Top 50 courses under $50 in the U.S., according to your ratings

The vast majority of rounds being played in this country aren't on bucket-list courses, but on affordable courses golfers can play regularly.

With that in mind, we've set out to identify the 50 best courses you can play, again and again, under $50.

Identifying the best affordable rounds in the country is in many ways a more daunting task than determining the world's absolute best courses. There are generally only several hundred courses truly eligible for the Top 100 year-in, year-out -- those with great sites designed by top architects. Yet there are thousands of public and semi-private courses under $50 worth consideration. These facilities can also be far more fluid in terms of their experience for a variety of reasons; achieving consistent conditions with a shoe-string maintenance budget and providing great service even if staff members might not make the big bucks.

Or, sometimes a course under $50 becomes popular enough that it slides out of the under-$50 category. There are some well-known under-$50 rounds, perhaps none better revered than Wild Horse Golf Course in Nebraska, which often makes Top 100 Public rankings as well (that course fares well on Golf Advisor, there just aren't enough reviews to qualify for this ranking). I've named my ten favorite under $50 , but naturally, there are thousands I've yet to see. So it's great to crowdsource a list like this.

We looked at all of our reviews of U.S. courses dating back to the beginning of 2014 through the first half of 2016 (minimum of 20 reviews) to find the top-rated courses with green fees -- at least walkable during the week -- under $50. We see some common denominators in this list:

• The Midwest leads the way. Here are the most entries in this top 50 by state:

Indiana: 5
Michigan: 5
North Carolina: 5
Kentucky: 4
Ohio: 4
Georgia: 4
Wisconsin: 3
Alabama: 3

• The vast majority of these courses are not over 7,000 yards. In fact, many are in the 6,500-6,700 range. It goes to show that more length generally leads to higher green fees, and most golfers aren't playing from the tips anyways.

• There are a healthy number of state and metropark-type courses. Golfers seem to find a luxury in layouts that don't require an adjacent housing component and are instead on a protected piece of natural property.

• Many of these courses are walkable and have separate walking rates.

It's getting harder and harder to pin down exactly which courses are always "under-$50" thanks to dynamic pricing, loyalty programs and more. But based on our research, we feel that it's very reasonable to score an under-50 green fee at these courses in their peak season, worst-case scenario being a walking rate before 1 p.m. on a weekday.

If you have a favorite round in your hometown or one you've stumbled upon in your travels, tweet us @GolfAdvisor or on Instagram with #LivingtheGreen .

Top 50 courses for $50 or less, according to Golf Advisor reviews

Greenwood, S.C.
$49 weekends w/cart
Standout category: Staff Friendliness


Lexington, Ky.
$47 walking weekdays
Standout category: Course layout


Cincinnati, Ohio
$47 weekdays w/cart & lunch
Standout category: Course layout


Gladstone, Mich.
$25 walking weekdays
Standout category: Value


Ringoes, N.J.
$46 weekdays w/cart
Standout category: Course layout


Bremerton, Wash.
$32 walking weekdays
Standout category: Course Layout


Shepherdsville, Ky.
$49 w/cart weekdays
Standout category: Course Layout


Burnet, Texas
$35 walking weekends
Standout category: Value


Lancaster, S.C.
$49 weekends w/cart
Standout category: Course Layout


Hayesville, N.C.
$49 w/cart weekends
Standout category: Staff Friendliness


Columbus, Ga.
$49 weekends w/cart
Standout category: Value


Brighton, Mich.
$40 weekends w/cart
Standout category: Value


Boca Raton, Fla.
$39 w/cart weekends
Standout category: Value


Hartford, Wis.
$48 weekdays walking
Standout category: Course layout


Athens, Ga.
$49 walking weekends
Standout category: Course Layout


The Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course at the University of Georgia is a must-play if you're in the Athens area.


Saint Germain, Wis.
$48 walking weekdays
Standout category: Staff friendliness


Oxford, Ala.
$44 weekdays w/cart
Standout category: Staff Friendliness


West Lafayette, Ind.
$39 walking weekdays
Standout category: Course Layout


Ravenna, Ohio
$49.50 w/cart weekends
Standout category: Value


Liberty, Ind.
$49 weekends w/cart
Standout category: Course layout


McRae, Ga.
$23 weekdays w/cart
Standout category: Value


Portsmouth, R.I.
$42 walking weekdays
Standout category: Staff Friendliness


Augusta, Mich.
$47 weekdays w/cart
Standout category: Course layout


Mt. Airy, N.C.
$40 w/cart weekends
Standout category: Course layout


Greensburg, Ind.
$38 weekends w/cart
Standout category: Value


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.
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Top 50 courses under $50 in the U.S., according to your ratings
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