Have you ever wondered which are the most expensive golf courses in the world? To evaluate how expensive a golf course is, you can base on its membership fees (private courses) or green fees (public courses). In this article, we will focus on the most high-priced public courses, which invite golfers from all over the world.
Most Expensive Golf Courses in the World
Shadow Creek Golf Course
- Address: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Green Fees: Up to $1000/round in peak season
Leading the roster of the world’s most expensive golf courses is Shadow Creek. In 2019, the course ascended to this position, clinching the title when it elevated its peak-season green fees to $600 per round. This Las Vegas-based course, overseen by Golf Digest’s Stephen Hennessey, has not wavered in its pursuit of opulence. In 2021, it further raised the stakes, setting its round fee at a staggering $1,000. Even during the quieter periods, its 18-hole experience surpasses the expense of any other course on this list.
While the aftermath of the most costly round of golf may leave a sizable dent in your finances, remember to allocate funds for accommodation. Although Shadow Creek extends its doors to the public, access is granted exclusively to patrons lodging in one of MGM Resorts International’s properties within Sin City.
Pebble Beach Golf Club
- Address: Pebble Beach, California
- Green Fees: Up to $620/round in peak season
Pebble Beach has earned the distinction of being crowned the finest public course in the United States since 2013. Nestled along the captivating Monterrey Peninsula, this golfing haven is a perennial host of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. In the past five decades, it has also welcomed more US Opens than any other course.
Stephen Hennessey elucidates that Pebble Beach and Shadow Creek have engaged in a prolonged rivalry for the title of the golfing world’s most costly green fee. Presently, even at a rate of $620 per round, Pebble Beach emerges as a comparatively more accessible option than Shadow Creek.
Patrons lodging at Casa Palmero, The Inn at Spanish Bay, and the Lodge at Pebble Beach savor a $45 reduction on their round, courtesy of waived cart fees. However, for those mindful of their expenditures, investing that additional $45 proves prudent. This is because a night’s stay at these esteemed accommodations commands well over a thousand dollars.
TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course
- Address: Ponta Vedra, Florida
- Green Fees: Up to $600/round in peak season
Constructed in 1980, the TPC Sawgrass layout holds the distinction of being the original stadium course, serving as the hallowed ground for the annual Players Championship. Year after year, it finds delight in witnessing the world’s elite contend with the challenges of the iconic par 3 17th hole.
During the 2021 tournament, Byeong Hun An etched his name into history with an eleven on the infamous Island Green Hole, succumbing to the water hazard after four errant shots.
For those confident in their prowess and poised to tackle the Pete Dye-designed course, readiness to part with $600 for the round is essential, including access to 18 holes, a cart, a helpful forecaddie, and a warm-up set of golf balls. A frugal approach can be adopted by playing during the off-season. Although North Florida’s winter witnesses a drop in temperatures, the climate remains favorable for a fulfilling round of golf.
Whistling Straits – Straits Course
- Address: Haven, Wisconsin
- Green Fees: Approximately $555/round
The distinguished venue selected to host the 2021 Ryder Cup is the Straits course, nestled within Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. This destination boasts two golf courses: the Irish and the Straits, both meticulously crafted to emulate the characteristics of an Irish golfing landscape.
Gracing the shores of Lake Michigan, the Straits course will make history by becoming the first public golf course in a quarter-century to embrace the Ryder Cup, where Team Europe is set to uphold their championship. Should you have your sights set on navigating the intricacies of the Pete and Alice Dye masterpiece, allocating $555 for the round becomes essential. Additionally, securing a tee time demands planning precisely two weeks in advance.
For those who perceive the Straits’ green fees as formidable, the sister course offers an alternative. 18 holes at the Irish course come at a cost of $270, offering an avenue for golf enthusiasts to experience the Whistling Straits allure at a relatively more accessible price point.
Wynn Golf Club
- Address: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Green Fees: Approximately $550/round
Presenting our second Las Vegas course on the roster, we introduce the Wynn Golf Club, a creation of the esteemed designer Tom Fazio. Unveiled in 2005, this course underwent a transformation in 2017 when Tom collaborated with his son Logan to refine its layout. Following two years of meticulous construction, the course resurfaced in 2019 with a revitalized appeal.
The Wynn Golf Club stands as an exclusive resort course on the bustling Las Vegas strip, offering a distinctive opportunity to engage in golf amidst the city’s heart.
With a fee of $550 per round, the Wynn Golf Club promises an opulent experience, encompassing amenities such as battery-powered golf carts, attentive forecaddies, and even a Rolls Royce pickup service for guests located off-site.
Pinehurst Course Number 2
- Address: Pinehurst, North Carolina
- Green Fees: Up to $495/round in peak season
Dating back to 1907, Pinehurst Course Number 2 stands among the elder courses on this compilation. Its design by Donald Ross holds a special distinction as the host of a greater number of professional championships than any other golf course in the United States. Noteworthy mentions include three US Opens and a Ryder Cup event.
While it’s advisable to lodge in Pinehurst accommodations for a comprehensive No. 2 experience, it’s not obligatory. Non-hotel patrons can secure a tee time five days ahead of their intended play date.
In contrast to the lavishness of venues like Wynn, Pinehurst offers a classic golfing encounter in a historical town. However, your $495 green fee solely guarantees your tee time, necessitating additional expenses if a caddie or cart is desired.
It’s also important to note that carts are confined to designated paths on No. 2, inevitably involving substantial walking to access your ball.
Kingsbarns Golf Links
- Address: St. Andrews, Scotland
- Green Fees: Up to $478/round in peak season (from May to November)
Presenting our inaugural non-US entry on the list, we unveil the Kingsbarns Golf Links, located in St Andrews, Scotland. The grounds witnessed the inception of the game in 1793. However, the pursuit of increased arable land led the tenant farmer to disrupt the links in 1850.
In 1922, the course was rejuvenated, initially comprising nine holes. Yet, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that it transformed into an encompassing 18-hole layout.
Embracing a tradition common to many Scottish courses, Kingsbarns is designed for walking. Exceptions for carts solely pertain to valid medical certificates. Underlining their preference for walking, the establishment only boasts a mere four carts, known as buggies across the Atlantic.
To secure a round at Kingsbarns, expect to invest £328, which at the current juncture amounts to $478, making it one of the best golf courses in the world. A noteworthy perk is that indulging in a second round within seven days incurs only half the cost.
Kiawah Island Ocean Course
- Address: Kiawah Island
- Green Fees: Up to $463/round in peak season (from May to November)
The last name in the list of the most expensive golf courses in the world is Kiawah Island Ocean Course, a premier creation by Pete and Alice Dye. This masterpiece showcases an unprecedented number of oceanside holes, a distinctive trait unmatched in the Northern Hemisphere. The course’s inception unfolded during its construction phase.
Immersive exposure to the vast Atlantic Ocean subjects golfers to the unpredictable whims of the wind, occasionally translating into formidable scores. The prevailing sentiment within the team is that very few links courses beyond Ireland and the United Kingdom encounter wind’s influence as profoundly as Kiawah’s Ocean Course.
Having served as the venue for the 2021 PGA Championship and the 1991 Ryder Cup, the Ocean Course adopts a strict walking-only policy, with exceptions during the months of June to August. A caddie is included within the $463 green fee, although it’s customary to offer a standard tip of $100 per bag.
Golf, undoubtedly an exquisite pursuit, often comes with a price tag that’s far from modest. Our compilation of the eight most expensive golf courses, based on green fees, substantiates this notion. Ranging from a considerable $463 for a round at Kiawah Island Ocean Course to a substantial $1,000 at Shadow Creek Golf Course, the options available could give your wallet a run for its money.
Now, here’s a ponderable notion: is investing such a sum in green fees truly justifiable? Or would you rather opt to save and enjoy more rounds at your local municipal course? Considering this, if you were compelled to pick just one from our esteemed roster of the most expensive golf courses in the world, which would you select for your tee-off experience? Please let us know by leaving your comment below.