October is a month of transition for many golf destinations. Northern regions experience a changing of the fall colors and cooler temperatures, while many of the top Southern destinations are impacted by fall over-seeding and maintenance procedures.
The result is that there are many courses in the top 10 in October that are new and not part of the major golf destinations we normally highlight. The top spot for the month is the Lake Course at Goose Pond Colony, which like many of the courses it's near, provides excellent value and friendly service. Set along the Tennessee River, the resort features the original Lake Course, built in 1971, and a newer Plantation Course which opened in 1994. It's the latest course to be recognized in lesser known northern Alabama, which is a curiously good golf getaway, according to our reviews (Gunter's Landing Golf Club in Guntersville, Ala. is a top under-$50 pick and a fixture in our best-of lists).
You can view the remainder of the top 10 below, which includes courses in all four corners of the country as well as one still enjoying the warmer-than-usual fall climes in Ontario.
Top 10 golf courses of the month
Howey in the Hills, Fla.
Elizabeth City, N.C.
St. Augustine, Fla.
Corbyville, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer photo of the month
While Long Island's Bethpage State Park gets most of the attention, golfers who make the trip to the far eastern end of Long Island are in for another treat: Montauk Downs, another state park course that provides a great escape from the Big Apple:
Review of the month
We're talking about Las Vegas golf this week, as the city hosts the Shriners Open on the PGA Tour. In our article that determines the best time of year to play in Las Vegas, we also looked at which courses receive the best value ratings from golfer. One of the best is Mountain Falls, which is a little bit of a drive from the strip, but golfers claim to hit jackpot time and time again. User wokimi awarded his first five-star review out of 14 to Mountain Falls, and had this to say about his round in early October:
As an out-of-towner, I enjoy meeting new players, and today's round found me grouped up with 3 others who made my day very enjoyable. All of us had played Mountain Falls previously, if only a few times, and we all agreed that the course conditions, scenic beauty and value made the drive from Las Vegas well worth the time. An outstanding staff — from the person who brought a cart to my car, to the pro shop attendant, to the gentleman who met me at the end of the round to take care of the cart (who expressed an interest in how I played and thanked me for visiting), the exceptional staff makes this a hands-down winner. I get it that the distance from LV can be inconvenient, but on a day like today where time was not an issue for me, any tossup decisions would definitely fall in favor of Mountain Falls. They have big-screen GPS monitors that offer not only distance indicators, but also helpful tips (like any of us can really control what side of the fairway we hit!!). My only difficulties came when I failed to read the tips (it really did say "dogleg right, even though I executed the perfect shot for a left turn). There are a couple of holes where you have to decide if you can carry the sand/water or take the layup shot — it's fun if you make it, and still a laugh if you don't (no money riding on this game). Highly recommended!