Whether your playing is limited to a driving range, a local resort or even a miniature golf course, almost anyone can enjoy the game of golf. But as true veterans of the sport know, nothing quite matches the feeling of playing 9 or 18 holes on a well-kept, prolific golf course.
Playing a round on a luxury course can make you feel like you’re a golf pro, even if you’re playing with worn or subpar equipment. Gorgeous courses are actually great for players with little to no experience. The sights, sounds and smells of a golf resort may be enough to keep your interest until your skill — or your equipment — improves.
Regardless of your skill level, the quality of your equipment, or any of your preconceived notions about luxury golf courses, you — and all golfers — can benefit from experiencing a beautiful, professional course. You might even pick up a few pointers from other golfers while you’re there.
It should be relatively easy to find a great golf course near your hometown or city. And if you’re looking for the most expensive the world has to offer, consider the following 10 courses.
#10 – Shadow Creek Golf Course (Las Vegas, Nevada)
The Shadow Creek Golf Course, situated in North Las Vegas, was designed by local entrepreneur and casino owner Steve Wynn, who also owns a series of hotels under the Wynn Resorts brand name. With an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion as of July 2016, it’s safe to say that the billionaire spared no expense during the design and construction of Shadow Creek.
Complete with 18 holes, private limo service and a personal caddy for every guest, golfers pay $500 per round. Keep in mind that most golf course charge between $27 and $53 for a round. Not only does Shadow Creek rank as one of the most expensive golf courses in the world, but you also must be a current guest at a hotel owned by MGM to golf there, so tack on a few hundred more dollars just go get the access.
It may be hard to believe, but the current rate is only half of what green fees were when the course opened in 1989. The course itself has undergone minimal renovations over the years, but it remains a pristine course.
#9 – TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)
Boasting a luxurious resort in the state of Florida that offers plenty of spacious rooms, access to beachfront dining options and three separate pools, TPC Sawgrass is much more than your standard golf resort. The resort features two separate PGA Tour courses for golfers to enjoy: The Players Club Stadium Course and Dye’s Valley Course, sometimes known simply as the Valley Course. All players should be forewarned of the 17th hole on the Player’s Club Stadium Course, where the green is surrounded by water on all sides.
TPC Sawgrass is home to the PGA Tour headquarters, as well as The Players Championship event. Despite the high profile of the course, all players willing to pay the green fees, which amount to nearly $500 sans gratuity, are welcome at TPC Sawgrass. Once you factor in a cart or gratuity for a caddie, costs quickly begin to rise.
#8 – Pebble Beach Golf Links (Pebble Beach, California)
One of the most iconic and well known of all time, Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of many luxurious golf courses in California. There is plenty of nearby competition, but Pebble Beach Golf Links maintains its status as the “Greatest Public Golf Course in America.”
The course has been in continuous operation since 1919, so if you’re willing to pay the $500 green fees you can take comfort knowing you’re walking in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest golfers. With plenty of diversity, natural challenges and breathtaking views, Pebble Beach remains at the top of its class.
#7 – Trump National Doral Resort (Doral, Florida)
Whether you support Donald Trump or not, the man’s vision of luxurious golf resorts cannot be denied. You don’t have to look farther than the Trump National Doral Resort, located in southern Florida, to see proof of this merit. Designed by Gil Hanse and Mr. Trump himself, the picturesque landscape of the Trump National Doral Resort simply cannot be ignored.
Of course, Trump National Doral Resort isn’t cheap. Green fees start at a base rate of $450, plus mandatory and suggested gratuity fees. If you can afford the required fees, you’re sure to enjoy the nearly 8,000 yards of pristine land.
Trump National Doral Resort isn’t solely for golfing. The resort plays host to a number of various events throughout the year, including weddings, conferences and more.
#6 – Whistling Straits (Sheboygan, Wisconsin)
Situated in the heart of the Midwest in the state of Wisconsin, The Straits Course at Whistling Straits only accounts for half of The American Club luxury golf resort. With 18 holes of its own, Whistling Strait hosted the PGA Championship in 2015 and the Ryder Cup will be held at the course in 2020.
Given the highly prolific nature of the course, it should come as no surprise that green fees can cost nearly $500 after fees and gratuity. For that price, golfers will enjoy one of the most beautiful courses in the entire Midwestern United States. Designed by the famous Pete Dye, a hall of fame golf course designer, golfers can take pride knowing they’re enjoying a real treasure.
#5 – Cascata Golf Course (Boulder City, Nevada)
Cascata Golf Course outside of Las Vegas is the brainchild of course architect Rees Jones. Built in 2000, Cascata doesn’t offer the history as some of the other courses in the area, but what it lacks in tradition and nostalgia it certainly makes up for in luxury and modern design.
There are discounts available, but typical green fees start at just under $400. Once you factor in mandatory forecaddie costs and standard gratuity charges, the overall cost for a round of golf at Cascata is approximately $450.
Carved from the desert that surrounds it, Cascata Golf Course offers finely manicured greens among rocky, rolling hills and towering sand dunes — a truly luxurious golfing experience. There are also plenty of water features to add more beauty — and challenge — to the setting.
#4 – The Old White TPC (White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia)
Located at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, The Old White TPC was designed by course architect C.B. Macdonald in 1914. The first 18-hole course to open at The Greenbrier, some of the greatest and most legendary golfers in the game enjoyed The Old White TPC.
Enormous fairways make way to greens that seem to roll and swell as you progress, making each hole even more challenging than the one before. The Old White TPC is a historic course that is great for strategic golfers who like to plan their every move.
Peak green fees for The Old White TPC start at $385, while the additional fees can drive the cost up to $450 for a round. With a friendly atmosphere and plenty of rich history behind it, serious golfers usually find that The Old White TPC is well worth the cost.
#3 – Pinehurst Resort No. 2 Course (Pinehurst, North Carolina)
One of nine different courses at the Pinehurst Resort, the No. 2 Course was designed by Donald Ross and unveiled in 1907. Known for rolling and complicated greens that make strategy a priority, this course is among the most challenging in North Carolina — and perhaps the entire United States.
The Pinehurst Resort No. 2 Course encompasses 18 holes, nearly 200 acres of playable land, 41 separate fairways and 111 sand bunkers. With such diversity located on one course alone, not to mention the opportunities that wait on the eight other courses of the resort, and it’s easy to see why Pinehurst remains a popular tourist destination.+
At a cost of $420 for peak green fees, as well as a minimum gratuity charge, this course might challenge your bank account even more than your skills on the course.
#2 – Old Head Golf Links (County Cork, Ireland)
Although the majority of the most expensive and luxurious golf courses are located within the United States, Old Head Golf Links is situated in County Cork, Ireland. Designed by brothers Patrick and John O’Connor, the course offers a rugged landscape, magnificent views and even a slice of history.
With green fees that hover around $400 per person for a round, Old Head certainly counts as one of the most expensive courses in the world. The price is well worth it, as guests will enjoy personalized service both on and off the course.
The clubhouse features a total of 15 guest rooms, including 14 basic suites and one presidential suite. Guests don’t have to worry about the hustle and bustle that is most commonly associated with golf resorts and hotels in the U.S. They can unwind after their game in the thermal spa or in one of two onsite massage rooms.
#1 – French Lick Resort (French Lick, Indiana)
Indiana isn’t traditionally known for its luxury golf courses, but French Lick Resort is home to two separate golf courses. The Pete Dye course, which held the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, has received worldwide praise.
Peak green fees start at $350, but mandatory fees and gratuity push the price closer to $400. Regardless of the cost, Pete Dye’s course at French Lick Resort utilizes high elevation, rough terrain and manicured fairways to provide plenty of challenge and diversity.
Additional challenges of the course include three lakes, a multitude of volcano-style bunkers and a total of 8,100 yards of immaculate landscape. The entire course rests at a higher elevation than most of the state, which makes for some excellent views.
Whether you think the world’s most expensive golf courses are overpriced or worth every penny, there’s no denying they’re a marvelous display of scenery, beckoning those with affection for the sport. Would you pay to play a round on any of these renowned courses? Let me know in the comments.