Bang for your Buck: Top Courses in the U.S. under $100


Bang for your Buck: Top Courses in the U.S. under $100

Now that green fees for 2023 are released for many courses there is a lot of chatter about rising prices— and it’s a valid point. Fees in the U.S. have risen the past few years due to demand being at an all-time high after the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of labor and supplies has also gone up dramatically over the past few years.

Many top-ranked public courses now have a max fee* above $500, including Pebble Beach ($645), TPC Sawgrass ($840), Whistling Straits ($545), and Kiawah Ocean ($500). Even some public courses that are not ranked at the top but have hosted some big tournaments are now over the $500 mark, including TPC Scottsdale, the Blue Monster at Trump Doral, and the Champions course at PGA National. Shadow Creek in Las Vegas tops them all at $1,000!

Despite the high price to play some of America’s top and most well-known public courses, there’s still plenty of value out there. Here are 10 of the best courses in the U.S. that you can play for under $100:

Hooper— Walpole, NH

One of the best nine-hole courses in the country, this Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek course has a great variety of holes and a beautiful, remote setting.

Hooper Golf Course. Photo: The Golfer’s Journal

Rustic Canyon— Moorpark, CA

Rustic Canyon is a Gil Hanse design from 2001 that is arguably the best course built in California in 50 years.

Rustic Canyon. Photo: Golf Magazine

Wild Horse— Gothenburg, NE

Designed by Coore and Crenshaw associates who helped build nearby Sand Hills, Dan Proctor and Dave Axland, Wild Horse plays firm and fast and is one of the best values in the country.

Wild Horse Golf Course. Photo: Course Website

Black Mesa— Espanola, NM

This course routes one of the most unique settings in golf and has been called the Tobacco Road of the West.

Black Mesa Golf Club. Photo: Patrick Koenig

Warren Golf Club— Notre Dame, IN

This Coore and Crenshaw design hosted the 2019 U.S. Senior Open and is one of the best flat courses in the country.

Warren Golf Club. Photo: Course Website

The Pfau Course at Indiana University— Bloomington, IN

Steve Smyers redesigned this course a few years back and it is now one of the best (and most challenging) college courses in the entire country.

The Pfau Golf Course. Photo: Indiana University Athletics

Grand National (Links)— Opelika, AL

The best course on the Robert Trent Jones Trail in Alabama is a great anchor to one of the great value trips in American golf.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National (Links). Photo: Golf Magazine

George Wright— Hyde Park, MA

This Donald Ross gem has been polished in recent years by architect Mark Mungeam into one of the best municipal courses in the country.

George Wright Golf Course: Photo: City of Boston

Park Mammoth— Park City, KY

Brian Ross and Colton Craig redesigned this course a few years back, injecting strategy and interest at a price that won’t break the bank.

Park Mammoth Golf Club: Photo: Course Website

CommonGround— Aurora, CO

This is a model muni: a playable design that is interesting and fun with great facilities (regulation course, short course, driving range) for people to start and grow their passion for the game.

CommonGround Golf Course. Photo: Renaissance Golf Design

Here are some other great “Bang for your Buck” courses around the country:

  • Virtues GC— Nashport, OH

  • The Hideout— Monticello, UT

  • Hawktree GC— Bismarck, ND

  • Links of North Dakota— Ray, ND

  • Rawls Course at Texas Tech— Lubbock, TX

  • Rutland— Rutland, VT

  • Pinon Hills— Farmington, NM

  • Bar Run— Roseburg, OR

  • Harrison Hills— Attica, IN

  • Pilgrim’s Run— Pierson, MI

  • Soule Park— Ojai, CA

  • University of New Mexico— Albuquerque, NM

  • Capital City CC— Tallahassee, FL

  • Cobblestone— Acworth, GA

  • Copake— Craryville, NY

  • Penobscot Valley— Orono, ME

  • The Course at Sewanee— Sewanee, TN

  • Keney Park— Windsor, CT

  • Fowler’s Mill (Lake/River)— Chesterland, OH

  • Diamond Springs— Hamilton, MI


Open Links Website

To learn more about our “Bang for your Buck” courses and see them on a map, register for free on our website. You can view in-depth course profiles, reviews from fellow passionate golfers, and even add these courses to a wishlist to help plan your next golf trip.

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