What are the best values on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World list?
New York State Parks
GOLF’s Top 100 course panelists are among the most respected and well-traveled course evaluators in the game. They’re also keen to share their opinions. In this GOLF.com series, we’ll unlock their unvarnished views on all questions course-related. Check out GOLF’s latest Top 100 Courses in the U.S., Top 100 Courses in the World, Top 100 Courses You Can Play, Best Municipal Courses in the U.S., 100 Best Short Courses and 100 Best Courses in U.K. and Ireland. Meet all of our Top 100 panelists here.
GOLF recently released its latest ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the World, with Pine Valley yet again coming in as No. 1. While some of these courses are ultra-private, there are a lot of public options Average Joes can play. What are some of the best value options golfers should add to their bucket list?
Bill Hogan (panelist since 1998): The St. Andrews Links Winter Package, at £195 for three rounds, including one round on the Old Course, is pretty hard to beat. It’s offered November through March, and you can often get lucky with some good weather in that window.
Will Davenport (panelist since 2020): Find a N.Y. resident friend and get a tee time on Bethpage Black. Afternoon rounds will run less than $100, and it is one of the most enjoyable, if rigorous, courses anywhere.
Jeff Lewis (panelist since 2003): The U.S. is pretty much the worst place in the world for access to private courses, but in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand — all of which have some of the best golf in the world — it’s generally pretty accessible to visitors. But let’s be clear about one thing: Even though it is only semi-open to the public, The Lido in Wisconsin is accessible to resort guests, and it is the most remarkable achievement in new golf development since the Lido itself shut down. What Peter Flory, Tom Doak and the Keiser family have recreated is miraculous. I think the course will rise in the rankings as more people get to know it.
Josh Sens (panelist since 2015): It requires a flight to Scotland and a drive on the wrong side of the road, but I don’t think there’s a better golf experience in the world than Cruden Bay. With the current exchange rate, shoulder-season greens fees are around $115. If you’re lucky, you’ll get decent weather, with a light breeze, and you’ll get paired with a local member, or maybe even have a local member as your caddie. You’ll play briskly on stunning seaside dunes. You’ll get to check out the scenery. Breathe in the coastal air. Grab a pint in the clubhouse afterward. Sure, there are more prestigious courses. But, at the risk of sounding corny, this is as good a day of golf as you can have anywhere.