Golf’s Greatest Courses

Golf Courses

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of golf courses all around the world. With the popularity of the game rising, you can find golf courses in even the smallest of towns – or, at the very least within a short driving distance. Have you ever wondered what golf courses are ranked as the top golf courses in the world? Here’s a short list in no particular order:

* Augusta National; Augusta, Georgia – Home to the Masters Tournament, Augusta is one of the most beautiful and popular golf courses to play. It was planned and designed by golf legend Bobby Jones and architect Alister Mackenzie. It is a very exclusive golf club and open only to members and their guests.

* Pebble Beach; Pebble Beach, California – This has been a perennial favorite golf course among pros and amateurs alike. It hosts an annual celebrity pro-am tournament that brings all sorts of celebrities to play with pro golfers. It is a public course, but be warned, it isn’t cheap to play here!

* Shinnecock Hills; Southampton, New York – This is an old golf club with old traditions and is probably one of the oldest US golf course design dating back to 1891. It is a members only club as well.

* Pinehurst Resort; Pinehurst, North Carolina – This is an old golf course as well with rich tradition as being one of the favorites of golfers everywhere. Pinehurst has played host to two US opens and is a public course.

* Prairie Dunes; Hutchison, Kansas – Set in the Midwest, this golf course has proven to be quite a challenging 18 holes with numerous sand traps and wind playing a factor in the game. It is, however, a rather exclusive club, so you’ll have to work extra hard to get on the link at Prairie Dunes.

* St. Andrews; St. Andrews, Scotland – This is where golf started and the tradition in rich on this beautiful golf course in this amazing country. There are six golf courses associated with the St. Andrews Links Organization including “The Old One” where golf was born.

* Royal County Down; Newcastle, N. Ireland – This is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland and is a great golf course for anyone who is looking for a challenging round in a breathtakingly beautiful place. Be prepared to walk, though, they don’t allow “buggies” on this course.

* Muirfield; Gullane, Scotland – This golf course is one of the oldest in the world and provides challenge for golfers of all experience levels. It has played host to several different tournaments and championships over the years and remains one of the most sought out trips for golfers.

You certainly have your choice of golf courses all around the world depending on how far you want to travel. But don’t forget to look right in your own backyard. Some of the small local golf courses can present just as much challenge.

There’s probably no better place in the United States to play golf than in Palm Springs, California. This beautiful location is host to many, many golf courses that give amateurs and pros the chance to best the course while basking in the beautiful California weather. There are more than a hundred golf courses in the Palm Springs area, and most of them are of a professional quality that you won’t find anywhere else in the United States. Located on the North Western Boundry of the Coachella Valley is Palm Springs which also includes several other rapidly growing communities including Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Indian Wells and Indio. Discovered in the early 1920s by some of Hollywood’s elite, it is no longer the group of sleepy little villages it once was. While the area has changed over the years, the one thing that has not is the magnificent clear blue sky and the mild climate. It’s a great feeling to be soaking your body in a warm outdoor pool or playing a round of golf on a manicured course while the rest of the country is slipping and sliding behind a snow plow. The Palm Springs region, with its world-class golf courses and destination golf resorts, while not as large, is rapidly becoming the West Coast version of the Myrtle Beach golf scene. You have your choice of several different professional level courses when you travel to Palm Springs to golf. The great California weather makes it a premier, year-round vacation destination for golfers.

While we strive to remain unbiased in our review of Palm Springs golf destinations, we have found some of the more popular courses and feel compelled to pass these on to you.

* Indian Springs Golf and Country Club – The 18-hole “Indian Springs” course at the Indian Springs Golf & Country Club facility in Indio, California features 6,404 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 69.8 and it has a slope rating of 112. Designed by John Gurley, Sr., the Indian Springs golf course opened in 1962. Neil Finch manages the course as the Director of Golf.

* Indian Wells Country Club – The 18-hole “Classic” course at the Indian Wells Country Club facility in Indian Wells, California features 6,478 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. Designed by David A. Rainville, ASGCA/Harry Rainville, the Classic golf course opened in 1955. ClubCorp USA, Inc. manages this facility, with the General Manager Mark Neneman. Robert Trent Jones, Jr designed the first desert course so named Desert Dunes Golf Club – Desert Dunes Golf Course. Voted as one of the best public courses in Southern California. Laid out among large dunes and mature desert trees, Desert Dunes has a unique Scottish links flavor.

There’s no doubt that golf in Palm Springs is a golfer’s paradise. When you golf Palm Springs, you are surely in for a trip that you will remember for years to come! St. Andrews

St. Andrews is located in Scotland and is commonly thought of as the birthplace of golf as we know it today. St. Andrews is home to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754, who exercises legislative authority over the game worldwide except in the U.S. and Mexico.

The beautiful golf links in St. Andrews (acquired by the town in 1894) is the most frequent venue for The Open Championship, the oldest of golf’s four major championships. Visitors travel to St Andrews in great numbers for several courses ranked amongst the finest in the world, as well as for the sandy beaches.

The St Andrews Links occupy a narrow strip of land along the sea. As far back as the 15th century, golfers at St. Andrews established a customary route through the undulating terrain, playing to holes whose locations were dictated by topography.

laid out end to end from the clubhouse to the far end of the property The course emerged featuring eleven holes. One played the holes out, turned around, and played the holes in, for a total of 22 holes. In 1764, several of the holes were deemed too short, and were therefore combined. The number was thereby reduced from 11 to nine, so that a complete round of the links comprised 18 holes.

There are six golf courses in St. Andrews including The Old Course which is where the game was first played. The clubs are open to the public as are the courses, but be prepared to wait! The Old Course has over 40,000 rounds of golf played on it every year. In fact, as of this writing, the official St. Andrews website reports that tee times for April through October of 2007 are completely booked.

You may have the best luck on one of the other courses, but you will need to make reservations well in advance. St. Andrews allow you to book tee times online, so check out their website and make a reservation as soon as you know when you’ll be there.

Be prepared to pay to play St. Andrews, however. Greens fees during the prime season between April and October are $235 for an adult on the Old Course. Of course, the other courses are slightly cheaper and you’ll save some money in the off-season as well.

There are plenty of places to stay when you want to golf at St. Andrews. There are over 500 hotels and numerous dining places nearby. There is easy access from local airstrips, so you won’t have much problem actually getting to the links on your scheduled day to play. In the meantime, you’ll enjoy some of the most beautiful countryside in the world complete with old castles and historical sites!

You can visit the official St. Andrews Link website at www.standrews.org.uk.