1. Clubhouse Bar, Ballybunion Golf Club, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Sitting on the terrace looking out across the course to the Atlantic Ocean, it’s a great spot to raise a glass to birdies on three of the last four holes, or to drown sorrows about the double-bogey that interrupted that streak (I’m over it, though). When the sun is setting, there is no better place in golf.
2. The Road Hole Bar, Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Scotland
The ambiance is a little more casual downstairs at the Jigger Inn, but the Road Hole bar has a great view of the seminal holes at the Old Course and the R&A Clubhouse. There’s a new little outdoor terrace perched precariously close to the 17th tee. Nursing your drink while dodging errant tee shots ought to be part of any trip to Scotland.
3. McKee’s Pub, Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon, Oregon
The food is solid and the drinks keep coming, making McKee’s a perfect location to relive the magic of the 36 holes you played today. But don’t expect to be partying into the wee hours: By 10pm McKee’s is like a morgue. Everyone is in bed, dreaming of another 36 tomorrow.
4. Ocean Course Clubhouse, Kiawah Island, S.C.
It’s about as close as one can legally get to a ringside seat at a cockfight. Watching golfers stagger beaten and bloodied up the 18th fairway is the most secretly sadistic pleasures in the game, if only because those of us watching have already survived Pete Dye’s wringer.
5. Ballyneal, Holyoke, Colorado
Ballyneal has no tee markers—choose your distance on each hole and play away—but it does have a great low-key bar that feels like a pioneer’s cabin, with none of the tedious Wall Streeters-gone-west vibe that infects the bar at Sand Hills.