32 incredible courses every golfer should play in their lifetime

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The Legend Golf & Safari Resort is home to the Extreme 19, set atop the Hanglip Mountain and accessed via helicopter.
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Facebook/Legend Golf & Safari Resort

Some golf courses are worth traveling the world for, whether you’re a professional golfer or simply enjoy the sport in your downtime.

We’ve put together a collection of 32 unforgettable golf courses, known for their fascinating locations, impeccable design, rich history, and unparalleled views.

From the world’s longest par 3, which is accessed via a helicopter, to Scotland’s historic Muirfield, here are 32 courses to play in your lifetime.

Sarah Schmalbruch wrote an earlier version of this post.


One of the world’s oldest and most iconic golf courses, the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland can be a challenge for even the best of golfers. The course has been played since the 15th century, and despite its fame, it remains open to the public.

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Click here to learn more about the Old Course at St Andrews »


At Mauritius’ Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club, players can enjoy a championship golf course set on a stunning private island. The course covers 38 hectares of the island and includes nine lakes, making for a challenging game.

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Click here to learn more about Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club »


Fans of the races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway can partake in a game of golf at Brickyard Crossing, which is located inside of the famous track.

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Click here to learn more about Brickyard Crossing »


Yas Links, located in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, was the first links golf course to open in the Middle East. The semi-private golf club offers paid memberships, but it also welcomes daily guests, who can play a round while enjoying dramatic views of the Arabian Gulf.

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Click here to learn more about Yas Links »


At Port Royal in Southhampton, Bermuda, players get views of the water from nearly every hole. The 16th hole, which is played from a tee on a cliff edge, is unforgettable.

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Getty Images/Scott Halleran

Click here to learn more about Port Royal »


Old Head Golf Links in County Cork, Ireland, is built on 220 acres of land that jut out into the Atlantic Ocean. Players will feel as though they’re enjoying a game on their own island, with numerous caves that run beneath the course and acres of unspoiled cliff that frame it.

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Getty Images/David Cannon

Click here to learn more about Old Head Golf Links »


Sandy Lane has been a popular Caribbean resort with the wealthy for years, and its Green Monkey course is available exclusively to its guests. The course, which was designed by Tom Fazio, has dramatic elevation changes and spectacular views out to the sea.

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Click here to learn more about the Green Monkey »


At the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, players can challenge themselves to the Extreme 19, the world’s longest par 3 course. It’s set atop the Hanglip Mountain and accessed via helicopter.

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Click here to learn more about Legend Golf and Safari Resort »


Wolf Creek Golf Club, located in Mesquite, Nevada, is often featured on best-of-golfing lists thanks to its unique canyon setting. Players are spoiled with 360-degree views, various elevation changes, and lush fairways amidst the rugged terrain.

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Click here to learn more about Wolf Creek Golf Club »


Providing players with ocean views, wide-open vistas, cliffside fairways, and sloping greens, California’s Pebble Beach Golf Links is often ranked as America’s best public course. Jack Nicklaus once said that if he had to choose only one more round to play, it would be here.

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Getty Images/Harry How

Click here to learn more about Pebble Beach Golf Links »


Muirfield, which opened in 1744, is home to the world’s oldest golfing society, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Located in Gullane, Scotland, Muirfield has hosted various championships throughout the years, and is a favorite for those who like a challenging game.

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David Cannon/Getty Images

Click here to learn more about Muirfield »


The Cape Kidnappers golf course, designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, features narrow fairways perched 460 feet above the Pacific Ocean in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. The course is a challenge for golfers of all skill levels, and its breathtaking setting only adds to its appeal.

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Getty Images/David Cannon

Click here to learn more about Cape Kidnappers Golf Course »


For a game unlike any other, head to the Himalayan Golf Course in Pokhara, Nepal. Once you arrive, you’ll find a stunning natural amphitheater with mountain views and a river that runs right through the course.

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Courtesy of The Himalayan Golf Course

Click here to learn more about the Himalayan Golf Course »


Teeth of the Dog in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic, is consistently ranked the number-one course in the Caribbean. Designed by Pete Dye, the course has seven oceanside holes.

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Click here to learn more about Teeth of the Dog »


The North Star Golf Club in Fairbanks, Alaska, is the northernmost golf course in America, and includes a property that is underlain by permafrost to create a continuously changing pattern of dips and mounds. Plus, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll run into several wildlife species during your game.

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Click here to learn more about North Star Golf Club »


The Princeville Makai Golf Course in Princeville, Hawaii, was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and includes stunning views over Hanalei Bay at its signature 7th hole. The course is also one of the first to offer players GolfBoards — vehicles that are designed to make players feel as though they are surfing through the terrain.

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Click here to learn more about Princeville Makai Golf Club »

Click here to learn more about the GolfBoard »


Play a round at the world’s lowest elevation golf course at the Furnace Creek Golf Course, located in Death Valley National Park in California. At 214 below sea level, the course includes majestic mountain views.

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Click here to learn more about Furnace Creek Resort »


The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, requires a good amount of strategic thinking, with many holes framed around the lake. It’s also known for its infamous 17th hole, which is set on an island green.

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Getty Images/Scott Halleran

Click here to learn more about the Stadium Course »


The Nullarbor Links was implemented to increase tourism along Australia’s Eyre Highway, and it has since become the world’s longest golf course. The 18-hole course spans about 4.48 million feet, with its holes situated in participating towns along the highway from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna.

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Click here to learn more about Nullarbor Links »


The Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is known for its floating green on the 14th hole. The course is located about a mile away from the resort, but guests are transported there via mahogany boats.

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Quicksilver Studios, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Click here to learn more about the Coeur d’Alene Resort »


The par-72 championship golf course at Kauri Cliffs, located in Matauri Bay, New Zealand, offers players five sets of tees and fifteen holes with views of the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs hovering over the sea. Players can also access a world-class practice range, putting and chipping greens, a golf shop, and rental clubs at the golf complex.

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Click here to learn more about Kauri Cliffs »


Augusta National Golf Club is home to the US Masters. Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones did the original routing, but since then the course has been altered by the likes of Perry Maxwell, Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Fazio. In 2012, the exclusive course let in its first women members, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore.

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Getty Images/ Andrew Redington

Click here to learn more about Augusta National Golf Club »


Located in County Kerry, Ireland, The Old Course at Ballybunion is naturally beautiful, with grassy dunes set alongside the ocean. Nearly every hole here is excellent.

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Getty Images/David Cannon

Click here to learn more about the Old Course at Ballybunion »


The magnificent Ocean Course is located at the easternmost end of Kiawah Island in South Carolina. The course has more seaside holes than any other in the Northern Hemisphere, and players are treated to views of the Atlantic Ocean at every hole.

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Click here to learn more about Kiawah Island Golf Resort »


The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Black Rock, Victoria, dates back to 1891, and its West Course is regarded as one of the finest in Australia. Its highlights include bold bunkering and some of the fastest greens in the world.

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Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Click here to learn more about the Royal Melbourne Golf Club »


Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley, New Jersey, is often ranked as one of the world’s best golf courses thanks to its stunning design and its incorporation of scrub pines, natural sands, and trees. Robert Trent Jones wrote that it has more classic holes than any other course in the world.

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Getty Images/David Cannon

Click here to learn more about Pine Valley Golf Club »


The Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Ireland, includes two links courses: Dunluce Links (home to unbelievably rough and testing greens) and the lesser-known Valley Links. Portrush is the only club in Ireland to have hosted The Open Championship.

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AP/Peter Morrison

Click here to learn more about the Royal Portrush Golf Club »


Located on the southern Oregon coast, Pacific Dunes is regarded as one of the best at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and in the world. The 16th hole is a real gem, with its short par four and sloping green. The course includes rippling fairways, spectacular 60-foot sand dunes, and shore pines that make for an exciting game.

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Getty Images/David Cannon

Click here to learn more about Pacific Dunes »


There’s a reason why so many of the major championships in the US take place at the Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. The course features some of the fastest greens and most strategic bunkering you can find.

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Getty Images/Harry How

Click here to learn more about the Oakmont Country Club »


Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, dates back to 1891 and boasts the oldest clubhouse in the US. Its course utilizes the rolling terrain of the south shore to offer players variety and excitement.

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Getty Images/Al Messerschmidt

Click here to learn more about Shinnecock Hills Golf Club »


The course at Sand Hills in Mullen, Nebraska, was dubbed “the most natural golf course in America” by Golf Digest. The links-style course includes 19 holes that emerge from rolling sand hills, with challenging holes shaped by natural sand traps.

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Getty Images/David Cannon

Click here to learn more about Sandy Hills Golf Club »

Source: Golf Digest


Hirono Golf Club is often considered the best course in Japan and has hosted several major Japanese tournaments. The course has spectacular bunkering, ranging from diagonal cross bunkers to ragged-edged bunkers.

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Click here to learn more about Hirono Golf Club »