I have been fortunate to play a dozen of the Top 100 Public Courses on the Golf Digest list. I'm a professional writer in Green Bay, Wis., and I've been lucky enough to get on several of the top courses that are within driving distance for various events:
#2 Whistling Straits (near Kohler, Wis.) - Awesome Pete Dye design made more memorable with the caddie experience.
#10 Erin Hills (northwest of Milwaukee, Wis.) - Site of the 2017 U.S. Open. A minimalist design with character everywhere.
#14 Blackwolf Run - River (Kohler, Wis.) - A great parkland-style Pete Dye design with virtually every hole being memorable.
#19 Kapalua Plantation (Maui, Hawaii) -- Prettier than it looks on TV when the pros play here to start the calendar year season.
#22 The Prince Course (Kauai, Hawaii) -- This Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design is really tough, especially when the trade winds are blowing. (P.S. - I'll be releasing a book in February 2014 called "Golf Kauai" that will take you on a tour of all the courses on Kauai. I'm very excited that Wisconsin's own PGA Tour superstar, Steve Stricker, has contributed a book jacket comment that I just received today!)
#62 Blackwolf Run - Meadow Valleys (Kohler, Wis.) - The companion course to the River at #14, this one is more open and wind-swept. The back nine is more memorable.
#64 Cog Hill #4 (Lemont, Ill.) - A fun parkland course in Chicago's southwest suburbs
#65 Bay Harbor (Bay Harbor, Mich.) - I stumbled upon this course when in northern lower Michigan on a golf writing assignment at a different course. This place was awesome.
#72 Grand Traverse Resort - The Bear (Acme, Mich.) - This Nicklaus design is the crown jewel of the Grand Traverse Resort near Traverse City. This is why I was in the neighborhood to play #65 above. Enjoyed both of them, but Bay Harbor was more memorable.
#77 The Bull at Pinehurst Farms (Sheboygan Falls, Wis.) - A Nicklaus design located only a couple miles from the Blackwolf Run courses, this course is a beast. One of my favorites.
#80 The Makai Course (Kauai, Hawaii) -- My favorite course on Kauai and another Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design. Fantastic conditions, incredible views and very playable. It's Chapter 1 in my book (see #22 above).
#91 Poipu Bay (Kauai, Hawaii) - The site of the Grand Slam of Golf for many years, the back nine is awesome and right on the south shore. Another chapter in my book! (see #22 above).