Top 25 U.S. courses for Pace of Play on Golf Advisor in 2015

A golf course may boast pristine greens and wonderful hole design. But if the pace is slow, it can sour a golfer's whole experience. Scanning the 121,000-plus reviews written by golfers on Golf Advisor in 2015, perhaps the single greatest complaint in a mediocre-to-poor review is slow pace of play.

Pace of play, perhaps more than any of the other subcategories we track on Golf Advisor, is a very subjective category. A golfer can theoretically play a four-and-a-half-hour round on a challenging course, but if they aren't waiting on any shots, feel the pace was excellent. On the other hand, a fast-playing group could go berserk because the group ahead of them is on a five-hour pace and won't waive them through.

Policing pace of play, from the perspective of golf course management, requires walking a fine line. Staff must space out groups while still packing in enough foursomes each day to pay the bills. Rangers must enforce pace to slower groups while not offending or disrupting them to the point they may look for somewhere else to play next time.

Based on our ratings in 2015, some courses have performed this dance better than others. This top 25 has a very interesting mix of courses, from tough, championship layouts to high-end resort courses to semi-private and public courses.

With that said, these 25 U.S. courses made it through 2015 with the best Pace of Play ratings.

Top 25 courses for pace of play in 2015

25. Grand Elk Ranch and Club

Granby, Colo.
Price: $35-$95
What they're saying: "Had a wonderful time, played 18 in less than 4 hours." -- allenwayne

24. Innsbruck Resort & Golf Club

Helen, Ga.
Price: $42-$52
What they're saying: "18 holes in 3 hours." -- pmmontpas

23. Tierra Verde Golf Club

Arlington Texas
Price: $28-$69
What they're saying: "There were others on the course, but the pace of play was great." -- JCS0011

22. Achasta Golf Club

Dahlonega, Ga.
Price: $58-$83
What they're saying: "Outstanding conditions and pace of play." -- Kevin3298782

21. North River Club

Beaufort, N.C.
Price: $50-$60
What they're saying: "Very nice course with steady pace of play." -- radly

20. Mount Vintage Plantation & Golf Club

North Augusta, S.C.
Price: $37-$69
What they're saying: "The course is extremely picturesque, challenging & in great condition. Pace of play was also good." -- golfert1965

19. Kingwood Golf Club & Resort

Price: $45-$59
What they're saying: "It's fun, well conditioned, and you can get around pretty quick." -- jim4298842

18. Los Caballeros Golf Club

Wickenburg, Ariz.
Price: $30-$95
What they're saying: "Pace of play, course layout was good, we thought the staff were very friendly and helpful." -- Glee8514

17. Winter Creek Golf & Country Club

Blanchard, Okla.
Price: $45-$65
What they're saying: "One of my top three courses open to the public within 40 mikes ok Oklahoma City." -- krpindel

16. The Rookery At Marco

Naples, Fla.
Price: $89-$219
What they're saying: "Everything was in PERFECT condition, not overly crowded, played in 3 1/2 hours." -- Jonathan4491615

15. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ojai, Calif.
Price: $89-$180
What they're saying: "Every time we play here the staff is helpful and the pace of play excellent." -- zjlg01

14. Yocha Dehe Golf Club at Cache Creek

Brooks, Calif.
Price: $69-$105
What they're saying: "Great pace of play, very nice layout." -- nick7712656

13. The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

Saint Simons Island, Ga.
Price: $79-115
What they're saying: "Great greens, good fairways and bunkers, pace was excellent." -- Don5300529

12. La Cantera Resort - Palmer Course

San Antonio, Texas
Price: $89-$140
What they're saying: "Great value with wonderful conditions. Pace of play was great." -- rairving

11. Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Price: $100-$195
What they're saying: "Pace of play was excellent!" -- Deborah2045907

10. Gunter's Landing Golf Club

Guntersville, Ala.
Price: $39-$59
What they're saying: "Staff was very friendly, as was everyone else I came across on the course." -- rdevans112

9. Wolfdancer Golf Club

Lost Pines, Texas
Price: $89-179
What they're saying: "Very good time, pace of play excellent finished in little over 3.5 hrs." -- uDQQS2165DQ

8. Aviara Golf Club

Carlsbad, Calif.
Price: $149-$250
What they're saying: "Pace of play was a non issue. Will play every time I vacation back to San Diego." -- brabbit22

7. St. James Bay Golf Club

Carrabelle, Fla.
Price: $40-$65
What they're saying: "After playing there this one time its the only place I want to play." -- Andrew4731830

6. English Turn Golf & Country Club

New Orleans, La.
Price: $75-$129
What they're saying: "My friend and I finished the course playing a reasonable pace in just under three hours." -- tulsuduke

5. Deercroft Golf & Country Club

Wagram, N.C.
Price: $50-$60
What they're saying: "They have some local rules that keep play smooth and quick." -- DavidandSandra

4. Elk Ridge Golf Course at Carson Hot Springs

Carson, Wash.
Price: $39-$55
What they're saying: "Not a single slow down waiting for another group or a single time playing in front of another group." -- nelson35

3. Scotch Hall Preserve

Merry Hill, N.C.
Price: $35-$45
What they're saying: "Scotch Hall Preserve is a world class golf course." -- Craig7315875

2. Southern Hills Golf Club

Hawkinsville, Ga.
Price: $28-$37
What they're saying: "Pace of play is always good." -- Kickinbirdie1956

1. The Hideaway Country Club

Fort Myers, Fla.
Price: $36-$55
What they're saying: "Turned the round over as a twosome in sub three hours." -- dhamilton148

Green fees are based on latest peak-season rates and are subject to change. In the case of resort courses, stay-and-play packages and specials often greatly reduce the price of the green fee. Many of these courses also offer dynamic online tee times, off-season and twilight rates that lower the green fee.

Jan 25, 2016

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