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The 7 best baseball cities for golf

There’s nothing more American than a summer road trip to visit one of baseball’s most iconic ballparks. If we had it our way, though, there’d always be golf involved. If baseball’s being played, it’s golf weather—so we have dialed up the best destinations for visiting a baseball game along with great public golf.

Our unscientific ranking sought out the best, accessible courses close to an MLB stadium. Naturally most of the sites are warm-weather locations, but you might be surprised to know places like Milwaukee would be at the top of our wish list of places we’d visit. It’s tough to beat the public golf in Wisconsin, after all. Circle that one if you get the chance.

It’s a perfect time to consider your next baseball/golf trip for next year during the heart of the MLB playoffs. By the way, you can watch the action on TBS and MAX. You can find a full schedule and more information here.

7. Houston

In terms of convenience, Houston is one of the best MLB cities to play golf, considering two of the best munys in Texas are minutes from downtown and Minute Maid Park. Closer to Bush airport, the Golf Club of Houston’s Tournament course is a Golf Digest Best in State layout and formerly hosted the PGA Tour’s Houston Open, now played at Memorial Park.

Golf Club of Houston Tournament Course
2.9
44 Panelists
Formerly known as Redstone Golf Club, the Golf Club of Houston hosted the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open from 2002 through 2018 until the tournament moved to the municipal Memorial Park. The 7,425-yard layout, just minutes away from downtown, was designed by Rees Jones and David Toms and features multi-tiered green complexes and a number of water hazards.
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Golf Club of Houston: Member Course
3.3
29 Panelists
The Golf Club of Houston Member Course is one of the best courses in Houston, Texas. Read our experts reviews and book a tee time
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Memorial Park Golf Course
Public
Memorial Park Golf Course
Houston, TX
3.8
34 Panelists
A significant renovation was completed by Tom Doak (in collaboration with Brooks Koepka) to transform the old municipal course at Memorial Park—which hosted the first Houston Open in 1947 and then again from 1951 through 1965—into a layout worthy of being a PGA Tour venue. Originally built in 1912 at a hospital near Camp Logan for recovering soldiers to use, architect John Bredemus redesigned the course in 1935 and added a second nine. Now with signature Doak green complexes and tour-level conditioning, Memorial Park is once again a must-play in the state and averages 60,000 rounds a year.
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Gus Wortham Golf Course
Public
Gus Wortham Golf Course
Houston, TX
4
13 Panelists
Houston’s Gus Wortham Municipal Course—just a few miles from downtown—has roots dating back to 1908, when the original Houston Country Club was routed on the site. It’s the rare piece of property in the sprawling Texas metropolis with elevation changes that make for a scenic, rolling layout. The course is the oldest continually operated course in Texas, and Harry Vardon, Ted Ray and Bobby Jones played exhibitions there over the years. The Houston Golf Association entered a 30-year lease and operating agreement in 2014. Architect Baxter Spann restored the course in 2017, rebuilding greens, bunkers and reshaping contouring, as well has reconfiguring the irrigation system for better water conservation.
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6. Dallas/Fort Worth

In this golf matchup of the 2023 ALCS, the Rangers and Dallas/Fort Worth take the slight nod over Houston, considering the number of quality public courses in DFW could fill any itinerary. Naturally, we recommend the Texas Rangers Golf Club, but also consider staying at the Four Seasons in Irving, which will get you access to TPC Las Colinas, host of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson for 35 years.  

Texas Rangers Golf Club
Public
Texas Rangers Golf Club
Arlington, TX
4
30 Panelists
The product of a partnership between Arlington Golf and the Texas Rangers, this MLB-themed course opened in February 2019. Designed by Arlington native John Colligan on the site of the old Chester Ditto municipal course, Texas Rangers Golf Club takes advantage of 55 feet of elevation changes on the property and boasts large undulating greens. On the first tee, check out the “On Deck” circle, where players can blast one last drive into the practice range before they hit their first shots.
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Stevens Park Golf Course
Public
Stevens Park Golf Course
Dallas, TX
3.7
21 Panelists

From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: Stevens Park Golf Course, a municipal operation in a revitalized area of Oak Cliff just southwest of downtown Dallas, isn’t exactly a preservation of the past, but a celebration of it. The original design was by a pair of club pros, Jack Burke, father of 1955 Masters champ Jack Burke Jr., and Syd Cooper, father of Lighthorse Harry Cooper, one of those “best players never to have won a major.” The course was built on land donated by Walter A. Stevens and his sister Annie Laurie in memory of their parents, Dr. and Mrs. John H. Stevens.

 

Read our architecture editor's complete review, here.

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Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club: TPC Las Colinas
3.6
40 Panelists
This par-70 resort course hosted the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson for 35 years. Aesthetics are very high with several uses of very natural-looking water hazards/creeks that blend in seamlessly to holes. The Four Seasons feel is evident all around, especially with consistently good conditioning. Large green complexes put a premium on approach shots, and if the wind is up, this can turn into a difficult test.
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The Old American Golf Club
Public
The Old American Golf Club
The Colony, TX
3.6
45 Panelists

From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: A decade after golf architect Tripp Davis created one of the finest replica courses in the country, The Tribute Golf Club on the shoreline of Lake Lewisville north of Dallas, he returned and built another 18 adjacent to it called Old American Golf Club. The two have same architect, the same owner, a shared clubhouse and a shared shoreline, but they differ in many respects. The Tribute, a compact core layout with returning nines, duplicates famous British golf holes. Old American, a residential development course laid out in loop design—nine holes out and nine holes back, to maximize holes along the lakefront—was inspired by National Golf Links and Shinnecock Hills, so it also looks linkslike, with some scattered trees. But there are no template holes on this 18. Old American is a Tripp Davis original. As befits a design by one of the more talented golfers among the golf architecture community, it features options and bunkers galore and holes that demand oodles of local knowledge. When it opened in 2010, Tripp told a reporter that Old American was, "the most strategic course I've done." Now over a decade later, I suspect he still feels that way.

 

Read our architecture editor's complete review, here.

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5. San Diego

For the 36 holes at Torrey Pines alone, San Diego earns a spot on our ranking of the best baseball cities for golf. About 15 miles up the road from Petco Park, Torrey Pines South is perhaps the most scenic muny in America—and if you’re a San Diego resident, it’s the best value, too. There's plenty of other great courses in the area, including Maderas, a Best in State course, as well as Aviara Golf Club, which hosts an LPGA event each year.

Torrey Pines Golf Course: South
Public
Torrey Pines Golf Course: South
La Jolla, CA
Torrey Pines sits on one of the prettiest golf course sites in America, atop coastal bluffs north of San Diego with eye-dazzling views of the Pacific. Rees Jones’ remodeling of the South Course in the early 2000s not only made the course competitive for the 2008 U.S. Open (won by Tiger Woods in a playoff over Rocco Mediate), it also brought several coastal canyons into play for everyday play, especially on the par-3 third and par-4 14th. An annual PGA Tour stop, Torrey Pines received another boost by Jones prior to hosting its second U.S. Open in 2021, this one won by Jon Rahm.
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Torrey Pines Golf Course: North
Public
Torrey Pines Golf Course: North
La Jolla, CA
3.6
131 Panelists
Redesigned by Tom Weiskopf in 2018, Torrey Pines' North course became friendlier for the average golfer. The number of bunkers were reduced from 60 to 42 and made easier to play out of. And the average green size was increased from 4,500 square feet to 6,000. Lastly, Weiskopf added one of his signatures: a short, drivable par 4 (the seventh)—making the companion course to the championship South course a little more fun. This may sound like a dumbing down of the architecture but it isn't. Within the simplification is a wide variety of green configurations and contours, with slopes rising and falling, some set high and others low, and many with more internal contour than is found on most greens on the South course, including the surfaces of the cross-ravine par-3 12th and par-3 15th. The North course also boasts ocean and canyon views on par with the South, particularly the par-4 16th rising along the Pacific Ocean cliffs and brining the player in the most direct contact with the stunning panorama. Perhaps because we feel there's a better couse hidden somewhere beneath the current South course, playing the North doesn't feel like a step down, just a step across to the other side of one the best public golf sites in the U.S.
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Maderas Golf Club
Public
Maderas Golf Club
Poway, CA
3.9
88 Panelists
Just minutes from downtown San Diego, this Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves design snakes through rolling foothills with an abundance of elevation changes. Maderas not only features a challenging, target-oriented layout, but it also stars over forty acres of native wildflowers.
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Aviara Golf Club
Public
Aviara Golf Club
Carlsbad, CA
4
133 Panelists
Aviara, part of an upscale Hyatt resort, has held the LPGA's JTBC Classic (formerly the Kia Classic) for the past nine years. The only Arnold Palmer design in the area, this resort course meanders through rolling hillsides and is landscaped with native Southern California wildflowers.
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4. Tampa

If you’re looking to plan a resort golf trip around an MLB game, it’s hard to beat Tampa and Streamsong, where there are three courses designed by golf’s hottest architects: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, and Tom Doak. There’s also a new Coore and Crenshaw-designed short course, The Chain, opening in late 2023. For something closer to Tropicana Field, head to Innisbrook Resort and the Copperhead course, the longtime host of the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship.

Streamsong Resort: Red
Public
Streamsong Resort: Red
Bowling Green, FL
Coore and Crenshaw’s Red Course is part of a resort triple-header that gives golfers a rare opportunity to compare and contrast the differences in styles and philosophies of arguably the three of top design firms in America, including Streamsong Blue, a Tom Doak design, and Streamsong Black, from Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner. The Red, like the Blue, was built from sand spoils created by a massive phosphate strip mine, with some piles forming dunes reaching 75 feet into the air. But there was only room for 31 holes, so Coore and Crenshaw had to take a section of less desirable, stripped-down land and create five holes that looked like the rest of the site, Red's holes one through five. The course has a wonderful mix of bump-and-run links holes and target-like water holes. Some greens are perched like those at Pinehurst, others are massive with multi-levels like those at St. Andrews. The turf is firm and bouncy, and while the routing is sprawling, it’s easily walkable. The Red has consistently comes out on top in this survey, but the Blue and Black are within just about a point.
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Streamsong Resort: Blue
Public
Streamsong Resort: Blue
Bowling Green, FL
Although congenial rivals, Tom Doak and Bill Coore actually collaborated on Streamsong’s original 36-hole routing, walking the site and mentally weaving holes around stunning mounds, lagoons, sand spits, savannahs and swamp, all elements left after a strip-mining operation. Coore then gave Doak first choice on which 18 he wanted to build, so Doak’s Blue Course includes a few holes routed by Coore. (Coore and Crenshaw’s Red, ranked No. 127, contains some holes originally envisioned by Doak.) The Blue starts a bit more dramatically, with the back tee on hole one atop a 75-foot sand dune. It has more water carries off the tee, and it’s also a bit more compact, since it sits in the center with the Red Course looping around its outside edges. The Blue definitely has the bolder set of greens, some with massive shelves and dips. The new addition of No. 178 Streamsong (Black) by Gil Hanse only adds to the spirited competition among designers. The theme song at Streamsong seems to be: “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.”
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Streamsong Resort: Black
Public
Streamsong Resort: Black
Bowling Green, FL
Gil Hanse’s Black Course at Streamsong, Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course of 2018, sits a mile south of the resort’s Red and Blue Courses, with its own clubhouse and its own personality. Reshaped from a decades-old phosphate strip mine that lacking tall spoil mounds, Hanse provided strategic character by building a hidden punchbowl green at nine, dual putting surfaces at 13, incorporating a meandering creek on the par-5 fourth and a lagoon cove to guard the 18th green. Both the putting surfaces and the chipping areas surrounding them were grassed in MiniVerde, and today both are mowed at a single height, resulting in the biggest, most complex greens found on our national ranking. One Streamsong insider calls the Black greens “polarizing;” we call them tremendous fun.
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Innisbrook Resort: Copperhead
Private
Innisbrook Resort: Copperhead
Palm Harbor, FL
4.2
108 Panelists
The Copperhead course is most famous for hosting the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship every April, but Innisbrook is home to three more championship courses—Island, North and South—with views more like the sand hills of the Carolinas than you might expect in Florida. The Copperhead course is a tough ball-striking challenge with tight, tree-lined fairways and a demanding three-hole finish—known as the Snake Pit—that often makes for dramatic finishes to the annual PGA Tour stop.
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3. San Francisco

Year round, San Francisco delivers golfable weather day after day. The only consideration is where you should play and how much you want to spend. On the high end, of course, are a couple destinations that are a bit of a drive but doable if you want to: Pebble Beach and Silverado. If you have the time and means, you can’t beat the golf off 17 Mile Drive, and if you have the will, there’s a way to do Napa, for sure.

If you want to stay closer to San Francisco, there are still great options. Definitely try to get on Stanford Golf Course, a rare Alister MacKenzie public course that is the home to the men’s and women’s Cardinal golf teams.

Pasatiempo Golf Club
Public
Pasatiempo Golf Club
Santa Cruz, CA
Pasatiempo is arguably Alister Mackenzie's favorite design. He lived along its sixth fairway during his last years. With its elaborate greens and spectacular bunkering fully restored by Tom Doak and now by Jim Urbina, it’s a prime example of Mackenzie's art. The five par 3s are daunting yet delightful, culminating with the 181-yard over-a-canyon 18th. The back nine is chock full of other great holes: 10, 11, 12 and 16 all play over barrancas. The storied course has hosted two USGA championships: the 1986 U.S. Women's Amateur and the 2004 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur. In 2014, Pasatiempo received a Golf Digest Green Star environmental award for its measures in dealing with drought. Today, water worries are in the past, in part because of a new storage tank that allows the club to capture and store recycled water.
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TPC Harding Park
Public
TPC Harding Park
San Francisco, CA
3.9
117 Panelists
Across the street from the Olympic Club is San Francisco's most famous muny, designed by the same architect, Willie Watson. Framed by eucalyptus, cypress and monterey pines, TPC Harding Park hosted a PGA Tour event in the 1950s and 1960s. And it hosted the 2020 PGA Championship, won by Collin Morikawa, after a significant renovation a couple years prior. The course also hosted the 2009 Presidents Cup, as well as the 1937 and 1956 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
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Stanford Golf Course
Private
Stanford Golf Course
Stanford, CA
4.2
47 Panelists
Home to the top-ranked Cardinal men’s and women’s golf teams, the Stanford Course is a par-70 George C. Thomas and Billy Bell Jr. design that dates to the early 1930s. Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Michelle Wie, and many more famed Stanford alums developed their games at this sprawling layout that was ranked on our America's 100 Greatest list in the 1970s. Grand oak trees line the fairways and elevated tee boxes provide beautiful views of the surrounding mountain scenery, especially on the 18th tee, where you can see San Francisco in the distance. There is strong layout variety at Stanford, with holes moving in each direction and a mix of wide-open tee shots and others that are quite narrow. Though it's a pleasant walk with few houses on the course, it can be strenous given the elevation changes and distance between some holes.
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Silverado Resort: North
Private
Silverado Resort: North
Napa, CA
3.1
74 Panelists
Home to the PGA Tour’s annual Fortinet Championship, the North Course at Silverado Resort features narrow, tree-lined fairways and deep bunkers that force accurate approaches. This championship course is located in the heart of Napa Valley wine country and was designed by PGA Tour Hall-of-Famer Johnny Miller.
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2. Milwaukee

Wisconsin has quickly become the No. 1 golf destination for those seeking a trip with a depth of great courses. Whistling Straits, Sand Valley, Erin Hills, Lawsonia … you could build a 10-day trip with amazing amenities to go along with unparalleled golf. That’s even without mentioning other quality options like the Grand Geneva Resort, SentryWorld, The Club at Lac La Belle or University Ridge. See, you need at least two weeks to hit them all!

Now you can see why it’s the best golf state for public golfers. The season is just a little short, so we’re giving the edge to Arizona in this ranking!

Erin Hills Golf Course
Public
Erin Hills Golf Course
Hartford, WI
Despite the rumor, Erin Hills wasn’t designed specifically to host a U.S. Open. Its original concept was to be a simple, affordable, lay-of-the-land layout, to prove Mother Nature is indeed the best golf architect. The concept changed—some greens moved, one blind par 3 eliminated—as the quest for a U.S. Open grew. That dream came true: after trial runs hosting the 2008 U.S. Women’s Public Links and the 2011 U.S. Amateur, Erin Hills hosted the U.S. Open in 2017, the first time the event had ever been in Wisconsin. Brooks Koepka won with a 72-hole score of 16-under, leading some to conclude Erin Hills was too wide and defenseless. In truth, what it lacked that week was the usual gusty winds that would have effectively narrowed the slanted, canted fairways. Had the par been adjusted to 70 instead of 72 as is usual for most Opens, the score would likely have been closer to 8-under.
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Whistling Straits: Straits Course
Public
Whistling Straits: Straits Course
Sheboygan, WI
Pete Dye transformed a dead flat abandoned army air base along a two-mile stretch of Lake Michigan into an imitation Ballybunion at Whistling Straits, peppering his rugged fairways and windswept greens with 1,012 (at last count) bunkers. There are no rakes at Whistling Straits, in keeping with the notion that this is a transplanted Irish links. It has too much rub-of-the-green for the comfort levels of many tour pros, which is what makes it a stern test for top events, such as three PGA Championships, the 2007 U.S. Senior Open and 2021 Ryder Cup.
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Whistling Straits: Irish Course
Public
Whistling Straits: Irish Course
Sheboygan, WI
The Irish Course has the same manufactured dunescape found on its more famous sister Straits Course, but with three major differences. The fairways are bent grass, not fescue. Carts are allowed, although confined to cart paths. (It's walking only on the Straits, thought both 18s are relatively easy to walk.) And the Irish has the only blind par 3 found at Whistling Straits, the 13th playing 183 yards over sand hills to a huge green ringed by more than a dozen bunkers. It doesn't get more Irish than that.
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The Golf Courses of Lawsonia: Links
Public
The Golf Courses of Lawsonia: Links
Green Lake, WI
A darling of the architecture cognoscenti, Lawsonia Links, designed and built in the 1930s by William Langford and Theodore Moreau, circles through grassy meadows and past an occasional stand of oaks. It’s a purposefully modest and functional design that invites players to rip driver, then buckle down for precise shots into large platform greens perched above deep trench bunkers dug out with pre-modern steam shovels. The par-3 seventh has another explanation entirely. Its green, perched like a birthday cake, was formed by piling dirt over an old railroad boxcar.
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1. Phoenix

Aside from the extreme heat of summer months, it’s tough to make a case for any other baseball city as being No. 1 for golf. Phoenix/Scottsdale has so many high-quality public courses spread out nicely throughout the area. Whether you wish to stay in one area or travel throughout the metroplex for the very best golf, you’ll be happy either way.

Of course, if you’re traveling in the peak of the summer, you do need to make sure your tee times are very early. Be off the course by 11 a.m., and you’ll have the ideal day leading into a day at the park. (Side note: Don’t miss Pizzeria Bianco in downtown Phoenix. As a New Yorker, it really is worth going to.)

Quintero Golf Club
Public
Quintero Golf Club
Peoria, AZ
Perhaps no course in the greater Phoenix area provides a better experience of the area's diverse topography. Some holes are framed by mountain ridges, others are out in the Sonoran desert. Still others are edged by manmade irrigation lakes or natural desert washes. Holes like the par-5 eighth and par-4 14th climb up long slopes, while dazzling par 3s at six and 16 plunge dramatically downhill. Quintero, a former private club, is a scenic and playable delight.
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We-Ko-Pa Golf Club: Saguaro
Public
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club: Saguaro
Fort McDowell, AZ
4.1
231 Panelists
A mainstay on Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Public, the Saguaro course is ranked among the best public options in the state. This Coore and Crenshaw design incorporates all the typical traits of a desert course while maintaining a traditional, walkable feel—the Saguaro features wide, forgiving fairways and greens situated close to the following tees. Like Bandon Trails, Sand Hills, and Friar’s Head, three of Coore and Crenshaw’s other acclaimed projects, We-Ko-Pa traces the natural movement of the land and provides 360 degree views of four surrounding mountains: Superstition, McDowell, Mazatzal and the Four Peaks.
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TPC Scottsdale: Stadium
Public
TPC Scottsdale: Stadium
Scottsdale, AZ
3.9
232 Panelists
The famed home of the WM Phoenix Open boasts probably the most well-known stadium hole in golf: the par-3 16th. Tiger Woods' hole-in-one in 1997 put it on the map for casual fans, who now flock to Scottsdale during Super Bowl week. The layout has architectural merit, too, with its risk-and-reward-filled back nine. Tom Weiskopf, who designed the course with Jay Morrish, has overseen renovations of the course—making tweaks to please the tour player and resort guest alike.
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Troon North Golf Club: Monument
Public
Troon North Golf Club: Monument
Scottsdale, AZ
4.2
120 Panelists
This esteemed Tom Weiskopf design pays homage to Open Championship-style golf in the middle of the Scottsdale desert. Set in the shadows of Pinnacle Peak, Troon North weaves through giant granite boulders that often impact shot options. The track is a tough, yet aesthetically pleasing experience for any golfer.
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Don't miss a moment of the rest of the MLB playoffs on TBS and MAX. You can find a full schedule and more information here.

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