Golf Advisor received more than 153,000 golf course ratings and reviews from our golfer community in 2019, and we've compiled the very best courses in the U.S. you can play based on your submissions for this year's Golfers' Choice Top 50 courses in the United States you can play.
Anyone, regardless of handicap, age or taste can review a golf course on Golf Advisor and the ratings of the courses reflect the wide range of players who play and review their round. Reviews are generally more of a reflection of how a course met or exceeded a paying golfer's expectations as opposed to a course's "bucket list" potential.
How the Top 50 was determined
We are only factoring reviews submitted from Dec. 2018-Dec. 2019 from our reviews community, and courses needed to be reviewed by at least 10 different reviewers during this time frame. Scores were calculated using a combination of overall and of our six subcategories (conditions, value, staff, layout, pace and off-course amenities). In addition, we are also factoring in a reviewer's average score compared to their rating of a course to determine a net differential, so the courses that receive the highest, consistent ratings above that reviewer's star rating benefit. Lastly, we weight ratings by our most prolific accounts stronger than accounts with fewer reviews.
In order for a course to be eligible for these lists, they must offer regular public access and have received at least 10 reviews from December 2018 to December of 2019. Over 3,000 U.S. courses received enough reviews to be considered for this list. Golf courses can solicit reviews using various channels, from their website booking engines to social media and post-round emails.
Reviews with an "incentivized review" badge in 2019 were submitted via our "Rate to escape" sweepstakes. These reviewers were not incentivized by the course and sweepstakes reviewers were not obligated to leave a positive review.
While our golf course pages display a star rating that is more reflective of a course's all-time reviews, these scores only factor reviews from the past year, so turnover on this list is always high.
Don't see your favorite public semi-private or resort course in our Top 50? Be sure to make your voice heard with a review.
Golfers' Choice Top 50 courses in the U.S. in 2019
Southern Pines, N.C.
Architect: Donald Ross
Green fees: $85-215
What they're saying: "Lots of false fronts and most greens were elevated and "turtle backed." Loved the southern charm of the course as well as the layout and would definitely come back!" - Bozidar
49. TPC Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nev.
Architect: Bobby Weed
Green fees: $176-284
What they're saying: " Just a 20 minute drive from the strip, TPC Las Vegas is an ideal spot for someone looking for a PGA-quality course that won’t break the bank." - zbuechner4
St. Simons Island, Ga.
Architect: Joe Lee
Green fees: $79-116
What they're saying: An extremely beautiful course, particularly on the back-nine marsh holes. Conditions were splendid ... Lots of wildlife today, including several alligators (one a whopper), flocks of ibis and wood storks, gaggles of egrets, sightings of hawks and osprey, and several braces of deer." - KTSK
Architect: Tom Fazio
Green fees: $59-119
What they're saying: "This is definitely a course to bring a camera with you because it is unlike any other course that you’ve ever played. Whatever the price is, pay it and play it." - PinnacleStaffer, Florida Local Golf Advisor
San Antonio, Texas
Architect: Jay Morrish, Tom Weiskopf
Green fees: $79-155
What they're saying: "Top notch course a players course! But friendly enough for the handicapper at the forward tees! People were fantastic and the attention to detail including every aspect of the place was Outstanding!" - Leatherchief
45. Cantigny Golf (27 holes)
Architect: Roger Packard
Green fees: $81-120
What they're saying: "The property is full of wildlife and beautiful scenery. It's a joy to be there even if you're not playing golf." - DrEsox
Architect: Dan Schlegel
Green fees: $48-81
What they're saying: "Doesn’t get much better than this for a public course experience ... Great shot values. Fun layout. Challenging and fair." - homebrewed6
Lakewood Ranch, Fl.
Architect: Arnold Palmer Design
Green fees: $89-109
What they're saying: "This place is awesome. I really enjoy the layout and the conditions are spectacular. Scenery is gorgeous, staff were friendly, and conditions were top notch." - ChrisW5226
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr. & Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Green fees: $109-125 | GOLFPASS Members save
What they're saying: "Oakcreek is an idyllic golf course set in the red rocks of Sedona. Every hole has a breathtaking view and challenges the golfer to keep their drive straight." - triciatomlin
Mount Wolf, Pa.
Architect: Timothy Freeland
Green fees: $55-70
What they're saying: "This is the best public course in our region ... I love the variation of the holes on this course. It is a challenging and still a fair test." - sstites16, Pennsylvania Local Golf Advisor