Golf Digest editors picks

Golf Digest's Best 19th Holes

Selected by the editors of Golf Digest

March 2008

Maybe it's the way a cold beer soothes your throat after 36 holes, or how a room of tartan and wood somehow eases the pain of your 102. Maybe it's the bartender who knows your drink, or it's the one place you can discuss your round without the person next to you glazing over ... probably.

Whatever the reason, when the last putt drops, golfers never seem to ask, "What do we do now?" The 19th hole is as much a part of golf as the previous 18. It's the place where you settle up the nassau. Or order the 25-year-old Speyside whiskey because that lucky so-and-so aced the fifth hole, and he's buying.

With that in mind, our "experts" canvassed the country looking for the best 19th holes. What they found is that what makes a golf bar great could be anything from spike marks still on the floor to views of the Pacific, or that Demaret used to drink there, sans clothes. But one thing they all have in common is that golfers often would rather spend time there than in their own home.

* OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

ADIOS G.C.
COCONUT CREEK, FLA.

The cast here is "New York South," and the gang smokes cigars, talks loud and makes big bets and biting jokes at the expense of other members; the bar is "first-rate," with flat-screen TVs and "classy stools."

AILSA PUB*
MYRTLE BEACH

Part of the Legends Resort; it's "the epi-center" of the Myrtle Beach golf experience; roomy but usually jammed with "fat guys from Delaware on a golf getaway"; it's a "scene," with golfers of all shapes and sizes "who don't have a curfew"; tons of beer and good burgers.

ARCADIA BLUFFS G.C.*
ARCADIA, MICH.

At the Sunset Grill, perched above the 18th, it appears you can see "all the way across Lake Michigan to Whistling Straits."

ATLANTIC CITY C.C.*
NORTHFIELD, N.J.

Built in the early 1900s and affiliated with Harrah's, it still has original tongue-and-groove flooring, complete with spike marks; "great bay views."

BEL-AIR C.C.
LOS ANGELES

"It's Hollywood without the ego"; bar overlooks the city and the course's famous Swinging Bridge; on any given day, sidle up next to Hollywood personalities such as Craig T. Nelson and Luke Wilson, or sit at the Smart Table, so named by former CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian because "everybody who sits there thinks they have the answer to everything."

Ailsa Pub

BURNING TREE C.
BETHESDA, MD.

Classic dark-wood bar with brass foot-rail; cartoons of Washington elite are stationed on the only wall without windows -- "like Sardi's, only better caricatures."

CARNEGIE ABBEY C.
PORTSMOUTH, R.I.

Wraparound bar is perfect for "mocking the foursome your group just beat"; bartender Steve Healy is "right out of central casting"; unreal scotch collection; ask for a shot of "swing juice," Healy's vodka concoction for bad rounds.

CASTLE PINES G.C.
CASTLE ROCK, COLO.

Tom Horal, the locker-room guy, will remember your name and your drink after one meeting; the chairs are "nap city," especially beside the fireplace; the milkshakes are "sinful" and the view of Pikes Peak spectacular.

CHAMPIONS G.C.
HOUSTON

Sit back and listen to Jackie Burke tell stories, especially the one about Jimmy Demaret at the bar in his birthday suit; the bar inside the locker room is three-sided to allow for "cross-counter shouting matches"; wood paneling is a "throwback to the country-club days of the 1960s."

CHICAGO G.C.
WHEATON, ILL.

Locker-room bar with "really old" furniture and "enough wood to start the next Great Chicago Fire"; sit at the "big table" in the middle; staff wears semi-formal attire, "classy"; "feels like an old rec-room where you can hide from a nagging spouse."

COG HILL G. & C.C.*
Lemont, Ill.

Dub's Pub, downstairs in the clubhouse, is "cleaner and brighter" after a recent face-lift but still has a history as an old hangout for tour pros playing the Western Open, Chicago mobsters and even Evel Knievel; rectangular bar with granite counter; room decorated with photos of past tournament champs.

THE COUNTRY CLUB
BROOKLINE, MASS.

Locker-room bar "looks like a law-firm library"; "history on the walls mirrors the history of golf in the U.S."; order Fernando's rum punch.

EDGEWOOD TAHOE G. CSE.*
STATELINE, NEV.

"Brooks" bar and deck provides postcard views of the course, Lake Tahoe and snow-capped Sierras; room is airy, with high ceiling, big windows and plenty of TVs.

FALLEN OAK*
SAUCIER, MISS.

Mansion has an Old South feel; the service is "Southern hospitality at its best"; the course has an affiliation with the Beau Rivage casino; overlooks the closing hole; booze/wine selections are "impressive."

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