A public Ross gem and more: The 3 favorite courses our writers played last month

Jeffersonville Golf Club in Norristown, Pa.

A behind-the-green view of Jeffersonville Golf Club in Norristown, Pa.

Zephyr Melton

At GOLF.com, writing about the sport you love is our job. But so is playing it. Here are three courses our writers stumbled upon (and loved) last month.

Shorty’s, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore.

Spoiler alert: Shorty’s is a short course. But this being Bandon Dunes, they’ve gone to great lengths to make it fun. It’s a spanking-new, 19-hole, par-3 routing that runs through tall and tightly clustered dunes, between Bandon Trails and the ocean. You can see the water from several high points and feel its breezy influence throughout. The holes range in length from 51 to 161 yards, heaving up and down and shifting in direction, so you can go about your round with a small quiver of clubs while trying all kinds of creative shots. I played it in May, on the day it opened, when the greens weren’t yet up to full speed, but you could tell from the contours that the putting surfaces are only going to get more compelling as the turf grows in. It’s hard to lose a ball. It’s not (too) hard to make birdie. At a golf buffet like Bandon, Shorty’s is a gratifying bite-sized option, just the right amount of challenge and entertainment if you don’t have time or energy for another full 18. — Josh Sens

shorty's at bandon dunes golf resort
Shorty’s, the newest addition to Bandon Dunes. Nathan Kahler/Courtesy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Tobacco Road, Sanford, N.C.

I’ve heard, read and watched a lot about Tobacco Road. It’s a polarizing course that brings out strong opinions. Here is mine: Tobacco Road is awesome. That might not be the most poignant of takeaways, but “This is awesome” is actually the phrase that was muttered numerous times by our group. We were the last off for a twilight round as the sun set through the southern pines. There are blind tee shots, bunkers that make you stare upwards the same way you would beneath the Empire State Building, and head-scratching approach shots. The best advice I can give a first-time player at Tobacco Road is to go into the round with an open mind. You’re going to get frustrated, you’re going to get good/bad breaks, and you’re going to want to do it all over again. — Tim Reilly

The 13th hole at Tobacco Road Golf Club.
The 13th hole at Tobacco Road Golf Club. Martha Hudson/Tobacco Road Golf Club

Jeffersonville Golf Club, Norristown, Pa.

It’s always a treat to play a course that has an old-school feel — and Jeffersonville Golf Club certainly fits the bill. Situated in the Philly suburbs, this (public!) Donald Ross original is an absolute gem. The municipal course features Ross’ signature small and tricky greens and maximizes the small parcel of land it sits on. The par-3s are long and sturdy, while the two par-5s are scorable with the proper shots in your bag. Every green sits directly beside the next tee box, and it makes walking the course a breeze. There’s no range on the property, but in the basement of the brand-new clubhouse they’ve got a series of Trackman simulators to utilize during your warm-up. Best of all, this course won’t break the bank, with peak greens fees topping out at $80. There aren’t many better deals in the northeast than Jeffersonville. — Zephyr Melton

Jeffersonville Golf Club in Norristown, Pa.
Jeffersonville Golf Club is a public Donald Ross design. Zephyr Melton
generic profile image