10. Gleneagles Golf Course at McLaren Park
(San Francisco, California)
Gleneagles was named as one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the country by Golf World Magazine back in 2010, and with it's low tee rates (in the $20 range for both 9-hole and 18-hole rounds) you'd think you'd have to plan your visit months in advance. This hidden gem is largely unknown to San Francisco locals, however. Tee times are first-come-first-serve, almost never with a wait, and the bartender also serves as the starter. But golfers beware: fast play is the norm for this course.
(image via gleneaglesgolfsf.com)
9. Wild Horse Golf Club
If you're headed down a dusty Nebraska road, and you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, you're probably on your way to Wild Horse Golf Club. Golfers will be rewarded if they hit the beautiful fairways and direct greens. For those that stray off into the rough, however, tall natural prairie grasses make for a challenging experience.
(image via playwildhorse.com)
8. FarmLinks at Pursell Farms
Under an hour from Birmingham, Alabama, FarmLinks Golf Club is carved into 3,500 acres of Pursell family land. The family made a name for themselves in the fertilizer and agronomy business, and, using their environmental understanding, built what they deem to be "the world's only research and demonstration golf course" in 2002. Immaculately situated in its surroundings, the course is known for its steep elevation changes and winding turns.
(image via tripadvisor.com)
7. Makai Golf Club
Makai Golf Club is located on the island of Kaua'i, the second westernmost of the eight main islands of Hawai'i. Being near the beach, there are plenty of sand traps along the otherwise straightforward fairways. The course was also recently renovated in 2010 by its original designer.
6. Shark's Tooth Golf Club
(Lake Powell, Florida)
Just outside Panama City sits a Greg Norman-designed golf course that plays almost well as the beautiful pristine wetlands it occupies. Your one main hazard for Shark's Tooth is the water, but the fairways have quite the diversity, ranging from open drives to narrow runs. A stay at WaterSound will get you into this must-play course.
(image via sharkstoothgolfclub.com)
5. Saddle Creek Golf Club
Saddle Creek may be a little out of the way, but it's worth the journey. You'll definitely need the golf cart with these challenging changes in elevation. Also, watch out for the thick natural grasses that make up the rough. They fit in beautifully with the Yosemite scenery, but can be a hell to play through.
(image via saddlecreek.com)
4. SugarTree Golf Club
SugarTree is deep in the heart of Texas, which is a warning for summer golfers. The heat will get to you. The course winds its way along the Brazos River, making for interesting and challenging turns. If you're a season shot-maker, you'll be fine, but the tree-lined fairway will give newcomers some stiff practice.
(image via sugartreegolf.com)
3. Dancing Rabbit Golf Club
That's no typo. This is Philadelphia, Mississippi, the home of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. While Augusta National may be famous for its beautiful azalea-filled golf course, Dancing Rabbit gives the home of the Masters a run for its money. Spring may be prime blooming season, but October and November (post-summer heat) are the course's best months.
2. Stonecreek Golf Club
As with any other Arizona course, the temperatures in the summer can be scorching, but if you play a slower more methodical game, this could be the course for you. With such low prices, it's a shame expensive courses can't get their greens to play half as well as those at Stonecreek.
1. Ocala National Golf Club
Remodeled in 2003, Ocala is one of those old Southern golf courses situated among ancient live oaks, giving this course lots of character. The perfectly green grasses, if a little thick, make for a pleasant golfing experience, but it's really the deals that set this course apart from others on the list.
(image via ocalanational.com)