Here are GOLF’s 20 best public courses in the world (with Pebble Beach leading the way)

June 13, 2019

Pebble Beach will take center stage in the golfing world this week, as it hosts its sixth U.S. Open. Pebble reclaimed its spot atop GOLF’s most recent ranking of the top public courses in the country, published in 2017, thanks in large part to its stunning scenery, mix of risk-reward holes and design brilliance.

Those who have played this gem will not hesitate to expound on its beauty. Designed along Carmel Bay, leading into the Pacific Ocean, Pebble Beach hugs the rocky shores as closely as it can, with nine holes along the water. It has hosted some of the sport’s most iconic moments — Nicklaus’ 11th major in 1972, Watson’s chip-in in 1982, Tiger’s domination in 2000. Its public status assures that you, too, can walk in those footsteps.

To some, that all makes it worth the pretty penny it’ll cost to get on the course yourself. For resort guests, the greens fees cost $550. To reserve a one-bedroom room, though, you’ll need to pony up $940 a night. All of this results in the No. 1 ranking on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play. (But, based on your budget, maybe play just once.)

Below is a list of GOLF Magazine’s top-20 public golf courses. For the full top-100, click here.

Best public golf courses

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.
2. Pacific Dunes Bandon, Ore.
3. Pinehurst Resort (No. 2), Pinehurst, N.C.
4. Bethpage State Park (Black), Farmingdale, N.Y.
5. Whistling Straits Golf Club (Straits), Kohler, Wisc.
6. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort, Kiawah Island, S.C.
7. TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
8. Bandon Dunes, Bandon, Ore.
9. Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
10. Streamsong Resort (Red), Streamsong, Fla.
11. Old Macdonald, Bandon, Ore.
12. Bandon Trails, Bandon, Ore.
13. Pasatiempo Golf Club, Santa Cruz, Calif.
14. Streamsong Resort (Blue), Streamsong, Fla.
15. Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif.
16. Shadow Creek, North Las Vegas, Nev.
17. Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash.
18. Trump National Doral, (Blue Monster) Miami, Fla.
19. Blackwolf Run (River), Kohler, Wis.
20. Torrey Pines Golf Course (South), La Jolla, Calif.