Golf Digest’s Top Ten Public Courses…Bring Cash

by Jeff Skinner

The February issue of Golf Digest includes their latest list of the 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.  The list is full of familiar names that host majors, PGA Tour events and even Ryder Cups.  But what the list doesn’t include is any courses that are really public.

The list represents some of the best courses any of us could ever imagine playing and that’s the catch.  With the prices on most of these layouts all we can ever do is imagine playing them.  The list starts with the Holy Grail of public courses and contains many more that are worshipped by us all. But laying out the cash to play these icons would set any golfer back some serious cash.  Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to pay if you take the challenge to knock off any of the top ten.

Pebble Beach Golf Links: The ultimate must play but also the ultimate must pay course.  $495 plus cart.

Whistling Straits (Straits): Pete Dye’s Michigan Masterpiece that the PGA of America loves. $360 plus $60 caddie fee, not including tip.

Pacific Dunes:  Tom Doak’s stunner that brought links golf to its pinnacle in the states.  The most naturally looking man-made course ever.  $280 plus caddie.

The Ocean Course: Another Pete Dye creation that mimics a links course but plays as difficult as any course in the world.  Only rate I could find includes one night stay and goes for $400.

Shadow Creek: Once only available for guests of Steve Wynn, now what some call Tom Fazio’s best work is available to the average Joe, the average Joe with $500 cash.

Bandon Dunes: Another stunner on the Oregon coast. $280

Pinehurst Resort No. 2: A classic American icon, recently rebuilt to its historic self.  Cheapest golf package was $215 per night, with breakfast and a $185 surcharge for No.2, that’s $400.

Bethpage Black:  A.W. Tillinghast’s gem in New York’s Bethpage State Park. The only bargain in the top ten, especially if you are a New York State resident.  $75 for residents and $150 for non-residents (still a bargain).

TPC Sawgrass Stadium: Another of Pete Dye’s torturously delightful courses that all of us want to play. $310 plus cart.

Erin Hills Golf Course:  None other than the USGA’s Mike Davis raves about this Wisconsin gem.  They’ll host the 2017 U.S. Open.  $200 plus $50 caddie fee, not including tip.



  1. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Kudos

  2. How many of these have you played Jeff?
    I played in Pebble & Bethpage but sister courses and TPC sawgrass…will have to add a few of the others to the Bucket List!!!

  3. Wow,, you have a nice resume there! The Black so far, i=once in a tornado, once in a hurricane! Saving my cash for Pebble!

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