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What State Has The Best Golf?


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As someone who has never golfed in the states I want your opinions and arguments as to what state you feel has the best golf and why!

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What are the metrics for judging?

Course quality? Ability to play year-round? PGA Courses, etc.

So many states have some amazing courses with the ability to play just about everyday but there are some other states that have some absolutely beautiful courses.

 

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3 minutes ago, Josh Parker said:

What are the metrics for judging?

Course quality? Ability to play year-round? PGA Courses, etc.

So many states have some amazing courses with the ability to play just about everyday but there are some other states that have some absolutely beautiful courses.

 

From my own view I would be someone visiting, but more just wanting to hear why ppl think their state or another is best for their own reasons.

I know @GolfSpy_KFT will have a lot to say on his...

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I hate to say it but Ohio has some great golf.

A lot of the courses around NEO are just in fantastic shape, although we still find some bad ones, and the cost hasn't gotten out of control like a lot of other areas. $40-60 for a weekend round are everywhere with plenty of variety.

Too bad the weather sucks and it's Ohio.

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51 minutes ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

From my own view I would be someone visiting, but more just wanting to hear why ppl think their state or another is best for their own reasons.

I know @GolfSpy_KFT will have a lot to say on his...

So looking thru some articles and research for public courses, Wisconsin and California rank way up there. Of course I haven't played either locations but for the purpose of vacation, I would prob choose Wisconsin.  

If it was living somewhere and the ability to play year-round, I'm not moving to the cold. Ha. 

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31 minutes ago, Josh Parker said:

So looking thru some articles and research for public courses, Wisconsin and California rank way up there. Of course I haven't played either locations but for the purpose of vacation, I would prob choose Wisconsin.  

If it was living somewhere and the ability to play year-round, I'm not moving to the cold. Ha. 

It does get cold yes it does but I would rather play in the cold than the blistering heat! But then again I would love to play everywhere hahaha! But I have to say Wisconsin has some beautiful courses! You get to play a course in a minimum three different seasons which changes the way the course can be played and the beauty of the landscape! There are so many different courses to play to from PGA courses public links style each one different unique 

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Don't sleep on Ohio golf we have lots of courses designed by the best architects of all time (Ross, Fazio, RTJ, Nicklaus) and some of the top rated munis in the country. Also, our most expensive courses top out at around $75, which is incredibly cheap compared to a lot of the country.

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@MattF @DiscipleofPenick@Josh Parker @GolfSpy_APH

looks to me and I agree the Midwest is where it’s at! 

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Having played golf in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and Missouri. I can say that Florida is mostly flat which is great and you can play year round. North Carolina and Virginia both have more hills and undulation in their courses making you have to think and remember how to hit certain shots of those lies. Missouri has beautiful courses around the Lake Of The Ozarks. Big Cedar Lodge where you can book a stay has Payne's Valley along with 2 or 3 other courses and a par 3 course. But I think it is more of what someone views as the best. I hate playing in the cold but don't mind playing when it's like 95 outside. That is me though.

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Another sleeper in the middle of Midwest and Southeast is Tennessee. A lot of fantastic courses here in my state.

I live in a golfing community with 5 high quality courses here, including one that hosts the TN Amateur and an Epson Tour event. Plus 2 of our courses are top 5 best courses in TN you can play.

Tennessee has lots of nature built around our courses. So it's not just a parkland style back and forth with holes next to each other. You traverse the landscape and really get to enjoy nature while you play.

Another great thing is the cost. I don't think our costs are really bad, compared to many other "golfing states." I've lived in AZ and the costs there even for a "normal" course would be well over $100. Not here. I'm spoiled as a member/owner in my community, but I'd be pretty safe to say a lot of our public courses are $75 range and under. Sure, there are those that are fancier that will peak over $100. But that's not the norm.

We get about an 8 month season here, with the occasional winter round. All in all, a great place to visit and play golf. The colors in the fall are gorgeous!

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Agreed @GolfSpy_KFT , and I’d include Michigan as a top golf state too. Unfortunately, the season is quite short for both. 

My other vote is Oregon - besides Bandon, there is a ton of great golf up and down the valley and around Portland.  Plus, you also have Bandon 😉

Hate to say it, golf in Georgia stinks - at least if you only play public.  

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17 minutes ago, GolfSpy_KFT said:

I am absolutely a homer, but if Wisconsin isn't one of the top states in the country for golf, I think you're intentionally mislabeling it. Yes, we get some blistering heat, but more often than not you're playing golf in mid 70 - low 90s (on HOT days), with sun and a light breeze. You can tee off at 6:00am in the mid 60s, and fall golf with the colors changing just hits differently. The list of whos-who courses are long, and there are so many good public options if you don't want to/can't afford to spend $2-4k on a golf trip (I may or may not have something up my sleeve coming soon on this 😏).  The only drawback to Wisconsin is that you cannot play year round, but man, the quality of golf and reasonable green fees make up for it in the summer. 

I should also add, and this is for quite a few states, that apps like Golf Moose can make trips so much more affordable. My buddies and I are playing three 18 hole rounds the second weekend of June for a grand total of $115/player. These are not dog track courses, either. One has two 18 hole tracks that both are rated 4.5 stars by Golf Digest and the other is a local public type track with a links style front 9 and parkland/wooded back 9 with some really cool elevation changes. 

Long story short, you NEED to play Wisconsin golf.

Keep me up to date on the soon to come trip! Not to mention the countless heated range/ bars so you can stay tuned in the winter and crack a few with the boys!

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1 minute ago, CFreddie said:

Agreed @GolfSpy_KFT , and I’d include Michigan as a top golf state too. Unfortunately, the season is quite short for both. 

My other vote is Oregon - besides Bandon, there is a ton of great golf up and down the valley and around Portland.  Plus, you also have Bandon 😉

Hate to say it, golf in Georgia stinks - at least if you only play public.  

Michigan has some incredible tracks as well, no doubt. I golfed from April - November in 2023, which was a record for me. Hoping to get that same type of time frame again this year!

Bandon is the GOAT, so that automatically puts Oregon into contention. I would imagine with the topography of the state, paired with the Pacific Coast, it renders quite friendly to some great golfing! 

 

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I can shed a little light on Long Beaches public course system that I personally find amazing and has made it easy and approachable to start golfing. Currently I pay $52 a month for a membership that offers tee times to 5 courses at discounted rates ($8 at twilight!). Also, discounted lessons and a free bucket of range balls every single day. With that, 25% in the pro shops, free gatorades on your tee time. I'm sure there is more than that offered. That being said, this is not just in Long Beach. I have spoken to other folks in different parts of LA, and a lot of courses are city supported (recycled water so the courses are usually lush). 

All that being said, I have not been to any of the large golf courses yet (the ones with their own Zip) but hopefully soon!

 

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1 minute ago, OdinSnipes414 said:

Keep me up to date on the soon to come trip! Not to mention the countless heated range/ bars so you can stay tuned in the winter and crack a few with the boys!

No Wisconsin outings planned as of yet. I would imagine it is only a matter of time, though, before something comes to fruition.

 

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2 minutes ago, Michael.Sandoval33 said:

I can shed a little light on Long Beaches public course system that I personally find amazing and has made it easy and approachable to start golfing. Currently I pay $52 a month for a membership that offers tee times to 5 courses at discounted rates ($8 at twilight!). Also, discounted lessons and a free bucket of range balls every single day. With that, 25% in the pro shops, free gatorades on your tee time. I'm sure there is more than that offered. That being said, this is not just in Long Beach. I have spoken to other folks in different parts of LA, and a lot of courses are city supported (recycled water so the courses are usually lush). 

All that being said, I have not been to any of the large golf courses yet (the ones with their own Zip) but hopefully soon!

 

That sounds AWESOME! 

 

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My buddies and I live on the Ohio/WV border so we golf those two states and Western Pennsylvania a lot. Western Pennsylvania has some hidden gems. I'd challenge anyone to go golf Linden Hall and say its not one of the most fun and in great shape as a lot of other courses they may have golfed. It's only downfall is being a little off the beaten path.

We also as a group decided to start a yearly golf trip last year. We visited and golfed many courses around Greensboro, NC. Bryan Park and Greensboro National were fantastic, but no course that we played was in terrible condition or boring to play. We would go back in a heartbeat.

This year we are going to Nashville, TN. Not normally known as a golf destination, we have found several courses that have peaked our interest. Our plans are to golf both Hermitage courses, Greystone and Towhee, and probably a couple others that we drive by and say "hey, that course looks fun."

My bet is that every state has some gems, it's just finding those that interest you. Michigan is on our bucket list, I'm sure we will do South Carolina and Florida as well. I don't think at this point there are any locations that we wouldn't give a try. Sometimes just finding the gems is half the fun.

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14 minutes ago, CFreddie said:

Agreed @GolfSpy_KFT , and I’d include Michigan as a top golf state too. Unfortunately, the season is quite short for both. 

My other vote is Oregon - besides Bandon, there is a ton of great golf up and down the valley and around Portland.  Plus, you also have Bandon 😉

Hate to say it, golf in Georgia stinks - at least if you only play public.  

 

9 minutes ago, GolfSpy_KFT said:

Michigan has some incredible tracks as well, no doubt. I golfed from April - November in 2023, which was a record for me. Hoping to get that same type of time frame again this year!

Bandon is the GOAT, so that automatically puts Oregon into contention. I would imagine with the topography of the state, paired with the Pacific Coast, it renders quite friendly to some great golfing! 

I'll add to the Michigan argument. While its not year round golf, we have some great courses and destinations. If no one has seen the No Laying Up Tourist Sauce series they did in Michigan a couple years ago it is a great watch on YouTube. There are a ton of really high quality public courses at decent prices as well as resort destinations like Forest Dunes, Harbor Shores, and Boyne. If you're lucky enough to play some of the private courses around there are places like Kingsley Club and Crystal Downs. I haven't even scratched the surface by leaving out all the great golf in the Detroit area. And I can't leave out the Upper Peninsula with courses like Greywalls!

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West coast for sure (for me, anyhow).  So many courses and course styles. I am partial to Northern CA.  A 90 minute circle from my house Harden Park (90 min) and Pebble Beach(30 min) and a bunch of great but less known tracks in between the two.  But don’t get me wrong, tell me there’s golf to be had somewhere and I’m there to play.  

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I love the variety of courses in Rochester / Western, NY. Many courses built by Donald Ross & Robert Trent Jones. 
 

That said, I can’t help but admire the incredible courses that pop up on my Instagram feed. 

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4 hours ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

As someone who has never golfed in the states I want your opinions and arguments as to what state you feel has the best golf and why!

Texas is the best because everything is bigger and better in Texas! Ha ha

Play like a champion today!

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South Carolina gets my vote.

Myrtle Beach, S.C., the supermarket of golf. Today the Grand Strand boasts more than 100 public-access courses, with nearly every top-name modern architect having left his imprint. Charleston is also, a golf-mad city. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort. Near the state’s southern border is Hilton Head Island, where Harbour Town and its candy cane-striped lighthouse have entertained the Tour since 1969. A dozen other solid public tracks and a bevy of private beauties make Hilton Head one of the elite golf destinations. Greenville, S.C., also has a bunch of very nice courses. 

I live in North Carolina which is pretty stout with courses. Pinehurst is known as the Home of American golf. Golfers have been spending vacations there since the 1890s, and it became the laboratory of architect Donald Ross, who built more than 40 courses in the Sandhills and elsewhere in the state. Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville, Raleigh-Durham and the Grand Strand border towns north of Myrtle Beach offer a remarkable menu of golf options. Quail Hollow Club, the Charlotte host of the Wells Fargo Championship, is a favorite.

I have been fortunate to play in 23 states already and the Carolina's get my vote due to variety of courses, being able to play year-round and for the most part affordable golf. 

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34 minutes ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

South Carolina gets my vote.

Myrtle Beach, S.C., the supermarket of golf. Today the Grand Strand boasts more than 100 public-access courses, with nearly every top-name modern architect having left his imprint. Charleston is also, a golf-mad city. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort. Near the state’s southern border is Hilton Head Island, where Harbour Town and its candy cane-striped lighthouse have entertained the Tour since 1969. A dozen other solid public tracks and a bevy of private beauties make Hilton Head one of the elite golf destinations. Greenville, S.C., also has a bunch of very nice courses. 

I live in North Carolina which is pretty stout with courses. Pinehurst is known as the Home of American golf. Golfers have been spending vacations there since the 1890s, and it became the laboratory of architect Donald Ross, who built more than 40 courses in the Sandhills and elsewhere in the state. Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville, Raleigh-Durham and the Grand Strand border towns north of Myrtle Beach offer a remarkable menu of golf options. Quail Hollow Club, the Charlotte host of the Wells Fargo Championship, is a favorite.

I have been fortunate to play in 23 states already and the Carolina's get my vote due to variety of courses, being able to play year-round and for the most part affordable golf. 

Good call Tom - don’t forget the Aiken, SC corridor as well!

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Maybe not the absolute best but very underrated is Colorado. You have a crazy variety of courses ranging from amazing mountain courses like Red Sky or Arrowhead, to links style courses like Murphy Creek and Common Ground, even some really high end country clubs like Cherry Hills (held last years US Amateur championship) or the Broadmoore which regularly makes the top 100 in the US. There are many other great courses I’m leaving out but the variety, quality, and range of courses is impressive. Oh and the longest course in North America (8400 yards) is now in Colorado. It’s called RainDance National and is a fun challenge even at altitude and a great bucket list course.

Only downside is you don’t get to play much for about 4-5 months a year due to snow. 

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1 hour ago, Nick_D said:

 

I'll add to the Michigan argument. While its not year round golf, we have some great courses and destinations. If no one has seen the No Laying Up Tourist Sauce series they did in Michigan a couple years ago it is a great watch on YouTube. There are a ton of really high quality public courses at decent prices as well as resort destinations like Forest Dunes, Harbor Shores, and Boyne. If you're lucky enough to play some of the private courses around there are places like Kingsley Club and Crystal Downs. I haven't even scratched the surface by leaving out all the great golf in the Detroit area. And I can't leave out the Upper Peninsula with courses like Greywalls!

The UP is a spot my buddies and I will be headed to in either 2025 or 2026! 

 

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7 minutes ago, aguybadatgolf said:

Maybe not the absolute best but very underrated is Colorado. You have a crazy variety of courses ranging from amazing mountain courses like Red Sky or Arrowhead, to links style courses like Murphy Creek and Common Ground, even some really high end country clubs like Cherry Creek (held last years US Amateur championship) or the Broadmoore which regularly makes the top 100 in the US. There are many other great courses I’m leaving out but the variety, quality, and range of courses is impressive. Only downside is you don’t get to play much for about 4-5 months a year due to snow. 

Cherry Hills?

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy_KFT said:

I may or may not have something up my sleeve coming soon on this 😏.  

You know who to call Jason 😉

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Of course the Northeast has some amazing courses and views. I could rattle off 20 courses you should absolutely play if in this region. BUT if I had to choose a region I have to give it to the Carolinas.

Not only for ability to play almost year round, the views are just as good as the Northeast...Tough to argue against them as much as it pains me to say

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I've only golfed in Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina (soon to add a couple more). My golf in Michigan has been incredible. Even the cheaper public courses and muni courses I've been to have been fun, in good shape, and have unique features/quirks that make them stand out. I haven't even been to the more elite Michigan courses yet.

I have to admit that the states I'm most excited to golf in are Colorado or Utah! I've ooo'd and awe'd over the mountain golf for a long time. Not to mention the ball travels farther due to the elevation for the confidence boost aspect!😊

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