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Whenever we create a cool list to help you find the best courses for your next dream golf vacation – like the World's 50 Most Beautiful Courses or the World's Top 100 Golf Destinations – inevitably we hear from readers just how expensive and unattainable playing these places can be. Almost every Top 100 list ever created highlights dozens of courses that cost between $200 to $500. That's a serious chunk of change.
Our latest list might be our all-time favorite: the top 100 golf courses in America that cost less than $100.
This "Top 100 under $100" should bring relief in a time when rising costs and inflation are putting pressure on all wallets – not just golfers'. We've uncovered America's best courses that never charge more than $99 to play. You read that right – never…unless they raise their rates in 2023 or veer from their rack rates for a rare inflated greens fee.
We know that golfers are always looking for value. Many of us have a philosophy of "I won't pay higher than XX amount of dollars to play golf." We figured a Benjamin was a nice cutoff point.
All the green fees listed were researched in May and June, either taken directly from course websites and booking engines or by confirming with the course operator. They all include taking a golf cart (but not taxes and fees), even if you can walk the course. That meant leaving out stalwarts that can be easily walked like New York State Park courses Bethpage Red and Montauk Downs. Both cost $96 walking but taking a cart adds $22 more to the total cost. We wanted to keep the price comparisons as uniform as possible. Short courses and nine-hole courses were not considered.
Obviously, this list features some unique qualifications. Many courses in vacation hotbeds like Arizona, California, Florida and the Carolinas never stood a chance. They tend to inflate prices in winter to take advantage of their monopoly during peak season. That's why even though there are some solid bargains in the state, no Arizona course made the cut. Often, finding real bargain golf requires playing a muni or driving a little longer for layouts that are off the beaten path.
We've organized our Top 100 under $100 by region, allowing you to find the best nearby options. It might surprise you to find courses designed by Tom Doak, Gil Hanse, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones II, Greg Norman, Rees Jones, Donald Ross, A.W. Tillinghast and other famous architects on our list.
Remember, we have listed the highest green fees you'll pay. Golfers can often find better rates in myriad ways, especially by walking or playing on weekdays and at twilight. If you're a bucket-list chaser and avid traveling golfer, this is a story worth bookmarking and sharing with friends. It's a collection of really good courses that's doable for anyone and everyone.
NORTHEAST AND MID-ATLANTIC (17 courses)
Big cities and small, historic towns are breeding grounds for compelling golf, though it often takes a little extra digging to uncover the best lower-budget courses, just like it can take a while to find that out-of-the-way dive bar or local restaurant that speaks to you. Recently-rehabbed city munis by classic architects pair well with more modern gems to form an eclectic list from Maine to Maryland.
Watch out for water on the sixth hole at Worthington Manor Golf Club.
Worthington Manor Golf Club
George Wright Golf Course – Hyde Park, Mass.
Highest Green Fee: $70 Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: Donald Ross
Notable: This muni is one of the shortest courses in this story, topping out at 6,440 yards. But its rolling terrain and classic design make it an epic journey.
GolfPass Review: "Boston’s finest. It was my first time on the course. I was wildly impressed by the course layout and history associated with the course. It was brought to my attention there were substantial changes to the course. I had a blast & look forward to many more rounds." – DBranca
Breakfast Hill Golf Club – Greenland, N.H.
Highest Green Fee: $90 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Brian Silva
Notable: Just an hour from Boston or Portland, Maine, Breakfast Hill – host of the 2022 New Hampshire Open – offers rolling fairways, picturesque woodlands and exposed granite boulders.
GolfPass Review: "Challenging course. Beautiful shape, fairways were lush and you have to keep the ball in the middle to score well here. Greens were rolling really well." – Sean7896533
Neshanic Valley Golf Course – Neshanic Station, N.J.
Highest Green Fee: $85 Star Rating: 4.6 Architects: Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry
Notable: The 27-hole layout that sprawls across 420 acres of rolling farmland is the flagship muni of the five-course Somerset County Park Commission system.
GolfPass Review: "1st time playing after hearing nothing but great things and wasn’t disappointed. Course was in fantastic shape. Looking forward to playing Neshanic again soon!" – Sirmixaway
Heron Glen Golf Course – Ringoes, N.J.
Highest Green Fee: $87 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Dan Schlegel
Notable: Managed by KemperSports, this Hunterdon County muni was built upon former farmland.
GolfPass Review: "This golf course never fails to deliver. Very fun to play. Back nine tightens up. A bit pricey but always a well-maintained, higher-end public track."
Knoll West Country Club – Boonton, N.J.
Highest Green Fee: $87 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Charles Banks
Notable: This semi-private design is one of vanishingly few bona fide Banks layouts that are available to the public. The template-based par 3s include eye-catching versions of the Short and Biarritz holes.
GolfPass Review: "Great design with tees for every golfer, greens are large and undulating bunkers are great and greens are surrounded and protected by them." – pokerfred1968
Links at Gettysburg – Gettysburg, Pa.
Highest Green Fee: $89 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Lindsay Ervin
Notable: The Links at Gettysburg sprawls across rolling hills situated near the hallowed grounds where the defining battle of the Civil War took place. The golf course wages a formidable challenge itself, featuring 35 steep rock cliffs where the stone-lined tee boxes are perched and 10 lakes and waterfalls.
GolfPass Review: "This course is always a place to measure your best skills. The course challenges all of your clubs, depth perception and accuracy. There is little room for error on many holes. Each hole is unique and fun and offers its own test." – david1lapierre
Jeffersonville Golf Club – West Norriton, Pa.
Highest Green Fee: $70 Star Rating: 4.3 Architect: Donald Ross
Notable: Labors of love yield better golf than hit-and-run jobs, so it's no surprise that over the course of a nearly 20-year restoration effort by Ron Prichard and Tyler Rae, this Montgomery County gem is one of America's best everyday public courses.
GolfPass Review: "Amazing design, layout, conditions were superb. I have played a lot of golf, but this is my favorite public course in the area and it is not close. Reasonable rates for a private club experience on the course.. Kudos to the great work the staff is doing here." – Shawn8149817
The municipal Jeffersonville Golf Club serves up sophisticated golf for all in suburban Philadelphia.
Worthington Manor Golf Club – Urbana, Md.
Highest Green Fee: $98 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Ault, Clark & Associates
Notable: It is only the third public course in history to host the Maryland Open. A new covered patio allows for dining outside.
GolfPass Review: "Probably the toughest in MD and one of the most beautiful public course in MD. Everything was on point." – MarioDeSilva
University of Maryland Golf Course – College Park, Md.
Highest Green Fee: $84 Star Rating: 4.2 Architect: George Cobb
Notable: This classic course hosts "dog fights" every weekend where golfers can compete in stableford and skins game competitions.
GolfPass Review: "UMD is a rare breed in that it can truly be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. With few prominent hazards and forced carries, it is particularly great for casual golfers and those taking up the game. Even for more experienced players, though, the course makes nice use of some elevation changes and features beautiful trees that make for a good round. It's hardly the most challenging or the most pristine, but you will always have a positive experience here." – CM1094
Sugarloaf Golf Club – Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Highest Green Fee: $88 Star Rating: 5.0 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, II
Notable: The famous stretch of holes from nos. 10-15 along the Carrabassett River are known as the "String of Pearls". A 120-foot drop on the par-3 11th is memorable.
GolfPass Review: "Awesome track,especially playing it in the fall. The course was in excellent condition. The views are spectacular." – nckwark
Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course – Lewiston, N.Y.
Highest Green Fee: $65 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, II
Notable: The course, managed by KemperSports, is an amenity of the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Watch out for water on 11 holes.
GolfPass Review: "Course was in beautiful condition. Wide open play. Fast greens. Challenging but fair. I will definitely be back." – in4td
Orchard Creek Golf Club – Altamont, N.Y.
Highest Green Fee: $49 Star Rating: 5.0 Architect: Paul Cowley
Notable: Family-owned course shares acreage with a working apple orchard and golfers are free to pick-and-eat-and-play. Each hole is named after a variety that grows on trees close by.
GolfPass Review: "Challenging but fun, and the apple orchard on the front 9 is a really unique aspect. Can't recommend it enough." – fivedollarpete
Copake Country Club – Copake Lake, N.Y.
Highest Green Fee: $65 Star Rating: 3.8 Architect: Devereux Emmet
Notable: Beautiful lakeside location means hilly holes and some quirky shots. A restoration project in the late-2000s brought back its Golden-Age (1922) bona fides. The Greens restaurant in the clubhouse is not to be missed.
GolfPass Review: "False fronts, sloped pin locations that require you to be below the pin, and several old style turtle back greens challenge even the best putters. For someone like me, who has no length anymore but can still putt, it's one of life's small pleasures." – gordomayo
Keney Park Golf Course – Hartford, Conn.
Highest Green Fee: $64 Star Rating: 4.1 Architects: Devereux Emmet, Jack Ross, Matt Dusenberry
Notable: Hartford muni was neglected for decades until Dusenberry's revolutionary hybrid renovation/restoration six years ago.
GolfPass Review: "Keney Park is an American golf treasure. The 2016 restoration work by Matt Dusenberry continues to shine and mature, solidifying the course's position as one of the country's great municipal courses and one of New England's overall best public courses." – GolfPass Senior Writer Tim Gavrich
Keney Park's Golden Age style is well-suited to black-and-white photography.
Connecticut National Golf Club, Putnam, Conn.
Highest Green Fee: $79 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Mark Mungeam
Notable: The #1 course in the state according to our Golfers' Choice rankings was elevated to its current quality after Mungeam practically built a new layout on the site of a former family-farm course.
GolfPass Review: "Was my first time playing Connecticut National and wow what a deal! That course is easily one of the top 5 layouts I’ve played and for the price it was an absolute steal!" – Vivie209
Wintonbury Hills Golf Course – Bloomfield, Conn.
Highest Green Fee: $80 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Pete Dye, Tim Liddy
Notable: Dye charged the town the princely sum of $1 for his design services at this open, rolling tract of former farmland where wetlands and a reservoir add intrigue at different points.
GolfPass Review: "Fantastic conditions even early in the year, great staff, nice facilities, Pete Dye designed…tough to beat this course. Even compared to other great courses in the area." – WorldsGreatestDan
Triggs Memorial Golf Course – Providence, R.I.
Highest Green Fee: $70 Star Rating: 3.9 Architect: Donald Ross
Notable: Not every city has an almost completely untouched Ross gem sitting in the middle of it, much less one that anyone can (and should) play. The great Scot's hole plans adorn the lively 19th hole.
GolfPass Review: "Conditions impeccable. Ross gem. Greens moderate to slow but I get it. All consistent. Super driving course. Ross just says " hit it." Par 3s are all all great. 200 bills or 155 ish. Greens are super big and true." – erchaplin
Golf is serious business all over the vast South, with destinations that include both some of the country's highest-end experiences and a significant number of its greatest hidden gems. Golf-conscious cities, state parks and Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail all feature prominently here, rewarding golfers with a willingness to travel a bit in order to put together a value-packed trip.
Olde Beau Resort & Golf Club in North Carolina gets strong reviews on GolfPass.
Courtesy of user 'RShaunSmith'
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National (Lake) – Opelika, Ala.
Highest Green Fee: $99 Star Rating: 4.7 Architects: Robert Trent Jones, Sr.; Roger Rulewich
Notable: The sister Links Course is favored by some as the better course at this Trail site near Auburn University, but the beauty of the Lake layout is hard to overlook.
GolfPass Review: "The drive over Lake Saugahatchee to get to the tenth tee is amazing. The last four holes are my favorite. A par three all over water, a short dogleg right par four that requires your second shot over a marsh, another par three with water on the left and over. The last hole is an up-hill par four. It is an amazing course." – PeterDiehl
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Cambrian Ridge (Sherling/Canyon) – Greenville, Ala.
Highest Green Fee: $96 Star Rating: 4.9 Architects: Robert Trent Jones, Sr.; Roger Rulewich
Notable: If you have time for only 18 holes at this site, make sure you play the Sherling and Canyon nines, which are far superior to the relatively plain Loblolly loop.
GolfPass Review: "Another spectacular outing. Our foursome played all three 9's. The greens were perfect and rolled true on all of the courses. One couldn't hope for any better." – refrowland
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove (Crossings) – Mobile, Ala.
Highest Green Fee: $99 Star Rating: 4.7 Architects: Robert Trent Jones, Sr.; Roger Rulewich
Notable: This past LPGA Tour host course has a just-right mix of elevation changes and more mellow terrain, providing nice variety to the golf.
GolfPass Review: "Crossings at Magnolia Grove delivers everything you could want in 18 holes. Look forward to hitting every shape of shot you can pull off as the course takes you on a beautiful ride through the hilly wooded area that the facility is built upon." – QuantumGolfx
Fort Myers Country Club – Fort Myers, Fla.
Highest Green Fee: $70 Star Rating: 5.0 Architects: Donald Ross, Steve Smyers
Notable: A country club in name only, "The Fort" is the city course of Fort Myers. Steve Smyers' mid-2010s work restored Ross' brilliance to a property bisected by a canal.
GolfPass Review: "I write this review reluctantly because i don’t want The Fort overrun with snowbirds. But it is what public golf is all about. A historic layout kept in good condition despite 1500-2000 rounds a week in season." – straightdriver33
New Smyrna Beach Golf Club – New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Highest Green Fee: $55 Star Rating: 4.3 Architect: Donald Ross.
Notable: Though the course was built after Ross died, the pushed-up greens and strategic bunkering honor his philosophy of thoughtful, strategic and playable design. Bobby Weed's restoration work from 2006 kept it looking spiffy.
GolfPass Review: "…like a trip to the past. Not too long, but with plenty of challenges, especially when you get to the greens. The greens vary in size and shape, with lots of contours to make putting tricky. The greens were fast! and smooth. We really enjoyed our first round here and will be coming back soon." – GolfPass reviewer
Riviera Country Club – Ormond Beach, Fla.
Highest Green Fee: $51.60 Star Rating: 4.2 Architect: Mark Mahannah
Notable: Family-owned local favorite is practically frozen in time in 1953, when it opened. No formal tee times here – just call the shop, tell them when you want to play and they'll either work you in or steer you toward another time.
GolfPass Review: "Cool old style golf course, not a fancy 'club', but very fast greens, and good maintenance. Holes go back and forth so not a lot of rough, but smallish tight greens that really ROLL. Worth the money, makes you feel like Ozzie and Harriet are at the bar. Really cool place." – TallTomWan
Capital City Country Club – Tallahassee, Fla.
Highest Green Fee: $70 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
Notable: Formerly fully private, this historic, hilly (especially by Florida standards) gem is one of very few Tillinghast designs open to the public.
GolfPass Review: "We had a great time at this gem of a course located right in town. The fairways and greens were in great shape. We love the hilliness of this course and the abundance of majestic oaks throughout." – rorykrivit
Sanctuary Golf Club – Waverly, Ga.
Highest Green Fee: $79 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Paul Cowley, Love Golf Design
Notable: Other than the Seaside and Plantation courses at Sea Island, this is the best course you can play in Georgia's Golden Isles. The low-profile Seth Raynor-style bunkers, inventive greens and impeccable conditioning make Sanctuary a gem and a tremendous value.
GolfPass Review: "This course is fantastic. Fairways, greens, tee boxes and bunkers all in excellent shape. Quick pace of play. The drive from Jacksonville was well worth it." – rpnole
Low-key and subtle, Sanctuary Golf Club charms the attentive golfer into wanting to play more and more.
Arrowhead Pointe at Lake Richard B. Russell State Park – Elberton, Ga.
Highest Green Fee: $71 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Robert Walker
Notable: The crown jewel of the state park system's golf courses has ranked among the top 16 courses in Georgia in Golfers' Choice every year since 2015 thanks to its gorgeous lake views.
GolfPass Review: "Great price. Great employees. Golfers on the course are very nice. The course is in excellent condition (especially the greens). I drove 80 minutes to play the course not knowing what to expect. This is a hidden gem." – jhawker79
Achasta Golf Club – Dahlonega, Ga.
Highest Green Fee: $90 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Notable: The Chestatee River winds into play for more than half the holes.
GolfPass Review: "The Achasta course design makes you want to play it over and over! The holes are challenging, have great views, are not frustrating, and you can always tell when the Golden Bear has designed a course. A great experience from beginning to end." – WCH80
Big Creek Golf & Country Club – Mountain Home, Ark.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Tom Clark
Notable: Located in the heart of The Ozarks, Big Creek has hosted multiple USGA qualifiers.
GolfPass Review: "Excellent test of golf. The pace of play was very good. Greens were in great shape. I truly enjoy the atmosphere here at Big Creek."
Ridges at Village Creek – Wynne, Ark.
Highest Green Fee: $45 Star Rating: 5.0 Architects: Nathan Crace, Andy Dye, Joe Jemsek
Notable: Not far from Memphis, this 27-hole layout has three nines: North Ridge, East Ridge and West Ridge. Opened in 2012, the course is part of a state park where visitors can stay overnight in cabins.
GolfPass Review: "This course is one of the best courses our group has played on our tour of the 50 states. Unbelievably no one is playing this course. Great layout- conditions were great even after receiving 6" of rain two days before we played. Greens and fairways were in great shape. Best money can buy. Don't miss this gem." – GolfPass reviewer
National Golf Club of Louisiana – Westlake, La.
Highest Green Fee: $57.62 Star Rating: 4.2. Architect: Dave Bennett
Notable: The area's largest greens, 80 bunkers and 14 different lakes will challenge every golfer.
GolfPass Review: "Highly recommend. Fairways were in good shape. The greens were in great shape and true. The pins placements were tough on some holes so you had to decide to play to wide open space or challenge your game. No Marshall on the course but pace of play for our threesome was good. Plenty of water but only in play if you missed badly. Great service on the course." – gutowj01
The greens at Shell Landing are large and fast, like on the par-5 third hole.
Shell Landing Golf Club – Gautier, Miss
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.4 Architect: Davis Love, III
Notable: Shell Landing Golf Club, which opened in 2000, wraps around wetlands, natural areas and water hazards that come into play on eight holes.
GolfPass Review: "One of the best values on the Gulf Coast. Course is in good shape. Bunkers just got redone." – GolfPass reviewer
Bridges Golf Club at Hollywood Casino – Bay Saint Louis, Miss.
Highest Green Fee: $99 Star Rating: 3.8 Architect: Arnold Palmer
Notable: The course, which opened in 2006, is named for the 21 wooden bridges that span almost one mile over 17 lakes and 14 acres of marsh and wetlands.
GolfPass Review: "Great golf course that is very different from most. Each hole takes advantage of some part of the coastal, salt marsh terrain. There are truly many boardwalk-style bridges to get from hole to hole. For the season, fairways and greens are in great shape. Course is challenging but fair." – bnkstrom
Swope Memorial Golf Course – Kansas City, Mo.
Highest Green Fee: $55 Star Rating: 4.1 Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
Notable: Skyline views of downtown accompanied by the roars of lions from the K.C. Zoo below give this course character that is unmatched.
GolfPass Review: "Swope has a lovely park setting and exceptional hole variety. It’s a top-notch muni in this country." – BrandonTuckerGA, former GolfPass Managing Editor
Stone Canyon Golf Club – Blue Springs, Mo.
Highest Green Fee: $69 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Greg Norman
Notable: Rock walls and stone outcroppings are the star of the show on the only signature Greg Norman design in the Midwest, notably at the 381-yard, par-4 3rd hole, which concludes at a green within an amphitheater of rocks.
GolfPass Review: "The greens are some of the most difficult ones I’ve played recently. Many have multiple tiers with crazy elevation changes, while others have steep collection areas that gather mishit approach shots." – CharlesEmerson
The Lodge of Four Seasons (Cove) – Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.
Highest Green Fee: $98 Star Rating: 4.2 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
Notable: Lakeside views, rolling hills, 72 bunkers and water in play on nine holes make The Cove a target golf challenge.
GolfPass Review: "The course was in great shape. Everything was green and lush, with the iris' in full bloom. The rough was thick but manageable." – s9d00aP
Oak Hollow Golf Course – High Point, N.C.
Highest Green Fee: $40 Star Rating: 4.1 Architect: Pete Dye
Notable: This early (1972) Dye design is low-key but full of intrigue, surrounded as it is on three sides by a lake. With green fees topping out at $40 (just $18 to walk on weekdays!), it is hard to beat for value from one of the greatest architects of the modern era.
GolfPass Review: "This course can be overpowered if you're an accurate big hitter but otherwise it will require pretty much every shot you have. Lots of elevation changes will challenge your distance control. Trees are tight to the fairways on many holes requiring accurate tee shots to make the fairway. Beautiful course, water everywhere, greens were in excellent condition, rolled true if a little slow." – stonelion
Maggie Valley Resort & Country Club, Maggie Valley, N.C.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.4 Architect: N/A.
Notable: The 6,500-yard course, which is managed by Troon Golf, is nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. Stay-and-plays unlock a heated pool, hot tub, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, fishing, rafting and zip-lining adventures.
GolfPass Review: "Course in exceptional condition. Back 9 much harder than front 9. Club sandwich at turn was very good. Will play again this year." – chefmarkd
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Old Beau Resort & Golf Club, Roaring Gap, N.C.
Highest Green Fee: $72 Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: Bruce Satterfield
Notable: Golfers come to play golf at the Old Beau Resort & Golf Club in the mountains of the western Carolinas to escape the swelter in the summer and enjoy the colorful leaves in the fall.
GolfPass Review: "Without question one of the most scenic & wild golf courses anywhere – my favorite track. (The) entire property is guarded & watched over by an Old Bulldog in the clouds named Beau – how amazing is that!!!" – panuthos
Charleston Municipal Golf Course – Charleston, S.C.
Highest Green Fee: $80 Star Rating: N/A Architect: Troy Miller
Notable: Thanks to a private/public partnership, Miller totally renovated the course in 2020, incorporating the striking style and strategic design principles of Seth Raynor, who designed the city's two greatest private clubs. Locals pay less than $30 to play one of America's coolest public courses.
GolfPass Review: "Great golf course architecture doesn't cost any more to create than mediocre architecture. Nor does it have to cost a lot to play. Charleston Municipal – a.k.a. 'Muni' – is proof positive of that statement in the wake of its transformative renovation by local architect Troy Miller." – GolfPass Senior Writer Tim Gavrich
Aiken Golf Club – Aiken, S.C.
Highest Green Fee: $45 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: John Inglis, Jim McNair
Notable: Don't let the yardage make you think you're too big for this course; with tremendous variety and small, undulating greens, it's a test beloved of locals and visitors alike. Owner Jim McNair continues to elevate the course and experience.
GolfPass Review: "Aiken golf club is a course soaked with character. Quite short at about 5800 yards from tips, but don't mistake that for easy. The historic architecture requires great thought for every shot. Interesting well-manicured greens. Would be fun for golfers of all handicaps." – Will4710449
Walker Golf Course at Clemson University – Clemson, S.C.
Highest Green Fee: $85 Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: D. J. DeVictor
Notable: The final five holes run along the shores of Hartwell Lake, including the par-3 17th that looks like a Tiger Paw thanks to its creative bunkering.
GolfPass Review: "I am going to make this a must do whenever we are in Greenville. Top notch shape. No two holes the same and the front and back are very different. I really enjoyed the back. The last few holes have gorgeous views of the lake." – sloaffan
Gaylord Springs Golf Links – Nashville, Tenn.
Highest Green Fee: $88 Star Rating: 4.6 Architects: Larry Nelson, Jeff Brauer
Notable: The links-style Gaylord Springs provides 18 testing holes that border limestone bluffs, the Cumberland River and federally-protected wetlands. It has ranked among the top 7 courses in the state since 2017 on Golfers' Choice.
GolfPass Review: "Interesting course. Definitely worth playing, very varied holes, course in good condition." – lindagillott
Hermitage Golf Course (President's Reserve) – Old Hickory, Tenn.
Highest Green Fee: $93 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Denis Griffiths
Notable: Home to eight cottages for stay-and-plays, President’s Reserve roams through 300 acres of natural Tennessee wetlands along the Cumberland River. Its sister course, General's Retreat ($85), hosted the LPGA Tour's Sara Lee Classic from 1988 to 1999
GolfPass Review: "The course itself is beautiful and plays, for the most part; relatively flat and very fair. The greens were firm and fast. The zoysia grass in the fairways helped the golf ball sit up and made each lie easy to hit from. There are a variety of holes; straight away, doglegs right and left." – PeterDiehl
The Club at Viniterra – New Kent, Va.
Highest Green Fee: $78 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Rees Jones
Notable: Situated near a vineyard between Richmond and Williamsburg, the Club at Viniterra sprawls across abundantly wooded hills, dropping as much as 70 feet from tee to green on numerous holes.
GolfPass Review: "Beautiful, great test of your game. This course has it all. Great layout, maybe little attention to some traps would be needed, but all in all, a great course." – jwwelsh
Royal New Kent Golf Club – Providence Forge, Va.
Highest Green Fee: $98 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Mike Strantz
Notable: After lying closed for several years, local golf lovers bought this course and restored it to prominence. Architect Mike Strantz's bold vision continues to captivate golfers.
GolfPass Review: "This is my second time playing and the greens are great, very well maintained. Not your normal course. It will test your club selection ability and aim. Beautiful views at each tee box." – TEvanB
Stonewall Resort – Roanoke, W.V. – Roanoke, W.V.
Highest Green Fee: $87 Star Rating: 4.4 Architect: Arnold Palmer
Notable: Situated within 1,900 acres of parkland, the Stonewall Resort includes golf, hiking trails, 26 miles of lake shoreline, a heated pool, jacuzzis, three restaurants, spa, fitness center and an Adirondack-style lodge and lakeside cottages.
GolfPass Review: "Course was in good shape. Has some water issues on fairways. Some crab grass popping up. Tee boxes were a little rough. Greens, rough, and bunkers were in good shape. Layout is great. Staff was great. Overall a great course." – bcoen1235
States like Michigan and Wisconsin are among America's richest for summer golf, and the eagerness of their residents to tee it up when the weather turns nice also benefits visitors. It's easy to understand why folks in these states are so darn friendly when you see some of the golf courses they get to play – and how little the privilege can cost.
The par-4 16th hole at Black Lake G.C. plays 422 yards from the championship tees.
Black Lake Golf Club – Onaway, Mich.
Highest Green Fee: $80 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Rees Jones
Notable: Black Lake, owned by the United Auto Workers, features 228 sleeping rooms available in the Old Lodge, the Upper Lodge Conference Center or a selection of condominiums and apartments.
GolfPass Review: "Absolutely love to tee it up here! Staff is always friendly and professional… Highly recommend this as a must play!" – Wolverine10
The Orchards Golf Club – Washington, Mich.
Highest Green Fee: $90 Star Rating: 4.0 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, II
Notable: The Orchards hosted the Michigan Open from 2011-13 and the 77th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2002 won by PGA Tour pro Ryan Moore. (Hunter Mahan also competed).
GolfPass Review: "A beauty that bites. Orchards is a great golf course. It’s very well maintained, extremely photogenic, and has a very fun design. Don’t let this deceive you though, the greens are fast, the bunkers are deep, and the rough is THICK. Make sure you hit the fairway on this golf course. If you don’t, you will be punished." – NKnotts
Sweetgrass Golf Club – Harris, Mich.
Highest Green Fee: $85 Star Rating: 5.0 Architects: Paul Albanese, Chris Lutzke
Notable: Part of the Island Resort & Casino, this pristinely-conditioned Upper Peninsula gem comes equipped with nods to the presiding tribe as well as Pete Dye, who mentored its architects.
GolfPass Review: "Sweetgrass is one of the best golf courses in the UP and in the same class as Greywalls, Pine Grove, Wild Bluff and Timberstone. This is one of the best conditioned courses I have ever played. The layout and greens have a very modern feel." – hornedwoodchuck
Pilgrim's Run Golf Club – Pierson, Mich.
Highest Green Fee: $90 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Mike DeVries
Notable: A past #1 "Friendliest Golf Course in America" in our Golfers' Choice rankings, this pleasant parkland layout north of Grand Rapids is full of charm, interesting shots and nice people.
GolfPass Review: "Was having major surgery in just a few days and I wanted to play one of my favorites before going under the knife. I have played almost 180 courses in Michigan alone and Pilgrims Run is easily in my top 5 favorites. Well maintained, great routing, friendly great Pro, and in a beautiful setting!" – VikingPro
Diamond Springs Golf Course – Hamilton, Mich.
Highest Green Fee: $58 Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: Mike DeVries
Notable: Ridges, ravines and rollicking greens make this woodsy layout south of Grand Rapids one of America's greatest bargains, and a walk that feels like playing golf at summer camp.
GolfPass Review: "Diamond Springs is one of the handful of courses I've played that has no weak holes. Each tee box provides a unique challenge that doesn't resemble anything you've done elsewhere on the course. The collection and routing of par 3s, 4s, and 5s, is exceptional. The way the land flows through the course gives it some visual flair and strategy." – noahjurik
Diamond Springs is a simply presented, brilliantly routed Mike DeVries design south of Grand Rapids.
Chaska Town Course – Chaska, Minn.
Highest Green Fee: $99 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Arthur Hills
Notable: This 6,817-yard muni is one of the top plays in the Twin Cities.
GolfPass Review: "This is an excellent course that has a great design and it is in great shape. It is totally worth the money and a must play in Minnesota. I could play this course every day and be happy." – brownpla
Highlands of Elgin – Elgin, Ill.
Highest Green Fee: $75 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Keith Foster
Notable: Nine new holes sit in a reclaimed stone quarry with four holes hugging the bluffs as high as 40 feet above a 12-acre lake.
GolfPass Review: "The course is a beautiful links layout with generous fairways and undulating greens. Spray the ball and it will punish you. Hit fairways and scoring opportunities abound. It was in excellent condition. Greens were fast and true." – rlb60
ThunderHawk Golf Club – Beach Park, Ill.
Highest Green Fee: $97 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, II
Notable: ThunderHawk follows a diverse terrain of mature forests, marshland and prairie.
GolfPass Review: "Course, including greens and bunkers in excellent shape!! Tough but fair. Staff very friendly. It is a great venue!!"
Annbriar Golf Course – Waterloo, Ill.
Highest Green Fee: Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: Michael Hurdzan
Notable: Opened in 1993, this expansive gem of a course in greater St. Louis has been a regular fixture among our Golfers' Choice lists, both for Illinois and in the U.S. Top 50 overall list.
GolfPass Review: "A friend recommended this course to me last year. I fell in love. It's got its difficult parts. The bunkers are probably some of the best on a public course and the greens are always in good condition for how much the weather changes in the area." – jmetz100
The Fort Golf Resort – Indianapolis, Ind.
Highest Green Fee: $89. Star Rating: 4.4. Architect: Pete Dye
Notable: Twice, the hilly layout has been ranked among the top 3 layouts in the country by Golfers' Choice.
GolfPass Review: "Excellent layout. Big and brawny. Take what it gives you or you'll be in trouble. Excellent staff and practice facilities! I'll return whenever I visit the area." – ravensarmygolfer
Warren Course at Notre Dame University – South Bend, Ind.
Highest Green Fee: $90 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw
Notable: The host of the 2019 U.S. Senior Open annually ranks among the best college courses in the country and the best publicly accessible courses in Indiana.
GolfPass Review: "The Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame captured my attention; it traverses some underwhelming land in a fun way. It lacks elevation gain but has excellent green complexes. Reminiscent of some century-old courses, it’s lenient (off) the tee box but challenges around the green." – noahjurik, Local Traverse City Advisor
Pfau Course at Indiana University – Bloomington, Ind.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 3.9 Architect: Steve Smyers
Notable: Smyers completely re-imagined the course for the Hoosiers in 2020.
GolfPass Review: "This is one of the most fantastic golf courses I’ve ever played. It rewards well placed tee shots. The fat part of the fairway doesn’t always give away an easy approach. Loved the detail. I especially enjoyed the square greens. The course is very well taken care of. The greens were running at probably an 11 but were very receptive."
Purgatory Golf Club – Noblesville, Ind.
Highest Green Fee: $89 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Ron Kern
Notable: The Purgatory is known as a tough track thanks to its length (7,754 yards), tall fescue, island green and 125-plus bunkers.
GolfPass Review: "Great Course. From the starter to the restaurant staff everything was very good. Course was in good condition considering the extreme amount of rain it received." – jjaputnam
Heritage Hill Golf Club – Shepherdsville, Ky.
Highest Green Fee: $55 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Douglas Beach
Notable: GolfPass reviewers have awarded Heritage Hill as one of Kentucky's top 10 courses in Golfers' Choice ratings every year since 2015.
GolfPass Review: "Great times here. Beautiful layout. The staff are very friendly and the course is a treat. Great fairways and tee boxes with the zoysia. The greens are really good as well." – golfgrind71
Kearney Hill Golf Links – Lexington, Ky.
Highest Green Fee: $52 Star Rating: 4.2 Architects: Pete and P.B. Dye
Notable: A former U.S. Public Links Championship host, this open and windswept municipal course has been a valued community asset for more than 30 years.
GolfPass Review: "Overall I think it's a really nice value to play a course like this for the price that they are asking. Which may be why they stay busy out there. Go play it, you won't be disappointed." – GolfPass reviewer
Manakiki Golf Course – Willoughby, Ohio
Highest Green Fee: $61 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Donald Ross
Notable: Manakiki (a Native American word for "maple forest") features lots of character, including two canyon holes, back-to-back par 5s and a quintessential Ross finishing hole that climbs a hill to a green below a stately clubhouse that was once the Hanna Mansion.
GolfPass Review: "Play it for the logo alone and get yourself a hoodie in the pro shop. Great layout with pretty good conditions considering its a muni and highly rated. Worth your time." – The QuestFor500
The cool clubhouse at Manakiki Golf Course frames the 18th green.
Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Sleepy Hollow Golf Course – Brecksville, Ohio
Highest Green Fee: $61 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Stanley Thompson
Notable: Thompson, Canadian's legendary architect, designed a handful of top courses in America, including this gem within the Cleveland Metroparks system.
GolfPass Review: "This is a must play course for any one that has never played it before. It is one of the most scenic courses that you can play in Ohio. This can easily be one of the more difficult course's to play any time. Bring your A game and ENJOY." – sunneday
Stonelick Hills Golf Course – Batavia, Ohio
Highest Green Fee: $96 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Jeff Osterfeld
Notable: Osterfeld, the owner, designed the course. It has ranked among the top 5 in Ohio in Golfers' Choice every year since 2015 and among the top 25 layouts in the country twice (2021, 2018).
GolfPass Review: "Has To Be One of the Best Courses in Ohio. Selected the course based on (a magazine) ranking and reviews. The staff was absolutely fantastic. The practice facility was great with grass stations and excellent short game area. Tee to green, I do not think the course could have been in better condition. There were some portions of the rough that were extremely difficult to play from. The fairway, bunkers and greens were A+." – Gilbertm
University Ridge Golf Course – Verona, Wis.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, II
Notable: Centuries ago, a glacier carved the ridge that divides the terrain into clusters of hills and valleys. The front nine plays across grassy meadows, while mature trees frame most of the holes on the back nine.
GolfPass Review: "Set up for a PGA (Tour Champions) event. By far, the fastest greens in Wisconsin, and the rough is the thickest I’ve played in. Very tough to break 90 even if you are a 5 handicap." – tstock12
Washington County Golf Course – Hartford, Wis.
Highest Green Fee: $85 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Arthur Hills
Notable: In the same Kettle Moraine region made famous by U.S. Open host Erin Hills, this muni (formerly known as Family Park Golf Course) rides subtle rolling terrain formed by glaciers. It's tough enough to host U.S. Open qualifying and the state PGA section championship.
GolfPass Review: "Best in Class for a Public Course. The greens were amazing, just fast enough and every putt went exactly where you aimed. The tee boxes and fairways were perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing." – Tom5851254
GREAT PLAINS (7)
Wide open spaces – sounds like a fairway, doesn't it? These states may be among the more sparsely populated, but several of their golf courses are well worth a long journey to discover.
The short par-4 17th hole on the Blue Top Ridge course at Riverside can provide major swings on the scorecard in tournaments.
Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Spirit Hollow Golf Course – Burlington, Iowa
Highest Green Fee: $99 Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: Rick Jacobson
Notable: Spirit Hollow might be the best bargain in America since the $99 rate allows golfers to play as much as they want all day. Stay-and-play cabins create a resort experience.
GolfPass Review: "Excellent course. … I live 1.5 hours away and it was well worth the drive. Elevation changes, great views, awesome layout, and smooth greens. GPS on the golf carts." – shankgolfer40
Blue Top Ridge At Riverside – Riverside, Iowa
Highest Green Fee: $95. Star Rating: 4.8 Architect: Rees Jones
Notable: Blue Top Ridge is a great amenity of the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort. Amenities like a Topgolf Swing Suite inside the Draft Day bar and the Riverside Performance Studio for club-fitting and lessons cater to golfers.
GolfPass Review: "Have played this course three times and have seen no more than four other groups on the course all three times. This is an invaluable perk as the pace of play has been exceptional, the conditioning just as impressive, and the rates beyond reasonable. Feels like a private club. Truly first rate. Course design is very good, as well." – Paul5069707
Buffalo Dunes Golf Course – Garden City, Kansas
Highest Green Fee: $45 Star Rating: 5.0 Architect: Frank Hummel
Notable: With very few trees, the breeze is always a factor on this challenging 6,800-yard muni. A course-wide renovation plan has been put into action by current Superintendent Clay Payne to be completed in 2026 to celebrate the course's 50th anniversary.
GolfPass Review: "The best golf course in Kansas. Very challenging today (for an) amateur golfer. Great price. Friendly staff. (I) would recommend this golf course to anyone." – dickyho
Wild Horse Golf Club – Gothenburg, Neb.
Highest Green Fee: $93 Star Rating: 4.8 Architects: Dave Axland, Don Proctor
Notable: Wild Horse has added cabin accommodations to make the visit more comfortable for traveling golfers.
GolfPass Review: "This is an excellent course. This course has more bunkers and other challenges for golfers than any other course I've played. The greens were lighting fast. If you go there, practice on concrete. I found a lot of variation, in the type of layouts and challenges. I used 13 of the 14 clubs in my bag." – Haymker
Quarry Oaks Golf Club – Ashland, Neb.
Highest Green Fee: $83 Star Rating: 4.1 Architect: John LaFoy
Notable: Overlooking the Platte River, this course cut through dense forest is one of greater Omaha's best.
GolfPass Review: "If you are interested in playing the best courses in Nebraska, then this has to be on your list. Outstanding variety and some of the most visually impressive holes that I've played this year." – Haymker
Links of North Dakota – Williston, N.D.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Stephen Kay
Notable: An RV campground and 12 one- and two-bedroom cabins welcome golfers for longer stays and multiple rounds.
GolfPass Review: "It’s worth the effort to find The Links. True links course with no trees or water, but watch for the wind!! Always rated as the top couple courses in N. Dakota and that’s accurate." – Ron2314663
Club at Red Rock – Rapid City, S.D.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.2 Architect: Ron Farris
Notable: The dramatic terrain of the Black Hills lends to inspiring golf. A pond between nos. 9 and 18 is the only water hazard.
GolfPass Review: "Golf Club at Red Rock is one of the more dramatic layouts with some of the best views you will find. Rarely does a course have as many up and down holes with far reaching vistas like Red Rock. It is very much target golf." – Rttrasamar
MOUNTAIN WEST (6)
The ball flies farther at elevation, and so can a golfer's dollar. Clear air and splendid scenery characterize the courses in these states.
To fully experience the par-3 17th hole at the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa, take a hike to the back tees.
Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Golf Club at Redlands Mesa – Grand Junction, Colo.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.2 Architect: Jim Engh
Notable: Eleven elevated tee shots allow golfers to enjoy the panoramic vistas of the surrounding red rocks and buttes. GolfPass named it among the World's 50 Most Beautiful Courses you can play.
GolfPass Review: "RM takes advantage of its ideal setting among the backdrop of the Colorado National Monument. You will be in awe of the breathtaking vistas." – BrandonWebb, Birmingham (Ala.) Local Advisor
CommonGround Golf Course – Aurora, Colo.
Highest Green Fee: $92 Star Rating: 4.3 Architect: Tom Doak
Notable: The ultimate public facility supports the grow-the-game missions of both the Colorado Golf Association and the Colorado Women's Golf Association. On a clear day, golfers can see Mt. Evans, Long's Peak and the Denver skyline in the distance.
GolfPass Review: "For a relatively flat piece of land, CommonGround packs plenty of options and decisions into its 18 holes. Almost every shot gives you something to contemplate, which I really appreciated." – sorenj
BanBury Golf Club – Eagle, Idaho
Highest Green Fee: $92 Star Rating: 4.0 Architect: John Harbottle III
Notable: The 6,890-yard par-71 course meanders around the South Channel of the Boise River.
GolfPass Review: "Great course! Has a fair mix of difficult and easy holes. This course is one of the best courses in all of Idaho. I always have a great time even when the course wins!" – dmorris8544
Jug Mountain Ranch Golf Course – McCall, Idaho
Highest Green Fee: $82 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: Donald Knott, Gary Linn
Notable: Nine holes interact with water, while the beauty of Idaho's wilderness is omnipresent.
GolfPass Review: "Love this course! One of the most scenic courses I’ve ever played where the layout is challenging but really fun! Played round in under 4 hours." – kochman9
Old Works Golf Course – Anaconda, Mont.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Notable: Black slag sand bunkers give this course an unusual and attractively rustic look.
GolfPass Review: "This is our favorite course in Montana! Jack Nicklaus Signature course, fabulous views, brick "ruins" from the old Copper Barron's copper smelter, black slag bunkers. Challenging but fun. We love this place- the course is really on the way back to its glory days." – susieandsteve
Three Crowns Golf Club – Casper, Wyo.
Highest Green Fee: $84 Star Rating: 5.0 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, II
Notable: Three Crowns, located on 155 acres in the Platte River Commons, is one of the country's best examples of an environmental cleanup where an old refinery was repurposed into a golf course. Roughly 120 recovery wells have been installed on the course to pump groundwater out, while separating out oil and other chemicals within a series of wetlands that act as water hazards.
GolfPass Review: "Crown Jewel. I have played this course several times and it is easily the best course in central Wyoming. Fair, challenging and a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course for $60 is a steal. Plenty of sand and water and the greens are great." – gtrout
Desert majesty and hearty Texas are the themes of these courses, which include designs from some of modern golf's most underrated architects, as well as a classic from A. W. Tillinghast.
The par-3 15th is one of many scenic moments at Black Mesa.
Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Pinon Hills Golf Course – Farmington N.M.
Highest Green Fee: $51 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Ken Dye
Notable: When construction is complete later this year, Pinon Hills will boast new irrigation, new colored concrete cart paths, new bunkers, new pond restoration, new practice area, new carts and clubhouse updates including a new outdoor patio.
GolfPass Review: "Great value. I have played some very good courses throughout the West but none as affordable as Pinon Hills. It is a great high desert course with challenging greens." – GolfPass reviewer
Black Mesa Golf Club – Espanola, N.M.
Highest Green Fee: $89 Star Rating: 4.7 Architect: Baxter Spann
Notable: Sandwiched between Taos and Sante Fe 90 minutes north of Albuquerque, Black Mesa requires some effort to find, but the long-range vistas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and dramatic holes are worth it. A 2018 renovation removing acres of fairway bunkering has made "New Mexico's Monster" slightly more playable.
GolfPass Review: "The course is outstanding with a wide variety of hole designs and great views every direction. This is a spectacular track, beautifully laid out in the natural terrain." – chris2440009
Red Hawk Golf Club – Las Cruces, N.M.
Highest Green Fee: $70 Star Rating: 4.4 Architect: Ken Dye
Notable: A nice high desert landscape is complemented by water on seven holes.
GolfPass Review: "Red Hawk is the best golf course and overall golf facility I've been to in New Mexico. The closest to the country clubs I've gotten used to in FL (Florida)." – TA1364
Rawls Course at Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Texas
Highest Green Fee: $91 Star Rating: 4.2 Architect: Tom Doak
Notable: Wind is always a factor. The course has ranked among the top 25 college courses in the country since 2019 and the top 25 public courses in Texas from 2015-2020 in Golfers' Choice.
GolfPass Review: "The best course in town. This was the best condition I’ve seen this course in. You can tell the course maintenance staff is full of committed professionals that love the game. Everything was pure, from the tee boxes to the green side bunkers. The course played true and challenging." – Anonymous
Brackenridge Park Golf Course – San Antonio, Texas
Highest Green Fee: $79 Star Rating: 4.0 Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
Notable: The oldest public golf course in Texas was the first ever host to the Texas Open in 1922. At 6,243 yards, it's a little short for bombers but still enjoyable.
GolfPass Review: "If you want to go for a classic course with a lot of history, you will not regret playing Brack. Definitely a must stop when in San Antone." – tiburonazo
Gus Wortham Park Golf Course – Houston, Texas
Highest Green Fee: $55 Star Rating: 4.4 Architect: Baxter Spann
Notable: Elevated, firm, undulating greens make the modest (6,500 yards from the tips) yardage of this muni irrelevant; it can beat you up if you get out of position. But it's so well-priced and in such amazing shape for the amount of play it receives that you'll be glad to come back.
GolfPass Review: "Great, well maintained course. Fairways in great shape and the greens were sneaky fast. All around great experience. I highly recommend this course to anyone visiting the Houston area." – GolfPass reviewer
Houston skyline views and overall energetic vibes add to the experience of playing golf at Gus Wortham Park.
High Meadow Ranch Golf Club – Magnolia, Texas
Highest Green Fee: $89 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: David Ogrin, Tim Nugent
Notable: Former touring pro-turned-instructor Ogrin laid this course out in three loops of six holes, putting it well ahead of recent trends toward quicker play. The club buildings are laid out compound-style, giving the place a cozy community feel.
GolfPass Review: "Fantastic course in near perfect condition. Lush fairways and medium/fast greens that putt true. If you miss the putt, it's your fault. Three six-hole loops that get progressively more challenging. 18 is a beautiful finishing hole. Entire course is very fair with no gimmicky holes. A good value at posted rates but exceptional value at $55 senior rate." – bhrengr
The Hideout Golf Club – Monticello, Utah
Highest Green Fee: $46 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Forrest Richardson
Notable: The Hideout is one of the cheapest courses on our entire list, but probably also one of the hardest to get to for most golfers. It's worth the detour.
GolfPass Review: "Strategic with great views. If you are a long hitter, I’m not sure you will like this. You won’t use your driver very much. Some of the greens are a little rough. Scenery is incredible. Everyone in the pro shop and on the course were so nice and friendly." – ebduda
Gold Course at Soldier Hollow – Midway, Utah
Highest Green Fee: $60 Star Rating: 4.4 Architect: Gene Bates
Notable: This 36-hole municipal complex is a part of the Wasatch Mountain State Park in the Heber Valley and was a major venue during the 2002 Winter Olympics. The Silver course is a unique routing with six par 5s, par 4s and par 3s.
GolfPass Review: "The front nine has tons of elevation changes with lots up up and down holes. The back nine plays much more flat and level than the front nine. I love the course. The wide fairways and tricky greens are protected by a lot of bunkers and the wind, when blowing, always presents a challenge." – RettJ
WEST COAST (12)
Golfers tend to do things a little bit differently out West, from playing in surf apparel in Cali and Hawaii to trailing their golf carts behind their cars in Washington. Going with the flow makes the experience of playing all of these courses better.
Wailua Municipal Golf Course builds up to the magic moment at no. 17.
Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Ridge Golf Course & Events Center – Auburn, Calif.
Highest Green Fee: $80 Star Rating: 4.5 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, II
Notable: The Ridge, built in 1999, is just a short drive from Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, offering up 100 feet of elevation change.
GolfPass Review: "Course was in fantastic shape! Thoroughly enjoyed the course. Greens are in great condition!"
Soule Park Golf Club – Ojai, Calif.
Highest Green Fee: $62 Star Rating: 4.3 Architect: William F. Bell, Gil Hanse
Notable: This 6,806-yard muni was updated by Gil Hanse in 2005 before he became a household name.
GolfPass Review: A "Hidden Gem. This was my first time at Soule Park, might be my favorite public course now. The greens ran fast and true, fairways and tee boxes in great condition + the views surrounding the course are amazing." – ILikeGolf11
Rustic Canyon Golf Course – Moorpark, Calif.
Highest Green Fee: $90 Star Rating: 4.4 Architects: Gil Hanse, Geoff Shackelford
Notable: This well-regarded gem 30 minutes north of L.A. is designed to play like a bouncy and firm links.
GolfPass Review: "Tough test. Excellent course. Hard to read putts. Beats me up, but fun anyway." – jrousseau1
Pacific Grove Golf Links – Pacific Grove, Calif.
Highest Green Fee: $95 Star Rating: 4.4 Architects: Chandler Egan, Jack Neville
Notable: It's hard to find bargain golf on the Monterey Peninsula, the most expensive golf destination in America, but this short, funky muni delivers. The back nine's views of the lighthouse and ocean win everybody over.
GolfPass Review: "Short course but very scenic. Need to keep shots in fairway and out of trees. Back nine along ocean. Conditions can be windy." – RussHart
Coronado Golf Course – San Diego, Calif.
Highest Green Fee: $70 Star Rating: 4.9 Architect: Jack Daray
Notable: Holes 3, 15, 16, 17 and 18 all play at or along the San Diego Harbor, but golfers can enjoy the water views from almost every hole.
GolfPass Review: "Honestly, the setting was so enjoyable that a few extra minutes of waiting here and there ended up being beneficial to take in the views. The course itself has a pretty wild layout and there are very few straight holes (the back 9 is definitely crammed in there), but the fairways are generous and the greens are reasonably large." – ehallett
Wailua Municipal Golf Course – Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii
Highest Green Fee: $80 Star Rating: 4.1 Architect: Toyo Shirai
Notable: This Hawaiian muni is extremely walkable and welcoming. The ocean views that are introduced on the first hole crescendo on the par-3 17th.
GolfPass Review: "Not many places you can play with views like this course for the rate they charge. Staff is very friendly and helpful with whatever you need. Pace of play is pretty slow but who wants to rush through it when you are taking in many ocean views." – dwaz777
Running Y Ranch – Klamath Falls, Ore.
Highest Green Fee: $99. Star Rating: 4.9. Architect: Arnold Palmer
Notable: Running Y Ranch Resort is located on a 3,600-acre ranch at the foothills of the Cascade Mountain range in southern Oregon. Accommodations include an 82-room lodge, custom homes and chalets for larger groups, including a 10-bedroom luxury home.
GolfPass Review: "If "The King" really was the one who designed this one (instead of his team), boy is it a beauty! Greens in fantastic shape, very fast and have lots of slope. Holes 9 and 17 get much of the compliments, but the stretch of 3, 4, and 5 is what stood out!" – danielseville
Trysting Tree Golf Club – Corvallis, Ore.
Highest Green Fee: $68 Star Rating: 4.3 Architects: Ted Robinson, Sr.; Dan Hixson
Notable: Hixson returned to his alma mater in 2017 to reroute some holes and add two new ones, which fit seamlessly with the rest. Minimal bunkering and spectacular conditioning round out the good feelings.
GolfPass Review: "Although it's a university course, it has all the down-home modesty of a country public course. Not only does it support a D-I golf program, it has a committed cast of regulars from Corvallis and beyond." – GolfPass Senior Writer Tim Gavrich
The conditions at Trysting Tree Golf Club are as good as at any sub-$70 course in America. Most private clubs would be jealous. The design, recently tweaked by Oregon State alumnus Dan Hixson, is strong as well.
Langdon Farms Golf Club – Aurora, Ore.
Highest Green Fee: $99 Star Rating: 4.5 Architects: John Fought, Bob Cupp
Notable: A sign above the entrance reads "PUBLIC ONLY," telling you all you need to know about this place that, though mid-upscale, is friendly to all who come to play.
GolfPass Review: "This course has the reputation for being the best draining course in Oregon. The owners are doing a lot to upgrade the course and improve the playing. It has some very challenging par threes and some long challenging holes for those of us who don't hit a long ball." – GolfPass reviewer
Olympic Course at Gold Mountain – Bremerton, Wa.
Highest Green Fee: $97. Star Rating: 4.6. Architect: John Harbottle, III
Notable: Jordan Spieth won the 2011 U.S. Junior Am at Gold Mountain, a USGA event that prompted the course to flip-flop its nines to end on a risk-reward short par 4.
GolfPass Review: "The course layout is fantastic. Holes have their own characters. #9 is great looking from the tee. #18 short par 4 offers a drivable approach. The greens are undulated but reasonable with reasonable speed." – backspin23
Liberty Lake Golf Course – Liberty Lake, Wash.
Highest Green Fee: $72 Star Rating: 3.6 Architects: Melvin Hueston, Dick Phelps, Kevin Atkinson
Notable: One of three excellent courses owned by Spokane County, this suburban gem is typically in excellent shape, with an interesting collection of holes culminating with the drivable par-4 18th.
GolfPass Review: "Good strategic bunkering and some thick rough define the challenge over much of the rest of the course, with the back nine playing shorter but tighter than the front." – GolfPass Senior Writer Tim Gavrich
White Horse Golf Club – Kingston, Wa.
Highest Green Fee: $84 Star Rating: 4.6 Architect: John Harbottle, III
Notable: Mainlanders from the Seattle area can best access the course by taking a ferry across the Puget Sound to the Kitsap Peninsula's Kingston ferry terminal and make the five-mile drive to the course, which Harbottle redesigned to emphasize more playability.
GolfPass Review: "White Horse is quickly becoming my go-to golf course. Beautiful conditions. Pleasant staff. Back 9 is more challenging than the front." – Dbeauboeuf10
Did we miss your favorite sub-$100 golf course? Let us know in the comments below.