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

50. The Links at Stoney Point

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


49.Big Blue at the University of Kentucky

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


48. Legendary Run Golf Club

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


47. Gladstone Golf Course

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


46. Heron Glen Golf Course

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


45. Cascade at Gold Mountain

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


44. Heritage Hill Golf Club

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


43. Delaware Springs

Burnet, Texas
$35 walking weekends
Standout category: Value


42. Edgewater Golf Club

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


41. The Ridges Country Club

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

The Ridges


40. Maple Ridge Golf Club

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


39. Huron Meadows

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


38. Osprey Point Golf Course

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


37. Washington County Golf Course

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


36. University of Georgia Golf Club

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


U. of Georgia Golf Club


35. Saint Germain Municipal Golf Course

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


34. Cider Ridge Golf Course

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


33. Coyote Crossing Golf Course

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


32. Windmill Lakes Golf Club

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


31. Harbor Links Golf Course at Sagamore Resort

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


30. Little Ocmulgee At Wallace Adams Course

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


29. Green Valley Country Club

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


28. Stonehedge South at Gull Lake View

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


27. Cross Creek Country Club

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


26. Greensburg Country Club

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


Click here to view nos. 25-1

Aug 01, 2016



Join the conversation

Post a comment 

MIke Saksa's avatar
MIke Saksa wrote at 2017-11-14 21:20:26+00:00:

These courses are in rural areas so not surprised at the inexpensive fees. How about a list that are within 50 miles of major metropolitan cities?

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2017-11-14 22:25:56+00:00:

Great Idea. Obviously $50 means very different things in different markets. Stay tuned...

uJMLW3957JM's avatar
uJMLW3957JM wrote at 2016-08-13 21:07:49+00:00:

Nothing on the west coast. Bogus listing.

egustafs's avatar
egustafs wrote at 2016-08-02 17:24:57+00:00:

Only one course on your list that is west of the Rocky Mountains?  And that one was No. 45.  Really????

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2016-08-02 18:09:28+00:00:

There is certainly a bias towards the midwest and southeast. Probably a result of water being a little costlier out west, as well as most of the top destinations like Arizona, Colorado, SoCal having tourist prices in peak seasons. 

TimHi's avatar
TimHi wrote at 2016-08-02 16:06:14+00:00:

Add Deer Ridge in Brentwood, Northern California

TimHi's avatar
TimHi wrote at 2016-08-02 16:05:45+00:00:

Add Deer Ridge in Northern California, in Brentwood.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2016-08-12 20:09:42+00:00:

Deer Ridge does pretty good with ratings on our site but not well enough to crack this particular Top 50. Looks nice though. http://www.golfadvisor.com/courses/16227-deer-ridge-golf-club/ 


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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.