Health & Wellness

The 12 Best Public Golf Courses In America [Affordable Golf]

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There’s not a lot more relaxing than hitting the fairways on a sunny day. Golfing is a widely enjoyed sport that combines light physical activity with socializing, and many people like to seek out new courses for more challenge and a change of scenery.

If you’re a golfing enthusiast who’s going on vacation soon, don’t forget to add a new golf course to your agenda. While certain private golf courses can come with a hefty price tag to attend, there are many public courses that are very budget-friendly.

Here’s a breakdown of the 12 best affordable public golf courses, with daytime rates even in the summertime coming in at less than $200 per day, from coast to coast.

The Best Public Golf Courses on the East Coast

Samoset Resort Golf Course

This historic course is situated on the Atlantic shore in Maine, with a full 18-hole course of champion-caliber golf. If golfing in the ocean breezes off of Penobscot Bay against the quiet town of Rockport appeals to you, head on up to the northeast corner of the country.

Daily course cost: $80-$140

Seaview Golf Club

The world-class courses just outside of Atlantic City in New Jersey offer 6,300 yards of scenic golfing. Reminiscent of traditional Scottish golf courses, The Bay and The Pines are a nice contrast of seaside golf and wooded play. The club’s hotel reopened last year after a multi-million dollar renovation, so you can golf and relax in style.

Daily course cost: $29-$119

Patriots Point Links

As our guide moves south through the Carolinas, many traditional luxury courses come to mind, like the notable Hilton Head courses. However, the same sweeping coastal views and high-end environment can be found at a more budget-friendly course nestled on Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. 

Daily course cost: $59-$70

The Best Public Golf Courses in the Midwest

The Golf Courses of Lawsonia

The Links in Lawsonia, Wisconsin are on par for being one of the best classic golf courses out there, without a crazy price tag. The courses’ sweeping fairways, strategic tree work, and fantastic putting greens are perfect for traditional golf lovers.  

Daily course cost: $35-$155

The Quarry at Giants Ridge

There’s nothing quite like summering at The Quarry, which has a longstanding reputation of being one of Minnesota’s most loved golf destinations and earned the number one public golf course in America title from Golf Digest. With scenic forest ridges and even frequent visits from wildlife, The Quarry offers a memorable twist on a traditional golf course. 

Daily course cost: $35-$160

Blackwolf Run

The scenery at this gorgeous but affordable course in Kohler, Wisconsin seems like something out of a postcard. If you ventured an hour north of Milwaukee, you’d find a course of elevation challenges, deep bunkers, and unique greens unlike no other. Follow the banks of the Sheboygan River in this course full of variety and surprise. 

Daily course cost: Call course for seasonal rate descriptions

The Best Public Golf Courses in the South

Sweetens Cove Golf Course

Head to this course less than a half hour’s drive from Chattanooga, Tennessee for a modern course in the neighborhood of historic Battle Creek. This course is full of its own unique features, like a Waffle House food truck and complex holes for strategic play. The nine holes of Sweetens Cove boast innovative hybrids of traditional golf designs. 

Daily course cost: $35-$120

Capitol Hill Golf Course

Everyone knows that the deep South has plenty to offer for elite private courses, but this course that runs along the shores of the Alabama River provides a similar experience in a public setting. Golf against breathtaking vistas and other natural sights in this 18-hole professional standard course.  

Daily course cost: Call course for seasonal rate descriptions

Camp Creek Golf Club

To emerge in a tropical haven of a golf experience, head to Camp Creek in the northwest neighborhood of Florida. Situated along the sparkling emerald waters and sandy white beaches of the state, this course features tiered greens and flatties for a thorough golf challenge. You’ll swing amongst native greenery sprinkled throughout the manicured lawns, and enjoy a thoughtful design scheme that has minimal disturbance on area wildlife activity. 

Daily course cost: Call course for seasonal rate descriptions

The Best Public Golf Courses on the West Coast

Goat Hill Park

Coastal California is undoubtedly one of the most scenic places to play 18 holes, and this course in Oceanside is no exception. Golfers at Goat Hill can enjoy warm, briny breezes off of the Pacific and engaging mix of different course features and terrains. The course is also known for its friendly and inviting atmosphere, and its motto has become “Come for the ocean, stay for a good time.”

Daily course cost: $16-$34, not including cart and green fees

Pacific Dunes Golf Course

If the sunny shores of southern California aren’t for you, head up the west coast to the Pacific Northwest, which tends to have quite different environments than the southern portion of the coast. Engineers of this course ensured that minimal alteration to the land was made, so the fairways ripple with the rises and fall of the natural ground underneath, and centuries-old natural dunes dapple the landscape. This poses a significantly different challenge than more traditional courses. 

Daily course cost: $70-$175+

Silverado Resort Golf Course

You can combine the sunshiny heat of southern California with the cooler, mountainous terrain of the Pacific Northwest with this course situated in the heart of Napa, California. This course features classic sprawling fairways, with higher elevation land on the horizon. With a pleasantly even mix of water hazards, bunkers, and clusters of trees, you can navigate this traditional course with a glass of Napa wine in your hand. 

Daily course cost: Call course for seasonal rate descriptions

Add Golfing to Your Vacation Agenda

Whether you’re a golfing novice or a seasoned veteran, this sport is the best way to relax, socialize with your friends and family, and get some exercise in, too. Golfing doesn’t have to eat up your whole vacation budget; there are plenty of affordable courses all across the country that combine inexpensive fees with a luxury course experience.

You might also be interested in: Why Is My Vacation Self So Much Cooler Than I Am?

Brady Smith

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