A Golf Lover’s Guide to the 7 Best Public Golf Courses in the USA

In 2019, 24.3 million Americans over the age of 6 played golf on an actual course. As you can see, it’s a very popular sport! When you consider that it’s very relaxing and you get to enjoy the great outdoors, it all makes perfect sense.

Maybe you’re interested in picking up a new sport and golf’s on the top of your list for those reasons. But where should you go to get some practice?

To help you out, here are the 7 best public golf courses in the USA!

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links: Pebble Beach, CA

This beautiful golf course is located in northern California. It’s located right on the coast, which makes for a breathtaking view while you’re getting your game on.

While the course does take you inland on the back 9, you’ll slowly make your way back to the coast on the last 2 holes.

Several golfing tournaments have been held at Pebble Beach Golf Links, such as PGA Tour events.

When you see just what this course has to offer, you’ll know exactly why! It’s definitely one of the best public golf courses in the USA.

2. Pacific Dunes: Bandon, OR

In the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Dunes has quite a reputation. Bandon Dunes Resort itself actually has 6 courses available, and they’re all of high caliber.

However, the most famous course is Pacific Dunes, which is what we’ll be focusing on here. It’s a traditional links course that is reminiscent of Scottish golf courses.

At Pacific Dunes, you’ll enjoy cleverly designed holes that feel completely natural, not forced. This is especially true when it comes to the bunker placement.

A trip out to Bandon, OR will certainly be worth it, especially when you’re teeing off on Pacific Dunes. And while you’re at it, if you have the time, be sure to give the other golf courses at the resort a try. We promise you that it’s worth it!

3. Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course: Arcadia, MI

Do you like to visit Lake Michigan? Or would you like to? Either way, put Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course on your to-go list when it comes to public golf courses!

You’ll get a fantastic view of Lake Michigan as you go through each hole. This is a classic links course, where you’ll find natural sand dunes.

Of course, these sand dunes can be quite a pain. So if you’re new to golfing, you might want to hold off on visiting until you’ve gotten some of the basics down first.

4. Pinehurst No. 2: Pinehurst, NC

This is a golf resort that’s been around for a while and is probably one of the best-known courses around. However, it went through a year-long restoration project back in 2010, which meant it didn’t open its doors again until March 2011.

You can bet that this course has one of the best course ratings around. Not only are the holes strategic and challenging, but the views are also absolutely stunning. The restoration focused on highlighting its natural beauty.

Pinehurst No. 2 has actually hosted many championships as well; most notably, the 2014 US Open. So if you want to get a taste of a course that many pros have been on, then you’ve got to visit!

5. Shadow Creek: North Las Vegas, NV

People usually visit Las Vegas for the entrancing nightlife. But it’s got its excellent golf courses as well!

Shadow Creek is actually quite impressive if you think about it. Las Vegas is made up of flat desert land, but the designer transformed it into a dynamic oasis.

This course features both canyons and rolling hills, which makes you completely forget that you’re out in a desert. So if you ever tire of the drab sandy landscape, you can always have a fantastic escape at Shadow Creek.

6. The Ocean Course: Kiawah Island, SC

For those located in the South, you’ll want to give The Ocean Course a visit. This is yet another seaside golf course where you’ll take in beautiful sights while you enjoy a leisurely-paced game.

Here, the views rival those of Pebble Beach Golf Links’. This is because 10 of the holes are right on the coastline!

The Ocean Course isn’t recommended for beginners though, as it’s famous for its unpredictable winds that can be quite strong at times. But if you’re able to overcome this challenge, it can be very rewarding!

Like many of the other courses on this list, The Ocean Course has hosted several tournaments, such as the PGA and the Ryder Cup.

7. Bethpage State Park-Black Course: Farmingdale, NY

While this golf course was first created in 1936, you don’t have to worry about it being old and outdated. It’s been touched up and updated several times in 1998, 2008, and 2015, so it’s still one of the top public golf courses.

We won’t lie: Black Course is extremely difficult. But like many of the challenging greens, once you get through it, you’ll have a sense of satisfaction and pride.

When you inevitably make a mistake on the course, it’ll be a price worth paying. This takes you out to some fairway bunkers, which have some great views.

2 US Opens have been held on Black Course. So take the opportunity to step onto a golf course other legends have played on.

Visit the Best Public Golf Courses in the USA

Now you have a list of the best public golf courses in the nation. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

No matter which state you live in, you’re bound to have at least a few golf courses that are great to get your swing on. So if you’re not interested in any of the above courses, or none of them are nearby, don’t be afraid to explore what’s in your area!

If you liked this article on public golf courses in the US, then read more about golf and sports by browsing our blog page now.