Five golf courses you probably haven’t played–but should

Posted on 29. Jun, 2011 by in Sports

I travel a fair amount. Both personally and for my work with Scott Barber Apparel. Now, I don’t play as much as I’d like, but when I have the chance I love to get out on the course. And, I love playing those “diamonds in the rough”-type courses, too. You know, those tracks that are fantastic to play, but don’t quite get the same kind of notoriety as places like Pebble Beach, Bethpage and the like.

I’m also constantly getting tips and advice on new courses to play from my friends, colleagues and family. So, today I thought I’d share a few of those “hidden gems” that I’ve heard a lot about recently:

Aiken Golf Club

South Carolina is a haven for outstanding golf courses but this course seems to stand out as an old club that doesn’t “show its age.” Very different than today’s newly built courses that focus on wider fairways and open spaces, this course puts a premium on accuracy and touch around the greens playing at just over 6,000 yards from the “medal tees.”

The Links of North Dakota

What states come to mind when you think of great golf? California, Florida and probably North Carolina, among others, right? But, chances are North Dakota isn’t on most people’s golf course destination list. That mindset should change with The Links of North Dakota. This links-style course would be a significant challenge for me. And, while there’s no water to worry about, there are 82 sand bunkers that would most likely keep me plenty busy. It’s also on the relatively new Lewis & Clark Golf Trail, which features a number of courses across North Dakota.

Farm Neck Golf Club

If you know me, or you’ve read this blog in the past, you know that good wine is a personal passion of mine. So, if you’re looking for a chance to mix golf AND wine, it seems like Farm Neck in Martha’s Vineyard seems like it might be worth a look. The course is beautiful with spectacular ocean views and vistas. But, the reason I’m so interested in playing this course is the location and its access to some of the finer wine on the eastern seaboard.

Tobacco Road Golf Club

A trip to this Sanford, N.C.-based course might just be in my near future. Why? As a course that’s built on an old sand quarry, Tobacco Road has been carved out at more than 6,500 yards and features a rough and more natural landscape. It has also been named to Golf Digest’s 10 Hardest Courses to Play in the U.S. as well as’s 10 Most Underrated Golf Courses in the U.S. I don’t think I need any more motivation.


Bali Hai Golf Club

Bali Hai appears on this list as much for location as the course itself (fairly close for me to visit in Las Vegas). In this case, you can play great golf and hit the Blackjack tables in the same day. As an  “urban course”, Bali Hai is fairly unique in that it features acres of water and even a couple island greens. If you aren’t quite sure you’re ready for a trip to Bali Hai, try an interactive game on the Bali Hai web site and give it a “test drive.”

What about you? What are your “hidden gem” favorites across the country? I’d love to hear your favorites—I’m always looking for new courses to try.

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