Whether you call them hidden gems, well-kept secrets or diamonds in the rough, there’s a certain thrill to discovering a great golf course in an out-of-the-way locale.
The TeeTimes.net roster of courses is chock full of these lesser-known wonders – if you know where to look. Lucky for you, we do. Here’s a handful of our top picks:
The Rim Golf Club (Payson, Ariz.) – From $106.92
Okay, so the Rim hardly qualifies as obscure. It’s the Southwest’s No. 1 residential golf course according to Golfweek and has been the subject of many a glossy feature story. What’s not so well known is that this spectacular Weiskopf-Morrish track is now open to the public after spending its first 10 years as a private club. Located 90 minutes northeast of Phoenix on Route 87, the Rim boasts a breathtaking blend of scenery (it’s named for the Mogollon Rim), elevation changes and shotmaking challenges.
Stevinson Ranch GC (Stevinson, Calif.) – From $35
It’s easy to get overlooked in a state packed end-to-end with stellar public golf courses. Stevinson Ranch, situated about two hours from both Fresno and San Jose in the San Joaquin Valley, stacks up with the best of them. Underrated architect John Harbottle III created a natural delight lined with wetlands and native grasses. The course has hosted a pair of U.S. Open qualifiers and earns kudos for its conditioning.
Juliette Falls GC (Dunnellon, Fla.) – From $21.60
When you think Central Florida, you think Orlando, right? Set your sites a couple hours northwest and you’ll find Juliette Falls, built across rolling hills – yes, hills – near Dunnellon. The courses has won accolades from the national golf media and has a big fan in Champions Tour stud Bruce Fleisher, who called Juliette Falls “an incredible golf course.” Incredible value, too.
Chariot Run GC (Laconia, In.) – From $50.40
Great golf in southern Indiana? You bet your vintage Larry Bird short-shorts. Chariot Run is a visual stunner, laid out links-like with fescue-fringed bunkers lining its bentgrass fairways and greens. It can be a beast in the wind, especially from the 7,000-yards-plus back tees. If you’re luck’s no good on the course, drive the 15 or so minutes to Harrah’s Horseshoe Casino. Louisville, Ky., is just a bit farther in the same direction.
Mariners Landing G&CC (Huddleston, Va.) – From $28
Mariners Landing may be an unfamiliar commodity among golf travelers, but its designer certainly wasn’t. Robert Trent Jones crafted the original layout next to Smith Mountain Lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains just east of Roanoke. The setting is idyllic, but like most of Jones’ efforts, Mariners Landing can be a handful. Jones was kind enough to install five sets of tees stretching from 5,170 yards back to a mountainous 7,155. Choose wisely.