Life is short and every man should have a bucket list of adventures he’d like to experience. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing Suburban Men’s bucket list with you and hopefully give you some ideas on what to add to your bucket list.
From lush hilly terrain in Ireland to stunning oceanside courses in California, golfers travel the world to play at elite golf courses.
We’ve created the ultimate bucket list for golfers.
Some of these golf courses are famous for their rich history, while others offer breathtaking views and unique locations.
From Scotland’s historic Muirfield to the Augusta National’s challenging Amen Corner, here are the golf courses every golfer should play at in his lifetime.
Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club – St George, UT
This Johnny Miller design rocked the Utah golf world when it opened in the mid-90s and was instantly vaulted to the top of everyone’s “must play” list. Now that the course has gone private, the access to the course is much more limited but the conditioning and amenities are much better. The majority of the course winds through a development of residences and features water hazards on several of the holes, but the signature feature of the course is the black lava flow. Known as “The Devil’s Triangle” 15th hole starts a three hole loop that is carved through the lava flow and leaves a lasting impression on the golfer, as well as his ball, when encountered. As you leave the Devil’s Triangle and step onto the 18th tee you are greeted with stunning vista of the surrounding red rock mountains that epitomize the area
Muirfield Village Golf Club – Scotland
Home to the world’s oldest golfing society, Muirfield opened in 1744. More than 200 years later, Jack Nicklaus won his first British Open here on the storied greens near Edinburgh. Most golfers consider Muirfield to be a particularly demanding test of ability.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club – Australia
The West Course at Royal Melbourne is truly a masterpiece. It is ranked the number one golf course in Australia and among the top 15 in the world. This course was designed in 1926 by the renowned Scottish golf architect, Dr Alister MacKenzie. The greens are known for being some of the finest in the world and full of dramatic undulations.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club – Southampton, New York
Shinnecock Hills is one of the few ‘pure’ golf experiences one can have. It is one of the most historic courses in America and became the first 18 hole track in the states back in 1895. While the debate of which course is the finest in America is endless, you’ll find plenty of arguements being made for Shinnecock. The course flows over natural rolling terrain and promotes its links layout with fescue grass and just a single water hazard. Many tout the back nine as the best back nine in golf, and if the finishing hole on the back nine were as good as the finishing hole on the front nine it would be tough to argue against it’s absolute greatness. The fescue demands that you play from the fairway if you want any chance of posting a good score and taking advice from your caddy while on the greens will prove to be beneficial to understand the subtleties
Royal County Down, Northern Ireland
Tom Watson, the former world number one, said the first nine holes of this coastal course are the best he has ever played. Designed by Tom Morris, the links hug the coastline near the small town of Newcastle. Among the course’s many challenges, the seventh (a par three) and the 12th (a sharp dog-leg) stand out. However, the feature hole has to be the fourth – a 217-yard par four. From a dramatically elevated tee, players must clear a sea of gorse to a heavily bunkered green surrounded by trees and tall grasses. Views stretch to the Morne Mountains while, behind you, wind-whipped dunes rise high above the Irish Sea.
Prairie Dunes Country Club – Hutchinson Kansas
On this secluded course in central Kansas, which features prairie grass rough, each tee shot is unique and the greens are undulating. The club was founded by Emerson Carey and his four sons in the mid 1930s. Perry Maxwell was chosen to design the course, and the first nine holes opened on Sept. 13, 1937. It was not until 20 years later, in 1957, that a second nine opened, designed by Press Maxwell (Perry’s son). Prairie Dunes is a constant presence in Golf Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S.
Pebble Beach – Pebble Beach, California
Pebble Beach Golf Links may be the best known course in the United States. As you work your way over the narrow fairways, make sure you pause to drink in the outstanding views of the rocky shores that make up this part of California’s Pacific coast. There’s an especially good vista at the 18th hole, a 548 yards par 5. Since the wind can be a big factor here, be sure to select the proper club if you want to score well.
Cape Kidnappers Golf Course – New Zealand
Cape Kidnappers Golf Course was designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the par 71 golf course measures 7,119 yards (6,510 meters) and will challenge golfers of all skill levels. Completed in 2004, the spectacular New Zealand golf course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf
Cypress Point Club – Pebble Beach, California
The late great duffer Bob Hope once quipped that during a membership drive at this exclusive club, they drove away 20 members. Cypress Point is indeed a private place, which explains why you won’t see casual players chipping away on the Pacific coastline. Located south of Pebble Beach in California’s gorgeous Big Sur country, the club has an 18-hole course of rolling fairways. Dr. Alister Mackenzie, architect of Augusta National Golf Club (number 8 in this list) designed Cypress also.
Turnberry Ailsa – Scotland
The youngest of Scotland’s Open Championship venues but by no means overshadowed by its rivals. The first 13 holes were laid out by Willie Fernie in 1903 and three years later it was the first hotel and golf complex in the world with the wealthy travelling down by train from Glasgow to visit. It staged its first Open in 1977 and in 2009 was host when veteran Tom Watson almost snatched the Claret Jug eventually won by Stewart Cink.
Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia
Each spring, the venerable club in central Georgia is the site of the Masters, maybe the most revered tournament in the United States. Hot-pink azaleas bloom near the championship 18-hole and 9-hole courses. Three of the sport’s toughest and most famous holes are here: the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes together are known as “Amen Corner.” Winners are easy to spot, because they are given special green blazers.
Cape Breton Highlands Links – Nova Scotia
When Canadian architect Stanley Thompson arrived in Ingonish Beach, NS back in the late 1930s, he likely thought he’d instead stumbled into paradise. A gorgeous setting bordered by water and mountains tucked against the northeastern shores of Cape Breton Island, in his mind, it resembled Scotland. Over the next two years, supported by hard-working locals and not much more than horse-powered machinery, Thompson turned this land into 18 of the finest holes in Canadian golf.
The Old Course At St. Andrews Links – Scotland
he Old Course at St. Andrews is ground zero for all golf architecture. Every course designed since has either been in response to one or more of its features, or in reaction against it. Architects either favor the Old Course’s blind shots or detest them, either embrace St. Andrews’s enormous greens or consider them a waste of turf. Latest polarizing topic: Martin Hawtree’s design changes at the Old Course, in advance of the 2015 British Open. Many consider it blasphemy.
Oakmont Country Club – Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Once thousands of trees (planted in the 1960s) were removed, Oakmont’s penal design was re-established, with the game’s most nasty, notorious bunkers (founder-architect H.C. Fownes staked out bunkers whenever and wherever he saw a player hit an offline shot), deep drainage ditches and ankle-deep rough. Oakmont also has the game’s swiftest putting surfaces, which will likely be slowed down for the upcoming U.S. Open in 2016.
Trump International Golf Links – Scotland
Just two years old, this Martin Hawtree design is set in as dramatic a set of sand dunes as can be found in golf, better than those at No. 27 Ballybunion, No. 38 Royal Birkdale and No. 66 Royal St. George’s. Some dunes top 100 feet above fairways. All are covered in deep marram grasses. Fairways pitch and tumble, often posing downhill lies to uphill targets. Every bunker is at least knee deep, encircled with stacked-sod faces. Greens are perched and edged by deep hollows. Owner Donald Trump wants an Open; we suspect it’ll someday host a Ryder Cup.