Erin Hills. Just a very unique inland liksy-feeling track. Good lines, strategic bunkering and a lot more playable for a high single-digit than I would have expected given its scorecard length and that it just hosted the US Open,
Arcadia Bluffs. 1st time playing and could not have gotten a more perfect day weather wise. Favorite course in Michigan no doubt. Hitting shag balls into lake Michigan on 12 tee was also fun.
Troon North - Monument
amazing course built into the rock
We-Ko-Pa - Segauro
pack of 10 coyotes sweeping dew in front of us on the 1st fairway
learned why a “desert club” was needed for my bag pretty quick.
I played all three Sea Island courses last year so I’ll feel dirty if I say anything other than Seaside, but my official unofficial answer is a toss up between Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC and The Pete Dye River Course in Radford, VA.
Shout out, Panther Mike.
The redesign of Shingle Creek, and the 3-4 new holes squeezed on top of each other, on the north edge of the property.
I’m going to say the Merit Club in Libertyville, IL. Not necessarily for any architecture reasons (although the shape of the course was very good), rather because it was my first private club experience and Merit did not disappoint. I play a lot of Forest Preserve courses, so to get waited on like that at Merit was awesome and definitely made me feel better about the terrible golf that I played that day!
Prairie Dunes. Easy choice for me. Excellent golf and company. I was able to play the course several times over one weekend walking it most of the time. Tee to green strategy was a lot of fun and the greens are my favorite set at this point.
DJ - 3 hours north of Banff, the course at the Jasper Park Lodge is better / prettier / infinitely more fun. Teeing off late-afternoon or early morning, the “vibe” is incomparable – casual and completely laid back, never busy, grizzly bears everywhere (truly), drinking/gambling/music encouraged. Course itself is wide open and oh-so-scoreable. Nothing like it. My all-time fave!
(Don’t just take my word for it; ScoreGolf, the Canadian go-to, consistently ranks it in top 5 of the country - and always ahead of Banff.)
Mine is a toss up between Canterbury or The Country Club in Cleveland. Both are incredibly solid experiences surrounded by fantastic architecture. Here’s #14 at TCC.
Tie between Essex County Club north of Boston and Piping Rock Club on Long Island. Essex is a place that I hadn’t played in a few years, but it was in awesome shape and the variety of holes out there is second to none. I would never tire of playing that course and the members out there are pretty lucky. I know @Tron would agree with me. Piping Rock was new to me, but it’s a MacRaynor design that really fit my eye: tons of room off of the tee, but you better have your approach game working to score out there. Plenty of #width and #angles (shoutout @thefriedegg) and throw in some template holes too that were pretty good.
Austin Golf Club - not Austin Country Club (where the match play is), but the super secret Crenshaw design in the middle of nowhere. Very few trees due to wildfires about 7 years ago so now it’s wide open, all zoysia tees and fairways (tough to find in TX) and bent greens (even tougher to find). Design is fantastic. Menu at the clubhouse is basically “what would you like?”
Kiawah River Course - not as good a course as AGC but the experience was maybe the best I’ve had. Friendly people, beautiful setting and clubhouse, and the best locker room I’ve ever seen. Wish I could have spent all day hanging out in the bar watching football and listening to stories from the bartender.
Pine Dunes in Frankston, TX. It is always on top courses list but it is so far away from any metropolitan area that it does not get the play it deserves. It is 3 hours north of Houston and 1.5 hours east of Dallas. Tyler is the closest city with a population of 125,000 people. Pine Dunes has to be the closest thing to playing Pinehurst or Augusta National. It is very peaceful and is ALWAYS in great shape. It’s called Pine Dunes for good reason. Pines shape the course and if you miss and somehow avoid tree trouble you will most likely be in a bunker or waste bunker. The greens are big and undulating and at times get really fast. It’s not uncommon to see deer just yards away while you hit or putt as they are use to people. The par 3 6th and the par 5 11th are the two most talked about holes. The par 3 6th plays around 250 yards and the Par 5 11th plays over 600. There are condos on the 18th which are perfect for sleeping and eating. Now they have added a few building that will sleep up to two, Basically if you are all about golf and the peace and quiet then Pine Dunes is the place for you.
TPC Myrtle Beach. Exceeded my low expectations. Good value, excellent conditioning, fun layout. Also had the DJ marketing. Didn’t hurt that I played it during Masters weekend while on a fun guys trip.
LACC North - Best golf course I’ve ever played hands down. There isn’t much I can add to the accolades the North course gets all of the time, other than I cannot wait until they play the U.S. open there in a few years… Will be the best course to host the event in a long time. The width and options that are presented on each hole are numerous and the topography with lots of elevation changes hardly makes it feel like you’re in a major city like LA (aside from the views of Century City and Beverly Hills…). The locker rooms feel like you’re frozen in time back in the 1970s. Unreal place.
Dunes Club, one of the best 9 holers anywhere. Cool vibe, lots of variety with tee boxes. Got to loop twice and cant wait to go back
I agree with dailey here. I got to play here in May and it was spectacular. I hope I get another chance to play. The caddies were awesome, we did sneak back off 14 tee to see Hef’s spider monkeys, routing was great. The 15th is one of my favorite holes I’ve ever played. Best part of the day? The mules in the mens locker room bar. A must.
Overall favorite - National Golf Links of America. So much history for golf architecture, spectacular setting, and firm/fast conditions. Played with a knowledgeable member. One of best days.
Honorable mentions - Eastward Ho!, Ballyneal, Prairie Club Dunes, and Ballyneal.
The King Kamehameha Club in Maui. Stunning views and a great vibe. Doesn’t get as much play as the other resort courses on the island.
Each hole is either directly into or away from the trade winds which for me was a lot of fun. Low traj drivers on one hole and high bombs on the next. And how many courses have you played with a Frank Lloyd Wright designed clubhouse.
Hawaii Course Recommendations