Top 25 U.S. courses as rated by pace of play in 2016

What's the recipe for the seemingly-elusive quality of exceptional pace of play?

It can be a multitude of factors, ranging from spacing between tee times to how difficult the course is set up.

We looked at your 100,000-plus reviews in 2016 to determine which courses most consistently earned high pace of play ratings. The results are a mix of championship layouts and shorter courses. It's a constant struggle for facilities to maintain a balance between booking enough tee times to make ends meet while also ensuring the course doesn't become overcrowded.

At Golf Advisor, our reviewers don't rate the course based on a specific time it took to play 18, but rather how pleased they were with the flow of the round. That makes this rating particularly subjective, as golfers consider anything from the pace of the groups ahead to how the course layout is able to get groups around.

In total, nine of the Top 25 courses listed below found their way onto our Top 50 Overall U.S. courses in 2016: proof that pace certainly matters when golfers consider the overall experience at the course.

Top 25 courses as rated by pace of play in 2016

25. The Vineyards Golf Club

Riverhead, N.Y.
What they're saying: "I really appreciate that they reinforce pace of play on this course."

24. Kelly Plantation

Destin, Fla.
What they're saying: "Staff was super friendly with a marshal riding around handing out iced towels on a regular basis."

23. San Juan Oaks

Hollister, Calif.
What they're saying: "Perfect attitude for their starter; informative, sociable and efficient."

22. Palmer Course at La Cantera Hill Country Resort

San Antonio, Tex.
What they're saying: "We were first on the course and played in 2 1/2 hours!"

21. Brasstown Valley Resort

Young Harris, Ga.
What they're saying: "Fun links style course, very playable for all levels of skilled golfers."

20. Scotch Hall Preserve

Merry Hill, N.C.
What they're saying: "Staff are wonderful to deal deal for the money that I played."

19. Pheasant Run Golf Course

Lagrange, Ohio
What they're saying: "Pace of play was great and we finished in just over 3 hours."

18. The Classic Club

Palm Desert, Calif.
What they're saying: "Under 4 hours on a Saturday for 3 golfers is unheard of!"

17. Scotland Run Golf Club

Williamstown, N.J.
What they're saying: "Friendly Staff, great course layout, great pace of play."

16. Cutter Creek Golf Club

Snow Hill, N.C.
What they're saying: "Staff were friendly and welcoming, eager to help in any way needed."

15.The Tillery Tradition Country Club

Mt. Gilead, N.C.
What they're saying: "The fairways were well cut, the rough fair, and the bunkers well kept."

14. Los Caballeros Golf Club

Wickenburg, Ariz.
What they're saying: "The pace of play was excellent, the staff friendly and professional."

13. Rams Hill Golf Club

Borrego Springs, Calif.
What they're saying: "3 hour round...By far, the friendliest staff you'll ever meet."

12. Edgewater Golf Club

Lancaster, S.C.
What they're saying: "It was like having our own private course- we did have to share with the wild turkeys though."

11. La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa

Montgomery, Tex.
What they're saying: "This was an exceedingly great value. Pace of play was great."

10. Twin Lakes Golf Course

Canton, Tex.
What they're saying: "Play moved along nice and course was in great shape."

9. Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course at Lake Richard B. Russell

Elberton, Ga.
What they're saying: "On the course I alway feel like I'm at a private resort and not a State Park course."

8. Apache Links at Squaw Valley Golf Course

What they're saying: "Well worth the drive. Beautiful course with country setting."

7. The Hideaway Country Club

Fort Myers, Fla.
What they're saying: "I played this course alone in about 2 1/2 hours. Excellent pace."

6. Pine Ridge Country Club

Edgefield, S.C.
What they're saying: "You feel like you have the course all to yourself."

5. Bella Collina Golf Club

Montverde, Fla.
What they're saying: "Well laid out course that was very fair and fun to play."

4. Harbour Town Golf Links

Hilton Head Island, S.C.
What they're saying: "Our forecaddie, obviously knew the course extremely well and was able to guide us effectively."

3. The Georgia Club

Statham, Ga.
What they're saying: "I have played Pinehurst, East lake, many of the TPC courses and still come back here and say WOW."

2. Mirimichi Golf Course

Millington, Tenn.
What they're saying: "Attention to details and friendless of staff makes for a must play."

1. Warner Springs Ranch

Warner Springs, Calif.
What they're saying: "All of the amenities that a country club has with a local, friendly feel."

Jan 23, 2017

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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 and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.