GOLF Magazine names Highland Park Golf Course one of its 30 best urban golf courses in the United States

GOLF Magazine names Highland Park Golf Course one of its 30 best urban golf courses in the United States

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Highland Park Golf CourseSunrise at Highland Park Golf Course on June 21, 2021. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Birmingham’s Highland Park Golf Course, the oldest public golf course in the state of Alabama, was recently named “The 30 Best Urban Golf Courses in America” ​​by GOLF Magazine.

This is a big deal. With 4.5 million readers and 7.7 million monthly unique visitors on its digital platform, GOLF magazine is the leading golf publication in the country.

About the Highland Park golf course

Highland parkEntrance to the Highland Park Golf Course. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

The golf course property is owned by the City of Birmingham while Highland Park Golf, LLC and its managing partner Bob Barrett own the long-term lease. Operations are managed by Honors Golf, a division of Troon.

The history of the Highland Park Golf Course dates back to 1903 when Nick Thompson designed the 18-hole course. According to Bhamwiki, it was originally built as the Birmingham Country Club on the grounds of Lakeview Park at the time.

Lakeview Park and Lake 1890sLakeview Park on the southside of Birmingham in the 1890s. Photo courtesy of

When the Country Club moved to Mountain Brook in 1927, the club sold the place to the city, which opened it to the public. The course was named after Charley Boswell, a native of Birmingham, former Alabama soccer player and a blind golf champion in the 1950s.

In 1998 the course experienced a significant rejuvenation and was renovated by Honors Golf founder Bob Barrett and golf course designer Bob Cupp. Recently in 2019 / early 2020 the course was modernized again with renovation work that focused on modernizing golf course bunkers and putting areas.

Two of the most famous golfers in the history of the game are associated with the course.

In 1916, at the age of 14, Bobby Jones won the Birmingham Country Club Invitational in Highland Park.

In 2001, Tiger Woods played the course when he was running a junior golf clinic through his foundation.

A gem in the middle of the southside of Birmingham

Highland Park’s recent appointment is a significant achievement.

“I’m so proud and honored that Highland Park was included on a list that includes some of the best golf courses in the world, including Bethpage Black, New York and Torrey Pines, California,” said Barrett.

This publication is very serious about ranking top courses. In fact, GOLF is known for its annual ranking of the GOLF world and the USTOP 100 courses.

Golfers on the Highland Park Golf CourseThe Highland Park Golf Course was named one of the Top 30 Urban Golf Courses in America. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

The list of the 30 best urban golf courses in America was determined by GOLF’s panel of experts. The rating points were given to get an average score for each course, then GOLF divided its total score by the number of votes. Based on these scores, the courses were then classified accordingly. The key to this process is the experience and expertise of the GOLF Magazine jury, which consists of 15 nations and all golf meccas worldwide. Each of the 97 hand-picked panelists has a keen eye for architecture, both regionally and globally.

“We are very excited to be included in the GOLF ranking of the best local golf courses,” said Evan Godfrey, golf director of Highland Park Golf Course, PGA. “The public-private partnership with the City of Birmingham and Honors Golf is excellent. The recent renovation has taken the experience to a new level. “

In a recent interview with Godfrey, he told us that usage of the historic par 70 course increased from nearly 5900 yards during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an average year, the urban course has 35,000 to 36,000 starts, ie people starting a round of nine or 18 holes. They also have a very active driving range and learning center that welcomes an additional 20,000 visitors.

“We are blessed to have great owners and a great management team with Bob Barrett, Honors Golf and Troon Golf. We attach great importance to customer service and course conditioning. What has earned us that recognition is Mr. Barrett’s eye for the design of the course. They took a course that we can’t expand and expand and really made it a great 6,000 yard layout. “

Highland Park Golf CourseThe Highland Park Golf Course was named one of the Top 30 Urban Golf Courses in America. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Best view in town

In addition to being named to the prestigious GOLF magazine’s list of the best urban golf courses, Highland Park Golf Course also offers one of the best views of the Birmingham skyline. Thanks to a new back tee on par 4 15th at the highest point of the property, you now have a fantastic view of the Magic City.

How to play on the pitch

Would you like to play on one of the best urban golf courses in the country? Visit or call 205-322-1902.

Be sure to say what you think of the Highland Park Golf Course and tag us on social media @bhamnow to share your best memories and photos.

  • Pat Byington

    Longtime conservationist. Former executive director of the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Editor of Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include taking an active role in creating Alabama’s Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preserving special places throughout the east through the Wilderness Society, and strengthening (reinforcing) the state of Alabama’s cancer risk and mercury standards.


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