1. Pebble Beach Resort in California was the site of the 2010 U.S. Open and is well worth the $495 green fee. Since 1919, Pebble Beach has offered challenging courses, cliffside fairways, and amazing coastal views. Jack Neville and Douglas Grant designed the Pebble Beach Golf Links course and while golfers of all levels are welcomed, the course is known as one of the world’s most challenging. Spyglass Hill Golf Course got its name from the classic novel, Treasure Island, and features sandy seaside dunes on the first five holes and pine tree-filled elevated greens, and bunkers and lakes that will surely throw your par off – almost making the course one of the toughest in the world. Spanish Bay is another must and mocks Scottish-influenced courses while also respecting the surrounding natural environment. Environmentally sensitive areas help to preserve native flora and animals already inhabiting the area.
2. Sea Island in Georgia has ranked high among lists for the best golf hotels and golf instructors and rightfully so. Seaside Course has the resort’s most demanding spread and is the host venue for this year’s McGladrey Classic. The Plantation Course tests your skill with a winding layout.
3. Bandon Dunes in Oregon features four distinct courses where every shot and hole is among nature’s beauty. The Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes courses are perched above the Pacific and its native dunes and native vegetation make for a breathtaking scenic experience.
4. The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii doesn’t need much to lure in pro and amateur golfers. The Jack Nicklaus signature course was fashioned with the local land in mind, where green fairways curve against black lava and the final hole floats above the ocean.
5. PGA West in California is world famous and is amongst the Santa Rosa Mountains and features six different courses. The Arnold Palmer Private Course hosts the Bob Hope Classic annually – reason enough to test your skills at this legendary destination.
6. Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina features five courses offering panoramic views of the Atlantic. The Ocean Golf Course was voted the No. 1 golf course in the state and the strength of the wind in the region makes for a challenging and almost unpredictable game.
7. The Greenbrier in West Virginia has four courses where legends like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and even President Dwight Eisenhower have played. The Greenbrier Course is the only course in the world to be the site of the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup matches.
8. Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina has been around since 1895 and has eight distinct courses over 2,000 acres. Tom Fazio designed the No. 4 course as a tribute to the resort, which was home to the 2008 U.S. Amateur and features 140 pot bunkers, striking landscapes and water holes.
9. The Broadmoor in Colorado is home to three courses and is also boasting that they’ll be home to the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open. Jack Nicklaus won his first national title and major championship on the Mountain Course in 1959 and still maintains its epic scenic beauty today.
10. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in California is set above a scenic bluff and offers two championship courses. The Ocean Course features traditional Scottish design with prevailing ocean winds and the Old Course is a Parkland-style challenging course.