2020 was an epic year for golfers of all levels. Rounds played were up coast-to-coast and abroad. The sport was a beacon of safe and socially distant outdoor recreation for millions in a difficult year. Golfers appeared to savor their rounds like never before.
Golf Advisor received over 264,000 reviews in 2020 alone! That is the largest amount ever and a huge increase year-over-year. The annual Golfers’ Choice lists, now available to view for free on GolfPass, showcase the best public-access courses according to their review community. The lists seek out the courses large and small, expensive and affordable, that delivered exceptional experiences to everyday players.
One of the most useful lists is the Most Improved Top 25. This list was based on the courses that improved their ratings the most year-over-year. This list showcases how our review community can help spotlight up-and-coming courses in your market.
All the Golfers’ Choice courses are public access and many can be booked online right here at GolfNow.com. You can find your state on this landing page and see which courses are receiving excellent reviews that you haven’t experienced yet.
Congratulations to all the courses that made the lists! If you play a course that delivers an exceptional experience, you can support them by leaving a course review and also alert your fellow golfers to the great things happening there. Your review may help that course make a list next year.
Have a great 2021 golf season!
When on the fairways of Legends Golf Club at Temeku Hills in Temecula, Calif., your golf ball isn’t the only sphere that will be getting your attention. Located in the heart of Temecula Wine Country, this area is also well-known for its hot-air balloon enthusiasts. So a round here, especially in the morning, may be filled with onlookers soaring quietly high, high above the links.
“If you get out first thing in the morning, you might catch the hot air balloons!” wrote Golf Advisor reviewer AgentBaldEagle in their October, 2020 review. AgentBaldEagle even posted visual evidence:
Legends Golf Club has delivered an updated and excellent experience to Temecula-area golfers since new ownership purchased the course in 2011 (the course was formerly named “Temeku Hills”). Golf course architect P.B. Dye updated the original Ted Robinson layout, which features many elevated and multi-tiered greens with a wide variety of pin locations that regulars will enjoy. It’s a great layout for all levels of player with five sets of tees to choose from. It’s also a Youth on Course partner facility. YOC members can play nine holes for $5 after 3pm.
“I absolutely loved this course,” wrote Golf Advisor reviewer TP33 in an August, 2020 review. “This course was well worth the money. The course is laid out very nicely and had some unique holes. Looking forward to playing here again. It’s one of my favorites in the Temecula area now.”
Come early for your tee time and enjoy the club’s excellent amenities. The Legends facility features a great practice facility that includes a chipping area and 8,000-square-foot putting green. Recent updates to the Legends facility includes a new fleet of Club Car golf carts with plush seats. Those hot-air ballooners aren’t the only ones riding around here in style.
It’s Giving Tuesday! With that said, we’re excited to
announce our new partnership with Youth on Course and introduce you to a new
way to give back to the game we all love. Youth on Course provides access to
life-changing opportunities to youth through the game of golf by making golf accessible
Growing the game of golf is a shared mission by both GolfNow
and Youth on Course. As a GolfNow golfer, you’ll be able to assist in this
effort by rounding up the total cost of a reservation to an even-dollar figure,
which will be donated to Youth on Course. For example, if the cost of a tee
time totals $34.65, you can elect to round up the cost to $35, donating the additional
$0.35 to Youth on Course.
Rounding up your change to the nearest dollar goes directly towards providing young people with summer job opportunities, college scholarships, and affordable access to golf! Round up and give back the next time you book a round with GolfNow.
Have a youngster in your life between the ages of 6-19 who wants to play more golf? Have them check out Youth on Course for a membership, so they can start playing rounds for $5 or less!
It’s tough to not feel just a shade envious when strolling the grounds of Saddlebrook Golf & Tennis Resort near Tampa. Also the home of a boarding prep school for elite golf and tennis players, you’ll see smiling kids enjoying open-air meals, lounging at the pool and strolling the manicured resort trails en route to classes or instruction or the first tee.
Doesn’t exactly sound like your own high school experience, does it?
Then, of course, their grooved golf swings are of course something to behold.
The good news is we can all feel young again at 36-hole Saddlebrook Resort. Spread across 480 scenic acres full of preserved wetlands and forests, there are two charming 18-hole courses to choose from, a rejuvenating spa, four dining concepts and an excellent practice center and academy.
“The Palmer is well maintained and is easily one of my favorites,” wrote catkins101 in a Golf Advisor review from July, 2020. “The greens are perfect and there is a lot to offer after your round. For the price, this is the best non-private course in the area.”
The 18th hole of the Saddlebrook Course is a long and narrow par 4 that wraps around a pond and finishes next to the main resort compound where there may very well be onlookers eying your finish.
Saddlebrook is equipped for buddies trips by offering stay-and-play packages in spacious and fully-equipped onsite villa accommodations. If you’d like to send a junior to sample the Saddlebrook life, the resort offers golf and tennis camps during holiday breaks. And of course, parents are welcome to enjoy all the resort has to offer as well.
Check out this Golf Advisor Round Trip video that spotlights the history of Saddlebrook Resort and a visit with owner Thomas Dempsey, including its association with Arnold Palmer. WATCH HERE
We can’t get enough of New Orleans: The food … the folks … the festivities …
And how about the fairways! The local golf scene hustles with a tidy collection of layouts within the city and another collection on the West Bank.
Quick tourist tip: The “West Bank” is actually east of New Orleans’ central business district and set on the west bank of the meandering Mississippi River. (that’s not the only local lingo needed to get around NoLa).
Among the best golf courses in the New Orleans market is Stonebridge Golf Club in Gretna. Not only does this semi-private club have an affordable 18-hole championship course, but also a 9-hole course, The Harvey Course, that is geared for beginners and quick, casual rounds.
Given we’re on the bayou, you can expect a good dose of water hazards throughout the round. Among them is the par-3 5th hole, just 141 yards from the back tees, but requires a deft carry over a pond to the shallow green.
The Harvey nine, meanwhile, is a par 35 layout just over 3,000 yards.
The golf courses at Stonebridge have received some TLC in recent years, highlighted by a bunker renovation project.
“Pace of play was great,” wrote Golf Advisor reviewer ‘HalSimoneaux. “The course was in very good condition. The greens played hard and fast. Putts rolled very true.”
The review also thanks the staff for the measures taken to ensure a COVID-19 safe environment on the course and throughout the clubhouse.
Speaking of great vibes, Stonebridge has been stepping up its game. They host Cornhole tournaments every Monday evening (public welcome!) and seniors can take part in league events every Tuesday and Thursday morning. And the clubhouse is currently undergoing extensive upgrades. The grill, golf shop and ballroom are all in the midst of an upgrade that will lead to an enhanced food & beverage menu, and a swimming pool will be added by Spring, 2021.
It looks like we’re going to get not one, but two looks at Augusta National within about five months from fall of 2020 to April of 2021. Tantalizing, amirite? Of course, watching The Masters on TV is exciting, but the chances of any of us actually getting to play the course and the holes of Amen Corner is a long shot.
Enter Tour 18 Dallas. It’s one of two Tour 18 concepts in Texas (the other is Tour 18 Houston) and features a collection of replicas of the most famous holes around the country from Augusta National to Pine Valley.
If you’re a fan of watching golf held on the grandest stages, you’ll savor the chance to take on some of the most famous holes in the world. Tour 18’s front nine culminates with a Sawgrass-replicated island green par 3, and the back nine wraps in thrilling fashion with the three holes that make up Augusta’s “Amen Corner.”
There are other replica holes from private clubs you may never get to play, including Pine Valley, Riviera and Oakmont.
If you’re a Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex golfer who hasn’t played Tour 18 Dallas in awhile, the course just reopened this fall following a greens project. They’re now brand new and rolling as excellent as the pro golfers experience week in and week out.
“Greens were much improved. Solid course with fun look at the best of the best,” wrote a Golf Advisor reviewer in October, 2020.
Tour 18 Dallas is located in Flower Mound, just north of Fort Worth and just off I-35 W. Facilities are built to tour-grade quality with a large clubhouse with locker rooms and a bar and restaurant overlooking the island green replica of Sawgrass. There is also a full practice facility and driving range.