You haven’t experienced a picture-perfect vacation until you’ve stayed at a luxury resort and stepped onto the greens at one of the best golf courses in the US. American golf courses are known for their immaculate fairways surrounded by stunning views of oceans, sand dunes, mountain ranges, and palm trees swaying in the sea breeze. Golfers at all skill levels are often welcome at private resorts, but you may have a more difficult time gaining access to some courses located within private country clubs.
To show you what some of the best golf courses in the US have to offer, we put together a short list of the top contenders. Get ready to see what it’s like to golf like one of the elites. It may give you something new to visualize when practicing with your favorite indoor putting mat.
Playing Golf on Vacation
You’ve experienced many of the golf courses in your local area. Perhaps you’re even a member of a golf club or two. If you’re thinking about expanding your horizons to experience something greater, you may want to book tee times at some of the best golf courses in the US. These courses have hosted elite golf championships and are often among the most visually stunning courses ever designed. It’s only fitting, considering many were designed by world-renowned designers.
Some of the best golf courses in the US are difficult to access because they’re reserved for country club members. Others are located inside vacation resorts and are open to golfers at all skill levels, but it may cost you at least one night at the resort. You can often gain access with reservations at sister properties, so compare your options to get the best deal.
4 Best Golf Courses in the US
It’s time to explore some of the best golf courses in the US. Each golf course featured has its own standout features. Some are renowned courses in the golf world with stellar histories to their credit. Others offer stunning views and knockout scenery that make visiting a golf club or resort an unforgettable experience. They’re all worthy of your vacation time if you want to explore some of the best golf links in America.
Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, California
Pebble Beach Golf Links is an experience for all your senses. Listen to the crash of nearby waves as you follow pristine fairways that elevate nearly four stories high, spill over cliffs, and fall right into the ocean with blue as far as your eye can see. Pebble Beach has hosted six U.S. opens, and there are eight more championships on the calendar. The PGA Tour has visited the course every year since 1947, making Pebble Beach one of the best golf courses in the US without question.
When you play golf at Pebble Beach, you’re stepping on greens that have hosted legends like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, and Tom Watson. Watch for bunkers that hide behind the tree lines and spill over both sides of the fairway. The best way to get in on the action is to book reservations at Pebble Beach Resorts.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Course – Southampton, New York
Shinnecock Hills Golf Course will host the 2026 U.S. Open Championship, but it’s far from a newcomer to the golf world. Established as a 12-hole golf course in 1891, it’s known as the first golf link established in America. The grounds have undergone several renovations and currently offer 18 holes that challenge beginners and experts alike. According to reviewers at Golf Digest, everything about the club has a unique feel of prestige and challenge, right down to the clubhouse.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is a members-only facility with strict rules for dress and the use of cell phones while on the grounds. The best way to try your swing at the course is to enter as a guest with an active member.
Pacific Dunes Golf Course – Brandon, Oregon
Pacific Dunes is a rugged course surrounded by 60-foot sand dunes and natural bunkers that can easily catch you off guard. It was designed by Tom Doak with a natural landscape that may make it hard to concentrate on just the holes. The natural bunkers are worth more than a second glance, but also prepare yourself for high bluffs, dangerous side slopes, narrow fairways, plus some shifts in elevation.
The intense wind is one of the biggest challenges when you play golf at the Pacific Dunes Golf Course. As you approach elevated tees that plunge toward the Pacific Ocean, you’ll want to take a deep breath and prepare yourself for a rewarding experience in the dunes.
The best way to get your tee time at Pacific Dunes is to book a reservation at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. You’ll have access to the resort’s six links courses, all stretching across sand dunes 100 feet above the ocean.
Ponte Vedra Club Golf Course – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
If you’re looking for an oceanside golf course with PGA and LPGA pros on staff, make your reservations at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The Inn features the newly renovated Ocean Course and the Lagoon Course, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones and Joe Lee. The constant sea breeze and sway of the palms will set the stage for an invigorating experience before you even step foot on the elevated Bermuda greens. You can look forward to steep bunkers, wandering lagoons, and refreshing views of the ocean.
The Ocean Course has hosted the U.S. Open qualifying round five times. The best way to get on the greens is to book reservations at the Ponte Vedra Inn. You’ll enjoy access to both golf courses plus a spa, tennis courts, and easy access to upscale dining and shopping.
Some of the most stunning golf courses in America are exclusive to country club members, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to try your swing at the holes. If you have any connections to the golf community in your local area, asking around may lead to a new introduction that gives you the access you need. Just make sure to study the course online before heading off for the adventure. Most golf courses now offer tips for those willing to look at their website before visiting.
Learn how the PrimePutt tour-quality putting mat can elevate your golf game.
You can still refine your golf skills and envision yourself on those prestigious greens right at home with an indoor putting green. Whether it's Pebble Beach's awe-inspiring cliffs and ocean vistas, Shinnecock Hills' storied history, Pacific Dunes' rugged dunes and natural bunkers, or Ponte Vedra Club's ocean views, you can practice your game on your very own putting mat, honing your skills to match those of the elite.