We’re big fans of Augusta and Myrtle Beach, but just as big of fans of these less popular yet oh-so-amazing courses. Here are 5 of the best golf courses you might not know of yet.
Kissimmee Golf Club – Kissimmee, FL
This course is truly loved by the locals, both for its natural scenery, playability, and affordable price. The generous fairways are inviting, flanked by native brush and water hazards that compliment the natural lay of the land. It’s these water hazards (and frequent doglegs) that make the course interesting; the pond that skirts the right side of #8 makes it one of the toughest holes. You’ll likely notice the small planes flying in and out of the local airport nearby, a gentle visual that only adds to the small-town feel of the course.
Gulf Shores Golf Club – Gulf Shores, AL
True golf lovers will want to skip the hyped-up, nightlife emphasizing popularity of Myrtle Beachand instead head to Gulf Shores, a course that privileges the integrity of the game. With soft, fast greens that roll true and spectacular views, this course is decidedly challenging for inexperienced golfers, but a hidden gem all the same.
The Preserve Golf Club – Biloxi, MS
A place of true perfection, this gem of a course is a member of Audubon International; a non-profit environmental education organization. In 2007 they were awarded their designation as a certified silver Audubon International Signature Sanctuary, one of only 21 in the world. And while that’s impressive and everything, many swear it is better than famous nearby-course Fallen Oak, but far cheaper and lesser known. We call that a win-win!
This was the first course to be designed by the famous architects Pete and Alice Dye in 1964, and was once the host of the PGA Championship, won by John Daly. While it’s often noted as one of the top 100 courses by Golf Magazine, we think it really deserves a top 10 spot. Why? The fairways are wide but the approaches are demanding and the greens are intricately complex. Because of the flat land, golfers must constantly adjust to wind variations, and no two consecutive holes are laid out in the same direction. What a thrill!
Though there are few water hazards, this course features natural waste areas and bunkering and is definitely on the difficult side. Every hole is challenging but fair, and each uniquely memorable. It’s been compared to the likes of Augusta National and St. Andrews, but with a far more reasonable price, particularly in the winter. Though views through the trees will probably have you sweating at first, the landing areas are actually large and forgiving.