Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Great Public Golf Courses

You have to be a member to play at a private golf course. Such golf courses can have membership fees running into thousands of dollars, so for the casual golfer are not the best option. However, public golf courses do not require club membership to play on them, although they will likely still include membership packages. So, here are a few recommended public golf courses.

Pebble Beach Links

Pebble Beach Links is regarded as one of the best golf courses, and has hosted a number of top golf tournaments such as the US Open on five occasions. The best bit is that as a golf resort course it is open to the public, although admittedly has a high green fee approaching $300 dollars a round. Still, it is a great golf course that plays alongside the Pacific Ocean. Including some fantastic holes and setting, it can make for a great golfing vacation.

BethPage Statepark Black Course

Also featuring high on Golf Digest's top public golf courses is that of BethPage Black. This golf course played host to the 2009 US Open, and so is undoubtedly a tricky golf course. Although perhaps not ideal for beginner golfers, BethPage Black golf course is much more affordable than the likes of Pebble Beach with green fees ranging from $60 - $120.

The Ocean Course

The Ocean Course is the jewel in the crown of the Kiawah Island Golf resort. It is similar to Pebble Beach, in respect of its coastal setting, but is alongside the Atlantic shoreline. The course includes some great views of the Atlantic shoreline, although prevailing Atlantic winds can always impact a round at the Ocean Course. Notable golf tournaments such as the 1991 Ryder Cup have also been staged at the Ocean Course, as well as the World Cup of Golf.

Old Course at St Andrews

The Old Course of St Andrews is a great links course with a fine history. It is also a public venue for public golf, and so is recommended. The home of golf has played host to a number of UK Open tournaments, and has some great holes such as the road hole which is a long par 4, and the 11th par 3 hole. While the course is closed on Sundays, you can play it most other days providing there is no championships being played on it.

Kape Kidnappers

Kape Kidnapper's golf course in New Zealand is a golfing marvel. This golf course is a sea-side golf course, set alongside Hawke's Bay. Surrounding the golf course are 600ft cliffs that plunge into the sea, with some cliff-side greens for good measure. Course designer Tom Doak has said of Kape Kidnappers:

“Our goal in designing golf courses is to create interesting holes you wouldn't find anywhere else. That wasn't hard to do at Cape Kidnappers, because the site is not like anywhere else in golf.”

So overall, Kape Kidnappers is a spectacular public golf course and resort. The golf course has been ranked as one of the world's top golf courses by publications such as Golf Magazine. Admittedly, green fees are almost as steep as the cliffs at Kape Kidnappers, but it is a recommended public golf course.

So, these are five recommended public golf courses. The golf courses of Pebble Beach Links, Kape Kidnappers, St Andrews Old Course, BethPage Black, and the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island are all excellent public golf courses and resorts that have variable green fees.