Any golfer can take a look at the Top 100 Courses in America list and plot out their golf bucket list. However, there are countless other incredible courses all over the nation that are just as good, much more affordable, and lacking the recognition they deserve. Here are 5 of the Best Golf Courses You Don’t Know in the West.
The gorgeous 36 hole facility in the Portland suburb of North Plains is a true hidden gem. The private side, Witch Hollow, has hosted US Amateurs, US Women’s Opens, and currently hosts the final Web.com tour event of the year, and it largely steals the spotlight from the equally as impressive public course, Ghost Creek. It has hosted Web.com events and LPGA Tour events itself, but should be mostly recognized for its beauty, conditioning, and playability. Designed by Bob Cupp, the picturesque track meanders through wetlands, dense forests and mountain vistas. It’s as pure a golf experience as you will find anywhere in the Northwest!
Situated on the Monterey Peninsula, AKA golf Mecca, Poppy Hills does not glean nearly the recognition it deserves. Overshadowed by Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Cypress Point, to name a few, if Poppy Hills was anywhere else in the nation it would likely be the jewel of the area. The Robert Trent Jones layout is pleasing to the eye while also providing a fair and challenging test that looks as much like a Pine Valley or Pinehurst as it does a Monterey Peninsula course. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s green fees are about a third of those that you will find at Pebble Beach.
Don’t make the common mistake of thinking Lake Tahoe is just a skiing and water sports town. Tahoe is also home to incredible golf, so picking just one from the area was difficult. Coyote Moon rises to the top, however, as it is as pure a display of mountain golf as you can find anywhere. The spectacular course winds through towering pines, granite cliffs and mountain streams, offering many risk/reward opportunities. Highlighted by the par-3 13th hole, which drops nearly 250 feet, the course is breathtaking. So breathtaking, in fact, that the greens fee includes a cart, it’s not a course even the fittest golfer would want to walk!
Anyone who has played golf in Palm Springs knows that you are absolutely spoiled for choice anywhere in the Coachella Valley. With a pristine course around every corner, it’s difficult to go wrong. Our pick of the bunch has to be the Pete Dye designed Mountain Course at the (gorgeous) La Quinta Resort & Club. Pete Dye’s designs are known for being diabolical, but the Mountain Course is remarkably playable. Featuring massive rock formations, pot bunkers, and lush green grass contrasted by the brown mountains, you will struggle to find a more visually pleasing course.
While the Greater Seattle area offers many wonderful options for public golf, the Coal Creek course at the Golf Club at Newcastle rises to the top of our list. It features gorgeous vistas with views of the Seattle skyline and the Olympic Peninsula, and while the views may be captivating, the course is pretty good, too. Kept in beautiful condition, the course stretches over 7,000 yards with five par-3s, five par-5s and eight par-4s. Designed by Bob Cupp with input from Northwest local (and Masters Champion) Fred Couples, you know it’s going to be good. And yes, it is cheaper, and better, than the over-hyped Chambers Bay.