These US golf courses were chosen for their outstanding beauty, unique features and good value for your golfing dollar. Two courses were selected from each of the three top US golf destinations.
Arizona courses are a favorite because of their desert surroundings which ensure an ideal climate for golf – DRY. No cancelled tee times and no humidity! BONUS: Golfing at Sedona’s high altitudes (4000 ft.) makes the ball go further.
In California, there are alternatives to high – priced Pebble Beach.
Florida has a fair share of Audubon Society certified courses so you can admire the birds instead of lamenting the ones you missed.
1) Sedona Golf Resort
This beautiful course should be familiar with the 1930s and ’40’s cowboy movies. Here, the red rock walls from the original homesteads are still visible. It’s not hard to understand why the challenging par three 10th hole is the most photographed, usually with a golfer standing in front of a mountain of red rock. The course is an easy drive from Phoenix and/or Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon is only two hours away.
Rates: $50-$125 including cart and balls. Callaway clubs can be rented for $25.00.
2) Oak Creek Country Club
The red rocks of Sedona are never far from view here on this classic Trent Jones layout. Trees line the dog-legged, bunkered fairways and there are three lakes on the course.
The par three 4th hole is the most fun. Golfers get to aim at the red rocks from an elevated tee, shooting to an elevated green.
RATES: $50 – $109 with a cart. Top name rental clubs are available.
3) Cinnabar Hills Golf Course
Three great value nine-hole courses (in order of preference) Mountain, Lake, and Canyon make up this pretty track near San Jose, just south of Silicon Valley. As its name suggests, the course is hilly – not the best for walking seniors. Watch out for the holes left by burrowing owls. Twilight is a good time to play as the quality of light adds to the beauty of the layout, especially on the Mountain course.
4) The Links at Half Moon Bay
The Links at Half Moon Bay, 45 minutes from San Francisco or Silicon Valley give golfers a Bandon Dunes and Pebble Beach experience at reduced rates. Of the two tracks, the Old Course and the Ocean Course, the Ocean is the favorite, particularly the 1st, 16th, 17th, and 18th holes. The Old Course has two scenic holes on the water (17th and the dramatic 18th) but on some holes, you can feel the housing development closing in.
T: (650) 726-1800.
5) The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club
The back nine holes of the Dunes Golf Course on Sanibel Island, off Fort Myers, Florida meet strict guidelines for Audubon Society certification. The course is beautiful but difficult as water comes into play on every hole. Thankfully these holes are fairly short, seeing how the original nine holes were made into 18. By the 5th hole, it’s not unusual to be down several balls. The herons and osprey are a welcome distraction.
T: (239) 472-2535.
6) Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
The best thing about the Sandestin Golf Resort is not the four championship courses, but the fact that it is located in northwestern Florida where accommodations are plentiful – read inexpensive and the waters of the “emerald coast” provide the best swimming in the state. Golfers will appreciate the refreshing green waters as it gets pretty steamy on the courses, particularly the Raven Course that runs through marshes and wetlands.
A favorite, The Links (a bit of a misnomer) features five holes on the Choctawhatchee Bay. At $69.00, it’s also the best deal of the four.
T: (800) 622-1038