An Expat’s Guide to the Best Golf Courses in the US 



An Expat’s Guide to the Best Golf Courses in the US 

Photo by Andrew Shelley on Unsplash 

If you’re a golfer who’s recently moved to the US, the sheer number of amazing golf courses can be overwhelming. Although it depends on where exactly you live as to which courses are most convenient to play, there are many spectacular destination golf courses you can’t miss if you’re nearby… Whether down the road or a state or two over. 

The courses below are the most well-loved and renowned public golf courses in the country. We know, we know… The US is huge. It’s impossible to mention them all, but these ones should absolutely be on your bucket list! 

Pebble Beach Golf Links, California 

At over $500 green fee, this isn’t the cheapest but it’s also well worth saving for. 9 of the 18 holes play right alongside the craggy Pacific ocean, so you’ll get your fill of both exceptional golf and superb views. 


Holes 6 through 10 are known to be particularly spectacular as well as a little hair-raising. If you can stay stoic in the face of such magnificent views, you may just get a good score on this Scottish-style links course! 

Bethpage Black, New York 

Bethpage Black may be a public course at a state park, but it’s a fairly intimidating play! Mid-handicappers will find it a challenge, but beginners may want to sit this one out. 


You should book in advance, as the course is quite a in demand. The fairways present a challenge and straying may get you in trouble. The greens are true but a little slower than others! 

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course, Michigan 

Two courses here—Bluffs Course and South Course—provide golfers of all skill levels with an exciting round. One is extremely links-like, while the other is more of a parkland course. 


Both courses, although completely different playing experiences feature wide fairways, roomy greens, and bold bunkers that lie in wait. 


Play the Bluffs Course if you’re in the mood for some majestic views out over Lake Michigan! 

Tobacco Road Golf Course, North Carolina 

Widely hailed as one of the trickiest courses in the country, Tobacco Road is one of those “must play before you die” kinds of courses. 


The holes are exciting, visually intimidating, and artistically designed, making this a fantastic playing experience. 

Paako Ridge Golf Course, New Mexico 

Mountain terrain makes this course an interesting one, and it’s not without challenges. Each nine is a bit of a hill in itself, start working your way uphill before playing back down the mountain again. 


The greens on this course are both deep and wide, so take care when playing them. All-day access to the training facilities comes with your green fee, so it’s an excellent choice for a full day out. 

Wolf Creek Golf Course, Nevada 

A beautiful oasis in the desert, Wolf Creek is a striking course that you won’t soon forget… And you’ll want more of. 


Ravines, rock mesas, dunes, and jagged canyon hillsides frame each hole. The smooth green fairways stand out like a fresh paradise in the desert, and it’s got a great mix of short holes and long ones. 


Elevations changes, tricky-to-handle winds, and difficult-to-judge depths can make this one a bit of a mind-bender. 

Kiawah Island Ocean Course, South Carolina 

10 oceanside holes make playing this course a jaw-dropping experience. An ever-present coastal wind makes gameplay exciting but sometimes frustrating, although it’s another bucket-list course. 


There are no weak holes in this course. Each one is unique and offers a fun and testing play, so bring your A-game! 

Pacific Dunes Golf Course, Oregon 

Not all the golf courses at Bandon Dunes are open to the public, but Pacific Dunes is and it’s well worth playing. 


Like all stunning oceanside courses, there’s a coastal wind that will challenge your every shot on the wide-open fairways. 


Each hole rolls with the natural lay of the land, making you feel like you’re one with the countryside as you work through this course. 


An expat’s guide to the best golf courses in the US is a difficult thing to put together. The sheer number of golf courses in the country is enormous, and so many of them are of such superb quality that it’s truly hard to pick out the best courses in the country! 


These are the ones we recommend above all others, but don’t let this list be your only guide. Find out which courses are near you, do your research, discover your dream playing spots, take a road trip, and then tick them off that bucket list! 


About the Author

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who’s been lucky enough to play on courses around the country and the world. When he’s not working on his swing (it never ends!) or mentoring young golfers, he’s researching and writing articles for his website, Golf Influence.