Best public golf course in the U.S.? According to Golf World Readers Choice Awards, it's Forest Dunes in Michigan
Golf World magazine released their new golf course Readers Choice Awards this week, and while I’m always pretty skeptical of course rankings, I’m really liking the Golf World user-feedback ranking system. It produces a more honest list for the everyday golfer compared to Golf Magazine’s panel that is more old guard.
I especially like how Golf World created three stand-alone categories: Public, Resort and Private, because each serves a completely different purpose for their patrons. Also, there are ten categories, from conditioning to off-course amenities, so this rates a club on the overall experience, which is closer to what the travel golfer is after.
According to the magazine’s readers who voted, the best “Public” course in America is Forest Dunes Golf Club in northern Michigan. It’s a course I’ve played twice, most recently at the beginning of this month, and it’s pretty special. It’s in the middle of nowhere (to the point my GPS was on the fritz trying to direct me to it, so keep back up directions on a napkin in your pocket), but the club is actually closer to Grand Rapids, Detroit and Chicago compared to many of the northern Michigan courses by car.
Forest Dunes is the type of course that you feel like a tour pro on: a tournament-style golf design with tight fairways and slick greens. There’s no real “signature” hole here, but the variety from a shot-maker’s perspective is outstanding, and aesthetically the course never looks the same because it’s weaving in and out of forest into open, sandy dunes.
Best public course in America? It’s not even my favorite golf course in Michigan (though it is high on the list), but I entirely understand why it received such high marks from so many golfers. Click here for a new photo gallery of Forest Dunes just posted.
Best golf resort according to Golf World? Kiawah Island with Bandon Dunes a close second. They’re polar opposites of each other, one offering lowcountry luxury, while Bandon offers pure links golf, but both are bucket list golf resorts for just about anyone.
I know there are a lot of golfers out there who make it a point to play Golf Digest and Golf Magazine’s Top 100 lists. I’ve played some duds on those lists that are nice, sure, but not special. I’d be more inclined to take my fellow golfers’ word for it on Golf World’s Readers Choice list or the Zagat Guide to Golf, which is a good way of narrowing down which course to play in a specific region and especially around metropolitan areas.
If you’re in a golf course rankings mood, you rate almost any golf course in the world at WorldGolf.com through our exit polls. Find your course guide page here.
To view Golf World’s complete Readers Choice list, click here.
You can follow Brandon Tucker’s golf blog and more on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brandontucker or follow WorldGolf.com at Twitter.com/worldgolf . Have a golf travel question for Brandon? Email him by clicking here
|« Verizon will discontinue sponsorship of PGA Tour's Heritage Classic on Hilton Head Island||It's not too late to stop talking northern Michigan for the 2009 golf season »|