Top10_GolfCoursesYes, this week’s Top 10 is about golf courses, but it’s less about difficulty and USGA Course and Slope Ratings than it is about overall enjoyment of the course. So break out your clubs and schedule your tee time – you can’t go wrong with any of these stellar courses.

 

1. Cypress Point Club, CA

Hands down one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, Cypress Point is a private golf course on California’s rocky and scenic Monterey peninsula.This course boasts a legendary 16th hole, where golfers have to shoot over the Pacific Ocean. Designed by Alister MacKenzie in 1928, Cypress Point is not only a gorgeous course, but also very challenging.

2. Riviera Country Club, CA

Tucked away in the Pacific Palisades, this championship course has been a perennial favorite of Hollywood stars from Humphrey Bogart and Walt Disney all the way to Luke Wilson, Mark Wahlberg and Adam Sandler. It’s private, very exclusive, and sometimes getting in can prove difficult. Ask your friends (or agents).Golf_HoleVR

3. Victory Ranch, UT

Just a short drive from Park City is the spectacular Rees Jones-designed golf course at Victory Ranch, a private residential community set amidst 6,700-acres of pristine wilderness. Ranked by Golf Digest as no. 2 in the state, this is a mountain course in the truest sense – wide open fairways, windswept bunkers, breathtaking mountain views, and fresh, crisp air to keep you sharp around some of the more difficult traps.

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4. Torrey Pines, CA

The Championship North and South courses of this San Diego pro course provide jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean – and if you play in the evening, spectacular sunsets as well. The course is named after the indigenous Torrey Pines that line the course, picturesque evergrees distinguished by their five-needle clusters.

5. Pebble Beach Golf Links, CA

Pebble Beach hosts the PGA Tour and Champions Tour each year, as well as five U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. It is on many golfers’ bucket lists, and for good reason. The greens are small, the holes difficult, and the views – over Carmel Bay and Pacific – well, they’re the stuff legends are made of.

6. Kauai Lagoons, HI

Who wouldn’t want to golf in paradise? Mild weather, manicured green courses lined with palm trees, ocean and mountain views, tropical drinks – Kauai Lagoons is probably the most beautiful course in Hawaii, which is saying something.

shutterstock_1102200567. Pine Valley, NJ

Voted #1 by Golf Digest in its latest installation of “100 Greatest Golf Courses in America,” this South Jersey favorite offers creative, difficult holes in an incredibly scenic locale. This sandy pine course dates back to 1918; Founder George Crump had help designing the course from noted British architect H.S. Colt.

8. Whistling Straights, WI

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, WI, this course has all sorts of character. Four tough, links-style courses offer distinct trademarks, bunkers, and personalities. The open, windswept terrain defines the walking-only Straits Course, which is not to be missed.

9. Trump National Golf Club, CA

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This course was the setting of one of the more memorable Entourage episodes, with a Phil Mickelson cameo. A popular destination course just 30 miles from Los Angeles, on the gorgeous Palos Verdes Peninsula, it offers stunning ocean views, playable weather year-round, and a notoriously difficult, if short, 15th hole. For convenient access to this course, consider staying or owning at the close by Terranea Resort & Residences (at right), which also boasts a golf course of its own.

10. Augusta National Golf Club, GA

Designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie in 1933, Augusta National has hosted the Masters Tournament every year since the course opened in 1934. With its immaculate green grass, clever routing, temperate climate, and thick rows of pine trees lining every fairway, it’s no wonder that Augusta has become one of the most famous courses in the world.