If you’re an avid golfer, the country’s top golf courses will need no introduction. But for those new to the game of golf, here are some of the most prestigious golf courses in the United States that rank at the top of the list year after year.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Founded in 1891 in Southampton, New York, Shinnecock Hills is the oldest incorporated golf club in the United States. The original twelve-hole course was designed by Willie Davis, although the present eighteen-hole course is the result of a redesign by William Flynn in 1931.
This revered links-style golf club has hosted the U.S. Open Championship four times since 1896 and is about to host it again for the fifth time in 2018. And, Shinnecock is also scheduled to hold the U.S. Open again in 2026.
Shinnecock’s 2004 U.S. Open Championship statistics included a distance of 6,996 yards, a slope rating of 140 and a course rating of 74.7. Its updated distance for 2018 is 7,440 yards, with slope and course ratings still TBD. Shinnecock Hills is a private golf club. For more information, visit: https://www.shinnecockhillsgolfclub.org/
National Golf Links of America
Also located in Southampton, New York, National Golf Links of America – known as NGLA or simply as “National” – was founded in 1908 by Charles B. MacDonald and built with the help of a Southampton engineer named Seth Raynor. Covering 253 acres, the National played host to the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922 and again in 2013.
This eighteen-hole, links-style course is a challenging mix of short and long holes with a course rating of 74.3, a par of 73 and a slope rating of 139. The golf course made headlines earlier this year in April when a fire broke out causing extensive damage to the historic clubhouse.
Learn more about the NGLA here.
The world renowned Pebble Beach is not only one of the most beautiful courses in the United States with spectacular Pacific Ocean views, it’s also the number one public golf course in the country according to Golf Digest rankings. One of the only public golf courses to rank among the best of the best, Pebble Beach is at least accessible to the average golfer, although the green fees are among the highest in the world.
Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant in 1919, Pebble Beach is a five-time host of the U.S. Open (1972, 1982, 1992, 2000 and 2010) and it is scheduled to host it yet again in 2019 for a total of six times, which is more than any other golf course in the last 50 years. The national championship event also coincides with the course’s 100-year anniversary.
Pebble Beach stats: 18 holes, par 72, 6,828 yardage and a 74.7 rating. Learn more about the course here.
Pine Valley Golf Club
This New Jersey golfing landmark has been ranked the number one golf course in the world by GOLF Magazine since 1985. Founded by George Crump in 1918 in the sands of southwest New Jersey, the Pine Valley golf course was designed by a handful of architects in a unique blend of golf designs. World renowned as one of the best – and toughest – courses in the United States, this eighteen-hole’s stats include a 7,000 yardage, a par 70, a rating of 74 and a 153 slope.
Another private golf club – and perhaps one of the most exclusive – Pine Valley does open its doors to the public for one day a year. The last day of the annual Crump Cup in September is open to the general public, although you’ll have to be content with watching, not playing. For those who can’t make it on the one big day of the year and don’t have any member friends, you can get a peek the course with this drone footage from Golf Digest.
The Augusta National Golf Club was opened in 1933 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts in Augusta, Georgia. Designed by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, it was built on the site of a former nursery and has gone on to become one of the most renowned golf courses in the world thanks to its Masters tradition.
The Augusta National has hosted the annual Masters Tournament since 1934. Held each year at the beginning of April, the Masters is the only major tournament played at the same course every year. Although the course doesn’t have an official USGA rating, it consistently ranks as one of the top rated golf courses in the United States. To learn more about the eighteen-hole course, check out the course details from the Masters Tournament or visit the Augusta National website at http://www.augusta.com/
This is of course, just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the greatest golf courses in the United States. If you want to learn more about the country’s best golf courses, check out the 100 top rankings from GOLF Magazine and Golf Digest.