Long on scenery, short on yardage: Golf's best courses playing less than 6,500 yards

Golf would be in a better place if more courses were 6,500 yards or less. That distance is more sustainable for owners and friendlier to players.

More land means more of everything, extra water for the grass and additional labor caring for the turf, not to mention longer rounds and higher scores for golfers. None of that is a formula for success in today's world.

If you're a scorecard watcher who doesn't respect courses shorter than 7,000 yards, think again. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of really good regulation courses that distance and less from the tips.

We've compiled some of the best in this photo gallery to prove the point. The best example is the 6,500-yard Pasatiempo Golf Club, a classic by Dr. Alister MacKenzie in Santa Cruz, Calif., considered among the top 100 courses in America.

Some of our other favorites under 6,500 yards are the Ocean Course at The Breakers in south Florida, Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, the Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club in New Jersey, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa G.C. east of Santa Barbara, Calif., the Ocean Links Course at Omni Amelia Island Plantation in northeast Florida, Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown, N.Y., The Golf Club at Equinox in Manchester Village, Vt., Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco, Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, Calif., Pacific Grove (Calif.) Golf Links, Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., the Palmer Lakeside at Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, the Miller Course at Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Aventura, Fla., Plumas Pines in Graeagle, Calif., the King and Prince in Sea Island, Ga., the Links At Bodega Harbour in Bodega Bay, Calif., The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., Steele Canyon Golf Club in Jamul, Calif., The Natural at Beaver Creek Resort in Gaylord, Mich., The Tradition at Treetops Sylvan Resort in Gaylord, Mich., Apple Mountain Golf Resort in Camino, Calif., Beacon Ridge Golf & Country Club in West End, N.C., the Links Course and Adobe Course at Arizona Biltmore Country Club in Phoenix, and the Reflections Course at Garland Lodge & Resort in Lewiston, Mich.

Oct 12, 2015

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.