Top U.S. Golf Courses by Region

Fundamentally, ranking golf courses is a subjective exercise. Better players often prefer more challenging layouts. Less skilled golfers might appreciate wider fairways with fewer forced carries.

That said, the validity of any individual review isn’t tied to whether that golfer has a degree in golf course architecture or a preference for certain types of grasses.

If you’re a golfer, your opinion matters.

To build our list of the best golf destinations, we turned to TheGrint and to real golfers just like you.

ABOUT THEGRINT’S RANKINGS

To generate our rankings, we leveraged data from TheGrint, a golf handicap and stat-tracking service that also allows golfers to rate the courses they play. Think of it as something similar to Yelp for golf courses.

Here are the pertinent details:

  • Ranking derived from more than 300,000 golf course reviews from golfers just like you.
  • Only reviews from the previous year (2020) are used.
  • Only considered courses with a minimum of 50 reviews.
  • Golfers considered course conditions and overall experience as ranking criteria.

Based on reader feedback, we took the data for all courses in the United States and broke it down by region. Over the next several weeks, we’ll work our way from the Pacific Coast Highway to the Eastern Seaboard. (Check out the rankings for the SouthWestand MidWest)

BEST COURSES IN THE NORTHEAST

Observations

  • Massachusetts has three courses ranked in the top 10.
  • There are fewer large golf resorts in this geographic area.
  • The only location with multiple courses in the top 10 is Pinehills Golf Club.

TOP 10

10. Crumpin-Fox Club  (95.7)

This Robert Trent Jones, Inc. design is the “field of dreams” for founder, David Berelson. Some even suggest it has features reminiscent of hallowed Pine Valley.

9. Wyncote Golf Club | Wyncote (96.1)

Wyncote is a “Heathlands” style course that is routinely featured on various national and state “best of” lists thanks, in large part, to its quality condition and unique design.

8. Sugarloaf Golf Club (96.5)

It’s tough to argue which is more attractive – the scenic mountain vistas or a standing deal where junior golfers play for free after 2 PM with a paying adult? Also, guests wishing to enjoy a golf destination can book the nearby Sunday River Golf Club as part of a stay-and-play package.

7. Ballyowen Golf Club (96.6)

If Ballyowen reminds you a bit of Crumpin-Fox Club, it’s because Roger Rulewich designed both tracks. After the round, grab a drink and enjoy some authentic bagpipe music at Owen’s Pub.

6. Belgrade Lakes Golf Club | Belgrade Lakes (96.8)

Originally a retreat for Harold Alfond (the first American businessman to open an outlet store), Belgrade Lakes provides plenty of elevation changes. Also and perhaps ironically, the primary hazard is rock outcroppings and boulders, not water.

5. Pinehills Golf Club | Jones Course (97.6)

Pinehills Golf Club features two, 18-hole championship courses. The Jones Course (designed by Rees Jones) features five sets of tees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels.

4. Atlantic City Country Club (97.6))

Atlantic City Country Club is the self-proclaimed “Birthplace of the Birdie” and consensus #1 Public Course in the state of New Jersey.

3. Bethpage State Park | Black Course(98.3)

If you want a tee time at the Black Course, be prepared to spend the night (trying to) sleep in your car in one of the numbered parking spaces. First come, first served.

2. Pinehills Golf Club | Nicklaus Course (98.3)

Pinehills Golf Club bills itself as a premier daily fee destination with “the most extensive practice facilities in New England.” All that and it’s just several 3-woods from Boston and Cape Cod.

1. Shelter Harbor Golf Club  (98.4)

The top course on our list for 2021 is Shelter Harbor Golf Club in Charlestown, Rhode Island. It’s a private equity club dedicated to environmental protection and a traditional, family-oriented atmosphere.

Looking for more courses to check out? Here’s a list of the top 50 public courses in the United States, according to TheGrint.