Virtually every part of the entertainment and recreation industry has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and golf is no exception. Courses across the U.S. and around the world have had to find ways to protect themselves and their businesses, while at the same time trying to offer people a safe place where they can enjoy outdoor activity responsibly.
GOLFNOW has teamed up with the Golf Course Relief Fund to collect donations from golfers like you, all of which will help create a grant fund for individual golf courses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Each time you book a round of golf with GOLFNOW, you will see a section where you can choose to make an optional contribution to the fund in any amount that you are comfortable with. And these funds will go directly toward helping golf courses and their employees stay afloat and return to business once it is safe to do so.
Staying safe during the COVID-19 outbreak while also getting
outside to enjoy your favorite fitness or activities can prove challenging.
While golf is an activity that lends itself to safe social distancing and
smaller groups, there are still some precautions you can take to help keep
yourself and golf course staff protected.
The number one way that you can still enjoy golf while
protecting staff is to prepay for your tee times online. GOLFNOW has offered
this option to thousands of golf courses that are still open for play, and more
courses are adding the functionality daily.
Prepaying for your full round of golf online helps to limit
contact for the golf course staff, and ensures that there are no large groups
of people gathered in line at the pro shop. The full online payment option
helps your favorite courses stay open and offers golfers like you an
opportunity to get fresh air and sunshine safely.
Prepay for your round, then get out and enjoy the game
To find golf courses in your area that are open and
available for fully online payments, visit GOLFNOW.com or search in the GOLFNOW
Updated WEDS 9/12/18 at 3:35 PM ET
As you’ve likely heard, Hurricane Florence is heading towards the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts and is scheduled to make landfall early Friday morning. We are anticipating that the storm will impact several of our partner courses in the region. Please contact courses directly to check the status and availability before booking.
If you currently have a tee time in the affected area and need to cancel your booking, there are two convenient ways to do so:
Call Our Hotline
For your convenience, we’ve set up a toll-free number to handle all Florence-related cancellations due to the storm. Please call our dedicated Hurricane Florence Member Care team at 1-833-446-4357.
We encourage all our golfers to be safe and prepared as Hurricane Florence continues to move toward the east coast.
Western Canada’s province of Alberta features both dramatic mountain ranges and expansive prairies. It’s also home to some of the north’s most legendary resort golf, not to mention a smattering of the best golf courses in Alberta found around its two largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton.
There is also a lot going on these days with long-awaited re-openings and even brand-new golf coming to metro Calgary.
No mention of the best golf courses in Alberta is complete without mentioning the gorgeous national parks of Canada and Stanley Thompson, the country’s most acclaimed Golden Age architect. He built two dazzling courses in the Canadian Rockies: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Fairmont Banff Springs. Both are frequent picks for being among the Top 5-10 courses in the country. At Banff, “Devil’s Cauldron” may be the most famous par 3 in the entire world, or at least west of TPC Sawgrass.
These two national parks courses are separated by about three hours-drive on the Icefields Parkway. There are loads of other noteworthy plays in the mountains that are more modern. Stewart Creek and Silvertip are two of the most reputable courses near Banff. Canmore Golf & Curling Club has a more traditional mountain layout and is semi-private during the summer golf season.
2018 was a big year in the Rockies thanks to the reopening of Kananaskis County Golf Courses. These 36 holes, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., were wiped away in a historic flood several years ago. It took several years to secure government funding and approval to rebuild, but in 2018, they official reopened both the Mount Kidd and Mount Lorette courses.
Another brand new course to keep an eye on is in metro Calgary: Phil Mickelson is designing Mickelson National, an exclusive private club. But for those looking for public courses around the area, there are plenty to choose from. And the “prairie” courses are more affordable as well. Two former Web.com hosts west of Calgary can be found at Redwood Meadows and The Links of GlenEagles. Nearby, you can also play a more tree-lined layout at Water Valley Golf & Country Club.
Closer to the city center, take a look at Inglewood Golf & Curling Club, or visit Shaganappi Point Golf Course, considered by many to be the one of the best golf courses in Alberta, and provides scenic skyline views. For a semi-private experience, check out Hamptons Golf Club, which was once fully private.
In Edmonton, the city owns three 18-hole courses for affordable and convenient golf, while semi-private options include Sturgeon Valley Golf & Country Club, Northern Bear Golf Club and Raven Crest Golf & Country Club.
Lastly, you could check out a “Badlands” course in Alberta at Dinosaur Trail Golf & Country Club. The back nine winds up and down through dramatic elevation and terrain with historic fossil discoveries on property.
Milwaukee is a blue collar town, and proud of it. That Midwestern ethos of work hard, play hard (especially in summer) helps Wisconsinites survive the long winters without golf. The best golf courses in Milwaukee reflect this blue-collar background but offer enough for those looking for something higher-end.
Milwaukee probably isn’t on the radar of most golf travelers, who fly in to race off to see major championship sites to the north (The American Club in Kohler) and the west (Erin Hills). Meanwhile, the best golf courses in Milwaukee offer a sturdy collection of great places to play. The muni headliner is, of course, the famous Brown Deer Park, host of the PGA Tour’s Milwaukee Open from 1994-2009. Tiger Woods launched his PGA Tour career at the 6,759-yard course, while others kept theirs alive. Veterans Scott Hoch, Jeff Sluman, Loren Roberts and Carlos Franco each won twice on the narrow, tree-lined track. The Dretzka Golf Course and Oakwood Park Golf Course are two other favorites in the 15-course Milwaukee County Parks System. Water crosses 12 holes of the 6,838-yard Dretzka, located in Milwaukee. Oakwood Park, in Franklin, is the longest county course at 7,074 yards.
By extending out into the suburbs, more options are revealed. The highest profile is perhaps The Bog, an entertaining Arnold Palmer course in Saulkville north of the city en route to Kohler. The 7,221-yard course has hosted multiple tournaments and state championships since opening in 1995.
Locals flock to courses on the southern rim, like Johnson Park Golf Course in Racine, a half-hour south, and Brighton Dale Links, home to 45 holes in Kansasville (40 minutes south) and Muskego Lakes Country Club in Muskego, which hosts an event every November where you can drive a real car on the cart paths.
A trio of choices are located northwest of the city. Of the 36 holes at Silver Spring Golf Club in Menomonee Falls, the island green on the appropriately named Island course stands out. Roughly 25 miles farther in Hartford sits the Washington County Golf Course, a muni that gets strong reviews on Golf Advisor. Then, of course, you have Erin Hills, the host of the 2017 U.S. Open. This stunning course isn’t for everybody with its walking-only policy, demanding layout and high green fees. But at least the option is there to play one of the best golf courses in Milwaukee, if not in the region. Considering only five other destinations in the country feature a public U.S. Open venue among their offerings, golfers in Milwaukee should feel privileged.
As Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. prepares to host the US Open Championship for the fifth time, the golf world will be reminded once again of what a great and historic stage Long Island is for golf. The challenging nature of the course will again stake claim on why it’s considered one of the best golf courses on Long Island. To be sure, the island offers some natural advantages, but the real reason this longest and largest island in the contiguous United States is a peerless place for golf is because so many great course architects built courses here. Long Island’s golf heritage dates back to the very roots of the Scottish game on American soil and flourished in the era known as Golf’s Golden Age—a roughly 25-year period beginning around 1910 that saw the game’s popularity increase dramatically and the creation of many great courses. Let’s look at a few of the playing fields, almost all of them private, that cemented New York’s place in golf history.
Shinnecock stakes its claim as one of the oldest organized golf clubs in the US (1891). It was one of five founding members of the USGA and it held the second US Open (1896) and showcased a Stanford White-designed clubhouse that was a marvel in its own right. Shinnecock Hills was a great playground for the rich, and its collection of par threes and penal rough will forever be lauded and cursed.
Shinnecock’s near neighbors in the Hamptons are The National Golf Links of America and The Maidstone Club. All three can be argued as the best golf courses on Long Island and are conveniently located within five miles of each other at the South Fork of the island. The National was the great masterpiece of C.B. Macdonald, the first US Amateur Champion and the man often considered the father of golf course architecture in America. Macdonald took on the mission of popularizing the game and designing a course with no weak holes. At The National, which opened in 1911, he introduced strategic design by creating multiple playing options for every hole. Macdonald built it by utilizing “template holes” inspired by the great holes he had studied in the British Isles.
Meanwhile, The Maidstone Club predates even Shinnecock Hills. Willie Park, Jr.’s 1899 design now barely exceeds 6,500 yards, but it will overmatch anyone if the wind is stirring. This incredibly natural and very wild links course features holes centered around lagoons and others that abut the Atlantic dunes.
Garden City Golf Club, a 1901 redesign by Devereux Emmet, represented an advance in America course architecture that also predated the work of his good friend C.B Macdonald. Like Macdonald, Emmet took inspiration from the strategy required when playing the shining holes of the British Isles. Walter Travis revised the course, which was built on an open plain, in 1906, but it remains a masterpiece of tight fairways, penal rough, very deep bunkers, and wonderful green complexes, an easy consideration as one of the best golf courses on Long Island.
The most revered of all the Golden Age courses on Long Island was Lido Golf Club. This 1917 C.B. Macdonald-Seth Raynor creation was eagerly anticipated because it was built right at the sea. Not only was it tremendously expensive to build ($750,000), it required massive earth moving. Macdonald credited Raynor with literally raising the course from the sea at Long Beach. The Legendary writer Bernard Darwin called it the finest course in the world.
While the vast majority of Long Island’s early and Golden Age courses are off limits to everyday golfers, one exception is Island’s End Golf & CC, a Herbert Strong creation from 1914. Located at the tip of the North Fork, it features a classic and unforgettable par-3 that runs parallel to Long Island Sound. Overall, however, this is an essentially modest public track.
Long Island is also host to a famously public major championship host. Bethpage State Park’s five golf courses are hardly modest. Three of the five eighteens at Bethpage were Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects designed by A.W. Tillinghast in the 1930s. Tillinghast’s rugged, broad-shouldered Black Course, restored by Rees Jones, hosted of the 2002 and 2009 US Opens and it is getting set to host of the 2019 PGA Championship and 2024 Ryder Cup. It’s a walking-only endurance test of formidable hills and huge bunkers, the boldest “Tillie” ever created. If Long Island’s long standing ability to host top notch PGA events & tournaments is any measure, it’s no wonder why the best golf courses on Long Island makes an appearance on the national circuit quite often.