Ante up: Would you pay to play one of America's 10 most expensive golf courses?



Now accepting, cash, credit, collateral ... limbs. These are America's 10 most expensive golf courses open to the public from coast-to-coast.

Some of these green fees don't have much wiggle room (good luck bargaining at the counter at Pebble Beach or Shadow Creek). But others can steer you towards a multi-night/multi-round golf package that will help spread the cost out a little, while others have a seasonal rate or dynamic structure.

Or, at some of these casino-affiliated courses, you could always lose your shirt and then some at the craps tables in hopes of a comp round.

In any case, demand nothing but the best when you tee it up at the following courses. After all, you're paying for it.

Pebble Beach Golf Links ($495)

No surprise here, the cost to play Pebble Beach has been a mainstay at $495 for years now. Some say it's worth every penny, others bemoan the sticker shock. There's always Pacific Grove down the road ...

Mike Bailey recently penned an article on the many ways to play Pebble Beach. You can eschew the mandatory resort stay if you're willing to risk it and book within 24 hours of your tee time.

Golf Channel's Jay Coffin rates Pebble Beach.

Shadow Creek Golf Course ($500)

The mysterious, exclusive Shadow Creek is Vegas' true oasis for high rolling golfers. For access, you have to stay at one of the strip's many MGM properties to get the tee time, and even then, the tee sheet is pretty restricted to a handful of groups per day. They want each foursome to feel like they have the joint to themselves.

The $500 rate isn't seasonal, and you can't book a golf package at an MGM Resort to reduce the rate, but it does include round-trip limo transportation and the VIP treatment at the course, including forecaddies.

Jason Deegan on the Shadow Creek experience.

Pinehurst No. 2 ($450)

Okay, we'll admit the new No. 2 didn't exactly deliver the thrilling Phil Mickelson triumph we'd hoped for at the 2014 U.S. Open. But Pinehurst Resort hopes the new, unique, throwback style of No. 2 can still entice enough for amateur golfers to pay top dollar.

No. 2's rack rate, which jumps to $450 when it reopens this fall, is bookable by non-resort guests within 24 hours. But the rate can be easily reduced by booking a golf package at the resort, particularly in the off-season. Pinehurst has a smattering of options for both golfers and non-golfers alike. The normal No. 2 surcharge in packages that don't include a round on it is $195.

See the transformation of Pinehurst No. 2 on Golf Channel.

The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral Miami ($390 outside guest)

Trump's investment into Doral, which he purchased in 2012, was a reported $250 million on top of his purchase price. With the revamp came a good bump in the green fee to the Doral Blue Monster (from $325-390).

The verdict on the new Blue Monster, following its first WGC Cadillac Championship, is that the Gil Hanse redesign has certainly made the course bigger, more open, dramatic -- and a lot tougher.

Golf Channel's Charlie Rymer reviews the new Blue Monster.

TPC Old White at The Greenbrier Resort ($375 plus $20 forecaddie)

There aren't many C.B. MacDonald/Seth Raynor designs open the public in the U.S., which adds to the allure of Old White, now a TPC-branded facility at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.

Resort packages can reduce the sticker shock at Old White. Resort guests also get $50 off the street rate.

Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach Resorts ($385)

The second fiddle to Pebble Beach and part of the three-course AT&T National rotation, Spyglass Hill still earns a nice chunk of coin for a loop. The opening stretch trumps Pebble's more ordinary starters, with the first five holes playing along the coast.

Players Stadium at TPC Sawgrass ($375)

Lavish PGA Tour facilities and a thrilling closing stretch of holes await on the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. You're almost assured of a tour golfer sighting, as scores of tour players live in the area, and other dignitaries often grab a lunch at 19 during a visit to PGA Tour HQ.

TPC Sawgrass employs a more dynamic and seasonal green fee structure than some of these other courses, so you could catch a round at a good discount certain times of year. (Summer rates were spotted online for as low as $250.) Also, PGA Tour Experiences and the Sawgrass Marriott Resort offer a variety of golf packages.

Walking the course can only be done with a caddie, which we recommend over taking a cart, as the course is cart path only all year long, which is a real drag.

Straits at Whistling Straits ($370 plus $60 caddie before twilight)

The Straits earns a hefty penny for the trek amongst thousands of scattered bunkers on a bluff overlooking expansive Lake Michigan. A two-time PGA Championship and future Ryder Cup host (2020), it's the Midwest's priciest round, yet also the most prestigious public one, located about two hours north of Chicago.

If you're going to buck up the dough to play the Straits, take note that one of the five-star Kohler's great redeeming qualities for bargain-seekers is the option of free replays made available to play the Irish Course and Meadow Valleys Course, both excellent Dye designs in their own right, when you book a golf package at Kohler.

Wynn Golf Club ($375)

Once a prestigious Vegas round with a $500 fee in line with Shadow Creek, Wynn's asking price has since come down a couple pegs. The Tom Fazio-designed course, located right behind this northern-strip hotel, dazzles with waterfalls, streams and forests to go with top-shelf service.

Wynn does offer online tee times with some dynamic pricing, and weekday rates can be found as low as $300.

Jason Deegan reviews Wynn Golf Club

Dye Course at French Lick ($350 plus $30 forecaddie)

This isn't Jimmy Chitwood's dead-flat Indiana: The Dye Course at French Lick teeters atop some of southern Indiana's highest mountain ground, affording incredible, expansive backdrops on many holes. You may not want to keep your eyes on the course anyways; it's a brute.

Opened in 2009, it's fast earned a reputation as one of Dye's toughest courses ever. One might consider the $350 green fee here a stretch, considering this rural southern Indiana isn't a PGA Tour venue and it's in the middle of the pack in most Top 100 Public rankings.

Ocean Course at Kiawah Island ($370)

Congrats, Pete! Four of your designs are among the top 10 most expensive publics in America.

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island hosted not only the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy but the 1991 "War by the Shore" Ryder Cup. It's considered one of America's toughest tests, whether it's a major championship venue or open for weekend resort play, thanks in part to always present coastal breezes.

The Ocean Course is walking only before noon and you don't have to take a caddie. Summer rates until September 1st, can be had for $282.

Honorable Mention: Cascata ($375)

A third Las Vegas area course, Cascata, is worthy of inclusion for its peak season rate of $375. But the green fees have a lot of seasonality and can be played well less than $300, and sometimes even less than $200, during the summer and other times of year.

GolfAdvisor's Jason Deegan rates Cascata

Jun 27, 2014



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Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker.