10 Golf Courses You Must Play Before You Die

Poipu Bay Golf Course

While it can be a truly frustrating sport, golf is also one of the most calm and relaxing sports there is. One of the things that make it so relaxing is that it’s played on beautiful and tranquil courses. There are a number of great golf courses, but there are some which rise far above the rest. These are the top 10 golf courses you must play before you die.

1. Pebble Beach – Pebble Beach, California

For many, Pebble Beach is seen as the most beautiful golf course this planet has to offer. Home of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, it’s open to the public for the cost of $525.00; an expensive, but not completely unreasonable price considering the courses fame. A par 72 course, it lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, looking out on deep blue waters that are as mystifying as you’ll ever come across.

2. Bethpage Black – Farmingdale, New York

The location of several U.S. opens, Bethpage State Park’s Black Course is known as one of the most challenging golf courses in the world. Winners of professional tournaments are known to finish over par at this course. Greens fees run from $78.00 to $150.00 depending on when you show up, though you must make a tee time well in advance in order to gain playing access. When you do, you’ll be in for one of the most challenging, but fulfilling rounds of golf in your life.

3. TPC Sawgrass – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Famous for its island green 17th hole, TPC Sawgrass plays host to the PGA Tour’s Players Championship. It’s located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and can be played for fees typically exceeding $495.00. With a par of 72, it’s known for having narrow fairways and fast, rock-hard greens. A challenging, but visually-stimulating course, playing it will be an experience that you never forget.

4. Pinehurst Resort – Pinehurst, North Carolina

Located in the small town of Pinehurst, North Carolina, Pinehurst Resort Golf Course has played host to a number of PGA and LPGA majors, including the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. This resort holds 9 different golf courses, the best known of which is number 2. Greens fees are $445.00 in season and $365.00 out of season; not a totally unreasonable cost compared to others on our list.

5. Ocean Course – Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Located southwest of Charleston in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, the Ocean Course in one of many courses at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. It has hosted Ryder Cups, PGA Championships, and Senior PGA Championships and possesses a par of 72. A tough course with deep rough and a number of bunkers, it’s ridiculously long at a total of 7,873 yards. Greens fees at the Ocean Course run from $281.00 to $387.00.

6. Old Course at St. Andrews – St. Andrews, Scotland

The Old Course at St. Andrews is essentially golf’s mecca. Golfers the world over make the long trek to St. Andrews in order to play on one of the same courses where golf was first played in the 1400s. A links course, it’s highlighted by its quirky and ancient architecture. It has played host to a number of British Opens and possesses a par of 72. Greens fees for the course run at around 160 pounds, or around $195.00.

7. Royal County Down Golf Club – New Castle, County Down, Northern Ireland

Opened in 1889, Royal County Down Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses in Ireland. A links course, it has played host to a number of professional tournaments, including the Senior British Open Championship and the Walker Cup. While the club includes two courses, its signature course is its Championship Course. Greens fees for this course run at around 210 pounds, or around $250.00.

8. Harbour Town Golf Links – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Located in the beach resort town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Harbour Town Golf Links annually plays host to the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage tournament. A par 71, it measures in at 7,101 yards, featuring firm greens and a number of water hazards. A beautiful course known for its nearby lighthouse, it can be played for fees of around $350.00.

9. Torrey Pines – San Diego, California

Home to the 2008 US Open, Torrey Pines Golf Course is located in the area around San Diego, California. Measuring in at 7,698 yards, its par 72 South Course is one of the largest played on in the PGA Tour. This course offers first-come-first-serve tee times, resulting in many golfers staying overnight so that they can snag one. Greens fees run at $63.00 for San Diego residents and $192.00 for non-San Diego residents.

10. Blackwolf Run – Kohler, Wisconsin

Home to the 1998 US Women’s Open, Blackwolf Run is located in the small town of Kohler, Wisconsin. The host to two different golf courses, including the River Course and the Meadow Valleys course, it was designed by famed golf course architect Pete Dye. While both courses are terrific, the River Course is noted as the more challenging of the two. It can be played for $305.00.

Image Courtesy of Flickr User tdlucas5000