10 of the Best Golf Courses in America - Part 1
I have been playing golf since I was a little kid. I remember watching the 1982 U.S. Open with my dad, when Tom Watson chipped in that awesome shot! He ended up winning by two shots over "The Golden Bear". The whole excitement of that moment, made me say to my father, "Dad, we need to go play there some day". This thought inspired me to write this article. Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to play a lot of golf. I lived and worked in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The "Golf Capital" of the country. The more guys I met playing golf, the more I realized how a game that can drive us crazy, can bring us all together.
Many people come from all over the world to play golf in the Myrtle Beach area. While playing the game, unless your playing terrible, guys chit chat about all kinds of stuff. I decided to keep a journal and ask "regular guys" questions about golf and life in general. I am a writer and figured this would be a good way to get information. One of the things I always asked guys (some gals too) was, "What's your favorite golf course in the states"? Based on the responses I received, plus my own personal experiences, I came up with this list, 10 of best golf courses in America.
1 Pebble Beach Golf Links (pebblebeach.com)
Pebble Beach was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, it opened in 1919. "Pebble", is always going to be one of the best golf courses in America. So much history has been made over the years there. The location and surrounding communities are wonderful. The views are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, anywhere. Yes, I was lucky enough to play it, and I will get back there to redeem myself someday. If you want to play Pebble, get on the waiting list now! It may be years before you can get out, but you may have to give a deposit upfront. You never know about greens fees, so just check the website. I will say this, "If you got about a grand in your pocket, you'll be fine". It was a one of a kind experience, that I will never forget. Watching it on television, does not do it justice. If your going to take on Pebble, make sure your swing is stable and your well stretched out. I was really nervous and not playing my best. I shot 91 from the gold tees. On the 7th hole, I stepped up with my 52, for what I figured to be a 85 yard shot into the wind. Normally that would be a 56, but everyone always says "Take at least one extra club at Pebble", because the wind up high, is not the same where you are. This is very true. I stepped into my target line, light but firm grip, "Come a little from inside and release" was my thought before I started my take away. Whap! I hit the farthest 52 degree wedge shot anyone has ever hit. A line drive screamer, that flew well over 200 yards out to sea. We all laughed, you just had to in the moment. I did learn a lesson though, don't hit bad shots at Pebble! Playing Pebble Beach Golf Links is tough to plan out, but once you do, it's worth every penny.
2 Broadmoor Golf Club (broadmoor.com/luxury-golf-resorts.php)
This recommendation comes from a good friend of mine who stayed at the resort. He has stayed and played at some of the best golf courses in the world, and says this is his favorite. I'll quote him, "It's not cheap, but if you have the cash, it's a great golf and family vacation". Nestled in the mountains of Colorado Springs, Broadmoor has three 18 hole golf courses, a top notch resort, and tons of stuff to do. The official United States Olympic Training Center is located here in Colorado, I bet that would be a cool place to check out. Broadmoor is a Donald Ross design that open in 1918. The East Course is a bit more expensive than the Mountain and West, during the busy season. At over 6000 feet above sea level, the ball is just gonna sail out there. My friend played all three courses and says he liked the Mountain course the best, probably because he scored the best round there.
3 Shadow Creek Las Vegas (shadowcreek.com)
My dad loved Las Vegas. He was a hard working guy, and once in awhile he would head out there with the boys for a gambling trip. They stayed at the MGM Grand on one such ocassion. Unfortunately, you'll have to stay with MGM resorts to play the course, like that's a bad thing though! Again, you're going to need some dough saved up, but from the stories they had, well worth it. Tom Fazio designed this work of art, that was carved out of the Vegas desert in 1989. Only private guests could play the course at first, but now anyone can experience this awesome spectacle. They said they dropped $2,500 that day, but my dad said it was the best golf course he ever played. I should note he played Sawgrass and Pinehurst No 3. Picture it like this if you can; lush green grass, trees, waterfalls, mountains in the background, all in the middle of the desert. Your staying at arguably the best casino in Vegas, limo ride to the golf course, first class service the whole way. There is no rush out there either, obviously though, you would want your swing in good working order. Then to top it off, your right back in Sin city! This place is high on my list for a future trip. If your a golf nut like myself, start a golf trip fund. A few bucks here and there, and in a few years you got a great reason to say, "Hey babe, the boys are gonna take a little golf trip, we can't get into trouble playing golf". Serious though, be good!
4 Caledonia Golf and Fish Club (fishclub.com)
I have had the privilege of playing Caledonia several times. The course is always in great shape, and everyone around (including other golfers) is very relaxed and helpful. A good example of true southern hospitality. Located in Pawleys Island (45 minutes from North Myrtle, 25 minutes from "The Beach"), Caledonia opened in 1994. Originally, this property was one of the largest plantations in South Carolina. This is the whole vibe you get when driving up to the clubhouse, past the avenue of vintage oak trees. There are 18 challenging holes, designed by Mike Strantz. You don't need to hit the ball far at this course, hit it fairly straight and you'll score well. Your looking at $100 bucks off season, $200 in season, check out the website for more. The food here is awesome as well. It's not a super fancy place like you might think. "High class bar food", is how I would describe it. After a relaxing round at Caledonia, I recommend a fresh fish sandwich, and a cold Yuengling.
5 Taconic Golf Club (taconicgolf.net)
This one comes highly recommended from several guys I have played golf with from the Northeast. The golf course dates back to 1896, and has seen a lot of work and renovations since then. It's really a semi-private, college course. Anyone can play though. It's cheaper if you know a member. Taconic Golf Club is located near Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Several guys I talked to said this course is a "Good test of your abilities" and fun to play. The general rule for the course is, it's better to be short than long. I have not played this course, but have been close by (in Vermont) during the Fall. This part of the country is absolutely gorgeous in the Autumn. This would be much different than a Vegas trip. How about this, take your gal on a nice bed and breakfast getaway weekend, while your there, sneak in a afternoon round at Taconic!
part 2 comin' soon!