Augusta National and the 10 Best Golf Courses

Augusta National and the 10 Best Golf Courses

Augusta
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Anyone who has ever even played one round of golf at any point in their lives dreams of teeing it up at one of the best and most well-known courses in the world. The list of courses that are regular stops for major championships is enough to make even the most casual golf fan drool. As the world's best players descend on Augusta National this week for The Masters, here are the top 10 golf courses.

10. Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio

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10. Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio

Muirfield
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Muirfield Village was designed by the great Jack Nicklaus and is actually home to a pair of courses. Muirfield Village Golf Club is the site of the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour each year and is the longer of the two, playing to a par of 72 at a distance of more than 7,300 yards. John Huston holds the course record with an astounding 61.

9. Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Cal.

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9. Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Cal.

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Riviera has hosted three majors, the last being the 1995 PGA Championship. But the course is a regular stop on the PGA Tour and has been in operation for nearly 90 years. Par for the California course is 71 and like Muirfield Village, the course record here is 71.

8. Pinehurst Resort (Course No. 2), Pinehurst, NC

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8. Pinehurst Resort (Course No. 2), Pinehurst, NC

Pinehurst
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Pinehurst Resort is home to eight courses, but it is No. 2 that is the apple of every pro golfer's eye and which is also in regular rotation for the U.S. Open. Pinehurst is the site for this year's Open, having last hosted it in 2005 when Michael Campbell was the winner. Payne Stewart famously won the Open here in 1999 before passing away in a plane crash later that year.

7. Bethpage State Park, Old Bethpage, N.Y.

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7. Bethpage State Park, Old Bethpage, N.Y.

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Perhaps home to the most raucous crowds seen at major tournaments, the Black course at Bethpage State Park is a monster that played to a par of 70 for the 2009 U.S. Open despite being nearly 7,500 yards long. The course has hosted the U.S. Open twice, with Tiger Woods winning in 2002 and Lucas Glover lifting the trophy in 2009.

6. The Blue Monster at Doral, Miami, Fla.

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6. The Blue Monster at Doral, Miami, Fla.

Doral
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The site of what used to be known the Doral Open and now the WGC-Cadillac Championship has been a stop on the PGA Tour since the course opened in 1962. The great Billy Casper won the first Doral Open, and Tiger Woods won the final two before the tournament changed in 2007. Since becoming part of the World Golf Championship series, Woods has won at Doral twice more, in 2007 and 2013.

5. Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.

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5. Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, PA

Oakmont
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A golf course almost older than time itself, Oakmont opened in 1903 and has been a fixture on the major American golf landscape ever since. Johnny Miller holds the course record with a 63, done in the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open, which Miller won. Oakmont will host the 2016 U.S. Open, the club's first Open since 2007 when Angel Cabrera was victorious. It has hosted 13 major championships (not including those for amateurs).

4. Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md.

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4. Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md.

Congressional
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The gem of the mid-Atlantic, Congressional features two courses and has hosted four majors, including the U.S. Open three times (Congressional was also the site for the 1976 PGA Championship). Opened in 1924, all the greats have played at the course located just outside the nation's capital. Congressional is a regular stop on the PGA Tour as it hosts the AT&T National. Congressional's Blue course measures nearly 7,600 yards.

3. Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

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3. Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

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Augusta National has been the scenic home to The Masters since 1934. It is an island to the sports world where the fans are patrons, concessions are still reasonable, and TV rights and how the tournament is presented are controlled by the product, not the network. Controversial for its inclusion policies, Augusta remains the annual sign that spring is finally here when The Masters begins each April.

2. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Cal.

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2. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Cal.

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Pebble Beach is the most picturesque course in the country and one of the best in the world. Skirting the Pacific Ocean, a round here is on the bucket list of every golfer who has ever swung a club, talented or otherwise. And if you can afford it, you can play it as Pebble Beach is public. It is famous for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am each year, and has hosted five U.S. Opens, including Tiger Woods' 15-shot win in 2000.

1. The Old Course at St. Andrew's, Scotland

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1. The Old Course at St. Andrew's, Scotland

St. Andrew's
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As impressive as Oakmont is, still hosting major tournament well past its 100th birthday, golf has been found on the grounds of St. Andrew's for more than half a millennium. The most anticipated stop on the British Open Championship rotation, fans in the U.S. regularly rise in the middle of the night to watch early-round play on TV from St. Andrew's, for there is no venue like it anywhere.

Related: My Favorite Course: Nick Faldo


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