Where do you want to be when your club meets your golf ball? Where water meets earth? How about where Lake Michigan, the Puget Sound, or the Pacific Ocean meets Wisconsin, Washington, or California? Let us take you to the ten must-play golf courses in the United States.
10.Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington.
On almost a thousand acres along the shoreline of the Puget Sound, Chambers Bay is a true links course amidst sand dunes and seaside grasses. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones II and built in 2007. Chambers Bay will host the U.S. Open Championship in 2015.
With two eighteen-hole courses, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and a name from the rarest species of pine trees in the United States, Torrey Pines is a rare “golfer’s paradise.” Designed by William F. Bell, the course was built in 1957. The famed course hosted the U.S. Open in 2008 and will do so again in 2021. It also annually hosts the Farmers Insurance Open.
Kapalua, which means “arms embracing the sea,” is on the northwest end of Maui. Say “aloha” to the abundant sunshine and gentle trade winds of this beautiful 18-hole course that is also the only par-73 course on PGA Tour rotation. Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the course was built in 1991. It annually hosts the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
At TPC Sawgrass, there are two championship golf courses: THE PLAYERS stadium course and the Dye’s Valley Course. Like a stadium with stands of grassy hills, its signature hole is known as the “Island Green.” The course was designed by Pete and Alice Dye and built in 1980. The Players Championship has been played here every year since 1982.
Although scenery can make some courses famous, for others fame comes from the craft of the course itself. At Bethpage State Park, the first municipal course to host the Open, the Black Course is notoriously difficult due to slender fairways, steep roughs, and small greens. It was designed by A.W. Tillinghast and built in 1936. The course hosted the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009 and will host the PGA Championship in 2019.
Pinehurst No. 2 is the center of attention at the Pinehurst Resort. Known for its smooth wavy knolls, the course was recently restored in 2010 back to its original design. No. 2 was created by Donald Ross and built in 1907. It hosted the U.S. Open in 1999 and 2005, the PGA Championship in 1936, and the Ryder Cup in 1951.
On a precipice above the Pacific Ocean, Bandon Dunes was the first course at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. The course features topography and flora natural to the area. It was designed by David McLay Kidd and built in 1999.
The Ocean Course takes salty ocean breezes to a whole new level. There are even two courses, one for the easterly wind and one for the westerly, to accommodate a fierce wind that makes every round a new experience. It was designed by Pete and Alice Dye and built in 1974. The course hosted the PGA Championship in 2012 and the Ryder Cup in 1991.
Between miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the Straits Course is open and rocky. Drawing inspiration from Irish Link Courses, the Straits offers fairways of fescue and large sand-dune bunkers. One of the many courses designed by Pete and Alice Dye, Straights was built in 1998. The course hosted the PGA Championship in 2004 and 2010 and will do so again in 2015 along with the Ryder Cup in 2020.
When it comes to nautical vistas, the “Pebble” is the king of the hill. The Pacific Ocean lapping at the rugged, mountainous terrain is in full view at every hole. It lives up to being the most famous golf course in the western United States. It was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant and built in 1919. The course hosted the US Open in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010, and will do so again in 2019. It also annually hosts the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.