The Best Public Golf Courses

Golf-Bluegreen-18

Bluegreen Vacations provides you with the best possible vacation experiences, whether it’s skiing, outdoor adventures, relaxing on the beach or anything else. One particular vacation experience—dare we go so far as to say classic, best-on-earth, sacred sporting tradition—is golf. If you’re looking for some standout golf, both off the beaten path and maybe even on it, here are 18 course we call “The Bluegreen 18”.

Take a look at our golf course recommendations and get ready to explore some of the best public golf courses in the country from tee to green. Call your local pro and get that last lesson, nail down your swing, and make sure you have enough golf balls, because you’re going to need them.

Nos. 1-3: St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is home to the World Golf Hall of Fame Grande Villas at World Golf Village®. If you’re looking for a convenient Florida golf retreat, stay at this resort and make your tee times for both 18-hole championship courses right there on the property—King & Bear, designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, and Slammer & Squire, designed by Bobby Weed with help of pros Sam “The Slammer” Snead and Gene “The Squire” Sarazen. Each promises a challenging, fun, and breathtaking golf experience that’ll take you through the old pine forests and protected wetlands only found in Florida.

Grande Villas at World Golf VillageRoughly 40 miles northeast of the Grande Villas at World Golf Village® lies a course of legendary proportions and a popular Florida golf destination–one that you might have only seen on television or in your dreams – TPC Sawgrass. If you can get a tee time on the famous Stadium Course, and have a piggy bank you’ve been waiting to crack open, do yourself a favor and PLAY THIS COURSE. We can guarantee that you’ll never forget the exact moment your ball lands on the green on the world-famous par-3 17th.

Nos. 4-8: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Legions of awards have been bestowed upon Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, including being listed on “America’s Top 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest. With staggering beauty, Caledonia sprawls out beneath century-old oaks typical of historic South Carolina. Imagine the true flavor of the south combined with the world’s greatest game and you have Caledonia, a fine example of a Myrtle Beach golf course. Beautiful scenery and flawless design aside, this is a serious course that must be approached with caution. After all, the first hole is 624 yards from the tips (get your money’s worth and play from the tips, c’mon you can do it). As if needing four shots just to reach the fringe of the first hole wasn’t enough, there are two other par-5’s that average out to just over 600 yards each. The biggest kicker here, and probably the element that makes finishing 18 just about as much fun as possible is the clubhouse porch, complete with rocking chairs overlooking the final green. There’s nothing better than making your approach into the green while tired golfers rock back and forth, ready to applaud you, or abuse you with “boos”. Either way, it’s an awesome feeling that you must experience during your Myrtle Beach golf getaway!

Myrtle Beach GolfWherever you can find a Tournament Player’s Club golf course, play it. This is undoubtedly the case at TPC Myrtle Beach, a tour-caliber course located just 15 minutes from the heart of the Grand Strand. Designed by one of golf’s most incredible architects, Tom Fazio, this TPC course is sure to deliver a unique golfing experience, one that has earned it 5 Stars from Golf Digest (the only Grand Strand golf course with that honor). With fairways and landscaping that could make any horticulturalist drool, a layout that’s good enough for the pros and an esteemed reputation that could relegate royalty, the memory of playing one of the best Myrtle Beach golf courses is guaranteed to etch its signature into your brain. That might seem a bit dramatic, but those who’ve played here understand the rare pleasure of living with the searing memories of TPC.

The trio of courses operated by Mystical Golf, The Witch, The Wizard and Man O’ War, are hard to resist. The Wizard is the most difficult of the three, while The Witch graces 500 acres without any development. Man O’ War is defined by water: a 100-acre lake and an island ninth hole. All three courses may be booked online at mysticalgolf.com.

Nos. 9-11: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

A trip to Christmas Mountain Village™gives you access to two beautiful, on-site Wisconsin Dells golf courses, The Oaks and The Pines. The Oaks is a challenging 18-hole expedition through the natural beauty of the Wisconsin countryside that features “Back of the Oaks: the best new 9 in the state.” The Pines is a not-so-typical nine-hole course with over 3,000 yards of scenic golf excitement. Best of all, after 18, you can head back to your villa and relax, or dine at Mulligan’s Bar N’ Grill in the clubhouse and prepare for an encore round. After all, you’ve been waiting to take this Wisconsin golf vacation for quite some time.

Christmas Mountain Village GolfMinutes away is Wild Rock Golf Club, an exciting, fairly new course is literally carved out of the unique and challenging terrain to which the Wisconsin Dells claims its fame. Shoot over rock quarries and boulder streams and try not to get distracted by the dramatic hill views as your tee boxes change elevation from hole to hole.

No. 12: Boyne, Michigan

Among the 11 courses operated by Boyne Resorts and available to Bluegreen Vacations owners staying at Mountain Run at Boyne, The Alpine has distinguished itself as a world-class golf experience. You can look forward to fairly tight, tree-lined fairways on this secluded nonresidential championship layout, not to mention stunning mountain vistas and breathtaking views of Deer Lake. No matter your skill level, you can expect a fair yet challenging 18 holes on this par-72 track, one of the best golf courses in Michigan.

Nos. 13-14: Branson, Missouri

The Falls Village™ is the ideal resort if you want to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Ozark Mountains plus nearby nightlife and top-notch Branson golf courses newly acquired by Big Cedar® . Branson Creek Golf Club features 7,100 yards of true Par-71 championship golf amidst the timeless, natural beauty of Missouri. Both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest ranked it the No. 1 public course in Missouri nine years in a row, and both placed it in their “Top 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses in America.” Such accolades don’t come easy, so it’s evident that Branson Creek deserves a spot on your “to-play” list.

Shenandoah Valley GolfMurder Rock Golf & Country Club is a Par-71 championship course that offers you a tour of the magnificent Ozark Mountains via exciting holes that demand strategic shots. It’s a little shorter than Branson Creek, but just as beautiful with lush fairways and pristine greens. You really couldn’t ask for more.

No. 15: Williamsburg, Virginia

Patrick Henry Square™ is located less than a block away from the heart of Colonial Williamsburg and just happens to be only minutes from the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, a challenging Williamsburg golf course. There are three courses available, but the Gold Course was ranked one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” by Golf Digest in 2007. The Par-71, Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed championship course offers what might be one of the finest examples of traditional golf course architecture. The next time you’re at Patrick Henry Square, do yourself a favor and swing by.

No. 16: Gordonsville, Virginia

Just down the road from Bluegreen’s Shenandoah Crossing™ is the Shenandoah Golf Club. The championship golf course offers a challenging game on a quaint golf course, perfect for all skill levels. It’s hard to beat that – and play against such a beautiful backdrop like that of many Virginia golf courses.

Nos. 17-18: Las Vegas

Las Vegas GolfGive Las Vegas desert golf a shot at Paiute Golf Resort. With 54 holes of breathtaking scenery, each of the three available courses offers varying difficulty—different strokes for different folks. All of the courses mentioned are beautiful, challenging and priced well enough to help you live out your dreams of Vegas golf, only minutes from Bluegreen Club 36™.

Well, there’s the short list of golf course reviews and “must-play” courses for the next time you plan a Bluegreen vacation. It’s not surprising how many beautiful Bluegreen resorts just happen to situate themselves near some of the best public golf courses in the country. No matter where you go, you’ll always find a course to play.