East Potomac Park is the most accessible option for public golf in Washington D.C.  (Getty Images)

America's (underachieving public golf) capital

This week is the final Quicken Loans National in the Washington D.C. area before it moves onward to Detroit Golf Club, where property developer and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert will be able to further promote his mission of urban renewal. We'll bid adieu to the D.C. collection of posh area clubs that have hosted the event in years past, from Congressional to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club and TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms.

The Beltway is certainly one of the better-stocked parts of the country for elite private clubs, which makes sense given the amount of money and influence that pours through the nation's capital. But examining the public golf scene, D.C. leaves quite a bit to be desired. Given how tourist-friendly its attractions are and how thoroughly planned out the city was, golf - or at least an accessible version of it - is pretty disappointing.

East Potomac Park is the city's most historic public facility (with an 18-hole course and two 9-hole courses) and one that has seen better days. I played it years ago and the setting is pretty surreal, with what feels like a steady stream of helicopters flying congressmen back and forth from the capitol to Reagan airport across the river, and the Washington Monument serving as an iconic backdrop. The course itself is pretty featureless at this point and regarded to get pretty swampy. It may be convenient for those in the city in need of a quick loop, but in its current state it's tough to get excited about. Langston and Rock Creek round out the muni (but owned by the National Parks Service) options in the district.

What D.C. lacks in great munis it fills the void at least partially with its Department of Defense courses, but public access to these base courses can fluctuate. Andrews Air Force Base has added online tee times in recent years to MiltaryTeeTimes.com and provides 54 holes.

Otherwise, your best bet is playing relatively new semi-private residential courses in a suburb of Virginia or Maryland. Destination Hotels' Lansdowne Resort is a fine stay-and-play option about an hour from the Capitol (but requires a resort stay).

An examination of the Top 10 courses within 30 miles of D.C. based on Golf Advisor reviews shows few standouts, but Westfields Golf Course, Little Bennett and Hampshire Greens appear to be satisfying area golfers the most at present.

Video: Ginella on where to play in D.C.

Los Angeles is another city where it's tough to get too excited as a public golfer. Besides the showy Trump National and Terranea's scenic par 3 in Palos Verdes, and perhaps the chance to find a bargain Gil Hanse design at Rustic Canyon to the northwest, the rest of the public offerings are generally short courses and munis most notable for their poor pace of play.

New York City residents can hang their hat on the 90-hole Bethpage State Park complex on Long Island, but other than that there are very few golf courses in the five boroughs. (How many more landfills can be converted into park space ala Ferry Point, anyways?)

One city on the Eastern Seaboard recently announced a big step forward for public golf. Philadelphia, home to an A-list roster of privates, will turn over its historic and maligned Cobb's Creek muni to a non-profit foundation that will extensively renovate it and Karakung Golf Course.

Similar plans (complete with Congressional hyperbole) have been kicked around in D.C. for its munis, even considering creating a PGA Tour-worthy venue, but as D.C. residents know too well, the combination of federal and municipal entities in respect to funding and direction of parks or landmarks can often lead to serious logjams.

There are cities with reputations for punching above their weight with public golf. San Francisco not only has stellar golf in its core with Presidio and TPC Harding Park (and the potential of Sharp Park), but the greater Bay Area has enjoyed serious upgrades at Baylands Links and Corica Park. Chicago has a solid mix of privately-owned daily fee facilities - highlighted by 72-hole Cog Hill - plus various county-owned and municipal facilities.

Municipalities throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex have built new - or renovated courses in the last decade or so. The City of Dallas' renovation of historic Stevens Park by Colligan Golf being chief among them.

The PGA Tour has recently announced moves to Minneapolis and Detroit, two Midwest cities with an abundance of options for public golfers. The possible move of the Houston Open to Memorial Park via Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is another example of a city with plenty of affordable golf for the masses.

Meanwhile, D.C. and L.A. strike me as two metros that have among the greatest disparity between public and private golf. Given the fact undeveloped land is so sparse in both, it's tough to really see things ever changing.

But maybe one day East Potomac - or perhaps one of the three Andrews AFB courses - will get a major update and get golfers excited about golf in the capital.

Which cities do you think have seriously underachieving golf scenes? Let me know in the comments below.

Jun 27, 2018

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LICC's avatar
LICC wrote at 2018-06-29 19:40:10+00:00:

Bethpage is not within the 5 boroughs of NYC. It is about 45 minutes to 1 hour away. Ferry Point is in NYC (Bronx) and is an excellent course. The boroughs have a dozen other munis, none of which are elite and most all are very crowded, but some are pretty decent courses (Van Cortland not being one). Split Rock, Dyker Beach, South Shore, Forest Park, etc. The suburbs around NYC also have a decent mix of quality courses, nothing world-class save Bethpage but some good options (Harbor Links, Galloping Hill, Saxon Woods, etc).

Rick's avatar
Rick wrote at 2018-06-29 14:47:20+00:00:

Number one on the list of worst golf destinations should be Tucson, Arizona! There are a few nice courses here, but you can't afford to play them. The City Fathers have decided to force reclaimed water at ridiculous prices on all the public courses. Now, they can't make any money, so they're going out of business. With not much rainfall here, the future is dim for golf. As a whole, golf is dying everywhere because of the high cost. Young people are not playing and our older generation is too cheap to pay the price.

Phil 's avatar
Phil wrote at 2018-06-29 15:56:33+00:00:

Tucson is and always been a great golf destination. There are seasonal promotional rates year round. A little effort will produce favorable green fees at nice courses. City government golf course mismanagement will always be a problem. No difference in Tucson. Hopefully the Tucson Conquistadors can work some more of their magic and turn Randolph back into a PGA championship caliber track.

George's avatar
George wrote at 2018-07-01 13:28:34+00:00:

Our group went to Tucson in May. Kind of a disappointment. Courses were so so. Dove Mountain was not in good shape. I can tell immediately the condition of the course by the bunkers on the first hole. If they are not raked so goes the rest of the course. Been to better places.

Kevin Grate 's avatar
Kevin Grate wrote at 2018-06-29 13:52:59+00:00:

The San Francisco Bay Area is divided into sub-regions we have the Oakland East Bay Area and the San Jose South Bay Area. The new Corica Park is located in Alameda which is adjacent to Oakland it is a part of the Oakland East Bay Area in a 6 mile radius you have municipal golf courses in three different cities in the Oakland East Bay you have Corica Park in Alameda Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland and Monarch Bay in San Leandro we call that the Doolittle Golf Trail Rees Jones have redesign the Corica golf course to this fabulous golf course that we have now. Johnny Miller is the architect of Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland and John Harbottle designed Monarch Bay which is on the San Francisco Bay Shoreline and you can see views of downtown San Francisco. All three complexes are minutes away from the Oakland International Airport .

JB's avatar
JB wrote at 2018-06-29 03:28:45+00:00:

DC actually has great public golf. I have played every one within 1.5 hours and my top ten (max 45 min. drive) are:

1. Whiskey Creek

2. Raspberry Falls

3. Worthington Manor

4. Laurel Hills

5. Northwest

6. Westfields

7. Twin Lakes - Oaks Course

8. Blue Mash

9. Hampshire Greens

10. Stonewall

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-29 13:04:54+00:00:

Thanks for sharing. Cool list. Do you have a GA reviews account?

KC's avatar
KC wrote at 2018-06-28 19:47:39+00:00:

Atlanta is pretty awful. There are at least plenty of options (although most of them are going to be 30-45+ minute drives for the vast majority of people), but very little quality. The two best public golf courses are well outside the city (the Frog and Achasta), and most of what's available is average at best.

Atlanta just really lacks any excellent public golf courses. It's almost all mediocre or worse. Quantity without quality. Bear's Best seems to be the place people THINK is great (and they certainly charge a price that indicates they also think it's something special) but it's not great. I don't think there's a single course in the metro area that would crack a top 50 list of public courses I've played.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:43:14+00:00:

What do you think about the Bobby Jones reno? Excited?

Jack Parker 's avatar
Jack Parker wrote at 2018-06-28 14:20:06+00:00:

I have lived and played golf all over the world including Japan, Las Vegas, Santa Maria, Fort Worth and others not note worthy. I moved to San Antonio Texas 45 years ago and without question it is the best kept golf secret in the world. The city is too busy promoting the Alamo and Riverwalk but we have the best municipal courses in the state. There are resort courses, public courses and some private courses that are available to the public. A golfer can stay for a month and play a different course every day and the rates are better than other locations mentioned by other readers responding to this survey. Our weather is also note worthy because you can play 12 months a year.

R.J. De Winter's avatar
R.J. De Winter wrote at 2018-06-28 16:23:54+00:00:

Jack is correct. Being in golf event planning, you cannot beat this area with the Alamo Golf Trail. Entertainment and golf are unbeatable for a fantastic getaway. In thirty days a golfer can play the foothills and never play a course twice. A must go to place.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:42:42+00:00:

Have only played Brack among the munis there but the others look pretty good too. I'll have to zip down 35 soon.

Joseph's avatar
Joseph wrote at 2018-06-28 23:41:03+00:00:

??????????? Old Brack is an over-hyped, over-priced course of some charm BUT - the rest of it? Burnt out crapola. And yes, I have played them all.

Bob Smith's avatar
Bob Smith wrote at 2018-06-29 03:10:29+00:00:

Hi everyone. I’ll be in San Antonio on July 12 and I’d like to get some recommendations on places to play golf while I’m there for four days. Thank you.

Bob Smith

St. Louis, MO

Don's avatar
Don wrote at 2018-07-04 14:19:20+00:00:

Play the Hyatt Hill Country

Robert Catanzaro's avatar
Robert Catanzaro wrote at 2018-07-06 16:42:12+00:00:

And what he says is true all the way up to the other side of Austin.

A great course between the two cities is Vaalar Creek, give it a play some time.

Matt 's avatar
Matt wrote at 2018-06-28 14:05:52+00:00:

Helicopters aren’t shuttling Congressional members from the Capitol to DCA. That part of DC is a no fly zone except for Presidential helicopters, park Police and the US Coast Guard.

Pat's avatar
Pat wrote at 2018-06-28 13:47:16+00:00:

City of Detroit. It has let it's courses go down hill and has closed at least 2 of them. the city council almost let them all close, because they would not appoint a company to run them!

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:42:05+00:00:

Fortunately there is a ton of affordable and pretty good golf all over the tri-county area.

D's avatar
D wrote at 2018-06-28 12:50:19+00:00:

Madison WI. Is major league under achieving because the city won't put $ into them.

The Parks dept. is responsible for the up keep and they have a priority for dog parks,bike paths and free basketball courts to include tennis courts.

Anything but the golf courses.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:41:44+00:00:

Have read this about Madison. But are you able to get on University Ridge in Verona? Looks quite awesome.

Randall Hinson's avatar
Randall Hinson wrote at 2018-06-28 12:25:08+00:00:

Waco, TX

wfwallace's avatar
wfwallace wrote at 2018-06-28 12:16:43+00:00:

Pittsburgh, PA. has exactly 1 (one) course within it's city limits, and on that course you will be hitting over cyclone fences that protect the busy streets you are crossing. Last time I was there the tee boxes were just old driving-range mats. It is kind of embarrassing for a Pittsburgher to admit that Cleveland, OH. has a much nicer City Park system that includes some decent courses. The upside of being in The 'Burgh is that you can drive 50 miles in any direction (including going in to Ohio or West Virginia) and find close to 70 public, and / or semi-private courses.

Rick's avatar
Rick wrote at 2018-06-28 10:58:36+00:00:

Atlanta has five munis and only one of track, Browns Mill, is worth playing in the fall when we don't get much rain. During the summer, when we get a lot of heavy afternoon showers, it tends to be a soggy mess. Fortunately, there are a lot of good public golf courses in the metro area so I never even consider the munis.

Patrick Phillips's avatar
Patrick Phillips wrote at 2018-06-28 10:09:46+00:00:

Virginia Beach Area ..lots of great public courses that could be a rival destination to Myrtle Beach with Golf Packages but no marketing is done in this direction....

Bob Pegram's avatar
Bob Pegram wrote at 2018-06-28 07:03:30+00:00:

Los Angeles City and County have many courses that are good tests of golf. Rancho Park in west L.A. used to be the site of the L.A. Open. The pros liked the course, but not the minimal locker room facilities so it moved to nearby Riviera. Griffith Park has 2 good, long, 18 hole tracks, Harding and Wilson. A good 9 hole course, Harbor Park is near San Pedro. The San Fernando Valley has several 18 hole municipal courses, Woodley, Encino, and Balboa, Hansen Dam and others. Good County courses include Los Verdes in Palos Verdes, Santa Anita in Arcadia, Victoria in the South Bay, and a slew of others. Pasaddena has two 18 hole tracks next to the Rose Bowl. The longer one was re-designed by Robert Trent Jones in the 1960s. Long Beach has 3 good courses. Many other cities in the area have good courses. It would take me an hour to list all of the decent courses in and near the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The author needs to do better research before smearing Los Angeles golf with one paragraph.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:40:32+00:00:

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to give it a deeper look. How's the pace of play?

John's avatar
John wrote at 2018-06-28 04:49:54+00:00:

Brae burn golf course in Plymouth michgan has the great views of one active and large " dump" when the wind blows from the north the golfer get a the added comfort and smell fro said Dump!

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:44:13+00:00:

I played Brae Burn a few times in my youth. Isn't that the course with the Monster par 5?

Joel Teig's avatar
Joel Teig wrote at 2018-06-28 02:52:45+00:00:

Philadelphia, PA

chpeterson2003's avatar
chpeterson2003 wrote at 2018-06-28 02:39:22+00:00:

New Orleans....

Rick Jones's avatar
Rick Jones wrote at 2018-06-28 02:04:55+00:00:

Huntsville, Alabama has to be the worst golf city in the country. They closed down the only municipal golf course Huntsville had.

Frank Parks's avatar
Frank Parks wrote at 2018-06-28 02:25:43+00:00:

Trent Jones Trail?

robert's avatar
robert wrote at 2018-06-28 01:55:44+00:00:

Colorado Springs CO - far too few public golf courses for the size community. 18 holes can often take over 5 hours because they pack too many golfers on the course. The marshals drive around and do NOTHING to speed up play. Many marshals just do it for free golf. There are some wonderful courses and some bad

ones. The Broadmoor is resort private. They are hosting the Seniors Open. Do not let that golf course fool you into how golf is in our community.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:39:46+00:00:

I'm intrigued by Co Springs. Too bad Eisenhower isn't open to public. That'd be huge.

Christian's avatar
Christian wrote at 2018-07-04 03:43:02+00:00:

Totally agree with the Springs. Patty Jewett is historic but always full. The public courses are pretty "meh." The best courses are 30 to 45 minutes awau: Walking Stick in Pueblo, Four Mile Ranch in Canon City and Bear Dance in Larkspur

David's avatar
David wrote at 2018-06-28 01:34:50+00:00:

Franklin, TN

Frank's avatar
Frank wrote at 2018-06-29 12:59:48+00:00:

Thank's David.... I also live in Franklin Tn and I find it ridiculous that the 7th richest county in America has '1" 18 hole

course (the Crossing not a fan!) and a short 9 hole.... Everything built in the last 15 years is country club!

Dennis Baker's avatar
Dennis Baker wrote at 2018-06-28 01:24:54+00:00:

I live in Dallas and enjoy playing all of the public courses. From the condition of these courses, it is easy to determine that Dallas believes in spending money these assets. Quite a contrast, however, are the public courses in neighboring Fort Worth. From the conditions (maintenance, upkeep), it's obvious that Fort Worth doesn't consider golf an important aspect of its offerings.

Chrissy K's avatar
Chrissy K wrote at 2018-06-28 01:20:11+00:00:

Cincinnati has beautiful public golf courses. The City courses are pretty decent but the Hamilton County courses are wonderful. They offer great deals pre-season and many have nice practice facilities as well.

Bill Holmes's avatar
Bill Holmes wrote at 2018-06-28 01:14:49+00:00:

I’ve lived and played golf all over the country. When it comes to public courses Chicago is without equal.

One can tee it up at anyone of 10-15 Courses that have or could easily entertain a professional event.

Seattle and Portland in the West and New Orleans and Tampa in the East are all major destinations with limited opportunities for quality golf.

Dave Wirth's avatar
Dave Wirth wrote at 2018-06-28 01:29:55+00:00:

I would disagree putting Tampa in the "limited opportunities" category. I've lived in the Tampa Bay area for 33 years and have always found excellent golf courses inside of an hour's drive.. and in the summer at extremely reasonable prices. Munis may not be abundant, but semi-private are, and open to all.

Vince 's avatar
Vince wrote at 2018-06-28 21:34:44+00:00:

Tampa area has many courses that are open to the public. Rates in summer can be as low as buck a hole and in winter there are plenty of good courses for under $40. Best bargains are when you buy a monthly membership.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:37:43+00:00:

You can definitely name your price in Tampa, and there are some solid resort and upscale daily-fees like TPC Tampa or World Woods for a special occasion.

Peter Madras's avatar
Peter Madras wrote at 2018-06-28 01:03:22+00:00:

I live in Boston and cannot understand why any golf lover would join a private club. We are surrounded by wonderful courses - too many to name - This is just another reason Boston is the greatest city in the universe.

lawnie's avatar
lawnie wrote at 2018-06-28 12:47:42+00:00:

But, You can only play four months a year? NOT FOR ME! NASTY weather up in Beantown!

James Riley's avatar
James Riley wrote at 2018-06-28 00:46:37+00:00:

lEAVE dc AND DRIVE TO bALTIMORE --Baltimore has 5 PREMIUM Public courses and they are nit golging the public.

Baltimore is 20 minute drive and it is likin reentering heaven to see of those publice courses . Diamond Ridge is a nice Public course , it compare better than favorable to the nicest private courses in that area.Contact me , I will help you enjoy your stay.You will have a round you will never forget.

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-28 14:33:20+00:00:

DC to Baltimore in 20 mins?


ruspava@gmail.com's avatar
ruspava@gmail.com wrote at 2018-06-29 21:19:01+00:00:

Got to agree with Mike and don't want to be driving near Riley! There's a lot of great golf near Dc and Baltimore but not close to town, traffic is a bear, and it's mostly high fee semi-private

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:38:27+00:00:

My colleague Brad Klein was telling me how great the county courses there are.

Pat's avatar
Pat wrote at 2018-06-28 00:10:59+00:00:

Tucson still has a number of courses, but many are endangered, with the Vistoso course (a Weiskopf design in Oro Valley) the latest to apparently be going under.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:38:53+00:00:

Seems like Vistoso's been about to go under since I got into this business...

Tom's avatar
Tom wrote at 2018-06-29 02:56:33+00:00:

The Vistoso course was excellent when I played it in June 2016. Sorry to hear it's not doing well.

Warren 's avatar
Warren wrote at 2018-06-28 00:04:18+00:00:

Metro Phoenix is the best hands down in all my travels. Can’t beat the price or the courses.

Tom K's avatar
Tom K wrote at 2018-06-28 10:20:07+00:00:

Agree. All of the city courses are beautifully maintained, just hope they get their food service figured out.

Buckeye Rich's avatar
Buckeye Rich wrote at 2018-06-27 23:57:01+00:00:

Cleveland has many great courses. A number are former country clubs gone public. Cost for seniors between $20 and $30 week days.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:39:14+00:00:

We sent one of our writers to check out the Cleveland publics a few years ago and he was very impressed.

Curtis Heximet's avatar
Curtis Heximet wrote at 2018-06-27 23:55:32+00:00:

New Orleans

D hupp's avatar
D hupp wrote at 2018-06-27 23:51:57+00:00:

You fail to mention Atlanta which has numerous public access courses in and around the city. Stone Mountain, Callaway Gardens, Chastain are a small example of good plays.

KC's avatar
KC wrote at 2018-06-28 19:42:02+00:00:

Atlanta does not have good public golf. Stone Mountain is always in terrible shape (and is also 45+ minutes away for most people). Chastain is okay, except it's so crowded a weekend round will take 6+ hours. Callaway Gardens is well over an hour away. There are decent courses scattered around the outskirts (Wolf Creek is okay, Trophy Club of Atlanta is solid, Echelon is mostly good with a couple of awful holes, Cobblestone is a pretty good facility, etc.) but none of them are anything special. Achasta, on the other hand, is a very good golf course and the best public course anywhere near Atlanta, but it's as far away as Callaway Gardens. The Frog is probably second best, but it's 45+ minutes away as well.

There are a lot of options, but there is very little quality.

William Loewecke's avatar
William Loewecke wrote at 2018-06-27 23:44:46+00:00:

The Houston area does have a fair number of golf courses. The problem here is the total lack of driving ranges. We have lost 4 or 5 in the last 6-7 years. Besides one there is no place left to go.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-27 23:57:46+00:00:

Austin seems to have lost almost all of its driving ranges as well. Have to go deep into the burbs. (At least there's Topgolf?)

Rick Egan's avatar
Rick Egan wrote at 2018-06-27 23:42:19+00:00:

Living in Central NJ I find the lack of 9 hole courses. Recently Mercer County has made playing 9 holes on their four 18 hole courses a little easier. When I look for 9 hole courses I often get references to northern NJ. With all the vacant land in Central NJ, I’m surprised there aren’t more. Although, for the past 8 years(Mr Obama’s years) money for businesses was sparse. However, now it is not. Just saw new money going into affordable housing in Hamilton, NJ; and, a new Putting Green at the Range. Let’s hope the new Leftists NJ Governor Murphy, wouldn’t stop the development of businesses thru new SBA loans thru Trump’s Admin.

Calvin's avatar
Calvin wrote at 2018-06-27 23:34:07+00:00:

Dallas/Fort Worth and the surrounding area provides more than 100 municipal and daily fee loops. Your playing options are usually guided by distance, course condition, and your budget.

TomD 's avatar
TomD wrote at 2018-06-27 23:33:22+00:00:

What a joke! Los Angeles has some great golf courses. Angeles National, Los Verdes, Goose Creek are just 3 of the excellent courses in the L.A. area. Want long? Try out any of the 19 courses in the LA County system.

Mark Sch's avatar
Mark Sch wrote at 2018-06-27 23:29:39+00:00:

NYC area-Westchester, Bronx,Queens etc have quite a few nice tracks .Your article including NYC in bad golf area is simply inaccurate..

Rick Egan's avatar
Rick Egan wrote at 2018-06-27 23:25:04+00:00:

Way too many private courses on LI. The 90 holes at Bethpage are in shape, but NYState puts out way too many golfers each hour. It is hard to enjoy a 6 hour round! This is on NYState who wants all the possible money out of its Parks. It could be a real great experience, but the dollar signs defeat the taxpayers every time!

Daniel Prewitt's avatar
Daniel Prewitt wrote at 2018-06-27 23:22:39+00:00:

One of the worst is Nashville even though I love the city. Lots of great private courses but the public options are terrible cow pastures.

Michael 's avatar
Michael wrote at 2018-06-28 02:04:00+00:00:

Man.... I stayed in Nashville for a business week. Played Hermitage and Gaylord Springs, both Had 2 18-hole courses. Phenomenal golf & both around $50. What more can you ask for?

Jim Mc Manus's avatar
Jim Mc Manus wrote at 2018-06-27 23:20:57+00:00:

You apparently didn't go to Far East from NYC, there are multiple public golf courses in Nassau and Suffolk county ....

gavakian's avatar
gavakian wrote at 2018-06-27 23:16:13+00:00:

Providence RI

James Maleady's avatar
James Maleady wrote at 2018-06-27 23:05:26+00:00:

I do not believe New York City is weak. There are 3 public courses in Staten Island(LaTourette, South Shore & Silver Lake). 3 regular length in Queens(Clearview, Forest Park & Douglaston) with an executive course (Kissena) as well. 3 in the Bronx (Van Cortlandt (oldest public course in country - second floor locker room is a trip back in time), Pelham & Split Rock & 9 hole Mosholu) and 2 in Brooklyn (Dyker Beach & Marine Park) Further, Marine Park has undergone a tremendous transformation to look more like what it's architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. envisioned. Further the surrounding area Long Island and New Jersey have a multitude of options from municipals to daily fee.

Michael Dupree's avatar
Michael Dupree wrote at 2018-06-28 12:15:09+00:00:

Thank you and I agree with you in that the NYC segment left out way too many courses and I always start with Van Cortlandt Park as the granddaddy of public golf.

Peter Worley's avatar
Peter Worley wrote at 2018-06-27 22:30:29+00:00:

I just played in Rochester and the public courses were great (Mill Creek, Greystone and Ravenwood) with lots of others on hand. I guess the Finger Lakes knows how to attract golfers.

GoldsteinGoldstein 's avatar
GoldsteinGoldstein wrote at 2018-06-27 22:26:30+00:00:

Kansas City area has a lot of excellent public courses. Anywhere from $20-$80, and not difficult to get a tee time.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-29 01:19:28+00:00:

We're sending a writer to KC next week. Look forward to hearing about it. What's your favorite?

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-27 22:24:58+00:00:

Guy did a lousy job in reviewing the country. Many cities are worse than Los Angeles. He probably does not even golf.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-29 01:19:54+00:00:

Which cities, and what is worth playing in LA?

PC Bruno's avatar
PC Bruno wrote at 2018-06-27 22:18:00+00:00:

Seattle public courses need attention. The surrounding suburban community take better care of their courses.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-29 01:20:19+00:00:

Is Gold Mountain or Chambers at least convenient for you?

Scott's avatar
Scott wrote at 2018-06-27 22:14:21+00:00:

Why I live in the Houston, Texas area.....there are more than enough munis and open courses!

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-29 01:20:36+00:00:

Still haven't been out to Memorial Park but hope to soon. Tough to get a tee time!

Stuart Smith's avatar
Stuart Smith wrote at 2018-06-27 22:03:08+00:00:

New Orleans is weak when it comes to public golf courses- Not even much outside of the Big Easy. Not sure where the remodel of. the City Park courses- they flooded out with Hurricane Katrina.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-27 22:20:45+00:00:

My staff and I considered NOLA as a weak spot but I feel that Audubon is too special, and the new City Park course shows the city is committed in spite of the Katrina decimation.

Pat Hobby's avatar
Pat Hobby wrote at 2018-06-28 00:15:05+00:00:

City Park was a cash grab by local interests and the resulting course is just ok.

Danny's avatar
Danny wrote at 2018-06-28 00:45:30+00:00:

If it’s just ok then why is it getting the tour stop from TPC Louisiana?

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-28 21:45:51+00:00:

I know that's been rumored but I was told by several folks in NOLA it wouldn't make much sense especially if the event is still going on around Jazz Fest.

Joe's avatar
Joe wrote at 2018-06-27 21:58:06+00:00:

New Orleans has got to be in the top 10. In fact, I could probably name your top 10 right in NO. Sure the TPC is good when the tour comes through. West Bank has some of the oldest goat farms in the country.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-29 01:21:01+00:00:

I really liked English Turn last year.

Hacker's avatar
Hacker wrote at 2018-06-27 21:56:05+00:00:

North Port FL has closed "Sabal Trace GC" .... It is now housing development.

Four courses in the area are also struggling ....over saturation is probably a cause

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-27 23:58:56+00:00:

Try Charlotte Harbor National, a great layout finally getting the talc it deserves, also the new owner there just bought Port Charlotte golf course (renaming it The Links Golf Club at Charlotte Harbor) and has big plans in store for it too

B W's avatar
B W wrote at 2018-06-27 21:53:10+00:00:

There are plenty of great golf courses in the DC area, you just have to take about 20 mile run in each direction. For example Stonewall, Westfield, whiskey Creek, Renditions, Laurel Hills, Potomac shores. There are plenty of great publicgolf courses just not Within the borders of DC proper.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-27 22:27:21+00:00:

I've played a collection of the "outer rim" courses like Potomac Shores, Reston Nat'l and Razz Falls. They are nice, nothing I'm eager to get back to. Hope to get to Lansdowne. Hear good things.

Will's avatar
Will wrote at 2018-07-03 15:33:12+00:00:

I agree with BW, its important to remember the the District itself isn't that big. Fairfax County, where I live, doesn't share a border with the District, but has 400k more people living there. That shows you have to make sure you evaluate the courses in the vicinity before claiming its the worst in the nation. I don't think DC/Northern VA is a top notch public course area, but I don't think it's the worst by any means.

Scottyp's avatar
Scottyp wrote at 2018-06-27 21:52:56+00:00:

Denver! Mayor Hankook and the corrupt city council is out to destroy the few public courses in Denver. City Park is closed to put in a sewer pipe. Most of the 100 year old trees have been chopped. Park Hill will be apartments, condos and Starbucks in the future. Overland will be destroyed this fall by an approved dope and music festival this fall. Anything green in Denver is doomed for apartments, condos and dope shops. Pack them in is the new Denver. By the way doesn’t matter if there are courses or not. Driving in Denver ended long ago. The roads are just parking lots!

Scott's avatar
Scott wrote at 2018-06-27 22:12:24+00:00:

Denver relaxed on using the bathroom outside laws recently, so may as well shite on the golf courses too.....

Daniel Prewitt's avatar
Daniel Prewitt wrote at 2018-06-27 23:18:49+00:00:

Actually Denver has a plethora of great public courses. I am not sure you know what's out there.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-27 22:28:20+00:00:

I've had my eye on many of these Denver developments. Not promising...

Daniel Prewitt's avatar
Daniel Prewitt wrote at 2018-06-27 23:21:01+00:00:

Huh? Not sure you've spent time in Denver.

R.C.'s avatar
R.C. wrote at 2018-06-27 23:04:52+00:00:

B.S. I play Denver courses every weekend. The City is keeping them up and rebuilding the ones that need it. Denver also has a fun Mountain course,Evergreen. PARK HILL is not a Denver city course. In addition during the week I play at one of the many public courses in the surrounding counties. Colorado and Denver is a Mecca for public golf courses.

Chrissy K's avatar
Chrissy K wrote at 2018-06-28 01:17:26+00:00:

I love Fossil Trace!

terry fontenette's avatar
terry fontenette wrote at 2018-06-27 21:52:32+00:00:

New Orleans, Louisiana there are no good public course in the city

Wayne's avatar
Wayne wrote at 2018-06-27 21:52:27+00:00:

Stay away from the Gulf Coast of Florida. The nearest Public course for me is 45 60 minutes. Also 5 1/2 hour rounds are common. Lots of Private Courses are available. Almost all Gated Communites have a course, Members can bring guests with Green Fee from $60.00 to $75.00.

Bring your wallet and "keep it on the short grass".

Scotty's avatar
Scotty wrote at 2018-06-27 21:51:53+00:00:

I moved from Rochester NY - a great golf town - to Bostonin the 1990s. The distance to find a course went way up and the quality was lower, I thought. As a result I played less golf and my game suffered as a result.

grant's avatar
grant wrote at 2018-06-27 21:51:10+00:00:

For LA

I agree that the Rustic Canyon (Simi Valley) an hour or so Northwest from LAX is well worth the trip

Lou's avatar
Lou wrote at 2018-06-27 21:49:23+00:00:

It would seem this guy did not do very much research. At least for his Philadelphia comments he is way off. With in a 30 mile radius of Philly you have more public and muni courses than I can name. In bucks county alone (borders Philly on the north) there are 3 muni course, Bensalem, Five Ponds, and Makefield Highlands not to mention numerous public and semi-private courses, Montgomery County to the west of Philly has even more. In south Jersey, there are the 5 or so courses operated by Ron Jawarski Golf, and also many public play courses. I live in Bucks County, and if I played every weekend for 40 weeks a year I would not even get through half of the good, reasonably priced. excellent course available.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-27 22:25:30+00:00:

Wasn't disparaging Philly at all, just pointing out that they are about to commit to a historic facility in a way that a peer city like DC might hope to very soon.

Rodger's avatar
Rodger wrote at 2018-06-28 01:40:29+00:00:

Philly has some decent public courses, but an exceptional number of world class private courses. South Jersey, and the Greater Atlantic City area in particular though, has an abundance of outstanding public courses.

Eric's avatar
Eric wrote at 2018-06-27 21:43:29+00:00:

Although Los Angeles as a limited amount of public courses, Long Beach, California (in Los Angeles County) has several decent munis and with the resident card, you can get on for a decent price. The tracks aren't terrible and offer some challenges. Skylinks is an awesome course.

Theoplis 's avatar
Theoplis wrote at 2018-06-27 21:42:44+00:00:

Check out public course in metro Denver

mahoosuc's avatar
mahoosuc wrote at 2018-06-27 21:40:44+00:00:

Not sure why you say East Potomac has "seen better days"--the course seems to get better each year. Even with all the rain the greens were pretty true last weekend. Stakeholders are also working out a long-term lease with the Park Service so more significant improvements can be made.(https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/federal-city-council-to-negotiate-lease-for-federally-owned-golf-courses-in-dc/2017/06/30/e29dd07e-5cef-11e7-9b7d-14576dc0f39d_story.html?utm_term=.4bcccd71f4e8)

Ronnie 's avatar
Ronnie wrote at 2018-06-27 21:36:21+00:00:

Corpus Christi, tx. 3 courses closed in 3 year span, city muni’s like cow pastures, no funding, no interest.

Festus McBride's avatar
Festus McBride wrote at 2018-06-27 21:29:27+00:00:

Tyler TX

justperms@sbcglobal.net's avatar
justperms@sbcglobal.net wrote at 2018-06-27 23:21:53+00:00:

try Pine Spring golf course in Tyler

Pine Springs Golf Club

David Balagia's avatar
David Balagia wrote at 2018-06-27 21:28:53+00:00:

Austin, Texas is horrific. Almost 1 million people and they have 4 Muni courses. Tons of golf in the area for membership which most can’t afford.

Weeshoko's avatar
Weeshoko wrote at 2018-06-27 21:43:57+00:00:

There’s 5 munis plus Greyrock which is overpriced but there are dozens of great affordable golf options in the Austin area. Bluebonnet Hills, Teravista, Plum Creek, shadowglen and numerous more.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2018-06-27 22:30:33+00:00:

I don't agree. I think it's a great town particularly for munis/value and privates. Semi-privates are ok value.

daniel's avatar
daniel wrote at 2018-06-27 21:28:06+00:00:

New York City has around 12 public and semi public golf courses in it's boroughs at very reasonable prices, and very well maintained golf course.

Not everyone can afford a private club in the city, but we can still play a very good golf thank to this courses.

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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.