My Golf Course Superlatives

I’ve played a lot of courses so far in my golf life.  One of the things I struggle with is ranking courses.  I usually like most places with a few exceptions.  I tend to give courses the benefit of the doubt if the green fee is low or if they are catering to a budget-conscious crowd.  To me there is no point in blasting a place for some scruffiness when you are paying under $50 for 18.

So, despite all of the previous paragraph I am going to attempt to give out my superlatives of the Top 100 courses I have played.  I probably won’t be able to keep it to one course for each category, but I’ll do my best :).  I will try to keep this updated as I play more.  Send me your opinions!

Overall Favorite Course

  • California Golf Club of San Francisco
  • Merion Golf Club (East)
  • Honorable Mentions – Boston Golf Club, Eastward Ho!, National Golf Links of America

Best Conditioned Course

  • Crooked Stick Golf Club – This may surprise some people, but I will explain.  The day I played the course played firm, but not like a links course.  You could nip chip shots off the turf with ease.  The greens were firm, but fair.  Tee to green it was the best I’ve seen.

Best Greens

  • Prairie Dunes Country Club – The Maxwells definitely knew what they were doing.  In my opinion, the best set of 18 I have played.

Best Conditioned Greens

  • The Broadmoor Golf Club (East) – If you miss a putt here it is your fault.  I’m not sure I saw any imperfections on these surfaces.
  • Monterey Peninsula Country Club – Quite simply some of the smoothest and fastest I’ve ever seen.

Most Interesting Greens

  • Boston Golf Club – Crazy undulation and wide-ranging sizes make these not like many others in the world of golf.
  • Pasatiempo Golf Club – Alister MacKenzie, enough said.  Need more evidence, see the 16th green.

Most Unique Course

  • Tobacco Road Golf Club – There is no other course like it that I have played.  It’s like playing on another planet, in a good way.  Strantz was a genius.

Most Difficult Course

  • Bethpage State Park (Black)
  • Butler National Golf Club
  • Pikewood National Golf Club

Most Scenic Course

  • Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
  • Pacific Dunes
  • Pebble Beach Golf Links

Best Clubhouse

  • National Golf Links of America – Second in notoriety only to the iconic windmill, NGLA’s clubhouse is super old school.  It is beautiful and features a great view of the water.
  • Oak Hill Country Club (East) – What more can you ask for?  The tudor style with the yellow color stands out.  Plus there is a bowling alley!

Best Vibe

  • California Golf Club of San Francisco – The whole place is chill.  It’s all about the golf.  The men’s grill/bar area has dark wood everywhere and is one of the nicest places I’ve had a post-round drink.
  • Eastward Ho! – Similar to Cal Club, but with a wonderful view of the water on The Cape.  From what I could see, a fun membership and laid back atmosphere.  Beautiful clubhouse as well.

Most Historic Feeling

  • Merion Golf Club (East) – Bobby Jones closed out the Grand Slam here.  The clubhouse is super old school.
  • Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (No. 2) – Payne Stewart fist pump and tons of memorabilia give you goose bumps.

Best Value

  • The Harvester Golf Club
  • Wild Horse Golf Club
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