Augusta National / Augusta National / Getty Images
When the Masters tournament returns on April 8th, the golf world will turn its attention to the elite Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
While you might itch to hit the club’s green, many of the top-rated golf clubs are open to members only. However, some are open to the public. Read on to find out the cost of teeing off at some of the best private and public golf courses in the United States
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America’s Best Private Golf Courses
Admission fees at some of the most exclusive golf clubs can run into the six-figure range – if you can even secure a membership. Here’s a look at what some of the top golf clubs have to offer for members.
Augusta National Golf Club
Place: Augusta, Georgia
No golf course in America is as steeped in history as the Augusta National Golf Club, which hosts the Masters Tournament every year. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer are among the golf legends who experienced historic moments during the Masters at Augusta National.
Each of the 18 holes in Augusta National has a name derived from a tree, flower or plant on the course. Some include Tea Olive, Magnolia, and Holly. The 11th, 12th and 13th holes are called Amen Corner at this point due to the difficulty of the holes in combination with the wind.
Augusta National is not only one of the best golf courses in America, it’s also one of the most exclusive. It is a members only club and each guest must be accompanied by a member at all times.
The club was limited to white men from opening in 1932 until it welcomed its first black male member in 1990. In 2012, Augusta National accepted its first female members: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina investor Darla Moore. Augusta National’s official membership roster is confidential, but Bloomberg added CEOs, billionaires, and other high earners to the club’s 2015 list of verified and speculated members.
The story goes on
As is common with the world’s most famous golf courses, the cost of launch is high, with the numbers reported varying widely. Golf.com reported in April 2019 that the enrollment fee is $ 40,000 – cheap by the standards of world class golf clubs. However, just a year earlier in 2018, Forbes estimated that Augusta’s enrollment fees were between $ 250,000 and $ 500,000, which is much closer to the level.
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Pine Valley Golf Club
Place: Pine Valley, New Jersey
Pine Valley is one of the top golf courses in the USA and is located on the edge of the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. ESPN once described the course as “the largest 18-hole golf course ever created by human hands”.
Pine Valley is one of America’s most exclusive private clubs. While the membership roster is confidential, The Press of Atlantic City reported that former US President George HW Bush, actor Sean Connery, and professional golf legends Ben Crenshaw and the late Arnold Palmer were all once members.
Non-members must receive an invitation from a member to play in Pine Valley. Women cannot be members of Pine Valley Golf Club and can only be invited to play on Sundays. According to Forbes, the club is not accepting applications and the club board must reach out to prospective members
Every year on the last Sunday in September, Pine Valley invites the general public to watch the finals of the club’s annual George Arthur Crump Memorial Tournament, named after its founder and course designer. This is the only way to explore the course without a membership or invitation. No credible price estimates are available and the club is known for its discretion and secrecy.
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Merion Golf Club
Place: Ardmore, Pennsylvania
The Merion Golf Club was built in 1912 by golf course architect Hugh Wilson and is evidence of many milestones in golf. Its storied history includes Robert Tire Jones Jr.’s Grand Slam graduation in 1930 and Ben Hogan’s stunning one-iron finish on 72nd The course itself contains a historical footnote: Merion was the first club in the country to win two 18th -Hole championship facilities included.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus himself once said: “Acre for acre, [Merion] could be the best golf test in the world. ”The par-70 course spans nearly 7,000 yards for players to dominate and has a gentle atmosphere enhanced by the surrounding tree line.
The private golf club reportedly has an impressive two-level locker room, and you might see it someday – if you can pay the introductory fee. Admission costs start at $ 70,000 and annual dues are at least another $ 6,000, Forbes reported in November 2018. Additionally, even if you can afford all of these, you can only apply by referral.
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Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Place: Southampton, New York
Opened in 1891, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is located on the eastern end of Long Island. It was a charter club owned by the organization that later became the United States Golf Association. Five US Opens took place on the square – including the second ever in 1896 – and a sixth is planned for 2026.
The ultra-exclusive Shinnecock Hills is silent about its admission fees and fees. If you know a member, you can be invited to the course as a guest, but guest tee times usually fill up months in advance. If you ever make it to the club as a guest, you’ll pay a $ 350 green fee, Golf.com reported in June 2018.
Oakmont Country Club
Place: Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Oakmont Country Club hosted its ninth US Open in 2016, with Dustin Johnson taking the notoriously fast greens of the course and taking his first major win. A 10th US Open is planned for 2025 in Oakmont. The club has also hosted five US amateurs and two US Women’s Open.
In 2019, the Helen Brown Group, a development, research, consulting, and training company, listed Oakmont’s enrollment fees at over $ 75,000. It’s hard to guess what that “plus” means because 12 years ago, in 2007, ESPN reported that Oakmont’s enrollment fees were exactly $ 75,000.
You must be invited to join the Oakmont Country Club; However, members reportedly often bring guests to the club to try their hand at the infamous difficult course – but that could be because they enjoy watching their guests fight.
America’s best public golf courses
You don’t have to be a highly paid professional golfer or even a member to play some of America’s best golf courses. The following quality courses are public.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Place: Pebble Beach, California
Few natural settings for golf match Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Monterey Peninsula, where golfers can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean along the course. The 2019 US Open is the sixth time the course has hosted the championship. Pebble Beach is also set to host the first US Women’s Open in 2023.
Since opening in 1919, Pebble Beach has built a reputation for being a premier golf destination. It was ranked # 1 on America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses 2019 list by Golf Digest, and it is holds number 1 on the list of the 200 best resort golf courses for Golfweek 2021.
The green fee is $ 575, but golfers who are not staying at Pebble Beach as resort guests also have to pay $ 45 for a cart.
Place: Bandon, Oregon
Pacific Dunes, a resort course in Bandon, Oregon, sits beside the waves crashing against the rocky coast.
The signature hole at Pacific Dunes is the 11th hole, a 148 yard, par 3 hole. While coastal winds often devastate golfers’ shots, the hole is one of the most picturesque in golf. Golf Course Gurus, a website that offers course reviews, called it “the definition of a postcard hole”.
As a resort guest, the green fees are on the year-round pitch $ 105-295. If you’re a day visitor, fees range from $ 135 to $ 345, although discounted rates are available for Oregon residents.
Pinehurst No. 2
Place: Pinehurst, North Carolina
The # 2 spot at Pinehurst Resort is steeped in history. Opened in 1907, the course was first designed by Donald Ross, who worked to improve it until his death in 1948. The most recent renovations in 2010 by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw restored many of the original design elements.
Pinehurst No. 2 hosted the 1936 PGA Championship, the 1999 and 2005 US Open, and the 2014 US Open for Men and Women. It will also host the 2024 US Open.
Green fees range from $ 50 to $ 495 depending on the time of year and the golf course of the club you are playing.
Place: Sheboygan, Wisconsin
The Straits course hosted three PGA championships in a relatively short space of time – 2004, 2010 and 2015 – as well as the 2007 US Senior Open. The Ryder Cup was supposed to be held on the pitch in 2020, but it was canceled. Instead, it takes place there in September, when Whistling Straits becomes the first public course to host the event in 25 years.
Eight of the 18 holes on the Straits course are played along Lake Michigan. Golfers playing the course must be on the lookout for the sheep roaming free.
A round of golf on the Straits course will cost over $ 410, Golf.com reported in 2017. It’s a walk-only course and a caddy – its $ 65 with a recommended Tip of $ 50 per bag is required. Reliable and more up-to-date information is not available, but reviews on TripAdvisor roughly confirm these prices.
TPC saw grass
Place: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass was designed by famous golf course architect Pete Dye in 1982.
The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is one of the most famous in golf. The 137 meter long par 3 hole features an iconic island green surrounded by water. A thin bridge is the only access to the green for golfers.
The cost of playing on the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course varies at different times of the year. However, according to Golf.com, it will cost you $ 500- $ 720 per round if you play where the pros play.
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Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.
Last updated: April 7, 2021
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: What It Costs to Play America’s 10 Best Golf Courses