budgetgolf > golf courses > 20 of the Best Public Golf Courses in the United States – Part 4

20 of the Best Public Golf Courses in the United States – Part 4

From coast to coast, your choices for pubic golf courses in the United States are virtually endless… but these are the best we’ve found. For the other three parts of this series, please scroll to the bottom!

Arcadia Bluffs Arcadia, MI

Arcadia Bluffs Public Golf Course

Arcadia Bluffs Public Golf Course

Arcadia Bluffs is a daily-fee par-73 golf course, open to the public seven days a week from mid-April to mid-November each year. It is completely public, and every design aspect of the facility fosters enjoyment for guests of all golfing abilities. In addition to the premier layout, guests can enjoy a full practice range and separate short-game facility. GPS-equipped golf cars are available, or you may take advantage of the caddie program.

Founded in 1999 in Arcadia, Michigan, the course is built on the bluffs above the shore of Lake Michigan and sits on approximately 245 windswept acres of lakefront property. The course drops 225 feet from its highest point down to the bluff, 180 feet above sea level, and has 3,100 feet of Lake Michigan shore frontage.

Arcadia Bluffs resembles a seaside links course, with rolling terrain, and windswept natural fescues throughout. Players will be reminded of their favorite holes at Lahinch and Ballybunion, while enjoying breathtaking views of Lake Michigan from all points on the majestic layout. A Warren Henderson/Rick Smith design, Arcadia Bluffs offers players a golfing experience unlike anything in the United States.

In addition to the golf course, Arcadia Bluffs offers world-class lodging. The Lodge at Arcadia Bluffs opened in 2010, and offers 15 well-appointed guest rooms, April through October. The Lodge is available, for private and corporate bookings, the months of November and December as well. Exceptional personal service is the hallmark of The Lodge.

The Pete Dye Course French Lick, IN

Pete Dye Public Golf Course

Pete Dye Public Golf Course

Voted the Number 1 public course in Indiana, this course is carved into history by Hall-of-Fame architect Pete Dye, and hosted the Senior PGA Championship in 2015. Senior PGA Champion Colin Montgomerie called it “one of the iconic courses” in America and one that golfers all over the world will want to play.

This championship golf course on one of Indiana’s highest elevation points has narrow, immaculate fairways and rugged, intense terrain. The course has gained national acclaim for its 40-mile panoramic views of the southern Indiana countryside, three man-made lakes, “volcano” bunkers and a variety of elevation changes. A robust 8,100 yards from the professional tees punctuate Dye’s signature sting from vista-to-vista.


Harbour Town Hilton Head, SC

Harbour Town Golf Links Is Now Open for Play

Harbour Town Golf Course

Harbour Town Golf Course

Harbour Town Golf Links re-opened on September 28, 2015 after undergoing a series of course enhancements over the summer.

The tee boxes, fairways and rough have been replaced with Celebration Bermuda grass, the most scientifically advanced surface used on warm season courses. The greens were re-grassed with Tif-Eagle Bermuda, the same turf used on the putting surfaces since 2001. A new irrigation system was also installed with the most advanced technology in water management and control.

This distinguished golf course places a premium on finesse, imagination and shot-making, rather than strength, making it a perennial favorite among PGA TOUR players. Put your game to the ultimate test – against a collection of par threes ranked among the world’s finest and a par-4 18th hole considered one of the most feared in all of golf, particularly when the wind is blowing off Calibogue Sound. The crowning achievement of famed designer Pete Dye, this celebrated PGA TOUR golf course is a true test of the game of golf.

Kapalua Golf Course Maui, HI

Kapalua Golf Course, Maui, HI

Kapalua Golf Course, Maui, HI

Consistently ranked as the #1 golf course in Hawaii, playing The Plantation Course is sure to be on every golfer’s bucket list. Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the course was designed on a grand scale in keeping with its location on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains and offers dramatic ocean views from virtually every hole. Its lengthy 7,411 yard par 73 layout challenges the pros but it’s wide fairways and generous greens make it very playable for the average golfer. With dramatic elevation changes, this course offers plenty of downhill tee shots. You’ll feel like one of the pros when – with the aid of the aggressive slope of the 18th fairway – you will enjoy hitting one of the longest drives of your life.

The Plantation Course is the site of the PGA TOUR Hyundai Tournament of Champions each January featuring an elite field of previous year’s PGA TOUR winners. The field has included golf greats such as Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Justin Leonard, Ernie Els, Davis Love III and many more. The course record is 62 set by K.J. Choi in 2003 at the Mercedes-Benz Championship and Graeme McDowell at the 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Chambers Bay University Place, WA

Chambers Bay Golf Course

Chambers Bay Golf Course

With tawny fescue grasses, towering sand dunes, massive fairways, and breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and snow-capped Olympic Mountains, Chambers Bay brings the traditions of Scottish linksland to the Pacific Northwest. Located in University Place, Washington, this 18-hole, walking-only course provides an authentic links experience for players of every ability.

Chambers Bay was designed to host the U.S. Open, one of the world’s greatest championships. Let us help make your next tournament a championship experience. Our professional staff and top-ranked course make Chambers Bay the perfect place to host a charity tournament, customer appreciation event, staff incentive or executive meeting. Caddie services, custom merchandise, and dining options with a panoramic view of the Puget Sound are just a few of the many ways we can make your event uniquely your own.

Explore the other public golf courses in this series:

20 of the Best Public Golf Courses in the United States – Part 3

20 of the Best Public Golf Courses in the United States – Part 2

20 of the Best Public Golf Courses in the United States – Part 1

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