Sanderson Farms Championship

The Country Club of Jackson


Places To Play

Places to Play

Here's every course you can play that has hosted a USGA championship

August 07, 2022

USGA championships—from the Opens to the Amateurs to the team events—mark the pinnacle of competition for both amateurs and professionals. To test all facets of a player’s game, the USGA stages its championships at our nation’s finest and most demanding courses. Though not every course that has hosted a USGA championship shares the storied history of Pebble Beach or Pinehurst, simply hosting one of our country’s national championships is an indicator of a quality golf course worth playing.

With the 2022 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur being played at Anchorage Golf Course in Alaska, the USGA has now held one of its championships in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia. And while many of those championships have been contested on private courses, there are nearly 150 courses across 39 states that have hosted a USGA championship and are currently open for public play.

Which of these public courses are worth playing? We've gathered information on each course, as well as feedback from our Golf Digest course panelists as part of the relaunch of our storied Places to Play franchise.

Alaska

Anchorage Golf Course
Public
Anchorage Golf Course
Anchorage, AK
A longtime fixture near the top of our Best in Alaska list, Anchorage Golf Course offers stunning views of Denali—the tallest mountain in North America—and the downtown skyline. At just 6,600 yards from the tips, it’s not a long course but the fairways are closely guarded by thick pines. The course plays along hilly terrain and features subtle doglegs, requiring proper shot placement to avoid being blocked by the lurking pines. It’s not unusual to have moose strolling the fairways. After hosting the 2022 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, the USGA has now hosted one of their championships in all 50 U.S. states.
View Course

Arizona

Westin Kierland Golf Club: Ironwood/Acacia/Mesquite
There are 27 holes at this Scottsdale resort that hosted the USGA’s 1997 Women’s State Team Championship. All three nines play along rolling terrain with dramatic elevation changes and picturesque views of the surrounding resort.
View Course
Papago Golf Club
Public
Papago Golf Club
Phoenix, AZ
Papago is one of the best values in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, offering incredible views of the nearby Camelback Mountains and downtown Phoenix. A recent $8 million investment into the course and the impressive Thunderbirds Golf Complex, where the Arizona State men's and women's golf teams train, have reengerized this municipal course that hosted the 1971 U.S. Amateur Public Links. The four-acre short game area boasts one of the most impressive collegiate practice facilities in the country with three acres of rough and fairway to mimic a variety of lies and a six-acre hitting area with 21 target greens and a number of fairway bunkers.
View Course
San Marcos Golf Resort
Public
San Marcos Golf Resort
Chandler, AZ
The golf course at San Marcos Golf Resort opened in 1913 and unlike many desert-style courses in Arizona, San Marcos is a tree-lined parkland design. The course, which hosted the 1973 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2014 that improved the irrigation system, added new tee boxes and expanded many greens.
View Course
SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
Public
SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
Fountain Hills, AZ
Tucked in a canyon 30 minutes northeast of Phoenix Sky Harbor, Sunridge Canyon features an intriguing mix of doglegs and carries over ravines. The course is best known for its closing "Wicked 6," which consists of two par 3s, two par 4s, and two par 5s, and plays generally uphill and into the prevailing wind. The course hosted the 1997 USGA Men's State Team Championship.
View Course
Omni Tucson National Resort: Catalina
The Catalina course at Omni Tucson National was a longtime host of the PGA Tour’s Tucson Open and currently hosts a PGA Tour Champions event. It also hosted the 1966 U.S. Senior Amateur. It is a traditional parkland layout with strategically placed bunkers and lakes that tighten the landing areas. The par-4 18th is a uniquely difficult hole with two lakes guarding both sides of the fairway, requiring a precise tee shot. The University of Arizona men’s golf team annually hosts a collegiate event in the spring on the Catalina course, attracting some of the top programs in the country.
View Course

California

Pebble Beach Golf Links
Public
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, CA
Not just the greatest meeting of land and sea in American golf, but the most extensive one, too, with nine holes perched immediately above the crashing Pacific surf—the fourth through 10th plus the 17th and 18th. Pebble’s sixth through eighth are golf’s real Amen Corner, with a few Hail Marys thrown in over an ocean cove on the eighth from atop a 75-foot-high bluff. Pebble hosted a successful U.S. Amateur in 2018 and a sixth U.S. Open in 2019. Recent improvements include the redesign of the once-treacherous 14th green, and reshaping of the par-3 17th green, both planned by Arnold Palmer’s Design Company a few years back—and the current changes to the iconic eighth hole.
View Course
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 hosted its second U.S. Open in 2021.
View Course
CordeValle Golf Club
CordeValle Golf Club
San Martin, CA
Located in the little known but abundant golfing area south of San Jose, the gorgeous CordeValle was a private club when it first opened, but is a high-end resort destination these days, with climbing and descending soft hills dotted by gnarled oaks. It hosted both the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur and PGA Tour's Frys.com Open in 2013 and was the site of the U.S. Women's Open in 2016.
View Course
Haggin Oaks Golf Complex: Alister MacKenzie
This Alister MacKenzie design opened in 1932 and has hosted two USGA championships: the 1963 U.S. Amateur Public Links and 1992 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. Interestingly, the course has no fairway bunkers and instead defends itself with small greens that are heavily guarded by deep bunkers. With rates as low as $25 (walking), Haggin Oaks offers an affordable chance to play a course designed by the mastermind behind Cypress Point and Augusta National.
View Course
TPC Harding Park: Harding Park
Public
TPC Harding Park: Harding Park
San Francisco, CA
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.
View Course
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 then-associate Jim Urbina, it’s now a prime example of Mackenzie's art. Its 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.
View Course
Singing Hills Golf Resort At Sycuan: Willow Glen
There are 54 holes at Singing Hills, located about 20 miles east of San Diego, including an 18-hole par-3 course. Willow Glen has hosted two U.S. Junior Amateurs, first in 1973 and again in 1989, when David Duval defeated Austin Maki in the finals. The course offers beautiful views of the surrounding hills and features narrow fairways often guarded by Sweetwater River, which comes into play on many holes.
View Course
Poppy Hills Golf Course
Public
Poppy Hills Golf Course
Pebble Beach, CA
When originally built, Poppy Hills had unpopular perched greens framed by massive containment mounds. Following a 2013 remodeling by Jones and Charlton, it's now a graceful, low-profile layout. "We popped the hills at Poppy Hills," says Trent Jr. A new feature are sandy naturalized areas and pine straw off the fairways instead of manicured rough, part of a concerted effort to significantly reduce water consumption. The renovated course was on display at the 2018 U.S. Girls' Junior, won by current LPGA player Yealimi Noh.
View Course
Quail Lodge & Golf Club
Public
Quail Lodge & Golf Club
Carmel, CA
Located in Carmel Valley, just east of the nearby gems on Monterey Peninsula, Quail Lodge plays along scenic terrain with the Carmel River bisecting the course. Not overly long at 6,500 yards from the tips, the course is generally walkable and features a few narrow corridors off the tee. The course hosted the 1975 U.S. Senior Amateur when it was known as Carmel Valley Golf and Country Club.
View Course
Rancho Park Golf Course
Public
Rancho Park Golf Course
Los Angeles, CA
Situated between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, Rancho Park hosted the Los Angeles Open in the late 1950s and 1960s with Arnold Palmer, Charlie Sifford and Billy Casper all winning here. This Los Angeles muny also hosted the 1949 U.S. Amateur Public Links. With weekday rates under $40 and junior rates under $10, Rancho Park offers an accessible way to play a historic championship course.
View Course

Colorado

The Broadmoor Golf Club: East
The Broadmoor Golf Club: East
Colorado Springs, CO
The Broadmoor Golf Club East is another timeless mountain course, built hard against Cheyenne Mountain with famed green contours that pose optical illusions. Many putts that look uphill are actually running downhill. Few golfers recognize that the East Course is a combination of nine Donald Ross holes (one through six and 16 through 18) and nine more added 30 years later by Robert Trent Jones (holes seven to 15). The East Course was the site of Jack Nicklaus’ first U.S. Amateur win in 1959 and Annika Sorenstam’s first U.S. Women’s Open win in 1995. It has also hosted 2011 U.S. Women’s Open won by So Yeon Ryu and the 2018 U.S. Senior Open won by David Toms, their first major victories as well.
View Course
The Broadmoor Golf Club: West
The Broadmoor Golf Club: West
Colorado Springs, CO
While the East course has hosted the majority of USGA championships played at Broadmoor, the West course got its chance when it hosted the 1967 U.S. Amateur, won by Robert Dickson over heralded lifelong amateur Vinny Giles. Compared to its sibling East course, the West plays tighter off the tee with more doglegs and steeply angled greens.
View Course
Wellshire Golf Course
Public
Wellshire Golf Course
Denver, CO
A classic tree-lined parkland layout, Wellshire is one of few Donald Ross designs west of the Mississippi. This Denver muny hosted the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 1946 and 1959.
View Course
The Greg Mastriona Golf Courses At Hyland Hills: Gold
Situated just north of Denver with terrific views of the Rocky Mountains, Hyland Hills features narrow fairways and intriguing design variety, with doglegs moving in each direction and numerous lakes guarding greens. The course hosted the 1990 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, a since discontinued USGA championship.
View Course
Garden of the Gods Club: North/South/West
Set hard against the mountains in Colorado Springs, the Kissing Camels Golf Course is a 27-hole facility open to members and overnight guests of the Garden of the Gods resort. This scenic layout hosted the 1982 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.
View Course
Murphy Creek Golf Course
Public
Murphy Creek Golf Course
Aurora, CO
This Aurora muny is a links-style layout that plays over prairie-like terrain with expansive fairways and greens. Given the openness of the design, wind often plays a factor at this course that can stretch to over 7,500 yards (although it is at altitude). Murphy Creek hosted the 2008 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Riverdale Golf Courses: Dunes
Public
Riverdale Golf Courses: Dunes
Brighton, CO
Perry Dye, the eldest son of Pete and Alice Dye, worked alongside his father in designing Riverdale’s Dunes course. Host of the 1993 U.S. Amateur Public Links, the Dunes course is expansive and open, but in typical Dye fashion, numerous pot bunkers, mounds and ponds lurk to punish wayward shots.
View Course
Sonnenalp Club
Private
Sonnenalp Club
Edwards, CO
Generally a private club, Sonnenalp’s golf course is open to guests staying at their posh accommodations right outside Vail. The course—host of the 1987 U.S. Junior Amateur won by Brett Quigley—offers stunning views of the surrounding Rockies.
View Course
Walking Stick Golf Course
Public
Walking Stick Golf Course
Pueblo, CO
Walking Stick Golf Course, located about 45 minutes south of Colorado Springs, offers a sort of fusion of prairie and desert-style golf, with native grass and sand framing many fairways. The generally flat, open layout hosted the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, won by Tiffany Joh.
View Course

Connecticut

Yale Golf Course
Yale Golf Course
New Haven, CT
Like the rest of the world, Yale Golf Course fell on hard times in 2020 and even shuttered its doors for a period of time, letting the course grow over while it was forced to downsize staff due to COVID-19. But Yale is the rare course that doesn’t need immaculate grass and landscaping for its superior architecture to shine. Reawakened in the fall of 2020, the Leviathan-sized golf course and magisterial holes like the Road, Cape, Knoll and the world’s best Biarritz once more breathe fire over the rocky, tumbling site. Recently made public, it's one of the few places in the U.S. where the general public can experience the original architecture of C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor.
View Course

District of Columbia

East Potomac Golf Course: Blue
Public
East Potomac Golf Course: Blue
Washington, DC
Dating back to the 1920s, East Potomac has long been a fixture in our nation’s capital, offering accessible public golf with stunning views of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. Sitting on the Potomac River across from Reagan Airport, East Potomac hosted the second edition of the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 1923. The National Links Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring the nation’s preeminent municipals, has recently made a multi-million-dollar investment in Washington, D.C.’s three premier public layouts, including East Potomac.
View Course

Watch Golf Digest's 'Every Hole At' Series

Florida

Omni Amelia Island Resort: Oak Marsh
Set within vast salt marsh creeks and lined with moss-draped heritage oak trees, the Oak Marsh Golf Course is a classic Pete Dye design. Built around the same time as Dye’s renowned Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head, Oak Marsh is a challenging, but enjoyable wetland course. The layout hosted the 1988 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur.
View Course
Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge: Challenger/Champion
86 Panelists
Open only to members and guests staying at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, the world-renowned Champion and Challenger nines make up the 18-hole Bay Hill course played by the game's best at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Charger, a third nine, offers a shorter, more open (but still challenging) experience. You'll still find Palmer's name and trademark umbrella logo on the range, where you'd find him on a daily basis.
View Course
Ocala National At Golden Hills Country Club
Ocala National is a challenging layout with sprawling century-old oaks and towering pines framing many fairways, requiring strategic shot-making. The course was redesigned by Rees Jones ahead of the 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
View Course
Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
Disney’s Lake Buena Vista course was used alongside the Palm and Magnolia layouts when Tiger Woods won his second career PGA Tour event there in 1996. A certified Audubon Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary, Lake Buena Vista presents a scenic test, winding through pine forests, palmettos and lakes. In addition to co-hosting the PGA Tour event, the course hosted the USGA’s 1995 Women’s State Team Championship.
View Course
Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa: Ocean Course
89 Panelists
This scenic Jack Nicklaus-designed South Florida track has six holes that play along the Atlantic Ocean, with a challenging four-hole finishing stretch nicknamed “The Bear Claw.” The course, which hosted the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, is one of two at the resort and features a classic Nicklaus design: generous fairways and well-protected greens.
View Course
Scenic Hills Country Club
Public
Scenic Hills Country Club
Pensacola, FL
Host of the 1969 U.S. Women’s Open, Scenic Hills Country Club still retains the distinction as the only course in Florida to host the championship. In fact, it’s the only U.S. Open—men’s or women’s—to have been played in Florida. Redesigned by former U.S. Open champion Jerry Pate in 1992, this challenging Pensacola layout offers rates under $40 on weekdays.
View Course
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. 118, 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. 169 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.”
View Course
TPC Sawgrass: Stadium
Public
TPC Sawgrass: Stadium
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
TPC’s stadium concept was the idea of then-PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman. The 1980 design was pure Pete Dye, who set out to test the world’s best golfers by mixing demands of distance with target golf. Most greens are ringed by random lumps, bumps and hollows, what Dye calls his "grenade attack architecture." His ultimate target hole is the heart-pounding sink-or-swim island green 17th, which offers no bailout, perhaps unfairly in windy Atlantic coast conditions. The 17th has spawned over a hundred imitation island greens in the past 30 years. To make the layout even more exciting during tournament play, Steve Wenzloff of PGA Tour Design Services recently remodeled several holes, most significantly the 12th, which is now a drivable par 4.
View Course

Georgia

Sea Island: Seaside
Public
Sea Island: Seaside
Saint Simons Island, GA
The Sea Island resort continues to credit famed British golf architect H.S. Colt for its Seaside design, but in truth the present Seaside Course is purely Tom Fazio, who incorporated a nine originally designed by Colt (previously called the Seaside Nine) along with a nine (the Marshland Nine) designed in 1974 by Joe Lee, to create a totally new 18- hole course. But in keeping with the resort’s heritage, Fazio styled his new course in the design fashion of Colt, with big clamshell bunkers, smallish putting surfaces and exposed sand dunes off most of the windswept fairways. The Seaside Course has hosted numerous USGA championships and has been a mainstay of the PGA Tour’s early season roster for many years.
View Course
Chastain Park Golf Course
Public
Chastain Park Golf Course
Atlanta, GA
One of the best public options in Atlanta, Chastain Park is in the Buckhead neighborhood on the north side of the city and plays along rolling hills with scenic views of the surrounding skyline. This Atlanta muny hosted the 1948 U.S. Amateur Public Links when it was known as North Fulton Park Golf Course.
View Course

Hawaii

Wailua Municipal Golf Course: Wailua
One of the best deals for golf in all of Hawaii, this muny hosted three U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships. The par-3 17th photographed here features an elevated green to a green carved out near the water.
View Course
Ala Wai Golf Course
Public
Ala Wai Golf Course
Honolulu, HI
Just off the beach with view of the Waikiki skyline, Ala Wai is a flat, enjoyable layout. This often-busy Honolulu muny has hosted a couple of USGA championships: the 1960 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the 1983 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Kapalua: Bay
Public
Kapalua: Bay
Lahaina, HI
Often overshadowed by its sibling Plantation course (annual host of the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions), Kapalua’s Bay course holds its own, having hosted PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events, as well as the 1998 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. The Arnold Palmer design treats golfers to stunning views, including at the signature par-3 17th, which plays directly over the ocean.
View Course

Idaho

Banbury Golf Course
Public
Banbury Golf Course
Eagle, ID
Banbury is a scenic layout just outside Boise, with numerous lakes and creeks bringing water into play on many holes. When the course hosted the U.S. Girls’ Junior in 2005, future major champions I.K. Kim and Inbee Park squared off in the final, with Kim taking the title over the up-and-coming Park.
View Course

Illinois

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club: # 4 - Dubsdread
Some tour pros were critical of Rees Jones's remodeling of Cog Hill No. 4, insisting it's too hard for high handicappers. What did they expect? Its nickname is, after all, Dubsdread. And there are three easier courses at Cog Hill for high handicappers. Original owner Joe Jemsek wanted a ball-busting championship course when it was built back in the mid-1960s. Jones's renovation was true to the philosophy of original architect Dick Wilson, who liked to pinch fairways with bunkers and surround greens with more bunkers, all of them deep.
View Course
Spencer T. Olin Golf Course: Spencer T. Olin
About 30 minutes northeast of downtown St. Louis and across the Mississippi River, Spencer T. Olin Golf Course has hosted a couple of USGA championships: the 1996 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and 1999 U.S. Amateur Public Links. The course is generally forgiving off the tee, but undulating greens require quality iron play to get close.
View Course
Cantigny Golf: Woodside/Lakeside/Hillside/Youth Links
Panelists
Former PGA Tour player and current on-course TV commentator Colt Knost won the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 2007 when it was played at Cantigny. The win was part of a torrid summer on the amateur circuit for Knost, who also won the U.S. Amateur and was a part of a winning Walker Cup team. Cantigny is a 36-hole facility with three distinct nines best described by their names: Woodside, Lakeside and Hillside. A fourth nine, Youth Links, is reserved for juniors ages 8-15.
View Course
Silver Lake Country Club: North
Public
Silver Lake Country Club: North
Orland Park, IL
Situated in the Chicago suburb of Orland Park, Silver Lake is owned by the Coghill family, who founded nearby Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in the early 20th century. Silver Lake’s North course is a classic parkland layout with wide, forgiving fairways and receptive greens. The North course hosted the 1958 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
University of Illinois Golf Course: Orange
The University of Illinois Golf Course is a 36-hole facility located about six miles south of campus. The Orange course opened in 1950 and hosted the fourth edition of the U.S. Junior Amateur a year later in 1951. The course—a walkable parkland design—offers weekday rates under $25 and weekend rates under $30.
View Course

Indiana

Coffin Golf Club: Coffin
Public
Coffin Golf Club: Coffin
Indianapolis, IN
Coffin Golf Club originally opened in the early 1930s and has hosted three U.S. Amateur Public Links championships, including in 1935, when Frank Strafaci, the grandfather of 2020 U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci, won the title. The course underwent a significant redesign in 1995, but it still plays along the same rolling terrain that it did when it hosted the three USGA championships.
View Course
Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame
Public
Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN
40 Panelists
Steve Stricker captured his first USGA championship at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course at the 2019 U.S. Senior Open. This Coore and Crenshaw design sits on 250 wooded acres just north of campus and is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
View Course
Eagle Creek Golf Club: Sycamore Course
Public
Eagle Creek Golf Club: Sycamore Course
Indianapolis, IN
Eagle Creek Golf Club is a 36-hole facility with two Pete Dye-designed courses. The Sycamore course is a scenic layout with a variety of holes, some tree-lined and others more open with water in play. The original course at Eagle Creek, made up of 17 holes from the Sycamore course and one hole from the Pines course, hosted the 1982 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
French Lick Resort: Pete Dye Course
Public
French Lick Resort: Pete Dye Course
French Lick, IN
Pete Dye’s mountaintop design, Golf Digest’s 2009 Best New Public winner, established that at age 80 the designer still had fresh ideas, including rumpled chipping swales, country-lane cart paths and volcano bunkers. Measuring just over 8,100 yards from the tips, Pete Dye at French Lick is not the first course over 8,000 yards to land on our rankings. That would be Runaway Brook in Massachusetts, now called the Pines Course at The International Golf Club. It was 8,040 yards when ranked in 1967. Today it’s 8,325 yards. The world’s longest is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in China at 8,415 yards.
View Course
Otter Creek Golf Course: North/West/East
Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed the original 18 holes at Otter Creek, which is now the North and West nines. The course has equally heavy doses of trees and bunkers, which paired with the meandering creeks make this a demanding test. The challenging layout hosted the 1991 U.S. Amateur Public Links, which was played on the North and West nines. Robert Trent Jones’ son, Rees Jones, designed an additional nine holes—the East course—in 1995, rounding out this now 27-hole facility.
View Course
Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex: Ackerman-Allen
43 Panelists
The Ackerman-Allen course at Purdue’s 36-hole Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex was originally designed by Bill Diddle and opened in 1934. The Purdue South Course, as it was known back then, hosted the 1955 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 1961 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, the latter of which was won by Purdue, with Jack Nicklaus claiming the individual title. Pete Dye, who designed the sibling Kampen course, redesigned the Ackerman-Allen layout in 2015-’16.
View Course

Kansas

Leavenworth Golf Club
Public
Leavenworth Golf Club
Lansing, KS
Leavenworth, about 30 minutes northwest of Kansas City, was originally organized as a private club in 1920. Today, it’s open to the public and offers a ball-striking test, with narrow corridors between trees and tiny greens. At just 5,900 yards from the tips, distance is not a requisite to scoring, but accuracy certainly is. The century-old course hosted the 1964 U.S. Girls’ Junior, won by Peggy Conley.
View Course
Sand Creek Station
Public
Sand Creek Station
Newton, KS
In 2014, Sand Creek Station hosted the final U.S. Amateur Public Links, a championship first played in 1922. Byron Meth captured the title in 2014, defeating Doug Ghim in extra holes. The course, located about 30 minutes north of Wichita, is bisected by a railway and features several template holes, including the Road Hole and Redan.
View Course

Kentucky

Kearney Hill Golf Links
Public
Kearney Hill Golf Links
Lexington, KY
The father-son duo of Pete and PB Dye designed Kearney Hill Golf Links, which plays true to its name as a Scottish links-style course. South African (and future Players champion) Tim Clark won the 1997 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Kearney Hill. Ten years later in 2007, future U.S. Solheim Cup team member Mina Harigae took home the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links title at this Lexington muny. With weekday rates under $30, it’s an affordable way to play a Dye-designed championship course.
View Course
Seneca Golf Course
Public
Seneca Golf Course
Louisville, KY
This challenging Louisville muny plays along hilly terrain in Seneca Park. World Golf Hall of Famer Gary Player won his first PGA Tour event at Seneca Golf Course in 1958 at the Kentucky Derby Open. Eight years before Player’s triumph, Seneca hosted the 1950 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Shawnee Golf Course
Public
Shawnee Golf Course
Louisville, KY
Situated alongside the Ohio River, Shawnee is a player-friendly municipal in Louisville. The generally flat course dates back to the 1920s and hosted the 1932 U.S. Amateur Public Links. In addition to the 18-hole layout, there is a three-hole junior course.
View Course

Louisiana

Lakewood Golf Club
Public
Lakewood Golf Club
New Orleans, LA
The PGA Tour played the New Orleans Open at Lakewood from 1963 to 1988, with names like Player, Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Casper, Ballesteros and Crenshaw all winning at this public track. In addition to this PGA Tour history, the course also hosted the 1966 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur. A recent redesign has modernized the course, which now includes several unique bunkers, including the flame-shaped traps at the 18th, designed to pay tribute to New Orleans firefighters.
View Course

Maine

Bangor Municipal Golf Course
Public
Bangor Municipal Golf Course
Bangor, ME
Bangor Municipal is a player-friendly course with forgiving fairways and large greens. Interestingly, since many greens are dome-shaped, putting from the middle of the green often leaves you a downhill putt to many pins. The Geoffrey Cornish design hosted the 1978 U.S. Amateur Public Links and was the longtime host of the Greater Bangor Open, a favorite among mini-tour players. World Golf Hall of Famer Lanny Wadkins captured the GBO in 1971. A nine-hole course—the Kelly Nine—rounds out this 27-hole facility.
View Course

Maryland

Mount Pleasant Golf Course
Public
Mount Pleasant Golf Course
Baltimore, MD
Mount Pleasant was the site of Arnold Palmer’s third PGA Tour win at the 1956 Eastern Open. The event was played at Mount Pleasant from 1950-1958, with other winners including Sam Snead, Cary Middlecoff and Bob Toski. The public parkland track just north of downtown Baltimore also hosted the 1939 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course

Massachusetts

Taconic Golf Club
Public
Taconic Golf Club
Williamstown, MA
47 Panelists
Taconic dates back to 1896 and is the home course of the Williams College men’s and women’s golf teams. Routinely ranked inside the top 15 on our Best in State rankings, Taconic is a challenging parkland layout with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The western Massachusetts gem has hosted three different USGA championships: the 1956 U.S. Junior Amateur, 1963 U.S. Women’s Amateur and 1996 U.S. Senior Amateur.
View Course
Red Tail Golf Club: Red Tail
Public
Red Tail Golf Club: Red Tail
Devens, MA

From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: Fort Devens in Massachusetts was an army facility dating back to 1917, once a city unto itself, housing 10,000 soldiers, with its own water and sewer systems, its own schools, its own airport. Just 35 miles west of Boston, it was both a training ground and stopping-off point for troops fighting in both World Wars. Before heading to Europe in 1942, General George Patton taught tank maneuvers there. In the late 1980s, much of the soil beneath the fort's thousands of acres was found to be contaminated with the residue of war: arsenic, chromium, nickel, lead, asbestos, battery acid, waste oil and incinerator ash. It became the focus of an enormous (and enormously expensive) clean-up, first by the military and, after the fort was decommissioned in 1995, as a federal EPA Superfund project. The community is now called Devens, Mass., offering a commerce center, business park, private residences, wildlife refuge and a public golf course.
 

(The above is an excerpt of our architecture editor's full analysis of Red Tail. Click here for Ron Whitten's full review.)

View Course
Stow Acres Country Club: North
The North course, host of the 1995 U.S. Amateur Public Links, was designed by Geoffrey Cornish and offers a nice variety of holes. The facility has a South course as well, but one of our panelists reports that the conditions are a little spotty compared to the North and the layout is inferior.
View Course

Michigan

Rackham Golf Course
Public
Rackham Golf Course
Huntington Woods, MI
Rackham Golf Course is a Donald Ross design that sits adjacent to the Detroit Zoo. While the course is generally flat, the greens have some undulations, as you’d expect from a Ross design. Rackham hosted two U.S. Amateur Public Links, first in 1940 and again in 1961.
View Course
The Orchards Golf Club
Public
The Orchards Golf Club
Washington, MI
Situated in a residential golf community in eastern Michigan, The Orchards Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that was built on an old apple orchard. The course can play over 7,000 yards from the tips and has hosted several Michigan Opens. Ryan Moore won the 2002 U.S. Amateur Public Links here, part of his storied amateur career.
View Course
University of Michigan Golf Course
Public
University of Michigan Golf Course
Ann Arbor, MI
Widely considered one of the finest college golf courses, the Alister MacKenzie-designed University of Michigan Golf Course opened in the early 1930s. In 1948, Dean Lind defeated future U.S. Open champion Ken Venturi in the final of the inaugural U.S. Junior Amateur here. The Blue, as it’s often referred to, sits adjacent to Michigan Stadium and plays along hilly terrain.
View Course

Minnesota

Braemar Golf Course: Championship
Braemar is a player-friendly public track just south of Minneapolis that offers wide, forgiving fairways. One of our panelists notes that the two nines play quite different, with the most compelling holes on the back side. In 1979, Braemar hosted the third edition of the since-discontinued U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Bunker Hills Golf Club: North/East/West/Executive
Bunker Hills is a 36-hole facility with three nine-hole layouts and an additional par-31 executive course. The North, West and East nines are all similar designs, with rolling, tree-lined fairways opening to large greens. The course has hosted numerous Minnesota Opens as well as the 1976 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Edinburgh USA
Public
Edinburgh USA
Brooklyn Park, MN
Just north of downtown Minneapolis, Edinburgh USA is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that hosted an LPGA Tour event from 1990-1996. An aerial game is required at this muny, as numerous lakes and bunkers guarding the front of greens often take away the option of running the ball up. The course, which hosted the 1992 U.S. Amateur Public Links, features a massive double green shared by the ninth and 18th holes.
View Course
Francis A. Gross Golf Club
Public
Francis A. Gross Golf Club
Minneapolis, MN
This Minneapolis muny opened in the mid-1920s and hosted the 1964 U.S. Amateur Public Links. Conveniently located just outside the city center, the par-71 parkland course—an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary—is a relatively flat and enjoyable walk.
View Course
Keller Golf Course
Public
Keller Golf Course
Maplewood, MN
A muny packed with history, Keller hosted the 1932 and 1954 PGA Championships, a Western Open, and for nearly 40 years, from 1930 to 1968, hosted the PGA Tour's annual St. Paul Open. On top of all that, it also hosted the 1931 U.S. Amateur Public Links. As one of our Minnesota course-ranking panelists described: "Holes 11 through 16 are as good of a stretch of holes as anywhere in the state."
View Course
Meadowbrook Golf Club
Public
Meadowbrook Golf Club
Hopkins, MN
Meadowbrook is a Minneapolis municipal located just west of the city. Originally built in the 1920s and renovated in the mid-1990s, the course plays over rolling hills with tree-lined fairways and a winding Minnehaha Creek that comes into play on a couple of holes. The course, which is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, hosted the 1947 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Rush Creek Golf Club
Public
Rush Creek Golf Club
Maple Grove, MN
A quality public track just west of the Twin Cities, Rush Creek has plenty of design variety, with elevation changes, deep bunkers and well-placed hazards creating a challenging yet enjoyable round. The scenic layout hosted an LPGA Tour event in the late 1990s and was the site of Ryan Moore’s second U.S. Amateur Public Links title in 2004.
View Course
University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course
University of Minnesota’s Les Bolstad Golf Course plays tougher than you might expect from a course that’s just 6,300 yards from the tips, as its narrow fairways and small greens require accuracy. The course, host of the 1958 U.S. Junior Amateur, offers weekday rates under $40.
View Course

Mississippi

Old Waverly Golf Club
Old Waverly Golf Club
West Point, MS

From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: I've always admired Jerry Pate's work in golf architecture. He was one of the few PGA Tour pros who really got down and dirty in golf design, and I especially liked the few courses he did with architect Bob Cupp. Their second collaboration was Old Waverly in tiny West Point, Miss., a dream project of West Point native George Bryan, who at the time was chairman of the meat division of the Sara Lee Corporation based in the tri-city area (West Point, Starkville and Columbus) known as Mississippi's Golden Triangle. Cupp was just two years removed from his employment as Jack Nicklaus’ chief designer, and Pate was still active on the PGA Tour when they started the project in August 1986. Both spent a lot of time on the site. I remember Pate was as proud of the massive drainage system he successfully persuaded Old Waverly to adopt as he was of the many strategies he helped impart in its holes. The course opened in August 1988 to immediate acclaim, finishing No. 3 among Golf Digest's Best New Private Courses in 1989.

(The above is an excerpt of our architecture editor's full analysis of Old Waverly. Click here for Ron Whitten's full review.)

View Course

Missouri

Forest Park Golf Course: Redbud/Dogwood/Hawthorn
Forest Park is a 27-hole public facility located just minutes from downtown St. Louis. The three nine-hole layouts can be played in a variety of combinations. Despite its metropolitan setting, the parkland course has a serene feel and is an enjoyable walk. Back in 1929, Forest Park hosted the U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Swope Memorial Golf Course
Public
Swope Memorial Golf Course
Kansas City, MO
The PGA Tour’s inaugural Kansas City Open was played at Swope Memorial in 1949. The Tillinghast design just outside the city center is a tight, tree-lined layout that offers views of the skyline in the distance. The course, adjacent to the Kansas City Zoo, hosted the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course

Nevada

Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course
Public
Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course
Stateline, NV
Edgewood Tahoe is one of golf’s most televised courses as the annual host of the American Century Championship. It also holds the distinction of being the only course in Nevada to have held a USGA championship, hosting a U.S. Senior Open and a U.S. Amateur Public Links in the 1980s. Once a member of Golf Digest America’s 100 Greatest Courses, Edgewood Tahoe is as telegenic as they come with fairways framed by stately pines, greens flanked by sparkling ponds and several holes positioned on Lake Tahoe, including the final three. At over 6,000 feet elevation the ball flies roughly 10-percent farther than at sea level.
View Course

New Jersey

Flanders Valley Golf Course: Red to Gold
There are two 18-hole layouts at Flanders Valley in northern New Jersey. The Red to Gold course is a challenging layout that plays over hilly terrain and features what many consider the hardest hole on the property: the tight 475-yard par-4 16th. Flanders Valley has hosted two USGA championships: the 1973 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the 1985 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, the latter of which was contested on the Red and Blue nines.
View Course
Hominy Hill Golf Course
Public
Hominy Hill Golf Course
Colts Neck, NJ
A municipal course owned by Monmouth County, Hominy Hill is a Robert Trent Jones Sr. design that is popular among locals for its affordable prices and quality course conditions. The New Jersey track has hosted two USGA championships: the 1983 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the 1995 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Neshanic Valley Golf Course: Ridge/Lake/Meadow
The three championship nines at Neshanic Valley opened in the mid-2000s and cover 350 acres. The course has an open feel with generous fairways that are framed nicely by tall fescue. Neshanic Valley—located less than 20 miles from the USGA’s headquarters in Liberty Corner—hosted the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. In addition to the three championship nines, the facility has a par-32 Academy Course for beginners.
View Course

New Mexico

Santa Ana Golf Club: Cheena/Star/Tamaya
Situated about 20 miles north of Albuquerque and bordered by the Rio Grande, Santa Ana Golf Club is a 27-hole public facility with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, including the 10,000-foot Sandia Peak. The picturesque layout hosted the 1999 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course

New York

Bethpage State Park Golf Course: Black
Sprawling Bethpage Black, designed in the mid-1930s to be “the public Pine Valley,” became the darling of the USGA in the early 2000s, when it played the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. Then it became a darling of the PGA Tour as host of the 2011 and 2016 Barclays. Now the PGA of America has embraced The Black, which hosted the 2019 PGA Championship and the upcoming 2024 Ryder Cup. Heady stuff for a layout that was once a scruffy state-park haunt where one needed to sleep in the parking lot in order to get a tee time.
View Course
Bethpage State Park Golf Course: Blue
Public
Bethpage State Park Golf Course: Blue
Farmingdale, NY
A.W. Tillinghast’s Blue course at Bethpage State Park was the first to open in 1935, followed by the Red and the famed Black shortly thereafter. Just a year later in 1936, the Blue hosted the U.S. Amateur Public Links. Today, only several of Tillinghast’s original holes on the Blue remain, as the course has undergone significant changes over the years as more courses were built on the property. The front nine is the stronger of the two sides, with plenty of elevation changes, while the back is flatter and more straightforward.
View Course
Grover Cleveland Golf Course
Public
Grover Cleveland Golf Course
Amherst, NY
Grover Cleveland Golf Course may be the cheapest U.S. Open course you can play. For just $18 on weekdays, you can play this muny that hosted the 1912 U.S. Open—won by John McDermott—when it was then the private Country Club of Buffalo. Grover Cleveland, originally founded as the Country Club of Buffalo, was designed by Walter Travis and redesigned by Donald Ross. In 1925, the country club sold the course to the City of Buffalo, and it was subsequently renamed Grover Cleveland Golf Course, after the former city mayor and U.S. President. A year later in 1926, the newly public layout hosted the U.S. Amateur Public Links. Today, the par-69 tips out at just over 5,600 yards, making it not only the most affordable, but the most playable former U.S. Open venue you can play.
View Course
Sheridan Park Golf Course
Public
Sheridan Park Golf Course
Tonawanda, NY
Situated between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, Sheridan Park is a walkable municipal that hosted the 1962 U.S. Amateur Public Links. The course dates back to the 1930s and plays over rolling hills with many water hazards in play.
View Course

North Carolina

Pinehurst: #2
Public
Pinehurst: #2
Pinehurst, NC
In 2010, a team lead by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw killed and ripped out all the Bermudagrass rough on Pinehurst No. 2 that had been foolishly planted in the 1970s. Between fairways and tree lines, they established vast bands of native hardpan sand dotted with clumps of wiregrass and scattered pine needles. They reduced the irrigation to mere single rows in fairways to prevent grass from ever returning to the new sandy wastelands. Playing firm and fast, it was wildly successful as the site of the 2014 Men’s and Women’s U.S. Opens, played on consecutive weeks. Because of its water reduction, the course was named a Green Star environmental award-winner by Golf Digest that year. In 2019, Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4 hosted another U.S. Amateur Championship, and the USGA announced Pinehurst No. 2—in addition to hosting the 2024 U.S. Open—will also have the 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047 U.S. Opens.
View Course
Pinehurst: #4
Public
Pinehurst: #4
Pinehurst, NC
The No. 4 course at Pinehurst has always been something of a Mulligan Stew. Created in the 1950s using parts from other resort courses, it’s undergone a succession of renovations over the years by Robert Trent Jones, Rees Jones and Tom Fazio. The most recent version attempted to differentiate the design from the other Pinehurst offerings with a garden-like presentation studded with pot bunkers. Hanse and Wagner’s new iteration ties No. 4 into the resort’s long-established genetics with exposed sand, provocative green contours, broad fairways and contiguous short grass recovery areas. While it looks at home in the Pinehurst sand hills, it functions as an extroverted counterpoint to the No. 2 course’s subtler stateliness.
View Course
Pinehurst Resort #6
Public
Pinehurst Resort #6
Pinehurst, NC
George and Tom Fazio completed Pinehurst No. 6, located a few miles from the village center, in 1975. The course has more elevation changes than many of the other Pinehurst layouts, giving the player a wide variety of uphill and downhill shots. In 2022, Pinehurst No. 6 hosted the USGA’s inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open.
View Course
Pinehurst Resort #8
Public
Pinehurst Resort #8
Pinehurst, NC
Located not within the Pinehurst Resort complex but about a mile north, Pinehurst No. 8 is one of Tom Fazio's most versatile designs, as each hole plays differently from the previous. The front nine is mostly tree-lined, the back more open, with both touching ponds, marsh and Pine Valley-like sandy wastelands. For putting surfaces, Fazio built crowned greens with greenside swales, intended as a salute to Donald Ross and Pinehurst No. 2.
View Course
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
Public
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
Southern Pines, NC
Whenever golfers visit Pinehurst, they always book rounds at Pinehurst No. 2 as well as the others at the resort. Pine Needles, just down the highway, often gets overlooked. It shouldn't, especially since its Donald Ross heritage has been reinforced by a recent restoration. Pine Needles has hosted three U.S. Women's Opens, so was it being overlooked when the 2014 U.S. Women's Open was conducted at Pinehurst No. 2? Eight years later, the USGA brought back the Women's Open to Pine Needles in 2022, when Australia's Minjee Lee cruised to victory.
View Course
Bryan Park: Champions
Public
Bryan Park: Champions
Browns Summit, NC
With green fees listed at $60 and below, Bryan Park features two 18-hole championship courses: The Champions and the Players. The Players was the first course, designed by George Cobb in 1974 and renovated by Rees Jones in 1988. Jones got his own design with the Champions course, which opened in 1990 and was the runner-up in Golf Digest’s Best New course survey. The championship layout, with 97 menacing bunkers and seven holes along Lake Townsend, hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Legacy Golf Links
Public
Legacy Golf Links
Aberdeen, NC
Located just south of Pinehurst in the Sandhills region, Legacy Golf Links is a tree-lined layout with plenty of elevation changes. The par 3s are especially strong, all with water in play. The finishing three-hole stretch includes a risk-reward par 5, a demanding par 3 and a challenging yet picturesque par-4 18th, nicknamed “The Bear.” Jack Nicklaus’ design firm laid out Legacy, which hosted the 2000 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club
Public
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club
Southern Pines, NC
What began as a private retreat called Knollwood, funded by Roaring Twenties millionaires like James Barber, Horace Rackham and Henry Ford, is now a charming public Donald Ross design, revitalized by young first-time designer Kyle Franz in the style of Pinehurst No. 2, where Franz had worked on the restoration. Mid Pines now features acres of exposed sand instead of traditional rough and marvelous naturalized bunkers protecting small, perched putting surfaces.
View Course
Tanglewood Park Golf: Championship
Originally opened in 1958 and designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., Tanglewood Park’s Championship course has hosted a PGA Championship, a U.S. Amateur Public Links and a PGA Tour Champions event. In the 1974 PGA Championship at Tanglewood Park, Lee Trevino edged Jack Nicklaus by a shot, while 62-year-old Sam Snead finished tied for third. A dozen years later, Billy Mayfair captured the 1986 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Tanglewood Park. More recently in 2018, Robert Trent Jones Jr. led a restoration of the Championship layout, repositioning bunkers and converting the greens to Bermuda grass.
View Course

Ohio

Community Golf Club: Hills
Public
Community Golf Club: Hills
Dayton, OH
Community Golf Club is a 36-hole municipal facility just south of Dayton. The Hills course, host of the third U.S. Amateur Public Links in 1924, plays over rolling terrain and has many elevated tees, making it a strenuous walk at times. Compared to the Dales course, which tips out around 5,300 yards, the Hills’ 6,300-yard layout is a longer and tougher test.
View Course
Glenview Golf Course: East/West/South
Glenview Golf Course, site of the 1987 U.S. Amateur Public Links, is a 27-hole facility just north of downtown Cincinnati. The course is often in good condition and offers plenty of design variety.
View Course
Heather Downs Country Club
Public
Heather Downs Country Club
Toledo, OH
Heather Downs was established in 1925 as a private country club but is now open for public play. This Toledo track is a traditional tree-lined parkland layout with relatively small greens. In 1956, the course hosted the U.S. Girls’ Junior and JoAnne Gunderson Carner won her first of eight USGA championships, the most of any woman.
View Course
Ottawa Park Golf Course
Public
Ottawa Park Golf Course
Toledo, OH
Toledo’s Ottawa Park Golf Course was established in 1899 and hosted the inaugural U.S. Amateur Public Links in 1922. At just over 5,000 yards, the tree-lined parkland design is quite short but has plenty of subtle doglegs which require thoughtful shot placement to set up clear approaches to the greens.
View Course
Ridgewood Golf Course
Public
Ridgewood Golf Course
Parma, OH
Just south of downtown Cleveland, Ridgewood is a 6,100-yard layout with generous fairways and large greens, some of which slope significantly from back to front. The course, which hosted the 1927 U.S. Amateur Public Links, offers weekday rates under $30.
View Course
Shaker Run Golf Club: Woodlands/Lakeside/Meadows
Shaker Run is a 27-hole public facility situated between Dayton and Cincinnati. The southwest Ohio track hosted the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links, when Anthony Kim was the stroke-play medalist. The original course consists of the Woodlands and Lakeside nines, which play quite different. The Woodlands is a tight, tree-lined design demanding accuracy while the lakeside is more open. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry added the Meadows nine in 1999.
View Course

Oklahoma

Jimmie Austin Golf Club At The University of Oklahoma
5 Panelists
The Jimmie Austin Golf Club is a Perry Maxwell design located in Norman, Oklahoma and is home to the Sooners men’s and women’s golf teams. Winding creeks, deep ravines and impressive bunkering require quality ball striking. From the back tees, the course is a brute, tipping out at over 7,400 yards with a course rating of 77.9. The central Oklahoma layout hosted the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Page Belcher Golf Course: Olde Page
Page Belcher is a 36-hole public facility in Tulsa with two championship layouts. Olde Page was the original course and opened in 1977, with the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links being played on it a decade later in 1988. The challenging layout tips out at over 6,800 yards and plays over rolling terrain with subtle greens.
View Course

Oregon

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort: Pacific Dunes
This is the second course constructed at Bandon Dunes Resort and the highest ranked among the resort’s four 18s. To best utilize ocean frontage, Tom Doak came up an unorthodox routing that includes four par 3s on the back nine. Holes seem to emerge from the landscape rather than being superimposed onto it, with rolling greens and rumpled fairways framed by rugged sand dunes and marvelously grotesque bunkers. The secret is Doak moved a lot of earth in some places to make it look like he moved very little.
View Course
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort: Bandon Dunes
Chicago recycled-products mogul Mike Keiser took a gamble when he chose then-tenderfoot architect David McLay Kidd to design a destination daily fee on the remote southwestern coastline of Oregon. But the design Kidd produced, faithful to the links-golf tenets of his native Scotland, proved so popular that today Keiser has a multiple-course resort at Bandon Dunes that rivals Pinehurst and the Monterey Peninsula—or perhaps exceeds them given that all four Bandon courses are ranked on our 100 Greatest. None of that would have happened if McLay Kidd hadn’t produced a great first design that drew golfers into its orbit.
View Course
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort: Bandon Trails
Bandon Trails is the lowest-ranked of the four Bandon courses on America’s 100 Greatest, probably because it’s the only one not immediately adjacent to the Pacific coastline. But we consider it such a compelling layout that it needs no seascape to command one’s attention. Bandon Trails starts and finishes in serious sand dunes (the 18th being recently altered by Coore) while the remainder rolls through Oregon forest. Bump-and-run is the name of the game but the structure of each hole requires thoughtful bumps and targeted runs. Its most controversial hole is the short par-4 14th with a thumb of a green personally fashioned by Crenshaw.
View Course
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort: Old MacDonald
Old Mike Keiser had a course. Name of Bandon Dunes. Hugged the cliffs of Oregon gorse. It made golfers swoon. So he added one more, then a third next door. Here a lodge, there a hut, even built a pitch & putt. Now it's America's top resort. Name of Bandon Dunes. But Old Mike Keiser wanted more. Down at Bandon Dunes. An ode to an architect he adored. Cut from heather and broom. So Old Macdonald came to be. In spite of a bad economy. Here it's big, there it's bold. Everywhere it looks real old. A Road Hole here, a Cape Hole there. Bottle Hole, Biarritz, ocean winds that'll give you fits. Short and Eden fit the scenes. Especially with enormous greens. Old Macdonald is part of the lore. Now at Bandon Dunes.
View Course
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club: Ghost Creek
Public
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club: Ghost Creek
North Plains, OR
50 Panelists
The 36-hole facility at Pumpkin Ridge has one public course, Ghost Creek, and a private layout, Witch Hollow. Ghost Creek, a former member of our 100 Greatest Public list, is a challenging layout with the winding title creek coming into play on many holes. In 2000, the Bob Cupp design hosted both the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior. The private Witch Hollow course, also on property, may be best known for Tiger Woods’ dramatic third consecutive U.S. Amateur win in 1996.
View Course
Eastmoreland Golf Course
Public
Eastmoreland Golf Course
Portland, OR
Built in 1917, Eastmoreland Golf Course has long been a staple of Portland public golf. The course has narrow tree-lined fairways and hosted the 1933 and 1990 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Heron Lakes Golf Course: Great Blue
Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed two courses at Heron Lakes Golf Club, an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary just north of downtown Portland. Both layouts hosted a U.S. Amateur Public Links, with the Greenback course first hosting in 1979, followed by Great Blue in 2000. Compared to the Greenback, Great Blue offers smaller, more undulating greens. There is plenty of tall, Scottish-style fescue and mounds, which add character and penalize wayward shots.
View Course
Heron Lakes Golf Course: The Greenback
Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed two courses at Heron Lakes Golf Club, an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary just north of downtown Portland. Both layouts hosted a U.S. Amateur Public Links, with the Greenback course first hosting in 1979, followed by Great Blue in 2000. Greenback opened in 1972 and was the first course built at Heron Lakes. It’s a more traditional parkland layout than Great Blue, with large, often elevated greens. With six ponds on the course, there is plenty of water in play.
View Course
Sunriver Resort: Meadows
Public
Sunriver Resort: Meadows
Sunriver, OR
Sunriver Resort, located in central Oregon, offers three 18-hole courses and a nine-hole layout. One of our panelists notes that the Meadows course, a John Fought design, plays the easiest of the Sunriver’s three layouts. The Meadows course is aesthetically pleasing, with towering pines, fescue-covered bunker faces and a meandering Sun River all enhancing the course’s beauty. The Meadows course hosted the 2002 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and the 2007 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.
View Course
Emerald Valley Golf & Resort
Public
Emerald Valley Golf & Resort
Creswell, OR
Situated on 170 acres just south of Eugene, Emerald Valley is a scenic public track with tree-lined fairways and views of the surrounding mountains. The course, bordered by the Coast Fork Willamette River, hosted the 1981 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course

Pennsylvania

Downing Golf Course
Public
Downing Golf Course
Harborcreek, PA
About a mile from Lake Erie, Downing Golf Course is a quality municipal layout that can play over 7,000 yards from the tips. The northwestern Pennsylvania track hosted the 1969 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
North Park Golf Course
Public
North Park Golf Course
Allison Park, PA
North Park, host of the 1965 U.S. Amateur Public Links, is an affordable municipal course just north of Pittsburgh. The parkland layout offers resident rates under $20.
View Course
South Park Golf Course: Eighteen
Public
South Park Golf Course: Eighteen
South Park, PA
South Park, located just south of Pittsburgh, is a 27-hole municipal facility that plays over rolling terrain. The course hosted the 1934 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course

South Carolina

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
Myrtle Beach, SC
Its ocean-side dunes are mostly covered with turfgrass and mature trees now, but when Robert Trent Jones built The Dunes back in the late 1940s, the property was primarily windswept sand dotted with lagoons. Those lakes come in prominently on many holes, particularly on the 11th through 13th, dubbed Alligator Alley. (The boomerang-shaped par-5 13th is called Waterloo.) The home hole, with a pond in front of the green, started as a gambling par 5 but today is a daunting par 4. The course has hosted three USGA championships, including the 1962 U.S. Women's Open and most recently, the 2017 U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball.
View Course
Harbour Town Golf Links
Public
Harbour Town Golf Links
Hilton Head Island, SC
In the late 1960s, Jack Nicklaus landed the design contract for Harbour Town, then turned it over to his new partner, Pete Dye, who was determined to distinguish his work from that of rival Robert Trent Jones. Soon after Harbour Town opened in late November 1969 (with a victory by Arnold Palmer in the Heritage Classic), the course debuted on America’s 100 Greatest as one of the Top 10. It was a total departure for golf at the time. No mounds, no elevated tees, no elevated greens—just low-profile and abrupt change. Tiny greens hung atop railroad ties directly over water hazards. Trees blocked direct shots. Harbour Town gave Pete Dye national attention and put Jack Nicklaus, who made more than 100 inspection trips in collaborating with Dye, in the design business. Pete’s wife, Alice, also contributed, instructing workers on the size and shape of the unique 13th green, a sinister one edged by cypress planks.
View Course
Myrtlewood Golf Club: Palmetto
Public
Myrtlewood Golf Club: Palmetto
Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtlewood’s 36-hole facility includes the Palmetto course, which has gently sloping fairways, large greens and a variety of hazards. The Myrtle Beach layout hosted the second U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in 1978. As part of a 2019 renovation, every bunker on the course was redesigned, with many of them being moved closer to the fairways. New Bermuda grass greens were installed the same year as well.
View Course
Wild Dunes Resort: Links
Public
Wild Dunes Resort: Links
Isle of Palms, SC
The Links course at Wild Dunes, designed by Tom Fazio, is one of Charleston's best public options with views of coastal marshes, lagoons, the Intercoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. The course hosted the 1985 U.S. Senior Amateur.
View Course

South Dakota

Meadowbrook Golf Course
Public
Meadowbrook Golf Course
Rapid City, SD
Situated at the foot of the Black Hills in Rapid City, under 25 miles from Mount Rushmore, Meadowbrook Golf Course is one of the best public options in the area. The parkland track hosted the 1984 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, one of just two USGA championships to have been played in South Dakota.
View Course

Texas

Omni Barton Creek Resort: Fazio Foothills
Fazio Foothills is another former member of America's 100 Greatest Public, and the favorite among many at the Omni Barton Creek, though the Canyons course ranks slightly higher in our scoring criteria. The Foothills course, which used to host a PGA Tour Champions event and hosted the 2003 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, underwent an update in 2017 to the layout, which tumbles and undulates down the rolling hills and around and over creeks.
View Course
Cedar Crest Golf Course
Public
Cedar Crest Golf Course
Dallas, TX
Located just south of downtown Dallas, Cedar Crest is an A.W. Tillinghast-designed public course that hosted the 1927 PGA Championship, won by Walter Hagen. The parkland course winds through trees and has relatively small greens, some of which have steep runoffs. In addition to the PGA Championship, the historic course also hosted the 1954 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Tenison Park Golf Course: Tenison Glen
Tenison Glen, located just east of downtown Dallas, is one of two 18-hole layouts at Tenison Park. When it opened in 1924, it became Dallas’ first municipally owned golf course. White Rock Creek meanders through this tree-lined track, which hosted the 1968 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course

Utah

Soldier Hollow Golf Course: Gold
Built on the mountainside above Midway, Solider Hollow is a 36-hole facility with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valley below. The challenging Gold course has dramatic elevation changes and can tip out at over 7,700 yards. When the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links was played at Soldier Hollow, 17 holes from the Gold course were used along with one hole from the Silver course.
View Course

Virginia

The Omni Homestead Resort: Cascades Course
As Wayne Morrison and Tom Paul point out in their massive, comprehensive biography of William Flynn, Seth Raynor was originally consulted about building the Cascades Course but declared the property insufficient. So the then-relative unknown William Flynn got the job and made the most of it. The topography of Cascades is magnificent and its bunkering is superb, particularly the cross-bunkers on the really fine 12th and 13th holes, both strong par 4s. The eighth is considered one of the great short par 3s in the country and Cascades finishes with a par 3, a rarity among top courses. The Virginia gem has hosted eight USGA championships, including a U.S. Women's Open, a U.S. Amateur and two U.S. Women's Amateurs.
View Course
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club: Gold Course
Public
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club: Gold Course
Williamsburg, VA
Back in 1966, Golden Horseshoe was ranked among America's 200 Toughest Courses by Golf Digest. How times change. In 2012, we ranked The Gold Course as one of America's 50 Most Fun Public Courses. "Trent Jones in his kinder, gentler persona," we wrote. "Even the island green seventh hole is a generous target." The evolved Williamsburg track hosted the 1999 USGA Men's State Team Championship.
View Course
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club: Green
Public
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club: Green
Williamsburg, VA
Panelists
Though not ranked as high as the Gold course, the Rees Jones-designed Green course has hosted three USGA championships, including the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. Compared to the Gold, the Green course is longer but more forgiving, with generous landing areas.
View Course
Birdwood Golf Course at Boar's Head Resort
Public
Birdwood Golf Course at Boar's Head Resort
Charlottesville, VA
Birdwood is a unique course that typifies the multi-purpose direction that future golf developments would be wise to study. Located about 10 minutes from downtown Charlottesville, it’s a convenient, upscale public course (green fees: $75-$125) that serves as an amenity to an adjacent resort, with a walkable routing across interesting and varied land. It’s also the home course for the University of Virginia golf teams boating state-of-the-art practice facilities, including a new par-3 course called “The Nest.” Originally opened in 1984, Davis Love III, along with brother Mark and lead designer Scot Sherman, re-routed and re-engineered the entire course, forging new holes out of previously unused forest. Rolling across the attractive northern Virginia countryside with long fescue grass buffers, the holes are infused with references to Pete Dye and classical-era template presentations. The Charlottesville, Va., layout hosted the 1991 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Laurel Hill Golf Club
Public
Laurel Hill Golf Club
Lorton, VA
About 20 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., Laurel Hill is a scenic layout that plays over undulating terrain. The course has terrific bunkering and typically gets high marks from our panelists for being in good condition. The Bill Love design hosted the penultimate U.S. Amateur Public Links in 2013.
View Course

Washington

Chambers Bay Golf Course
Public
Chambers Bay Golf Course
University Place, WA
Prodded by his partner, Bruce Charlton, and their then-design associate Jay Blasi, veteran architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. agreed to a radically different, vertical-links style when building Chambers Bay in an abandoned sand quarry near Tacoma. By the time Golf Digest named it as America’s Best New Public Course of 2008, the course had already been awarded the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open. In the Amateur, Chambers Bay proved to be hard, both in the firmness of its dry fescue turf (Jones called his fairways, “hardwood floors”) and its difficulties around and on the windswept greens. For the U.S. Open, the firmness and surrounds were more manageable, but the greens were notoriously bumpy. That’s now been remedied, as the fescue turf on the putting surfaces has been replaced with pure Poa Annua.
View Course
Indian Canyon Golf Course
Public
Indian Canyon Golf Course
Spokane, WA
Indian Canyon sits high above Spokane, offering terrific views of the city below. It’s a challenging layout, with narrow, tree-lined fairways and undulating greens. In 1945 and 1947, Indian Canyon hosted a PGA Tour event, with Byron Nelson winning in 1945. The undulating track has also hosted three USGA championships: two U.S. Amateur Public Links and one U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Gold Mountain Golf Club: Olympic
Public
Gold Mountain Golf Club: Olympic
Bremerton, WA
38 Panelists
Jordan Spieth won the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain’s Olympic course, just outside Seattle. The Olympic course—one of two 18-hole courses at Gold Mountain—is a hilly layout with tree-lined fairways and greens that fall off into collection areas. The course also hosted the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Kalispel Golf and Country Club
Private
Kalispel Golf and Country Club
Spokane, WA
Originally founded in 1898 as Spokane Country Club, the course hosted the inaugural U.S. Women’s Open in 1946, won by World Golf Hall of Famer Patty Berg. In 2015, the Kalispel Tribe purchased the course now known as Kalispel Golf & Country Club. While the course is private, stay and play options are available to the public.
View Course
The Home Course
Public
The Home Course
Dupont, WA
View Course
Jefferson Park Golf Course
Public
Jefferson Park Golf Course
Seattle, WA
Situated in the Beacon Hill neighborhood just south of downtown Seattle, Jefferson Park is a tight, tree-lined municipal that hosted the 1967 U.S. Amateur Public Links. The course plays just 6,200 yards from the tips and offers scenic vistas of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier.
View Course
West Seattle Golf Course
Public
West Seattle Golf Course
Seattle, WA
West Seattle Golf Course is considered by many of our panelists to be the best municipal track in Seattle. The front nine is relatively flat and meanders alongside Longfellow Creek, while the back nine is hillier and more difficult. There are beautiful views of downtown Seattle on several holes. The quality muny hosted the 1953 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course

West Virginia

The Greenbrier: Old White
Public
The Greenbrier: Old White
White Sulphur Springs, WV
C.B. Macdonald’s early American design of the Old White at The Greenbrier was always respected, especially after Lester George’s 2007 restoration re-established such things as a Principal’s Nose bunker and Dragon’s Teeth mounds. Golf Digest panelists rediscovered its pleasures and ranked it the Best New Public Remodel of 2007. Soon, owner Jim Justice began sponsoring an annual PGA Tour event. Then came devastated floods in July, 2016, which claimed lives and destroyed several Old White holes. Another architect, Keith Foster, supervised a total rebuild of the famed course in less than 12 months, in time for the following year’s PGA Tour event. As a result, The Old White was named Golf Digest’s Best New Remodel again in 2017.
View Course

Wisconsin

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. The dream has come 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.
View Course
Brown Deer Park Golf Course
Public
Brown Deer Park Golf Course
Milwaukee, WI
The site of Tiger Woods’ professional debut in 1996 at the Greater Milwaukee Open, Brown Deer Park hosted the PGA Tour event from 1994-2009. Although Tiger finished tied for 60th that week, he famously made a hole-in-one on Sunday at the par-3 14th. The parkland design just north of Milwaukee has narrow, tree-lined fairways and undulating greens. Before hosting the tour event, Brown Deer Park hosted three U.S. Amateur Public Links.
View Course
Blackwolf Run: River
Public
Blackwolf Run: River
Kohler, WI
Only Pete Dye could have convinced owner Herb Kohler to rip apart an award-winning course (Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course of 1988) and still come out a winner. Dye coupled the front nine of that original 18 (now holes 1-4 and 14-18) with nine newer holes built within a vast bend of the Sheboygan River to produce the River Course. It possesses some of Dye’s most exciting holes, from the triple-option reachable par-4 ninth to the boomerang-shaped par-5 11th to the monster par-4 18th, where Kohler surprised Dye by converting a long waste bunker into a temporary lagoon for tournament events. For major events, like the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open, Dye’s original 18 was used. But for survey purposes, Golf Digest evaluates the River 18, which is available for everyday general play.
View Course
Blackwolf Run: Meadow Valleys
Public
Blackwolf Run: Meadow Valleys
Kohler, WI
Even before Pete Dye completed the River Course at Blackwolf Run, he had taken the front nine of the original Blackwolf Course (Best New Resort winner of 1988) and merged it with a newly-constructed nine to form the Meadows Valley Course. Although the Sheboygan River isn't in play as much on Meadows Valley as it is on the River (the 18th hole plays over it), there are plenty of deep bunkers and tricky pin positions.
View Course
SentryWorld Golf Club
Public
SentryWorld Golf Club
Stevens Point, WI
The lush, tree-lined SentryWorld won Golf Digest's first-ever Best New Public award in early 1984, but never made our 100 Greatest Public ranking until 2017, as the highest-ranking newcomer. A few years ago, Trent Jones Jr. partner Charlton and their former associate Blasi remodeled SentryWorld, rerouting four holes and adding a new par-3 12 and par-4 13th, but they preserved the famous "Flower Hole," the par-3 16th which uses petunias, snapdragons, marigolds, geraniums and other annuals grown on site as decorative hazards. The flower beds are treated as lateral hazards. SentryWorld has hosted a couple of USGA championships, including the 2019 U.S. Girls' Junior, where future U.S. Women's Open champion Yuka Saso was the stroke-play medalist.
View Course
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 the 2007 U.S. Senior Open and 2021 Ryder Cup.
View Course
Yahara Hills Golf Course: East
Public
Yahara Hills Golf Course: East
Madison, WI
This Madison muny hosted the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in 1977. Just a few miles from downtown Madison, Yahara Hills is a 36-hole facility. On the East course, after playing out away from the clubhouse for the first three holes, the rest of the holes run parallel to each other in close proximity, making it easily walkable. The practice area includes a 40,000-square-foot putting green.
View Course

Wyoming

Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club
Public
Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club
Jackson, WY
14 Panelists
Located in western Wyoming, Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club is a semi-private Robert Trent Jones Jr. design. Near both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the course offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and wildlife. The relatively flat course is framed nicely by tall, native grass and stately trees. The scenic layout hosted the 1988 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the 1993 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
View Course