I have to be honest, every guy has 5+ top courses that they want to play before they die. All golfers have those few that makes their days feel a little bit better to look forward to. I love golf, and I’m used to playing a $35 par 3 course during the busiest days in Los Angeles. So for me, these are key courses that I have to play before I die.
First, Pebble Beach. This is the ultimate bucket list course for all golfers out there. Amongst golfers, 15% said that Pebble Beach ws their top course to play in their life. The only downside to this course is the heavy wind, but thats to be expected on a beach front course in Northern California. This course is fucking sick.
Holes overlook the crashing waves, awesome cliffs and some of the best deanery in the world. there is a reason that professional golfers regularly play here and people travel across the world just to see it. However, for a player of my skill level, I would get eaten alive on this course. The caddy you get can help you with the logistics of the course and the greens, but still its not an easy course to play. I have to play this before I die.
Next, Augusta. This is Americas course and the most classic course in the United States. this is the home of The Masters and the best US tournament of the year. All golfers know its significance and you can’t not want to play there. Augusta is a golfers dream course to play and it has the history to back it up. I can’t imagine playing this course as its next to impossible to get on the list and play it. You have to play with a member.
How about some numbers: The Augusta National initiation fee — a onetime fee paid upon joining a golf club — is believed to be between $20,000 and $40,000. The monthly dues paid by members are believed to be less than $300, or less than $4,000 annually. Since they’re a private club they don’t have to disclose income, ticket sales or any public information. This is mostly speculation from word of mouth accounting.
Next is Shinnecock Hills in New York. Shinnecock has hosted the US Open multiple times. The only way you can play at Southampton, New York’s Shinnecock Hills is if you are accompanied by a member, and good luck getting a tee time which can be months in advance. The green fee is $350 per round, and you must hire a caddy since walking is mandatory. This is one of the nicest and most prestigious courses in the United States.
Shinnecock isn’t open as long during the year because of the climate so it makes getting tee times here fairly competitive, even though you need to go out with a member. Shinnecock was supposed to be the site of the historical Portnoy vs Whitney golf match which was sadly canceled. As an avid Barstool and hockey fan this was a significant bummer for me. I do want to play Shinnecock at some point in my life.
It’s important to be aware of the course though. Shinnecock may look like a links style course but its anything but that. While its wide open with little tree cover, the rough is heavily overgrown and difficult to find your ball in. This makes it as much a target golf course as any other and its important to be prepared before playing here. Its easy to lose a ball or 18 on a round here and you can’t break out the old slice.