and 2015, a significant transformation occurred at Oakmont, involving the removal of tens of thousands of trees, many of which had been planted in the 1960s. This extensive effort aimed to restore Oakmont to its original, demanding design, characterized by penal features. The golf course now features some of the game’s most notorious bunkers, a testament to founder-architect H.C. Fownes, who strategically placed bunkers wherever he observed players hitting errant shots. Additionally, Oakmont boasts deep drainage ditches and ankle-deep rough.
Notably, Oakmont is renowned for having the swiftest putting surfaces in golf, a reputation that was prominently showcased during the 2016 U.S. Open. Even though early rains slightly tempered their pace, the greens remained a formidable challenge.
In 2023, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner undertook bunker modifications and expanded the greens throughout the course in anticipation of the 2025 U.S. Open. Remarkably, the USGA has already awarded Oakmont the privilege of hosting three more U.S. Opens, scheduled for the years 2033, 2041, and 2049, solidifying its status as one of the best golf courses in the US and the host of the most U.S. Opens in history.
Merion Golf Club: East Course
Address: 450 Ardmore Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003
Merion East has long held a reputation as one of the finest golf courses in the United States of America. When it played host to the U.S. Open in 2013, it marked the first time since 1981, and it proved to be a challenging test for the contemporary generation of power hitters. This cunning, compact course eluded their mastery as they struggled to consistently find its meandering fairways, flanked by meandering creeks, a patchwork of rough, and out-of-bounds stakes. Moreover, maintaining control of its sloping greens, guarded by vigilant bunkers, proved to be equally elusive.
Justin Rose emerged victorious with a 72-hole total of one-over-par, clinching victory by a margin of two strokes over Jason Day and Phil Mickelson. With the recent comprehensive two-year renovation led by Gil Hanse, Merion’s East Course is poised to undergo further refinements, enhancing its design even further in preparation for the Open’s return in 2030.
National Golf Links of America
Address: 149 Sebonac Inlet Rd, Southampton, NY 11968
Nestled within the charming Hamptons is the National Golf Links of America, a historic golf course with roots dating back to 1908, established under the influence of English and Scottish golf traditions. Situated in Southampton, this expansive property spans 253 acres and offers a meticulously designed 18-hole layout. Its sprawling greens are adorned with indigenous flora, offering picturesque vistas of a hilltop windmill. The National Golf Links of America boasts captivating waterfront areas and has earned the prestigious rank of seventh place in the country, as recognized by Golf Digest.
Sand Hills Golf Club
Address: 36410 Sand Hills Rd, Mullen, Nebraska 69152, Hooker County
Rather than being meticulously planned, Sand Hills Golf Club was more of a discovery. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw embarked on an arduous journey across a sprawling thousand-acre expanse of undulating sand dunes in central Nebraska. They marked out the fairways and greens that had naturally emerged. With minimal earthwork, involving only the relocation of 4,000 cubic yards of soil, and by allowing the winds to sculpt the bunkers, this dynamic duo fashioned what is undeniably the most organic golf course in America – a design that stands the test of time.
Over the years, the course had been subject to the ever-shifting forces of winter winds, which continuously reshaped the bunkers. However, the course management has recently devised a method to combat this phenomenon. At the conclusion of each season, they apply a special product to the surface of the bunker sand, forming a protective crust that can withstand the relentless gusts of wind.
Whistling Straits: Straits Course
Address: N8501 Lakeshore Rd, Sheboygan, WI 53083
In the late 1990s, Pete Dye undertook an ambitious transformation by converting an abandoned, perfectly flat army air base along a scenic two-mile stretch of Lake Michigan into a homage to Ballybunion at Whistling Straits. He actually created one of the best golf courses in USA. He artfully dotted the rugged fairways and windswept greens with an impressive count of 1,012 bunkers (the latest tally).
At Whistling Straits, you won’t find any traditional rakes, aligning with the concept that this course emulates the essence of an Irish links course. Its propensity for unpredictable bounces and natural quirks can challenge even the most seasoned tour professionals, setting the stage for formidable competitions, including three PGA Championships, the 2007 U.S. Senior Open, and the highly anticipated 2021 Ryder Cup.
Seminole Golf Club
Address: 901 Seminole Blvd, Juno Beach, FL 33408
Seminole, a magnificent creation by Donald Ross, boasts an ingenious layout on a rectangular expanse, ensuring that each hole encounters a distinct wind direction. However, the course’s greens underwent a transformation half a century ago, deviating from Ross’s original design and disregarding the original undulating contours.
Similarly, the bunkers no longer mirror Ross’s vision. In 1947, Dick Wilson introduced his own interpretation, aiming to emulate the wave crests of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. A few years ago, Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw took on the task of redesigning the bunkers once more, also uncovering sandy expanses within the rough.
Seminole has held its status as one of the most exclusive golf courses in the US, which made it all the more thrilling to witness its televised debut during the TaylorMade Driving Relief match and later during the 2021 Walker Cup.
Winged Foot Golf Club: West Course
Address: 851 Fenimore Rd, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
The once densely populated Norway Spruce trees that used to tightly line every fairway of Winged Foot West have now been completely removed. This transformation has opened up the course beautifully, making it far more accessible to play – until, of course, one reaches the putting surfaces. These greens, arguably some of the most exquisitely contoured in the portfolio of the versatile architect A.W. Tillinghast, have been meticulously restored to their original specifications by architect Gil Hanse.
These greens resemble oversized mushrooms, with their edges gracefully curling and drooping. This unique design characteristic serves as a testament to Tillinghast’s distinctive style, demonstrating that, as a course architect, he certainly knew how to create a challenging layout. Winged Foot West was notably conquered by Bryson DeChambeau when he clinched the 2020 U.S. Open title in September. However, he stood as the sole competitor to finish under par, securing his victory with a six-shot lead.
Chicago Golf Club
Address: 25W253 Warrenville Rd, Wheaton, IL 60189
In 1893, Chicago Golf Club made history by unveiling the country’s first 18-hole golf course, a creation of the renowned golf expert of that era, C.B. Macdonald. Just two years later, Macdonald crafted a different course for the club when its membership relocated to a new site in Wheaton, Illinois. This new course, spanning 6,200 yards and characterized as a “first-class 18-hole course,” served as the club’s golfing canvas until 1923.
In 1923, Seth Raynor, who had initially begun his architectural career as Macdonald’s surveyor and engineer, embarked on a redesign of the course. He incorporated the “ideal hole” concepts developed by his former mentor 15 years earlier while preserving Macdonald’s original routing, which strategically placed all out-of-bounds areas on the left, as C.B. was known for his slice.
For reasons rooted in both historical significance and practicality, no major renovations have been undertaken since then. Instead, the club has focused on enhancing the course by periodically refurbishing worn elements, adjusting grassing lines, and more recently, reinstating several lost bunkers that had gradually been filled in over time.
The Ocean Course
Address: 1000 Ocean Course Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455
Kiawah Island is renowned as home to some of the most thrilling golf courses in the United States, and The Ocean Course stands out to be the top one. Along the course’s greens, waves rhythmically crash upon the sandy shoreline, creating a mesmerizing backdrop. This exceptional layout boasts the largest number of oceanfront holes in the Northern Hemisphere, providing golfers with a truly unique coastal experience.
Designed by the legendary Pete Dye, The Ocean Course offers not only serene vistas but also the formidable challenge of navigating the ever-present sea breezes. Throughout its history, this course has been the illustrious host of all the PGA Tour’s major events, including the 1991 Ryder Cup and the 2021 PGA Championship.
Above, you have listed the top 15 best golf courses in the US as recommended by our golfers. Know any other courses not to be missed in America, please share us by commenting on the box below. Thank you so much for your reading!