Bandon Dunes -- as pure a pure golf destination as you'll find -- helps make Oregon that nation's best state for golf, Matt Ginella says. (Oleg Volovik/Golf Advisor) Kiawah Island Golf Resort is part of what makes South Carolina America's second-best state for golf, according to Matt Ginella. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor)

What are the top five states for golf?

Matt Ginella, The Golf Channel's travel expert, probably threw a few listeners off when he was asked to name the top five states for golf trips. Two heavyweights were noticeably absent when he ticked off Oregon, Arizona, South Carolina and Florida as the top four and a tie between Michigan and Wisconsin for fifth.

Hawaii and California were left out in the cold, probably because California is so vast and its golf expensive and Hawaii feels so remote to most of the country.

Ginella's selections make perfect sense, however. Arizona and Florida are winter hotbeds from November through March. Oregon (Bandon Dunes Golf Resort) and South Carolina (Kiawah Island Golf Resort and The Sea Pines Resort) both boast incredible resorts right on the coast. Michigan and Wisconsin heat up in summer with enough daylight for 54 holes or more.

Ginella said he believes it's getting harder and harder to choose a top five. "Once Sand Valley is done, Wisconsin might leap frog Michigan on this list," he said.

Disagree with these options? Let us know why in the comments below.

Marsh and mansions accompany the walk down the 13th fairway of the #OceanCourse at #KiawahIslandGolfResort

A photo posted by Jason Scott Deegan (@jasondeegangolfadvisor) on

Dec 23, 2015

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ericburt's avatar
ericburt wrote at 2016-01-05 18:29:32+00:00:

Wisconsin should never pass Michigan as a top five state for golf because Wisconsin does not have an Oakland Hills, Forest Dunes, Arcadia Bluffs, Crystal Downs, Kingsley Club, Bay Harbor Resort, Boyne,Treetops, or a Crystal Mountain... These are just a few of the courses I've been lucky enough to play while living in Northern Michigan. I moved to Traverse City, Michigan, 19 years ago because of the beauty of this place and also because I fell in love with the golf, visiting the area often as a child. Anyone who I've talked to that has played both Arcadia Bluffs and Whistling Straits agrees with me that Arcadia Bluffs is the better track. Come here in July and play, have dinner on the deck, and watch the sun set over Lake Michigan. You'll agree golf in Michigan is some of the best in the country. 

MikeDauplaise's avatar
MikeDauplaise wrote at 2016-01-05 19:38:28+00:00:

Wisconsin has 7 courses on the Top 100 Public Courses list while Michigan has 5. Wisconsin likely will have 2 more when the first Sand Valley courses open. There's no questioning the great golf in Michigan, but it's impossible to ignore the surge of great golf in Wisconsin over the past 20 years.

u00000297244's avatar
u00000297244 wrote at 2016-01-12 15:16:15+00:00:

Good point Mike.

It is also a lot easier to fly into Milwaukee and then drive 45 minutes to Erin Hills or Whistling Straits, or any of the other fine courses you will pass on the way.  Getting to Traverse City - though beautiful with excellent courses is quite a road trip.

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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.