Pebble Beach -- Pebble Beach, Calif. -- pebblebeach.com
When it comes to ocean holes, the first that often comes to mind is the last at Pebble, widely hailed as the greatest finisher in the world. Then again, holes 5-10 aren't shabby either, spilling as they do in stirring sequence along bluffs overlooking Monterey Bay.
2 of 10Wood Sabold
Pacific Dunes -- Bandon, Ore. -- bandondunesgolf.com
"Invest in land," Mark Twain counseled. "They're not making it anymore." Developer Mike Keiser sure got his money's worth when he snapped up this coastal swatch in southern Oregon and enlisted Tom Doak to work his magic on it. The result: GOLF Magazine's top ranked public course in the United States.
3 of 10Courtesy of Bandon Dunes
Bandon Dunes -- Bandon, Ore. -- bandondunesgolf.com
As your round begins, on an amiable par 4, followed by a manageable, mid-range par 3, you think, "Well, this is nice." Then you come to the par-4 fourth, whose fairway elbows hard right, then rushes toward the ocean, and you find yourself thinking of the Bandon slogan: "This is golf as it was meant to be."
4 of 10Courtesy of Kiawah Island Resort
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island -- Kiawah Island, S.C. -- kiawahresort.com
The ocean itself doesn't come into play, but it makes its presence is felt throughout your round on Pete and Alice Dye's artful design. You sense its influence in the lick of salt spray and in the swirling coastal breezes that wreak havoc on loose shots. Beautiful setting, but no wonder it made Mark Calcavecchia weep.
5 of 10Courtesy of the American Club
Whistling Straits, Straits Course -- Kohler, Wisc. -- americanclubresort.com
Technically, it's not a seaside course. But Lake Michigan sure looks ocean-sized as you wind along its shoreline, on a layout perched high atop the bluffs. The Straits has been the worthy venue for two PGA Championships, with another pending in 2015. But its dramatic coastal atmosphere, so rife with peril, make it feel like the backdrop for a Gordon Lightfoot song.
6 of 10Larry Lambrecht
Harbour Town Golf Links -- Hilton Head Island, S.C. -- seapines.com
Tour pros often rank it among their favorite courses, and who can blame them? This Pete Dye design is a place of subtle beauty, a shotmaker's paradise where power takes a backseat to precision. If your game goes sideways, though, not to worry. Forget your scorecard and focus on the views.
7 of 10Kohjiro Kinno/Sports Illustrated
The Plantation Course, Kapalua Resort -- Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii -- kapalua.com
After a long winter, few sights get a golfer chomping at the bit like the technicolor images broadcast in January from the western edge of Maui, where the Tour stages its first event each year. With its arresting views (Look, a pod of humpbacks!) and dramatic shifts in elevation, the Plantation Course is a Hawaiian postcard, rendered tantalizingly in 3D.
8 of 10Aiden Bradley
Chambers Bay -- University Place, Wash. -- chambersbaygolf.com
In 2015, it's going to host the Open. Not the British Open. The U.S. Open. Though it's easy to see why you'd mix up the two. Credit Robert Trent Jones Jr. for creating the confusion when he reclaimed what was once a wastewater treatment plant and crafted this rough-hewn Scottish-links-like design.
9 of 10Larry Lambrecht
Torrey Pines, South Course -- La Jolla, Calif. -- torreypinesgolfcourse.com
Holes that buck and roll along the ocean. Skies a permanent powder blue. This is a muni? Only in a place like San Diego, where bikinis count as formal wear and locals get to play a U.S. Open layout for less than $80.
10 of 10Aiden Bradley
Sandpiper -- Santa Barbara, Calif. -- sandpipergolf.com
In this day and age, it's hard to call a coastal golf course "undiscovered." But this Santa Barbara beauty is something of a sleeper in a state with a healthy share of seaside gems. The Southern California setting gives it the feel of Torrey Pines, but people often call it the "poor man's Pebble." The views are priceless, either way.
You May Like
More Courses & Travel
Sign Up for Newsletters
Receive insider analysis, swing tips, equipment news, special offers and much more.