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GolfWeek's Best Courses (You Can Play) - Are they Right for Your State?

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I left Galloping Hill off the my list my mistake.  Agree I never thought it was that great unless you wanted to play U.S. Open roughs.  But I had a buddy who loved it.

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NORTH CAROLINA

Best Courses You Can Play

1. Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst (No. 14 c)
2. Pinehurst No. 4, Pinehurst (No. 85 m)
3. Mid Pines, Southern Pines (c)
4. Dormie Club, Pinehurst (m)
5. Pine Needles, Southern Pines (c)
6. Linville GC, Linville (c)
7. Tobacco Road, Sanford (m)
8. Pinehurst No. 8, Pinehurst (m)
9. Bald Head Island Club, Bald Head Island (m)
10. The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville (c)
11. Ocean Ridge (Leopard’s Chase), Sunset Beach (m)
12. Mount Mitchell GC, Burnsville (m)
13. Duke University GC, Durham (c)
14. Southern Pines GC, Southern Pines (c)
15. Cape Fear National GC, Wilmington (m)

(m): modern
(c): classic

I'll be staying & playing at Mount Mitchell GC in about 2 weeks. I opted to go there because the weather would be cooler than the Pinehurst area and I have been to the Pinehurst area before. Pinehurst is awesome, saw it, never played it. Probably play some nice courses in that area in the fall.

 

 

 

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On 6/1/2019 at 7:34 AM, CarlSpackler said:

Ohio

1. Manakiki, Willoughby (c) 
2. Fowler’s Mill (Lake & River), Chesterland (m) 
3. The Virtues, Nashport (m) 
4. Boulder Creek, Streetsboro (m) 
5. Sleepy Hollow, Brecksville (c) 
6. Stonelick Hills, Batavia (m) 
7. The Quarry, Canton (m) 
8. Little Mountain, Painesville (m) 
9. Cooks Creek, South Bloomfield (m)
10. EagleSticks, Zanesville (m)
 

I haven't played or even heard of most of these courses. I hear the EagleSticks is very nice. Sadly, I am more familiar with the Florida list. 

I played #9 Cooks Creek a couple times a long time ago (20+ years).  I believe it was originally owned by PGA player John Cook, but IIRC it has been sold since then. I remember it being a nice course, but because it sits along the Scioto River it gets flooded in the spring making some holes unplayable.  I played on a cheap mid week deal and don't think I have played all 18 yet. They have a peninsula green, almost island like that was fun. We were interrupted by a tornado the second time we played. Not as much fun.

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MARYLAND

1. Bulle Rock, Havre de Grace (m)
2. Lodestone, McHenry (m)
3. Lake Presidential GC, Upper Marlboro (m)
4. Links at Lighthouse Sound, Ocean City (m)
5. Whiskey Creek, Ijamsville (m)
6. Musket Ridge, Myersville (m)
7. Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Flintstone (m)
8. Queenstown Harbor (River), Queenstown (m)
9. Worthington Manor, Urbana (m)
10. Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay (River Marsh), Cambridge (m)

I have not played 1, 2, 3, 7, or 10, and it's been at least 8 years since I played 4 & 8.

Whiskey Creek, Musket Ridge, and Worthington Manor are all within a 15-20 minute drive of each other, I agree these should be on the list based on my location and the courses I have played.  I think Musket Ridge is the best of the three, when you consider course conditions, scenery/view, difficulty, and price.  Whiskey Creek is the most expensive, but has great views and is a tough course, and Worthington Manor I think is the most difficult, it hosts a lot of tourney's and qualifier's. 

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TEXAS

 

 

Best Courses You Can Play

 

 

1. The Rawls Course at Texas Tech, Lubbock (m)
2. Black Jack’s Crossing, Lajitas (m)
3. Pine Dunes Resort & Golf Club, Frankston (m) 
4. Butterfield Trail, El Paso (m) 
5. Omni Barton Creek (Fazio Canyons), Austin (m)
6. TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), San Antonio, Greg Norman (m) 
7. TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Irving (m) 
8. La Cantera Resort (Palmer), San Antonio (m) 
9. Old American, The Colony (m) 
10. TPC San Antonio (AT&T Canyons), San Antonio (m)
11. Cowboys GC, Grapevine (m) 
12. Crown Colony, Lufkin (m) 
13. Wolfdancer, Lost Pines (m)
14. Palmilla Beach GC, Port Aransas (m)
15. Stevens Park, Dallas (m) 
16. GC of Houston (Tournament Course), Humble (m) 
17. Barton Creek CC (Fazio Foothills), Austin (m) 
18. Brackenridge Park GC, San Antonio (c) 
19. Cottonwood Valley, Irving (m) 
20. Texas Star, Euless (m)

 

I have played a few on here and have a few more on the schedule for the remainder of the year. Pine dunes is a good course and a former number #1 on this list, but its a tad overrated. Belongs on the list but not Top 5 in my opinion. Maybe if the list was based on bang for your buck. Brackenridge is just on here because of its association with Tillinghast. Good course, but not top 20 in the state IMO. I think The Quarry down the road is a better track (especially the very interesting back nine). I play Stevens Park in October so I am looking forward to that one. 

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On 6/4/2019 at 11:47 AM, mcanadiens said:

Unbelievable.

Every once in a while, I got to go to Indiana or Kentucky just to stop from having too much fun.

Nada for Dayton. Another big shocker.

Whaddaya mean! We got a big lake! We got cities. We got ristorantes! We got halls of fame! And not just the NFL one in Canton. Don't forger the Polka and Softball Hall of Fame in Euclid! Frankie Yankovitch & Eddie Faynor rule! 

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On 6/8/2019 at 9:33 PM, Buckeyebowman said:

Whaddaya mean! We got a big lake! We got cities. We got ristorantes! We got halls of fame! And not just the NFL one in Canton. Don't forger the Polka and Softball Hall of Fame in Euclid! Frankie Yankovitch & Eddie Faynor rule! 

Ok. I guess that probably sounded a bit sarcastic.

I'm happy enough where I am. Besides, as a golfer I don't need resort courses. I'm more the muni type. We got a bunch of decent courses in the Dayton area. Just no top 10's. 

Sadly, we aren't well suited with Italian restaurants around here. I'll admit the only one of the Halls I've been to is the NFL one. Used to see football games all the time at Fawcett Stadium right next door. I knew the name Eddie Faynor, but I had to look up Yankovic.

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On 6/7/2019 at 1:37 PM, JGus said:

MARYLAND

1. Bulle Rock, Havre de Grace (m)
2. Lodestone, McHenry (m)
3. Lake Presidential GC, Upper Marlboro (m)
4. Links at Lighthouse Sound, Ocean City (m)
5. Whiskey Creek, Ijamsville (m)
6. Musket Ridge, Myersville (m)
7. Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Flintstone (m)
8. Queenstown Harbor (River), Queenstown (m)
9. Worthington Manor, Urbana (m)
10. Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay (River Marsh), Cambridge (m)

I have not played 1, 2, 3, 7, or 10, and it's been at least 8 years since I played 4 & 8.

Whiskey Creek, Musket Ridge, and Worthington Manor are all within a 15-20 minute drive of each other, I agree these should be on the list based on my location and the courses I have played.  I think Musket Ridge is the best of the three, when you consider course conditions, scenery/view, difficulty, and price.  Whiskey Creek is the most expensive, but has great views and is a tough course, and Worthington Manor I think is the most difficult, it hosts a lot of tourney's and qualifier's. 

I have played 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Bulle Rock deserving as #1

Lake Presidential - all depends on conditions - last year was horrible

Rocky Gap - same as LP - inquire about condition before you go

River Marsh - great golf course - especially the last 2 holes.

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3 hours ago, PineValley said:

I have played 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Bulle Rock deserving as #1

Lake Presidential - all depends on conditions - last year was horrible

Rocky Gap - same as LP - inquire about condition before you go

River Marsh - great golf course - especially the last 2 holes.

I think Rum Pointe should be in top 10. By the way. Have you played PV? I made double on your hole shown...With Davis plaque....

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19 minutes ago, FLOG4 said:

I think Rum Pointe should be in top 10. By the way. Have you played PV? I made double on your hole shown...With Davis plaque....

Yes, I have played Rum Pointe, I would place that in the top 10 instead of Rocky Gap

 

I have had the good fortune to play Pine Valley 8 times......

 

I have been to Scotland twice, going again next summer, played The Old Course, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Royal Dornoch, Prestwick, and Pine Valley is still my all time favorite golf course.

Next summer we are playing Muirfield and Royal Troon, had to reserve both those already and pay them in full!!

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Since I've played most of my golf in Maine and VA, here are my thoughts.

MAINE

Best Courses You Can Play

1. Belgrade Lakes GC, Belgrade Lakes (m)
2. Sunday River, Newry (m)
3. Kebo Valley, Bar Harbor (c)
4. Ledges GC, York (m)
5. Sugarloaf GC, Carrabassett Valley (m)

(m): modern
(c): classic

All of these are great courses, I'd move Sugarloaf up to No. 2 and drop the ledges to 5, but that is just a personal preference.  I would add a couple more to the list.  Samoset Resort  called the "Pebble Beach of the East" is a awesome course and Aroostook Valley CC is another gem (although the course is technically in Canada).  It was built during prohibition, the course and Clubhouse are in Canada but the parking lot is in the US. So the Canadians have to go through customs to play the course.  I like both of these better than the Ledges.  Point Sebago is another that is a really nice course.

 

VIRGINIA

Best Courses You Can Play

1. The Omni Homestead Resort (Cascades), Hot Springs (No. 76 c) 
2. Highland Course at Primland, Meadows of Dan (m) 
3. Keswick Hall and Golf Club (Full Cry), Keswick (m) 
4. Golden Horseshoe (Gold), Williamsburg (m) 
5. Kingsmill (River), Williamsburg (m) 
6. Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg (m) 
7. Independence, Midlothian (m) 
8. Riverfront GC at Harbour View, Suffolk (m) 
9. Bay Creek (Palmer Course), Cape Charles (m) 
10.The Club at Viniterra, New Kent (m) 
11. Laurel Hill, Lorton (m) 
12. Bay Creek (Nicklaus Course), Cape Charles (m)
13. Potomac Shores GC, Potomac Shores (m)
14. Westfields, Clifton (m) 
15. University of Virginia GC (Birdwood), Charlottesville (m) 

(m): modern
(c): classic


Best Resort Courses

Omni Homestead Resort, (The Cascades), Hot Springs
Highland Course at Primland, Meadows of Dan
Golden Horseshoe (Gold), Williamsburg
Full Cry at Keswick Hall and Golf Club, Charlottesville
Kingsmill Resort (River), Williamsburg
Bay Creek GC (Nicklaus Course), Cape Charles

Best Residential Courses

The Virginian, Bristol (p)
Ballyhack, Roanoke (p)
Creighton Farms, Aldie (p)
Independence, Midlothian (p)

I've played 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, & 14.

The Cascades course at the Omni didn't really wow me, had too many hokey holes to be high on my list.  But no issue with the rest, I might put Ballyhack on the list, but it is a tough course and a lot of forced carry's so I could see it not being high on everyone's list. I'd like to play Primrose, I hear it's spectacular.  Keswick I try and play every year.  Both Bay Creek courses are very nice, I think I like the Nicklaus course a little better.

 

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2 hours ago, PineValley said:

Yes, I have played Rum Pointe, I would place that in the top 10 instead of Rocky Gap

 

I have had the good fortune to play Pine Valley 8 times......

 

I have been to Scotland twice, going again next summer, played The Old Course, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Royal Dornoch, Prestwick, and Pine Valley is still my all time favorite golf course.

Next summer we are playing Muirfield and Royal Troon, had to reserve both those already and pay them in full!!

Have only played PV once....and I had a horrible caddy. Have been to British Isles 21 times and have played most everything worth going for. Muirfield afternoon Scottish play is insane. Those who know how to play alt shot can play ridiculously fast. I know the system well, I'm the trip coordinator....With Muirfield and Royal Troon...You have to play No Berwick. Sounds good. Enjoy.

1 hour ago, jsgolfer said:

Since I've played most of my golf in Maine and VA, here are my thoughts.

 

VIRGINIA

Best Courses You Can Play

1. The Omni Homestead Resort (Cascades), Hot Springs (No. 76 c) 
2. Highland Course at Primland, Meadows of Dan (m) 
3. Keswick Hall and Golf Club (Full Cry), Keswick (m) 
4. Golden Horseshoe (Gold), Williamsburg (m) 
5. Kingsmill (River), Williamsburg (m) 
6. Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg (m) 
7. Independence, Midlothian (m) 
8. Riverfront GC at Harbour View, Suffolk (m) 
9. Bay Creek (Palmer Course), Cape Charles (m) 
10.The Club at Viniterra, New Kent (m) 
11. Laurel Hill, Lorton (m) 
12. Bay Creek (Nicklaus Course), Cape Charles (m)
13. Potomac Shores GC, Potomac Shores (m)
14. Westfields, Clifton (m) 
15. University of Virginia GC (Birdwood), Charlottesville (m) 
 

I've played 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, & 14.

The Cascades course at the Omni didn't really wow me, had too many hokey holes to be high on my list.  But no issue with the rest, I might put Ballyhack on the list, but it is a tough course and a lot of forced carry's so I could see it not being high on everyone's list. I'd like to play Primrose, I hear it's spectacular.  Keswick I try and play every year.  Both Bay Creek courses are very nice, I think I like the Nicklaus course a little better.

 

Royal New Kent reopened and is definitely a top 10..... but top 5 on my list. 

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3 minutes ago, FLOG4 said:

Have only played PV once....and I had a horrible caddy. Have been to British Isles 21 times and have played most everything worth going for. Muirfield afternoon Scottish play is insane. Those who know how to play alt shot can play ridiculously fast. I know the system well, I'm the trip coordinator....With Muirfield and Royal Troon...You have to play No Berwick. Sounds good. Enjoy.

My bad, I left North Berwick off, played that one July 2017

 

Next summer's trip is tentatively Gullane, Muirfield, St Andrew's Old, St Andrew's Castle, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Royal Dornoch, Brora, Royal Troon, and Turnberry

I did not know there were horrible caddies at Pine Valley!

Unfortunately, never to play gain, member died around 2004...............

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Wisconsin

4. Lawsonia (Links), Green Lake (No. 62 c)
5. Blackwolf Run (River), Kohler (No. 89 m)
8. SentryWorld, Stevens Point (m)
9. Blackwolf Run (Meadow Valleys), Kohler (m)
10. University Ridge, Madison (m)
13. Geneva National (Gary Player), Lake Geneva (m)

 

Florida

5. World Woods (Pine Barrens), Brooksville
9. Innisbrook (Copperhead), Tarpon Springs (m)
17. Mission Inn Resort (El Campeon), Howey-in-the-Hills (c)
21. World Woods (Rolling Oaks), Brooksville (m)
22. PGA Golf Club (Dye), Port St. Lucie (m)
24. PGA Golf Club (Wanamaker), Port St. Lucie (m)
26. Orange County National (Panther Lake) Orlando (m)
30. Reunion Resort (Watson Course), Reunion (m)

 

Played all the listed courses above. Some numerous times.

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1 minute ago, PineValley said:

My bad, I left North Berwick off, played that one July 2017

 

Next summer's trip is tentatively Gullane, Muirfield, St Andrew's Old, St Andrew's Castle, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Royal Dornoch, Brora, Royal Troon, and Turnberry

I did not know there were horrible caddies at Pine Valley!

Unfortunately, never to play gain, member died around 2004...............

No Berwick one of my all time faves...Very worth playing again. The rotation you note is an insane amount of travel. You are in essence covering 4 areas noted as stand alone areas....Trump Aberdeen is spectacular....It's like this trip is a drive by trip. 2 stops each spot. To each his own. That's a lot of movement for one trip. I would suggest two areas of either the two North or the two South. You'll drive right by Carnoustie too. Blow out Gullane play NB....Yea ya gotta play two in St Andrews....RA is fab, CB is one of my faves and Trump is better than either in the area...It is that good. You roll up and wow RD and you blow right by Castle Stuart and Nairn but go up further to Brora...And then it is a long journey to RT and Turnberry….All great courses you are playing. Just to play them all on one trip is quite aggressive either as hiring a bus or driving it.....If you are helicoptering or similar, well....I want to be in your group...Ha

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4 minutes ago, FLOG4 said:

No Berwick one of my all time faves...Very worth playing again. The rotation you note is an insane amount of travel. You are in essence covering 4 areas noted as stand alone areas....Trump Aberdeen is spectacular....It's like this trip is a drive by trip. 2 stops each spot. To each his own. That's a lot of movement for one trip. I would suggest two areas of either the two North or the two South. You'll drive right by Carnoustie too. Blow out Gullane play NB....Yea ya gotta play two in St Andrews....RA is fab, CB is one of my faves and Trump is better than either in the area...It is that good. You roll up and wow RD and you blow right by Castle Stuart and Nairn but go up further to Brora...And then it is a long journey to RT and Turnberry….All great courses you are playing. Just to play them all on one trip is quite aggressive either as hiring a bus or driving it.....If you are helicoptering or similar, well....I want to be in your group...Ha

I know it is insane.......and there might be an issue with our bus and the driver regarding Scottish regulations, driving time, rest periods......

I also book the trips, first in 1997, tours wanted around $3000 with a rental car. We had 12 guys, played Western Gailes, Glasgow Gailes, St Andrew's New, Carnoustie, St Andrew's Old,  Royal Dornoch (36 holes), Nairn, Prestwick and Turnberry. With a 40 passenger bus with card tables, drink holders, 3 different days we played 36, the driver would drop us at first course, and then go get sandwiches and beer for the transfer to the next 18 holes. One of my fondest memories, the ride from The Old Course up to Royal Dornoch, smoking cigars, playing cards and drinking beer with the huge bus windows admiring the Scottish countryside. The total cost for golf, B&B and bus was $1650. My wife picked me up at the airport, July 12th, our 3 year old daughter in one arm, not even 2 year old in the other arm and 8 1/2 months along with our first son born July 31st. (What kind of a**hole leaves his wife in that condition to go play golf in Scotland for 10 days???? Well, you know, you have to book a year in advance, she wasn't pregnant when the trip was 100% booked)

In 2017 I returned with that son who was born July 31st. We had 16 guys,  played North Berwick, Carnoustie St Andrew's Castle, St Andrew's Old, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Prestwick, Turnberry, western Gailes. I checked with the tours again, with private bus they wanted over $6000 - we paid $3800

I will treasure the golf with my son and the picture on the Swilcan Bridge forever, but that was the only thing good about that trip, I had the SHANKS all nine rounds, could not get rid of them...

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California

1. Pebble Beach GL, Pebble Beach (No. 8 c) 
2. Pasatiempo, Santa Cruz (No. 37 c) 
3. Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach (No. 29 m) 
4. Rams Hill, Borrego Springs (m) 
5. Torrey Pines (South), San Diego (c) 
6. Rustic Canyon, Moorpark (m)
7. CordeValle, San Martin (m)
8. PGA West (Stadium), La Quinta (m) 
9. Barona Creek, Lakeside (m) 
10. Links at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach (m) 
11. Torrey Pines (North), San Diego (c) 
12. Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach (m)
13. Baylands Golf Links, Palo Alto (m) * 
14. Pelican Hill (Ocean North), Newport Coast (m)
15. Pelican Hill (Ocean South), Newport Coast (m) 

16. The Grand GC, San Diego (m) 
17. Coyote Moon, Truckee (m) 
18. Yocha Dehe at Cache Creek Casino, Brooks (m)* 
19. Bayonet, Seaside (c) 
20. Maderas GC, Poway (m) 
21. Saddle Creek, Copperopolis (m)
22. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa (Champions), Carlsbad (m) 
23. Desert Willow (Firecliff), Palm Desert (m) 
24. Indian Well Golf Resort (Celebrity), Indian Wells (m) 
25. PGA West (Nicklaus), La Quinta (m)* 
26. Classic Club, Palm Springs (m) 
27. Park Hyatt Aviara GC, Carlsbad (m) 

28. Indian Wells Golf Resort (Players), Indian Wells (m) 
29. Journey at Pechanga, Temecula (m) 
30. Trump National GC, Rancho Palos Verdes (m)
*= new to list

I've played the bold courses and amongst them I only have minor qualms.  I'd swap the two Pelican Hill Courses as I like the south better.  I put Firecliff below the rest but it's still great.  La Costa is a funny one because I like the course for the history but the famous "course" is unplayable as it's a combo of Champions and Legends.  But I like Legends better between the two, so if only one can be on the list, I'd pick that one instead. 

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11 minutes ago, PineValley said:

 

In 2017 I returned with that son who was born July 31st. We had 16 guys,  played North Berwick, Carnoustie St Andrew's Castle, St Andrew's Old, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Prestwick, Turnberry, western Gailes. I checked with the tours again, with private bus they wanted over $6000 - we paid $3800 

 

I have done 6 trips with sons. One trip was just Son and I. I understand the economics quite well. Yes, You will surpass time allotment for a driver with the trip noted. Engaging with tour operators with St And Old included  is just for those who don't ever ask how much. Having booked etched in stone Muirfield and RT....Coordinating the Old will be cumbersome at best. Meantime you have 500 plus miles to cover to go elsewhere which will require specific times/days...Fitting in the Old without advance times because that escalates price very much.....Good Luck. Scotland is not user friendly...That's why I have gone to Ireland 12 times vs Scotland 7....Wales once, England once. 

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