Unveiling 2023’s Top 5 Must-Play Golf Courses

Prepare to tee off on a journey of visual splendor and challenging swings as we step onto the lush greens of the future. Guiding both veteran golfers and new enthusiasts alike, we’re about to venture into the expansive, ever-evolving world of golf to handpick the finest landscapes this spectacular sport will have to offer in 2023. This isn’t just about scenic beauty or reputation; we’re mapping out the playgrounds that will put your tactical prowess, precision and persistence to the ultimate tests. So, strap in, grab your clubs, and get ready to indulge your passion for golf like never before. Ahead, lies the fairway less traveled, brimming with the Top 5 must-play golf courses of 2023. Remember, in golf, as in life, it’s the journey – not just the destination – that truly makes us appreciate the game.


As we approach 2023, it’s the perfect opportunity to start strategizing for your golf adventures. Whether you’re an experienced player or a casual golfer, the excitement of exploring new golf courses worldwide is undeniable. Especially after a year that saw golf gaining popularity as a relaxing and socially distanced outdoor sport, the options for your next golf trip have never been more thrilling.

Many elements contribute to golf’s prominence in global sports, many of which are tied to its significant impact on tourism. However, it’s not just the game itself that attracts enthusiasts but the beautiful landscapes, exquisite clubhouse dining experiences, and vibrant social life that make golf tourism an ever-growing industry. This entails more than staying active and sharpening skills; it’s about immersing in a historic sport while exploring revered golf courses that literally broaden your horizons.

With the new year just around the corner, it’s an excellent time to discover the top must-play golf courses of 2023. These golf courses represent more than average places to play; they come with spectacular natural environments, skilful design, and demanding game strategies that will push even the most accomplished golfer’s game to uncharted levels. So, brace yourselves for an extraordinary golf tour across the world.

Join us as we plunge into top-tier golf destinations; places frequently found on every golf lover’s wish list. If you assumed your golfing peak was in the past, get ready to be pleasantly surprised as we navigate the must-play golf courses of 2023.

Come along with us as we traverse the aesthetically pleasing landscapes, intricate terrains, and challenging hole designs of 2023’s premier golf courses. We guarantee an unforgettable journey, engraving extraordinary experiences at the heart of your golf journey. The sport of golf is more than a game; it’s a lifestyle and these golf courses are geared to enhance how you play. Brace yourself to amplify your performance in the game. An unmatched golf trip awaits you.

Nestled amidst the rocky coastline of California, the Pebble Beach Golf Links brings to the table an unparalleled golfing experience that is tethered to the roots of the sport’s history. Since its establishment in 1919, this golf course combines the versatility of the terrain with the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Praised for its picturesque views and challenging holes, Pebble Beach Golf Links guarantees golf enthusiasts a premium experience and is undeniably worth playing in 2023.

The history of Pebble Beach Golf Links is as illustrious as the course itself. Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, it stands as a testament to their craftsmanship in golf design. This course has witnessed performances by golfing legends like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods that have made their mark on the history of golf.

Located in Pebble Beach, a part of Monterey County in California, this course is beautifully carved out on the peninsula of the Pacific coastline. It is conveniently accessible from both the San Francisco and Los Angeles airports, making it an attractive choice for golfers globally.

One of the captivating features of Pebble Beach Golf Links is its layout that sprawls across cliffs flanked by Cypress trees. From the challenging par-3 seventh hole exposed to oceanic winds to the risk-reward calculation at the eighth hole, golfers are assured of an exceptional golf game. Its signature hole, the 18th, measuring at an imposing 543 yards with half of it along the coastline, is regarded as one of the finest finishing holes in golf.

Stepping onto the Pebble Beach Golf Links, golfers can engage with one of the sport’s finest competitive stages and immerse themselves in the sheer beauty of nature. As golfers in the past have quoted “*It’s not just the greatest meeting of land and sea in American golf, but the most extensive one, too, with nine holes [#4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #17 and #18] that hug the rugged coastline*”.

Come 2023, whether you are a seasoned player or a casual golf enthusiast, the Pebble Beach Golf Links holds an enchanting allure that beckons you to test your skills against its ever-changing dynamics. With its exciting challenges and thrills along its fairways, it represents why it is one the Top 5 Must-play Golf Courses of 2023.

For every golf aficionado, some courses are more than just a playing field; they are a pilgrimage. And at the helm of such destinations is the legendary St. Andrews Links. Fondly known as the ‘Home of Golf’, St. Andrews Links in Scotland has been captivating hardcore golfers worldwide, continually commanding their return.

There are very few places in the world where history, tradition, and the sport of golf unite in such an enchanting blend. Stepping onto the immemorial greens of St. Andrews Links, the golfer submits not only to a round of play but also to an immersive journey through the annals of golfing history. It’s worth noting that this golf course has a rich heritage. Opened in the 15th century, it has borne witness to over 600 years of golfing history, famously hosting the world’s first ‘Open Championship’ in 1860.

For enthusiasts of this age-old sport, the pull of the St. Andrews Links lies not just in its history, but also its stimulating design. From hole 1 through to hole 18, each hole beckons with its unique layout and strategic demands, earning every one of them an esteemed place in golfing folklore. The golf world’s most eminent players have painted these fairways with their own iconic moments, forever etching themselves and St. Andrews into golfing legend.

The allure of the 17th hole ‘Road Hole’, for instance, cannot be overstated. Deemed one of golf’s most legendary par-four holes, the Road Hole’s notorious blind tee shot over an old railway shed and nerve-wracking approach shot to an uncommonly narrow green, guarded by the dreaded Road Bunker, are ample testaments to the course’s brilliance.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an ambitious amateur, St. Andrews Links offers you the chance to walk in the footsteps of golfing legends, conquer celebrated holes, and engulf yourself in rich golfing history. Nowhere else will you find such a potent mixture of tradition, design innovation, and intense golfing challenge.

Unveiling 2023’s top must-play courses, St. Andrews Links ascends the rungs not just as a golf course, but as a golfer’s paradise. Golfers far and wide, it’s your turn. Test your mettle on those greens that have witnessed golfing mastery of the highest order. Get ready for St. Andrews Links in 2023.

The Old Course

No golfer’s journey is complete without a measure of their prowess on the iconic Old Course at St. Andrews. Nestled on the Scottish coast, its salty air, uneven fairways, and unyielding greens bring a tantalizing mix of challenge and charm seldom matched.

Its design exemplifies the very *spirit of the game*. The Old Course’s paradox is that it appears deceptively simple with its wide fairways, yet any slight misjudgement risks being severely punished. From the tee off at the first hole to the final putt on the 18th, this course fearlessly tests a golfer’s accuracy, strategy, and fortitude. In the words of renowned golf journalist, James Dodson, “St. Andrews is golf’s alpha and omega.”

The ethereal presence of golfing legends is profoundly felt on these ancient links. The greats like Jack Nicklaus and Sir Nick Faldo appear almost as shadows, making their way on the greens and also in the consciousness of the golfing world.

The Old Course is more than just a field; it’s a narrative. Hosting some of the most significant tournaments in golf’s storied history, this iconic course has been the venue for a total of 29 Open Championships. Here, tales of astounding victories and heartbreaking defeats have been inscribed. It has witnessed the triumphs of illustrious golfers like Bobby Jones and Seve Ballesteros, who have marked their inimitable narratives into its resplendent history.

Embarking the green of the Old Course signifies much more than just a game – it’s an homage to the centuries-old roots of golf. It stands as a rite of passage into the records of a sport steeped in tradition and prestige. If there’s one golf course to step onto in 2023, it should undeniably be the Old Course at St. Andrews, the original home of golf. To encapsulate in the words of golfing legend Tom Watson, “No other course in the world glows as brightly as the Old Course does.” Simply, it is not just a golf course – it is THE golf course.

The Castle Course

Nestled in the cradle of golf’s birthplace, the Castle Course in St. Andrews undoubtedly deserves its position among 2023’s top must-play golf courses. From the moment you step onto its iconic terrains, you are welcomed by breathtaking scenic beauty, unparalleled in its allure.

Journeying across the Castle Course is akin to navigating a painter’s canvas – its sweeping landscapes of lush green, punctuated by the fierce blue of the sea beyond, create a palette of colours that leaves you mesmerized. The course is mindfully designed to give its players an authentic Scottish seaside golf experience as it snakes its way alongside the rugged coastline, offering panoramic views of St. Andrews Bay.

Unlike any other golfing terrain, the Castle Course captures the perfect blend of beauty and challenge. Its strategically designed holes command not just precision in every stroke, but understanding of the unique contours and slopes of the terrain, adding a layer of complexity to every shot.

Every hole on the Castle Course unfurls in a new direction, revealing a vista more charming than the last. The 17th tee, perched on a bluff overlooking the cliff, presents a challenge that is nothing short of captivating. Only the experienced golfers will appreciate the nerve and skill demanded by this hole as it invites a daring shot across the rugged coastline.

It’s not just about the golfing; the Castle Course creates an immersive experience that is beyond the game. From the tranquillity of the course to the hospitality of its clubhouse, the Castle Course at St. Andrews etches itself into the memory of every golfer who traverses its fairways. The narratives and experiences it fosters truly bring the Castle Course to life.

So, whether you’re an avid golfer seeking your next big challenge or a traveller hoping to immerse yourself in the beauty and grace of Scotland, remember the Castle Course at St. Andrews. It embodies the essence of the ideal golfing experience. Your next golfing adventure here promises not only a game but a captivating journey amid the scenic beauty and masterful design.

Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia

At the heart of Australia, the illustrious Royal Melbourne Golf Club beckons avid golfers. Known for its premier course design and critical acclaim in hosting major international tournaments, it’s more than just a golf course; it’s pure, unadulterated golfing elegance.

Established in 1891, the prestige of the club is palpable. It’s the oldest in Australia, and the legacy doesn’t end there. It has prided itself on a reputable international stage, solidifying itself as one of the most revered golf clubs across the globe. Showcased by its consistent ranking among Golf Digest’s top five golf courses, it demonstrates undeniable allure for any golf enthusiast.

The immaculate design of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club course facilitates a challenging, yet gratifying, golfing experience. The club is renowned for its two courses: the East and the West, with the West course earning global recognition for its architectural excellence. Conceptualised by notable golf architect Dr Alister MacKenzie, the layout of this course cleverly integrates strategic mechanisms, encouraging players to make intelligent decisions at every swing, thereby enriching the gaming experience.

Visualise flawlessly groomed lawns, tactically located bunkers evoking a combination of intimidation and challenge, tall swaying grasses mystically framing the undulating fairways, and looming native Australian trees instilling a sense of solitude and tranquillity. Scattered throughout the 36 holes, golfers will be aesthetically pleased as they navigate their game.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the club has been the nucleus of major international competition, validating its influential reputation in the golf world. This high esteem has facilitated the hosting of the Presidents Cup tournaments in 1998 and 2011 respectively. Recently, it has been announced that the club will be the proud host of the Presidents Cup in 2023, an affirmation of the high regard in which the venue is held.

These tournaments assemble the world’s best golfers and showcase the club’s international stature, providing the perfect battleground for intense competition. Being present during these events, one can feel the thick historical resonance in the air, a harmony of triumphant cheers from past conquests.

The Royal Melbourne Golf Club deserves a spot on the must-play golf courses for 2023, with its perfect amalgamation of history, competition, world-class design and the incomparable beauty of Australian landscapes. A round of golf here transcends beyond a mere game – it’s an unforgettable encounter with a rich golfing past.

Augusta National Golf Club, USA

Known as the cathedral of pines, the Augusta National Golf Club sets the standard for all golf courses. It’s perfectly nestled in the heartland of Georgia, USA, and solely dedicated to the nation’s golfing passion. Augusta represents more than just a game; it reflects a lifestyle.

The club was founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts and built on a former fruit nursery. Augusta is not simply a golf course; it’s a home of traditions, exclusivity, reputation, and the infamous Masters Tournament. The golf played here is thought to be the purest form, weaving a rich tapestry of tradition that’s not defined by style or geographical origin.

Ever since its inception in 1933, the Augusta National Golf Club has served as an elite gathering spot. The member’s cap and strickt invitation-only policy make it a prized goal on many golfers’ bucket lists. This club bears the Green Jacket tradition and Amen Corner, offering a combination of drama, history, and exclusivity unlike any other golf club.

Every hole at Augusta National narrates a tale of golfing folklore, but the drama perfectly encapsulates Amen Corner. Coined by Herbert Warren Wind in a Sports Illustrated article, Amen Corner, comprising the 11th, 12th, and half of the 13th hole, has witnessed numerous shocking and heart-rending moments in Masters Tournaments over the years, lending a captivating aura.

Augusta National, complete with constantly blooming azaleas, tall Georgia pines, and immaculate fairways, offers something few clubs can – a unique blend of aesthetic appeal and challenge. Its charm is not confined to the quality of fairways, the brisk greens, or even the iconic Green Jacket. The appeal lies in its tradition, exclusivity, and the power to make a golfer’s heart flutter at its name.

The allure and charm of Augusta National represent the best of golf. It’s hardly surprising that future patrons of Augusta, upon reaching the first hole, might indeed feel like they’ve discovered a golfing paradise. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, and one’s entire golfing experience may feel like it has led to this exact moment.

For a thrilling journey in 2023, visit the Augusta National Golf Club. This prestigious destination will not just fulfill your golfing desires but immerse you in its rich history and honored traditions. Experience the thrill of America’s most revered golf club, making it one of the top 5 must-play golf courses in 2023.

Pine Valley Golf Club, USA

Nestled in the serene landscapes of southern New Jersey, the Pine Valley Golf Club has firmly cemented its position as one of the world’s premier golfing destinations. Known among golf enthusiasts for its demanding difficulty level and the meticulous preservation of its pro-design layout, a round at Pine Valley is as much a test of golfing mettle as it is a celebration of the sport’s rich heritage.

The course extends over prime sandy soil characterized by dramatic dunes, creating a thrilling puzzle that requires meticulous strategizing and top-notch execution. Immaculate fairways, treacherous sand traps, and imposing roughs covered with rare Pine Valley scrub pine make it vital for any golfer to be well-prepared to navigate this legendary course.

Established by hotelier George Crump, Pine Valley Golf Club debuted in 1914, blending seamlessly into the challenging natural environment. It was designed to be not just a golf club, but ‘the finest golf course in the world’. Golfing legends, from Bobby Jones to Jack Nicklaus, have praised the Pine Valley course for its flawless design and distinctive feel. As Nicklaus put it, “There are no weak holes. Every single one is a masterpiece.”

One of Pine Valley’s unique qualities is its ability to maintain the original design of the course. After more than a century since the first golfer teed off here, the course has preserved its age-old allure impeccably, masterfully balancing time-honored tradition and modernity.

Golf experts often describe a round at Pine Valley as a ‘purist’s dream’. True to this description, this course demands the use of every club in your bag and every shot in your repertoire. However, the challenge eventually yields, leading to rewards beyond the scorecard. For golf enthusiasts keen on experiencing golf in its unadulterated form and encountering some of the world’s most thrilling holes, a visit to Pine Valley Golf Club is essential.

Think of 2023 as a year of golfing adventures, and Pine Valley Golf Club is sure to make an unforgettable impression on your golf travel itinerary. So get your bags packed and be ready to find out why this top-ranking course has won the hearts and minds of players for over a century.


You’re eager to know, “What are the top 5 must-play golf courses in 2023?” A good question indeed! The selection process is meticulous, taking into consideration course design, facilities, and the unique charm each course brings.

A question often asked is how these courses were selected? Variety is the backbone of a top-tier golf course. It should challenge players of all levels while remaining an enjoyable experience. The selection process included consideration of tee lengths, fairway widths, green sizes, and also course reputation and feedback from the golfing community. Quality customer service, scenic views, and world-class amenities contribute to a course’s ranking.

You might ask, “What makes these golf courses unique?”. Each course has been chosen for its exceptional features. Some courses offer stunning views that turn your game into a nature-adventure, while others stand out because of their challenging layout that tests the skills of any golfer. Every course on this list provides an experience worthy of its position. Availability of equipment rental facilities, caddy services, and dining options were also considered.

Planning a visit? Begin by checking the course’s official websites for tee time bookings and, if needed, accommodation arrangements. Advanced booking is always a good idea. Remember to also check the local weather forecast, pack suitable golf attire, and get ready for an amazing golfing experience.

Responding to queries about ‘hidden gem’ golf courses for future discovery, the answer is a definite yes. Golf course design is always evolving, with new challenges to be discovered each year. These undiscovered treasures often surface from the most unexpected places. Keeping an eye on golfing forums and social media for course reviews and recommendations is advised.

While there might not be a perfect answer to each query, one thing is clear: the top 5 golf courses of 2023 are distinguished, memorable, and a dream for golfers. You should now have a clear understanding on whether they might suit your preferences, how to prepare, and plan your visit. The next step? Pack your clubs and let the golfing adventure commence!

How are these golf courses ranked?

In the world of golf, the circuits that host the game hold just as much allure and significance as the game itself. And when it comes to the 2023’s top 5 must-play golf courses, it’s not just about the game, but the sheer magnificence and thrill the courses offer. But, you might wonder how these golf courses are ranked and how we sift through the numerous stunning golf courses around the globe to designate the top five to make your golfing bucket list?

The ranking criteria is meant to provide a fair and all-encompassing evaluation of the courses. This necessitates factoring in aspects focused on the player’s experience and the course’s stature within the broader context of golf. Key factors considered include course design, historical significance, tournament hosting, and golfer reviews.

A well-designed golf course widens its appeal beyond aesthetics. It considers the strategic layout, diversity of the playing field, and the level of challenge presented to the golfer. Courses designed by legendary architects, such as Alister MacKenzie, Donald Ross, and Pete Dye often receive high recognition.

Historical significance is another considerable factor. Courses that have left significant footprints in the sands of golf history are often favorably seen. This includes circuits that have witnessed legendary golfing moments, those where icons first swung their clubs, or where history-making games have been held.

Tournament hosting also adds to the prestige of a golf course. Those that have played host to notable golf tournaments, particularly major championships like the Masters and U.S. Open, are highly revered, showcasing their quality and appeal to both professional and amateur golfers alike.

And finally, golfer reviews are equally crucial. These are firsthand experiences from golfers who can describe not only the course layout and challenge but also the subtler, personal aspects. These detail the feel of the tee underfoot, the club’s hospitality, or the sight of sunrise over the greens, contributing to a course’s ranking.

As you gear up to test these golfing turfs, remember that these rankings aren’t just numbers. They’re legacies and stories as seen through the eyes of those who have lived and played the game. They capture the heart, spirit, and essence of golf itself, making them your must-play golf courses in 2023!

What should I know before visiting these courses?

When you’re planning a trip to the top golf courses in 2023, there are several important details to keep in mind. From making sure your rounds are booked in advance to sorting out all your travel logistics, ensuring everything is perfect is key to a hassle-free golfing experience.

Booking your rounds early is essential since these prestigious golf courses are sought after. Usually, reservations begin about 60 to 90 days in advance, but you should visit the owner’s specific website to get accurate information.

Remember to be patient while securing a tee time. Keep in mind, you’re not the only one eager to play at these top-tier locations. It might be beneficial to reach out to a golf travel agency with established connections to these premier courses. They could provide pre-packaged golf tours or assist you in securing challenging tee times.

Lodging can’t be ignored either. Residing within the resort may give you a leg up when booking tee times. Most of these upscale golf resorts provide attractive stay-and-play packages which you may want to benefit from. Ensure you spend time doing your research about these deals, comparing them to other lodging possibilities.

As for travel, long-term planning is recommended. Reliable transport is especially vital when you’re planning an overseas golf trip. If you’re planning on checking your clubs on a flight, it’s worth looking into a quality travel bag that gives additional padding for protection. Also, familiarize yourself with the airline’s weight restrictions to avoid unexpected surprises.

An underrated aspect is the club policies. Every golf course has their unique set of rules, which may cover anything from the dress code to golf cart usage. Make sure to get the hang of these details well in advance so as not to arrive at the course unprepared, or worse, in inappropriate attire.

Checking local weather forecasts is highly advisable. Being an outdoor sport, the last thing you would want is to be surprised by a sudden rainstorm.

Considering the cost is another important task. These top-of-the-line courses have substantial fees. However, look out for off-peak hours, when playing might cost less. And keep in mind to account for the extra expenses, like golf cart rental, club rentals if needed, and food.

A successful golf trip calls for strategic planning and preparation. These tips should guide you for an enjoyable round at one of the top 5 golf courses to play at in 2023.

Can I book a round at these private clubs?

For those of you who find themselves captivated by the scenic beauty of the golf greens and the serene atmosphere, you must be curious about 2023’s top 5 must-play golf courses. As all golf enthusiasts would agree, playing on the best courses is an experience in itself.

Now, you might be wondering, ‘Can I book a round at these private clubs?’ The answer is a resounding, ‘Yes!’ With a bit of planning, due diligence, and a dash of luck.

It’s worth mentioning that these elite golf clubs do prioritize their members when it comes to booking a round. However, they also welcome visitors and guests. As potential guests, the key is to adhere to their guidelines while inquiring about the available playing slots. Ensuring respectful communication is crucial in establishing a good rapport with the club management.

Let’s turn our focus to lodging options. Many of these Top 5 2023 golf courses boast premium staying facilities, designed to offer you a luxurious golf vacation. From regally appointed suites to cosy cottages, the lodging options are numerous and are often accompanied by top-notch amenities such as spas, pools, culinary delights, and of course, stunning views of the golf course.

As a reference, be sure to check a club’s website for detailed information about their lodging options. Reading customer reviews can also be a valuable tool in choosing the best accommodation for you.

Now, onto the topic of membership norms. Often, private golf clubs require potential members to be introduced by a current member and to meet certain prerequisites before their application is approved. These prerequisites can vary from club to club, but common elements include a demonstration of golfing proficiency, background checks, and, of course, the membership fee payment.

Lastly, qualifying for a visit or booking a round can seem daunting but is certainly plausible. It often entails contacting the club, expressing interest in their facilities, and demonstrating a genuine passion for the sport. Most clubs appreciate and welcome respectful golf enthusiasts, whether they are experienced players or beginners. Simply showing courteousness and respect for their membership process can go a long way.

Accessing the finest golf clubs in 2023 may require some effort, but the rewards – the chance to play on top-tier greens, savoring world-class facilities, and indulging in the inherent elegance of these clubs – make the endeavour eminently worthwhile.