Cape Cod Golf Trail

The Club at New Seabury

The Cape has a bounty of golf clubs open to outside play. Our Cape Cod Golf Trail features the best public accessible Cape Cod golf courses you can play featuring wide range of greens fees suitable to all budgets.

We’ll start on the Outer Cape where Highland Links, a 9 hole relic and one of the true links courses in the United States with faithful adherence to Scottish Links standards.

Chequessett Yacht & Country Club is near Wellfleet and a nine holes as well which provides a parkland setting over some slight change in elevation.

Moving into the Lower Cape now, we find a gaggle of courses in all price ranges and settings. Ocean Edge represents the high end of offerings on the Cape and is available for outside play through on-site accommodations. Then there’s the Cape’s namesake Cape Cod National, an equally exclusive club where access is provided when residing at Wequasett Resort. Literally, right next door is the Captains Golf Course, a Brian Silva design with 36 holes, a tribute to the sea captains who lived in the area. The last of the Lower Cape courses is Cranberry Valley, a Geoffrey Cornish and William Robinson parkland design.

As we now move into the Mid-Cape, we have six courses worthy of a round, a weeks worth of golf in one general area.

Dennis Highlands and Pines are located with a mile of each other offer a good mix of challenging layouts.

The Blue Rock Golf Course is a Geoffrey Cornish design which just might be one of the best par 3 layouts in the United States and conveniently located just off the Grand Army of the Republic Highway in Yarmouth. Just a few miles south you’ll find a Donald Ross classic design from the 1920s, the Bass River Golf Course, a definite shotmaker’s delight. Bayberry Hills in nearby West Yarmouth features 27 holes by Geoffrey Cornish over rolling topography along mature hardwood lined corridors with a generous amount of sand in play. Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds, across the street from Cape Cod Airfield is a Mark Mungeam challenge through the woods over generally level terrain with a couple funky holes. The last of the Mid-Cape features the Hyannis Golf Course just off Highway 6 at Lyannough Road carved through the deep woods.

Now finally, let’s move to the Upper Cape where we find the Quashnet Valley Country Club, another Geoffrey Cornish design over a vast, 330 acre tract of land in Mashpee with water in the form of marsh or ponds in play on half the holes. The balance in the Upper Cape make this a week or longer long destination golf trip without much in the way of travel. The Cape Club, designed by the unlikely duo of Chi Chi Rodriguez and Jim (father to Tom) Fazio. The Cape Cod CC, an ancient layout by Devereux Emmet and Alfred Tull has received zoning approval to scrape the golf course and erect a solar panel farm, so play it soon. The Falmouth Country Club, a veritable classic of Cape Cod golf, is in east Falmouth on Old Barnstable road carved through the deep woods. The Brookside Golf Club in Buzzards Bay is a Dr. Michael Hurdzan design overlooking the Bay and features an interesting and challenging mix of holes and topography. Bringing up the rear, only by geographical location, is the Club at New Seabury, a 36 hole layout featuring 9 holes along Nantucket Sound’s Succonesset Point that’s open to public play through a stay/play program with condos and cottages on site.

As always, should we be missing any Cape Cod public golf courses that belongs in the guide, or one that no longer qualifies as the best golf course in a given area, please let us know here.

The Clemson Golf Trail

The Walker Golf Club at Clemson

Greenville, SC is a popular city for travelers with its restored urban center chocked with bars, restaurants, and shops. Nearby Clemson, a small university town of 17,000 located just 30 minutes to the northwest, has a vibrant and charming small town feel. By way the our guide to the best public golf courses it has its own Clemson Golf Trail. While not officially recognized, we’ve identified five golf courses open to public play in the immediately surrounding area featured below.

The Walker Golf Course located on the Clemson University campus leads the lineup boasting a stout layout with the five finishing holes along Lake Hartwell.

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains 30 minutes southeast of Clemson, the Chickasaw Point Golf Course provides a challenging layout over changing elevations and confining, tree lined fairways.

Windsor at Walhalla is another layout in the Blue Ridge foothills. It was formerly Falcon’s Lair and has seen needed improvements made by the new ownership providing a solid product at a reasonable price point.

The Pickens Country Club is 18 miles northeast of Clemson just south the the small community of Pickens. While it’s only a 9 hole layout, the set of tees for the backside provides a mostly different look to the front nine.

The Rock is 30 miles north of Clemson on the north side of Pickens near the Table Rock State Park and Jocassee Gorges Management Area. It’s a Russell Breeden design which provides significant elevation changes along a series of narrow and broad fairway corridors.

As always, should we be missing a golf course that belongs in the guide, or one that no longer qualifies as the best golf course in a given area, please let us know here.

Pioneer Point Golf Course, a par 3 layout on steroids!

The 200 yard 7th with the Biarritz green

The Wisco Golf Addict profiles the new Pioneer Pointe, a 13 hole, par 3 layout on the west side of Madison, Wisconsin in great detail. It’s a golf course directly in the crosshairs of the game of golf’s target audience and investment criteria. The golf course/real estate development overlays the former Tumberdown 18 hole golf club on the site. The layout promises to not only invite new players to the game with the design and format, but impress golf course architectural geeks.

  • Modeled after the 15th at North Berwick, the Redan is a much copied and respected par 3. At PP, it’s the 175 yard, 3rd with the trademark features of a large green angled left to right and sloping front to back at a 45 degree angle to the tee box.

There’s a variety of holes modeled after notable and historical golf clubs including the Road Hole, Short, Double Plateau, Redan, Boomerang, Lion’s Mouth, Biarritz, Punchbowl, Eden, the 7th at Lawsonia, the 6th at Riviera, and the 7th at Pebble Beach. It was designed by the Lohmann-Quitno design firm who have quite a resume of design work across the country. It’s a worthy addition to a golf rich state which includes the likes of Lawsonia, Sand Valley, Erin Hills, Whistling Straits, and SentryWorld to name very few.

The 113 yard 9th was inspired by the 7th at Pebble Beach with the smallest green on the course surrounded by three sand bunkers from an elevated tee box.

In short, golf seems to be heading in the direction of shorter courses to reduce the barriers to entry for play and investment. They cut the playing time, reduce the cost to maintain, and as well as providing lower green fees. Many of the new and redesigned short courses introduced in the last few years offer a wide variety of architectural nuances adding to the interest and history of the game adding more drivers for golfers to try these new venues.

Denison Golf Club

With the PGA Tour in Dublin, Ohio at the Memorial our guide is the source for the better golf courses you can play in the Columbus area. There’s a number of good public access golf courses in the area such as Golf Club Dublin, Westchester, Delaware, Glenross, and New Albany links. Our pick for the best is the Denison Golf Club, 35 miles east.

The Denison Golf Club is set in the bucolic, college town of Granville, population 6,000. It’s located northeast of downtown Columbus set in the rolling hills of Central Ohio overlooking the village. Denison University is a small liberal arts college with 2,300 students with distinguished alumni which includes Woody Hayes, Michael Eisner, and Jennifer Garner among others.

The course is a Donald Ross classic layout which opened in 1925. It’s routing winds along tree lined fairways over varying degrees of elevation change, especially on the backside. The layout’s main defenses are the usual Ross design feature of crowned, quick, and undulating greens. They and the fairways are well defended by 63 deep faced sand bunkers in addition to six water features. The course is 6,559 yards from the tips, 71.2/130, course/slope ratings with three shorter tees. The course is not completely original as three holes were taken for a residential development and replaced with holes designed by Jack Kidwell and Mike Hurdzan

If Columbus is not your destination in Ohio, check out our guide here for the best public golf courses and resorts in Ohio. And, as always, please contact us here if we’re missing a worthy public course in our guide or one should be removed due to conditions and other factors. Help us keep this guide up to date! Cheers!

The Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois

Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois Illinois Athletics Facilities

The Atkins Golf Club, a slight reconstitution of the former Stone Creek Golf Club, is opening to public play on June 4. Not to be confused with the Orange and Blue 36 hole university course on the south side of town near the airport, Atkins is actually located on the southeast side of Urbana.

The Stone Creek course was deeded to the University as a gift from the Atkins family. It comprises a total of 300 acres including the golf course and land for future development with a value of over $15 million, so naming the course Atkins is fairly reasonable.

The layout winds through an upscale, residential development along contoured fairways over generally level terrain. There’s water hazards in the form of lakes, ponds, and streams in play on over half the holes plus 55 waste, pot, and conventional sand bunkers defending the fairway and greens. There’s four sets of tees from 4,956 yards to 7,118 yards at the tips, the white tees are 5,842 yards, 68.3/118, course/slope ratings, originally designed by Tim and Dick Nugent with a renovation by Drew Rogers..

The Nebraska Golf Trail

The Sand Hills Golf Club, Mullen, Nebraska

While you’ll have to have some mighty connections to play the Sand Hills Golf Club above, there’s plenty of Nebraska golf courses in the Sandhills you can play. We’ve been inspired by a guy named Arg who has set off on the ultimate golf expedition. He’s just hung up his IT hat after 32 years, sold his home in Chicago, and purchased a 35′ class A motorhome on his mission to spend 4-5 years traveling the U.S. play the best golf courses. He plans on adding to his repertoire of 700+ golf courses already played, and we’re envious to say the least! You can follow his exploits here on Golfwrx where he’s providing a running commentary on his travels.  And, just as a side note, every course he’s played so far are included in our guide to the best public golf courses and resorts you can play.

We’re profiling the Nebraska Golf Trail today, essentially traveling the 455 miles across I-80 from Omaha on the east to Pine Bluffs on the Wyoming state line the west.

Starting in Omaha, there’s eight worthy municipals and semi-private layouts which could even provide for a full week of golf. Lincoln also has eight courses within close proximity of I-80. Both cities have ample lodging, restaurants, and a variety of attractions in addition to vibrant downtown areas. Heading west the population the population thins out, the land generally flat farmland, and the lure of the Sandhills some 200 miles west awaits.

The York Country Club

An hour west of Lincoln you’ll find a classic parkland layout, the York Country Club, with Jim Engh’s touch shown on a renovation of the original 1919 design. In another hour I-80 merges with the Platte River and runs with the River for 215 miles until Big Springs. We’ll profile some of the more notable courses in our guide, which features the best public golf courses and resorts you can play. These golf course have been rated and profiled by the major golf publications and carry reviews that place them as the best in a given area. Alternatively, you can use our Nebraska guide and map to develop your own Nebraska Golf Trail.

Awarii Dunes is another hour west of Grand Island just off I-80 to the south at Kearney and a Jim Engh original design. Another hour west at Gothenburg is the “poor man’s” Sand Hills, Wild Horse, designed by Dave Proctor and Dave Axland who assisted Core and Crenshaw in building Sand Hills.

At North Platte we exit I-80 for the two hour drive north to Valentine to the Prairie Club with 36 holes by Graham Marsh and Tom Lehman in addition to a ten hole, par 3 layout by Olympic Golf Course architect Gil Hanse along with Geoff Shackelford. The 10 hole (cause there was only room for 10) Frederick Peak nearby is also worthy of your time.

Heading back towards I-80, Bayside, a Proctor/Axland design in Ogallala on the south shore of McConaughy Lake, is the last of the Sandhills golf you will find and a must-play on any visit to the area. A little off the beaten track in Scottsbluff are Riverview and Monument Shadows both literally in the shadows of of Scotts Bluff National Monument, an 800 foot bluff above the North Platte River that served as a landmark for Native Americans, and emigrants on the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails.

Monument Shadows Golf course on the Nebraska Golf Trail

The I-81 Golf Trail in Virginia

Our users have noted their favorites golf courses you can play along the I-81 corridor in Virginia. We created this I-81 Golf Trail for those traveling one of the more scenic highways in the Mid-Atlantic Region

I-81 runs for 325 miles in Virginia from near Winchester to the Tri-Cities. Although the entire route is very scenic, the Shenandoah Valley starting near Front Royal and ending near Roanoke features the Blue Ridge Mountain to the east and the Alleghenies to the west and is stunning overall. This area of Virginia features a number of notable attractions such as the Luray Caverns, Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, the Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. In addition to the numerous Civil War battlefields and monuments, there’s significant historical sites such as Monticello, Harper’s Ferry (although WV), and the David Crockett Birthplace State Park. It also offers many opportunities to soak up the small town cultures of Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, Roanoke, Marion, Abington, Wytheville, and Floyd.

While you can always review our overall Virgina map of the best golf courses and resorts you can play in Virginia, we’ve outlined below a few of our favorites for our I-81 Golf Trail within 20 minutes of I-81 that make for a great day off from irgidriving the Interstate or a weeks long golf expedition.

Front Royal area has three well regarded layouts

  1. Bowling Green
  2. Blue Ridge Shadows
  3. Shenandoah Valley

Harrisonburg would be a good stop for a couple of days

  1. Massanutten which also has on-site lodging
  2. Packsaddle Ridge
  3. Lakeview
  4. Heritage Oaks

Lexington where I-64 intersects, one of our favorites in Virginia and a great small town to soak up

  1. Lexington Golf Club

Roanoke, there’s several listed on our website with the highest rated course:

  1. Ashley Plantation

In the Blacksburg area, one of the top public courses you can play

  1. Pete Dye River Course

There are a few others as you head into Tennessee, but we’d favor

  1. Holston Hills near Marion

North Carolina Golf Trails

North Carolina is known as The Home of American golf at Pinehurst. Our North Carolina golf trails features the best golf course and resorts open to public play in each major city and golf destination

Raleigh Charlotte Wilmington Asheville

Southport Greensboro Winston-Salem Pinehurst

Durham

The North Carolina golf trails listed about feature the best public golf courses and resorts curated from the national golf periodicals and user reviews. If you’re searching for those hidden gems in some more remote areas such as Balsam Mountain Preserve, the Old Edwards Club, or Old Beau among others, please check out our North Carolina map and guide here. As always, should we be missing a golf course that belongs in the guide, or one that no longer qualifies as the best golf course in a given area, please let us know here.

Arizona Golf Trails

Arizona’s best public golf courses and resorts on the @bestgolfcourses Arizona Golf Trails

Phoenix/Scottsdale Tucson Green Valley

Mohave Valley. Prescott Valley Sedona

We’ve curated the best public golf courses and resorts in Arizona from the major golf periodicals and user’s reviews to feature in our Arizona Golf Trails. The major cities in Arizona are listed above, but should you find yourself in some of the more remote areas of Arizona like Yuma, Thatcher, Show Low, use our state guide to find those hidden gems. And, as always, should we be missing one of the better public golf courses or if we’ve included one that’s no longer considered the best in the area, please let us know here. Cheers!

Texas Golf Trails

You might think with the size of Texas at 260,000 square miles and over 900 golf courses there would be a Texas Golf Trail. We attempt here to list the major cities in Texas and their best golf course you can play.

Houston San Antonio Austin Marble Falls

Dallas Fort Worth El Paso Lubbock

Our guide lists 175 of the best golf courses and resorts in Texas open to public play. If you’re traveling outside the major cities and the Texas Golf Trails noted above, then check out our Texas map and guide here to find those hidden gems like the Farewell Country Club, The Max, Palmilla Beach, or Crown Colony, the list is long! As always, if we’ve missed a golf course worthy of being included, or one should be removed, please let us know here.