Best Public Courses Anywhere


#1

Best Public Courses you guys have played, cheap or expensive, that was well worth it and even underrated. “Hidden Gems” so to speak. Thanks.


#2

Not sure if it’s public (it’s not a private members club but is a resort course so pay to play) but Banff Springs is something else. The golf course is 7/10 but the location is 11/10!


#3

Playing Bethpage Black tomorrow for the first time - can’t wait!


#4

Do you subscribe to The Golfer’s Journal? There was an amazing article by @djpie in No. 3 about Banff Springs. If you’ve recently played the course, you would love it.


#5

Course at Sewanee (after Sweetens obv). And not a hidden gem necessarily, but Tralee fuqs.


#6

One of the best. You will have a blast, Hit them straight and long!


#7

Thanks! That’s the plan…but it doesn’t always go accordingly haha


#8

No, I don’t, but I’ve heard that it would be something I’d enjoy. Been meaning to check it out.


#9

I played Mammoth Dunes earlier this month and that jumped right to the top of my list.


#10

A short ferry ride from Seattle is a course called Gold Mountain, they have two courses. The Olympic is an amazing track cut through the forest, with super fast true greens. Beautiful place to play and very reasonable. Peaks out on summer weekends about $100 and around half that during the week. I usually play 36 over there and the replay rate is great as well. My favorite in the Seattle area.


#11

In general, I think university courses are typically fantastic public options.


#12

Midwest people, if you have time to make the drive. Prairie club in Valentine, NE is about as pure as it gets if all you want to do is golf, drink and stare into the abyss of life. Its public, rooms/bunks are great, unlimited golf while you are there. Its a hell of a deal for the quality of the lodging and courses. Obviously a byproduct of Sandhills, but accessible to everyone. Your clubs never leave the cart. There is a short course to grab beers and dick around at.

I think with 3 nights, and 5 rounds of golf between both courses my bill was about $1k.


#13

Going in August. Cannot wait.


#14

For sure Bethpage Black, it’s not cheap but as far as public courses go there’s no comparison, heck it’s better than a lot of private courses too. It’s the best conditioned public course I’ve ever played and just one of the best challenges I’ve ever had on a golf course.


#15

First time?


#16

Yessir! Any tips/tricks to the trade? Can I buzz around for a quick 9 at any time or is it fairly structured?


#17

Yup! They generally allow you to play one course per day, and let people that are members have access to the other. So youd play pines Friday/Sunday and Dunes Saturday, etc.

It stays light out this time of year til 8 or later. So you can easily play 36 a day if you want.

The dunes is my favorite, almost every teebox has an incredible view. If you catch an cool early morning with a breeze its amazing.

Try to save one evening to grab beers and goof around on the horse course, just a wedge and a putter. Its a fun way to wind down the day. Same thing with the putting course they put down on the canyon rim below the clubhouse/lodge. Pack a long sleeve or some pants for the evenings as bugs can get nasty and the temp can drop.

The turn shack on the dunes is awesome, just a little wooden cabin up on a hill. The one on the pines is easy to miss since its tucked back in the trees a bit and not exactly on a 9th hole transition. The first time we went we thought it was a maintenance shed until someone came out with a cooler of busch lights.

Overall. Its just an awesome experience and value for what you get. Clubs never need to leave the cart you never really touch your car until you leave.


#18

Nice! How’d it go? I thought number 4 was a real throat punch that really welcomes you to the round.


#19

Bethpage Black was an invasion of privacy. My dad and I got paired up with an Irishman super and the 3-time club champ. Best non-caddy caddy you could have, but damn he was intimidating. Shot 71, meanwhile I carded two 10s, without even hitting a moving ball.

I’m playing Virtues Golf Club (former Longaberger) in central Ohio tomorrow … always been public and in pristine shape. Off at 7am, looking forward to it.


#20

Not breaking new ground here but Rustic Canyon in Moorpark, CA outside Los Angeles is some of the best value you’ll find anywhere. A Gil Hanse design that peaks at like $65-70 bucks for a weekend morning tee time. Playing it next month at 11:30AM on a Sunday for $50.