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Where do our Top 10 public golf courses in America rank in our World’s Top 100? Let’s take a look…
Our best public course to play in America is ranked at number 14 in our World’s Top 100. The layout, in Pebble Beach, California, is one of the world’s most beautiful with views of Carmel Bay and the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It has hosted the US Open six times, including Tiger Woods’ first title in 2000 when he won by 15 shots. It may be a public course, but be prepared to pay €520.
Tom Doak‘s remote and beautiful masterpiece on the Oregon coast opened in 2001 and immediately earned comparisons with Pebble Beach. Pacific Dunes is one of four 18-hole layouts at the Bandon Dunes Resort, and its the best of the lot. Four par 3s on the back nine make it unconventional, while the undulations and cliff-top views are reminiscent of classic Irish links courses.
Host of the US Open on three occasions, this is the best course at the Pinehurst resort in North Carolina. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw returned the course to its original Donald Ross design in 2010, replacing the 1970s addition of thick Bermuda rough with vast bunkers dotted with grass. But its the complex and undulating crowned greens that make this course memorable.
This windswept Pete Dye design in South Carolina hosted the ‘War by the Shore’ Ryder Cup in 1991 when the US won by a single point on the 18th hole of the final match. Ocean Course is a beast of a course along the Atlantic Ocean coastline, measuring 7,873 from the championship tees. Rory McIlroy won the PGA here in 2012, cruising home to an eight-shot victory.
Another Pete Dye design, this one, along the shores of Lake Michigan, rivals Kiawah Island for difficulty. Vast rolling greens, huge dunes and deep pot bunkers make things tricky enough before you add in the winds that blow in off the lake. This beautiful links has hosted the PGA three times, most recently in 2015 when Jason Day claimed the title. The Straits will play host to the Ryder Cup in 2020.
One of five courses and the most difficult at Bethpage State Park Golf on Long Island in New York. Infamous for its warning sign at the first tee, which says: ‘The Black Course Is An Extremely Difficult Course Which We Recommend Only For Highly Skilled Golfers’. Over the years it has provided the setting for the US Open and the PGA, and is due to host the Ryder Cup in 2024.
Opened in 1999, Bandon Dunes was the original course at one of America‘s finest golf resorts. Though later eclipsed by the tougher Pacific Dunes, its rippling fairways, vast greens and breathtaking holes right alongside the southern coast of Oregon combine to make an incredibly wild and wonderful golf experience.
Pete and Alice Dye built Stadium course in Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida to host the Players Championship, the PGA Tour‘s flagship event. One of its innovations was ‘stadium seating’ around the greens in the form of slopes, where fans get views of the action below. Its signature hole, the par-3 17th known as the ‘Island Green’, is one of golf’s most recognizable holes.
Paying homage to legendary golf course architect C.B. Macdonald, Tom Doak and Jim Urbina designed a course which requires a myriad of shots with vast greens and fierce bunkers. Old Macdonald also boasts some incredible cliff-top views. It get so windy here they put elastic bands on the pins to keep them battened down.
Located in Santa Cruz in California, Pasatiempo opened in 1929 and was designed by legendary English designer Alister MacKenzie, of Augusta National fame. It’s a stunningly beautiful course and the club is steeped in history. Bobby Jones was in the first group to play here. Tom Doak respectfully restored the course in 2007, introducing modern challenges while maintaining its traditions.