11 best public golf courses you can play (which includes PGA Championship host Bethpage Black)

May 16, 2019

Bethpage Black will be the star of the 2019 PGA Championship as it hosts the pros for the fifth time in the last two decades (and will again for the 2024 Ryder Cup).

The Black Course’s first major came in 2002 when Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open. Lucas Glover won the Open when it returned to Bethpage in 2009. The 2012 and 2016 Barclays were also at the Black Course, and won by Nick Watney and Patrick Reed, respectively.

But what’s great about the Black Course is easy to pinpoint — it’s public! Sure, watching pro golf is great and all but watching it on a course you can play with your buddies is even better.

The Black Course was ranked 4th in GOLF’s most recent Top 100 Courses You Can Play ranking, which came out in 2017. It was only edged by Pebble Beach, Pacific Dunes and Pinehurst No. 2.

Bethpage Black hosts the 2019 PGA Championship this week.
Getty Images

The Black, along with Bethpage’s four other courses, is open to the public and comes at a steal for in-state residents ($75). But even out-of-staters can play the Black for $150, as long as they are savvy enough to secure a tee time on the Farmingdale, N.Y., gem.

Looking to knock off more public gems? Here are GOLF’s top 11 according to the latest ranking. For the complete list, 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.

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