What's your "hidden gem" golf course?

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  • Green Acres Golf Course in Titusville, Pa. $8 for 9 holes. Its a 9 hole course, that is working on 18. $14 gets you 18 walking.





    I'll be giving the course in the article a try in December when I go back to Oahu. Last time there I played MCB Hawaii Klipper Course at Koneohe Bay and the course at Hickam AFB. Both nice courses, but Klipper takes the cake. Beautiful course. Especially for what I paid.. But this course on the North Shore will get some play around the holidays too!
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  • rkristopherandersonrkristopheranderson Members Posts: 433 ✭✭
    Wilmington (NC) Municipal. At least it was in the late 1990s when I lived there. A classic Donald Ross that got overlooked bc of the high end courses in the area, had a great local following as you could walk it for $10 if you had a city address. Little humpback greens, tightly mowed fairways, risk reward routing. It was in great shape at the time because they got a grant from the Donald Ross Society to restore the bunkering and it got little play during that time.
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  • MNgolf24MNgolf24 Members Posts: 73 ✭✭
    Bellwood Oaks in Hastings,MN is a nice track. Always in great condition, under $30, $19 walking after 2:00. They have a sister course-Hidden Greens- that I have not played yet.
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  • 6thFairway6thFairway Posts: 1,820 ✭✭
    Sapelo Hammock Golf Club in Shellman Bluff, GA. Interesting place to play. Very hard to find, at least years ago when I played there a few times.



    http://www.sapelohammockgolfclub.com/course/
  • MilesyMilesy Members Posts: 73 ✭✭
    I realise it is a long way to travel for most of you but New Zealand is replete with interesting and well maintained golf courses that cost next to nothing to play.



    I played the Te Anau course in the South Island a few years ago. It's on a high plateau right at the end of a glacial lake, surrounded by mountains. I was the only person on the course and it was magnificent.



    I also played the Te Puia Springs course in the North Island whilst on holiday a while back. It's on the East Coast which is the most sparsely populated area in NZ outside of the National Parks. The course is at the end of a long gravel road and it's privately owned and maintained. A beautiful little course in the middle of nowhere.
  • sharkiesjsharkiesj Members Posts: 2,970 ✭✭
    My hidden gem is a 9-hole little slice of heaven. Aetna Springs GC, Pope Valley, CA arguably the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi. It hasn't been in continuous operation so it gets thrown under the bus alot but if anyone has played it, you'd know that it is so far off the beaten path it makes Bandon Dunes look like Central Park. No signs at all, you'd drive right past it if you weren't looking and you can't see it from the road, it blends in so seamlessly. Tom Doak's team did a fabulous job in restoring the course and the conditions are exceptional.



    It's so out of character with the surroundings, just rolling hills of nothing, old run down barns and you drive up to a simple structure. Yet the inside is so clean, modern and spotless, the bathrooms are like the Four Seasons. It's really weird. They have plans for a resort and restaurant but I don't know if they still don't serve any food. Only open Wed-Sun.



    "Pro" in the shop told us to use hole 9 as a warmup since there is no range. Love it. Just an amazing place to play golf. No one else is around, we saw one other group the whole day. We just went round and round and round again. 36 holes in total, never got bored because so many options to play the holes. Wind kicks up in the afternoon to add more challenge.
  • pt73pt73 Members Posts: 601 ✭✭


    In Pacifica CA where I live there is a MacKenzie course that is unbelievable! Sharp Park. Unfortunately the city of San Francisco doesn't maintain or manage it problerly..... For the life of me I can't understand why the city of SF dumped it's money info Harding Park rather than restoring this national treasure!


    +1 from me. I played there a few times when I lived in the Bay Area, a really super layout and a pity that the city aren't maintaining it properly.



    From what I've read it was lucky to be saved from environmental issues.
  • BC StickBC Stick BC Stick Members Posts: 22
    George Wright in Boston. $35-$45 depending on residency and time of play but it's an old Donald Ross. It was rough for a while but over the last few years it's been making a great comeback. I don't get to play it enough but it's one you could play every day and be happy.
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  • For me my hidden course is Ocean Dunes in Florence, Oregon near the beach. It is often over shadowed by Sandpines which is about five minutes away, but this track is my favorite. It is on the dunes and is extremely narrow yet very forgiving in spots. In the afternoon when the wind comes up it can be extremely challenging. I love the signs that say avoid looking in the bushes for balls because of bears. Just a cool classic links style course that I could play all day long.
  • My hidden gem is Rock Hollow Golf Club in Peru, Indiana. http://www.rockhollowgolf.com/ Rates are $40 for 18 and that includes cart. It is a fun and challenging layout that has always been in great shape. The team over there has always been very nice.
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  • jimb6golfjimb6golf Members Posts: 1,504 ✭✭
    Triggs Memorial in Providence, a Donald Ross course, is really pretty good and well maintained too. It has some rough edges for a muni but it's pretty good overall with great hole layouts. Another course would be Blissful Meadows in Uxbridge, MA. Good variety of holes with some nice elevation changes as well to keep it interesting.
  • markheardjrmarkheardjr Member 141..Oh yeah...Snap to youngin! Members Posts: 7,291 ✭✭
    I live in the Los Angeles area and since everyone knows the courses here they aren't really hidden, but the few that stand out to me, that are worth the drive if you've never gone are:



    1. Sterling Hills in Camarillo. This course to me feels like a Web.com tour course. Requires some thought, has some fun holes and uses the natrual sloping terrain well.

    2. Empire Lakes in Rancho Cucamonga: It used to be great back when they held the Nationwide tour event. It's actually operated by the same family that does Sterling Hills. Great layout and can be challenging.

    3. Oak Valley in Beaumont: Phenomenal track that was a PGA Qualifying school stop a few years back. It's extremely fair but also tough. So play smart and shoot a good score on a difficult rating.

    4. Saboba Springs in Hemet / San Jacinto: They have/had a Web.com tour stop there. It's a great course that has a different feel for the area. Tall trees, out in the middle of nowhere drapped by a gigantic mountain where you can trace your ball through it's entire flight against the mountain backdrop. Can get hot! there, so watch out.

    Honorable Mentions: Everyone has heard of Rustic Canyon, it's cool I like it. Not the hidden gem it once was. Olivas Links is a different style course for the area too. In Oxnard, it's a flat links style and will require shots you don't usually play. Grab a flat of strawberries on your way home when you pass the fruit stands. River Ridge in Ventura...you get a free round 2weeks around your birthday. First 6 holes on the Lakes course are new designs and interesting. I've putted on greens rolling around a 13 there before! 18 is a 210y island par 3 into the wind, bring your A game or you'll be wet. Play in late July (My birthday time!) and see the Dallas Cowboys practicing off the 7th & 9th holes. Maybe bump into Romo in the afternoon.



    I grew up in Ohio and there are already a lot of posted gems in this thread but I'll add a few.

    1. Little Mountain CC in Painseville. WIth a little more upkeep and length added this is a tour caliber course. Superior to Quail Hollow resort IMO and half the cost. Waffle house for breakfast anyone?

    2. Whispering Woods Erie, PA. Newer course, lots of trees. A fun challenging track with some easy holes and some hard holes. If you hit it long and straight you're golden. Crooked shots beware.

    3. Peak n Peek in Western New York. It's about an hour from where I lived in Ohio (Ashtabula Area.) But they did hose a Nationwide event for a long time. Often during the US Open week so a lot of players who didn't make the Open played there instead. The course is a great layout. It's a ski resort in the winder so a few holes are like roller coasters. It is a very fair course and can be tamed if you can shape the ball. Always is superb condition.
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  • ladahlladahl Members Posts: 6,868
    I've got two worth sharing in my area. Both well-maintained 18-hole courses with great staffs and cliental :
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  • rlbennet28rlbennet28 Members Posts: 199
    edited May 12, 2014 #75
    I used to play a track in East Tennessee called Rarity Pointe. It had just opened, had a bunch of plans for neighborhood golf communities and a big fancy clubhouse, however, times got tough and they just operated the course out of a small temporary building. It was an awesome track and could be played CHEAP. Definitely a hidden gem. Don't know what the going rate is there now, but it was definitely worth the 25-30 minute drive from home as it was never busy and always in great shape.



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  • littleprov1xlittleprov1x Members Posts: 1,050 ClubWRX
    Goose Creek in Mira Loma, CA is excellent value and a fun course.



    This thread should be in the Golf Courses sub-forum?
  • pinhigh18pinhigh18 Members Posts: 36
    I appreciate this article and all the good references for hidden gems (I'll have to take note of some of these for when I'm travelling). "Hidden Gems" are like mini-vacations for me and my brother. We'll readily drive over an hour (or more) to get away and usually the pace of play makes up for the drive time. In the North TX area, I'd point out Sugar Tree to the West of DFW and Links at Land's End to the East of DFW. Get away from busy local courses and get more enjoyment out of this great game!
  • sethdavidsdadsethdavidsdad Members Posts: 1,790 ✭✭
    My favorite Beach trip gem is Hombre golf course Panama City Beach, Florida. Great course but very tough. They host q-school qualifiers there. I have played for as little as $25 with cart.
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  • Ryan5082Ryan5082 Posts: 113 ClubWRX


    1. Not run down by any means but Pekin IL ( Home of DA Points), Lick Creek around 27 to walk for out of towner for a challenging beautiful course with bent grass fairways and greens.



    2. Elks Club, Pontiac IL: Well maintained beautiful bent grass course with excellent layout, half way house, great bar and the friendliest people. We play a ryder cup style event there every year and they couldnt be nicer. I believe greens fees are around 30 bucks



    3. In northern indiana, the brassie 42 with a cart beautiful course with beautiful views



    4. In Akron OH, 10 dollar to walk as many as you want after 4= Goodpark, very fun course with lightning greens, owner has changed since I moved away hope still kept up.






    I would 2nd: Elks Club, Pontiac IL Great course on your way up or down I-55 from Chicago to St. Louis
  • cphreycphrey #SLDRChallenger Members Posts: 1,828 ✭✭
    My hidden gem isn't totally unknown or anything but it's certainly a gem. Flatirons Golf Course, where Hale Irwin played back in the day, was my home course in college. For Denver and Boulder areas, it's one of the cheapest, yet has a great, tough layout, with awesome greens that always run fast and true.



    https://bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/flatirons-golf-course



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  • fishstix94fishstix94 Members Posts: 1,385 ✭✭
    The Links at Firestone Farms in Columbiana Ohio. Awesome links course and has a lot of tees for every skill level.
  • cane700cane700 Posts: 2,008 ✭✭
    Key Colony Golf Course in Key Colony Village Florida. On Marathon Key. Par 27 9 hole course. Longest hole being 130 yards. $8 to play $3 to rent clubs which consist of a putter pitching wedge and a 9 iron. A 7 iron is available for short hitters. If there's nobody at the counter, go play your round and pay when you're done. Fun little course.
  • DoglegRightDoglegRight Members Posts: 1,126
    edited May 13, 2014 #83
    When I moved from Atlanta to Birmingham several years ago, all I heard about was the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Not the say that the trail isn't full of great courses, but these are worth a look too.



    Farm Links - this place is owned and managed by agronomist.

    http://pursellfarms.com/golf/



    Horse Creek Golf - cheap, nice municipal course http://www.horsecreekgolf.com/



    If you're in metro Atlanta and you're looking for a nice place off the beaten path, check out the Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Ga. It's worth the drive, or at least it was a few years ago when I last played there. http://gastateparks.org/HardLaborCreek
  • gophers79gophers79 Members Posts: 141
    Looking for the MN courses mentioned so far... looks like the Chaska Town Course and Bellwood Oaks have been mentioned thus far.



    I'll throw a couple more out here: I really enjoy some of the Minneapolis city courses, especially Hiawatha, Francis A. Gross and Columbia. I also like Shamrock in Corcoran. Not a difficult golf course by any stretch of the imagination, but it's wide open and fun and cheap.
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  • Florida GatorFlorida Gator Members Posts: 1,017 ✭✭
    Blackhawk Golf Club just northeast of Columbus, Ohio is a great track and $50 at the most. Rolling hills, trees and able to be walked. It is now one of my first choices for a quick round since I can loop it on foot on a Saturday morning in 4 hours.
  • markheardjrmarkheardjr Member 141..Oh yeah...Snap to youngin! Members Posts: 7,291 ✭✭
    fishstix94 wrote:


    links course and has a lot of tees


    Isn't that an oxy moron?
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  • ImpImp Fueled Members Posts: 5,944 ClubWRX

    fishstix94 wrote:


    links course and has a lot of tees


    Isn't that an oxy moron?
    Who are you calling a moron? image/laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />



    (Oxymoron... 1 word)



    --kC
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  • fishstix94fishstix94 Members Posts: 1,385 ✭✭
    Imp wrote:

    fishstix94 wrote:


    links course and has a lot of tees


    Isn't that an oxy moron?
    Who are you calling a moron? image/laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />



    (Oxymoron... 1 word)



    --kC


    Haha tees not trees..
  • markheardjrmarkheardjr Member 141..Oh yeah...Snap to youngin! Members Posts: 7,291 ✭✭
    fishstix94 wrote:

    Imp wrote:

    fishstix94 wrote:


    links course and has a lot of tees


    Isn't that an oxy moron?
    Who are you calling a moron? image/laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />



    (Oxymoron... 1 word)



    --kC


    Haha tees not trees..


    Haha, I totally thought it said trees! Nice.
    NIPPON SHAFT TRIALS!! Get in on a pay-it-forward type shaft testing!
    http://www.golfwrx.c...yer-forwarding/

    TaylorMade M3 9.5° w/ Tour Issue Aldila The Phene'd 60TX
    TaylorMade '08 Burner 14.5° w/ p9003X
    TaylorMade '08 Burner 17.5° w/ p9003TX
    Srixon ZTX-II 3-PW w/ Modus Nippon Modus Prototype ORA X (3I has an E11 Proto in Stiff)
    Cleveland 588 RTX CB 52° w/ Nippon Modus Prototype C10 S
    Srixon WG-706 56° w/ Nippon Modus Prototype C10 S
    Scotty Cameron SS Newport Beach w/ UST Frequency Filter
  • WedgeWedge Wedge Posts: 389 ✭✭


    Wilmington (NC) Municipal. At least it was in the late 1990s when I lived there. A classic Donald Ross that got overlooked bc of the high end courses in the area, had a great local following as you could walk it for $10 if you had a city address. Little humpback greens, tightly mowed fairways, risk reward routing. It was in great shape at the time because they got a grant from the Donald Ross Society to restore the bunkering and it got little play during that time.




    Just FYI the course is being worked on right now. Mainly the greens. Changing to one of the new bermuda strains and enlarging many of them. Great course at a great price.
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  • scottvw13scottvw13 VaporWRX!! Members Posts: 2,167 ✭✭


    In Connecticut:

    Fenwick $20 for 9.. really cool course.

    Shennecossett: $1500 membership abuut $35 for 18. Nice Muni




    You forgot to mention that Shennecossett is also a Donald Ross! Great golf course
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