Gem Golf Courses in the U.S. and Canada

by Jordan Fuller
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Golf courses are a dime a dozen, but not all of them offer that same awe-inspiring feeling when you play a round on them. If you’re looking for somewhere new and exciting to play, we’re rediscovering these golf courses in the US and Canada as gems for avid golfers. 

(Photo by Peter Drew on

Pebble Beach Resorts – California, USA

Playing a round of golf at Pebble Beach Resorts golf course is on many golfers’ bucket lists. Many dream of walking in the footsteps of legends and playing on a course that’s rich in tournament history. 

But once you’re on the course, you realize that it has a creative design and requires a strategic approach on each hole. The winds will challenge your iron play, especially as you try to land your ball on the small greens. 

The steeply-pitched greens require you to give yourself the right angles, as some holes will have you hitting blindly towards a well-protected green. 

The 18th hole is the signature hole, and it’s a 543-yard par-5. Golfers will find themselves mesmerized by the spectacular ocean scenery. But taking a tee shot over the ocean to the fairway will be a challenge. 

Golfers will have to play their shot with accuracy; placing your drive on the correct side of the fairway can help you avoid the bunker on the left. 

Every hole on this course provides a challenge. With thought-provoking par-3s and sloped, undulating holes that run towards the sea, this course will test every aspect of your game. 

(Photo by Steven Shircliff on

Banff Springs Golf Club – Banff, Canada

Banff Springs Golf Club is nestled in the spectacular Canadian Rockies and every hole has breathtaking views. 

While the course itself may be flat, it has a timeless design with intimidating bunkers and tee shots aren’t that forgiving. 

Golfers can choose to play three different 18-hole combinations, as the course offers three nines. All the holes are bordered by the tall Douglas fir trees but the tee shots give plenty of room to make it to the fairway. 

There is a line of Douglas fir trees that run the length of the river, making visibility of the water more difficult. Golfers will find the course challenging with the strategically-placed bunkers, 11 doglegs, water coming into play on four holes, and subtle slopes and rigids.

The signature hole, which was originally the 1st hole, is now hole 15. This is an elevated tee shot, with a 200-yard carry over the Bow River, down to a slight dogleg-left fairway. There’s a tight landing area, as trees line both sides with 6 bunkers surrounding the green. 

(Photo by Edwin Compton on

TPC Sawgrass The Players Stadium Course – Florida, USA

The TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium course has tested the world’s best players on the PGA Tour and has set the scene for some of golf’s most dramatic finishes. This course, another gem golf course in Canada should be on your bucket list of courses to play. 

Golfers of all levels will find that every hole presents a challenge and each one requires attention and strategy. You can find your club on the wrong side of the fairway, which leads to the possibility of a double or triple bogey. 

The signature hole is one of the most recognized holes in the world, the iconic par-3 17th island green. 

But golfers will also find that hole 10 tests their skills. This is a par-4, tight dogleg, and golfers will find that their tee-off position will play a vital role. An errant shot can see your ball snared in the long bunker on the left or the bunker that crosses the fairway to the right. 

Many golfers are left mesmerized by hole 15, due to the 200-yard carry over the pond from the back tee. Trees line both sides of the fairway and a straight shot will be your best way to help you avoid strategically-placed bunkers. 

Sagebrush Golf Club – British Columbia, Canada

If Sagebrush Golf Club was on your bucket list of one-of-a-kind golf experiences, then you’ll be happy to know that the course has re-opened. 

The current soft opening day rate is $150 and includes as much golf as you can play, on-course lunch, and refreshments. When Sagebrush first opened, it was a private golf club, but under new ownership the club is open to the public. 

The course has wide, undulating fairways and each hole will provide a challenge. This course provides a variety of playing possibilities, from a long par-5 to a drivable par-4. Golfers will find that the course flows from one hole to another, each with its own unique challenge. 

Conditions may still be a bit rough on some holes, like the 7th. With that being said, the overall condition of the golf course is excellent, as the former greens superintendent, Neil Pilon, returned last summer. 

If you want to book a round of golf here, then you’d need to make a reservation while they’re still in the soft-opening phase.

(Photo by Steven Shercliff on

Lawsonia Links – Wisconsin, USA

The Lawsonia Links Golf Course has two 18-hole courses that are challenging, fun, and a must-play for golfers of all skill levels. 

The Lawsonia Links has rolling fairways, elevated and multi-tiered greens, strategically-placed bunkers, and deep rough. The landscape has been contoured and molded, which gives it a traditional links course feel. 

Golfers will love hole 7, as the dramatic 20-foot drop-off was apparently created by burying a boxcar. The 4th hole will provide a challenge, as it’s an uphill par-3 where you play to a near-blind green. 

Both the front and back nine will need creative and accurate shots, as the wind will provide a challenge. 

The Woodlands course provides its own fun challenges as you play through the pine and hardwood forest. Golfers’ skills will be tested with the sloping, tree-lined fairways and strategically-laid-out bunkers. 

The 14th hole is a difficult par-4 that is 438 yards from the back with an elevated bunker. To make the most of your shots, you’ll want to make it over the ridge where your ball will catch some downhill runout. This will leave you with a shorter approach.

Golfers may even find the 16th hole to be memorable. It’s a par-3 with an elevated tee that leads to an elongated green and a water short. Play your shot to the right and you’ll have plenty of room to make the rest of your shots. 

(Photo by Courtney Cook on

Enjoyment For Golfers Old and New to the Sport

Enjoying these gem golf courses in the U.S. and Canada is a given for long-time golfers and beginners alike.

-Photos as credited. Cover photo by Robert Ruggiero on

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