Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.

  • 4.0 stars from 5

    Angeles National Golf Club

    "Interesting golf course that challenges from all tees"

    If you like variety, then Angeles National is a good choice. With doglegs, long and short holes and interesting par 3s, this is a shotmaker's course both off the tee and on the approaches. The course also has great views of the surrounding mountains, and there are a couple of elevated tees. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Rustic Canyon Golf Course

    "Well worth the drive from L.A."

    What an interesting golf course. With plenty of room to hit the ball off the tee, it's very playable. But at the same time, this minimalist design presents something many courses don't – a myriad options. And that means you can try to run the ball up, play it in the air and most of all, avoid some of the difficult bunkers both in the fairways and around the greens. It also means that even though the fairways are very generous, find the right part of them is crucial to setting up good angles to the greens and hole locations. And speaking of greens, that might be the most interesting aspect of all. With lots of movements, these mostly large greens make putting, pitching and chipping most intriguing. All-in-all, this seems to be a course that will play different each time (depending on pin locations and wind). Throw in the mountain scenery, native vegetation and fescue, and you've got a real treat, well worth the drive from L.A. or anywhere else. more »

    5.0 stars from 5


    "One of the best par 3 courses in the country"

    The Links at Terranea is yet another example of how par 3 courses can be premium experiences. True, most people aren't going to be able hit drivers here, or maybe even fairway woods, but there's enough variety to make this more than worthwhile. Plus, it isn't easy with its extensive bunkering, elevation change and large undulating greens. Throw in ocean views and a good walk, and you've got a recipe for a great golf experience. By the way, replay rates are available if you want an 18-hole experience. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    The Currituck Club

    "One of the best courses on the OBX"

    I'm a big advocate of being able to hit and find it, and as long as you don't find the water hazards on the this course, you get to do just that with its wide fairways and excellent conditioning. There's a nice variety of holes, and while it isn't too difficult overall if you play the right tees (we played a combo), there's certainly plenty of challenge on certain holes. In a nutshell, Rees Jones gives you some birdie opportunities, but there are some difficult stretches as well that you need to negotiate to keep your round together. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Palmer Lakeside At Barton Creek

    "A different Barton Creek Resort experience"

    This is the one course at Barton Creek Resort that isn't at the resort, but it's well worth the drive and certainly a change of pace. While it's only 6,500 yards, it's anything but easy. Play the back tees, and there are some long par 4s, plus it's not that easy off the tee. What it is is interesting. No two holes are alike, and it will test every part of your game. more »