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Best course you've ever played?

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I recently moved to Long Island, NY.  After all I've heard about Bethpage (Black course), I decided to give it a try yesterday.  There's not much else to say besides "play it".  The course was in immaculate condition (I played with a friend of mine who grew up in the area and has played it upwards of 50 times.  He said it was in the best condition he's ever seen it in).  One piece of advice before you do go and play it...  If you're not a single digit handicap, don't play from the tips.  The course is manageable from the white tees, but the extra 20-80 yards on the par 4's makes a world of a difference.

For beginners, the course is annoyingly long in all the right (or wrong, depending on how you're looking at it) places.  From the tips, the par 3's and 5's are manageable.  There are a lot of very long par 4's, especially on the back 9.  I didn't hit one drive under 260 and hit my longest just over 300.  Even with decent distance off the tee, it felt like I was pulling my 3 or 4 iron out of my bag for every approach shot.  Oh, and almost every tee shot required a carrying distance of 200 yards from the tips, some requiring 250 just to reach the fairway.  That wasn't the worst part...

The rough.  This is the part of the golf course that separates the men from the boys (apparently I'm still a boy).  It's indescribable, which is why I'm telling you to just "play it".  Where fairways are tight, a five yard miss is a game changer.  I've never played in the thick, legitimate rough that pga professionals have to deal with and if you gave me 10 shots from 150 yards, I would hit the green 1 time.  The ball settled right to the bottom of the rough and when standing it, it climbed above your ankles.  Simply put, I had never played golf from this type of situation and didn't know how to deal with it.

It was clearly the hardest course I've played and can't wait to play it again.  I ended up shooting a 92 (40 on the front, 52 on the back).  I shot well on the front, but the length and mental toughness catches up to you on the back and the wheels fell off the wagon.  As a NY resident, they charge $65 and it's double for a non-NY resident.

All I can say is, "play it".

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Poplar Grove Golf Course in Amherst, VA.

It is the final Sam Snead course design. Amazing views through the rolling hills of Virginia. Golf course is always in fantastic condition. It is probably a tough course for beginners with quite a few forced carries. But it is one of the must-plays here in Virginia. Golf Digest rates it as one of the best in state every year.  It has been a few years since I played it but I still remember almost every hole.

If their green fees are a bit steep for you, not too far away from there in the college town of Farmville, Virginia (yes, you read that correctly) is another fantastic golf course in The Manor. All bent-grass greens and fairways and at a steal of a price. It would be up there with Poplar Grove but just doesn't have the same level of beauty in its natural views with its geography.

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Branson Creek in Branson mo. A fazio design thats very challenging. Very tight, if you miss the fairway you could easily be in a valley a 100 feet below. Always in good shape. Bermuda rough, bent greens, and zoysia fairways. Golf digest rated it the #1 public in Missouri and #60 in the nation. Payne Stewart golf club in Branson mo. Another very tough course. Bobby clampet design, very tall rough. Fescue rough along with zoysia fairway and bent greens. Golfweek has Payne as 1 in Missouri.Both courses are managed by Troon.
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Any of the Kiawah island courses. It such a perfect place for golf.
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Old Waverly in West Point, MS, sight of the 1999 US Women's Open, won by Julie Inkster. A very playable course from the regular men's tees if you stay in the fairway; I have never played it from the tips. I have played it 4-5 times; best score was 85.
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Best for me is Pebble Beach. Hard to beat the site and history. Best course that you have never heard of is La Purisima in Lompoc California. Rarely if ever heard anyone say anything bad if you have played it. (Note: it can get really windy so sometimes guys complain about that, but the course design is awesome)
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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I think my favorite course i have played is Poipu Beach Kauai, Hawaii. There are shots across old lava flows, Breathtaking ocean lined holes, Amazingly manicured greens and fairways and the weather is almost always perfect!

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Lahinch in Ireland without a doubt was the most amazing experience for me as a golfer. I was able to walk to old course on a slow day by myself and just take in the natural beauty and the feeling of playing golf the way it was intended.
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Originally Posted by 2ironfrenzy

I think my favorite course i have played is Poipu Beach Kauai, Hawaii. There are shots across old lava flows, Breathtaking ocean lined holes, Amazingly manicured greens and fairways and the weather is almost always perfect!

Yeah I played here 2 years ago, pretty awesome.  But for I'll go with Chambers Bay the site of the 2015 US Open, great course !

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tossup between the Pine Barrens course at World Woods in Florida, or Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale.

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personla favorite is TPC at the canyons outside of vegas

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The Red at Bethpage. Second hardest to the Black, but just a beautiful course, hard but not a killer like the Black. As a disabled Vet, which I am, in New York you get to play the State courses for free, including the Black (if you want).

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Kapalua. Either course honestly. The Plantation gets all attention, but the Bay is a gorgeous course, especially holes 3-5.
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Best?  What is the best course?  Did the author of this thread mean to ask................. "What is the most famous course you've ever played?" I've played a handful of courses played by the PGA tour.....Resort courses like Disney etc, etc...   For me,  playing both courses at La Costa is right up there at the top just because of all the Mercedes and match play championships held at this venue for so many years.  It's a shame this course doesn't have an event anymore...IMO.

As far as best course?   My public home course is the best....LOL

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43 years ago - Oak Hill CC east course. We played the tips. On a few of the par fours we nailed our tee shots with persimmon drivers and still had a 3 wood (or more) left to the green.

10 years ago - TPC at Sawgrass. Played the whites. 17 was 120 yds. into a stiff breeze, my son (12 at the time) teed it up a couple of times with his 3 iron and each hit the green, only to hop off the back into the drink. Then went to the drop zone and got on.

I hit an 8 iron pin high, leaving a 20' putt. Right in the heart, but an inch & a half short. Did make the par putt.

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