More than 24 million people play golf each year. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, we can all appreciate a nice course and beautiful weather — but what really makes a golf course “the best”? We lay it out here with our ranked golf courses from across the United States. These rankings are based on the surrounding golf course community, difficulty of the course, attractiveness of the area and the value of a membership.

2022 golf course rankings

1. Pine Valley Golf Club (Pine Valley, NJ)

It’s not surprising that this golf course community is very exclusive, considering that Pine Valley is consistently ranked the number one golf course in America. Only members of the club are allowed to buy the houses on the course, and it has a total of 900+ members.

2. 3 Creek Ranch (Jackson Hole, WY)

This course is built into the natural environment, so it is not short on breathtaking views. Players of all different skill levels can play here, since there are six tee boxes at each hole. This course spans over 7,700 yards and has beautiful houses at the edges.

3. Addison Reserve Country Club (Delray Beach, FL)

Addison Reserve has 717 homes organized along the edge of the golf course. It ranks third on our list due to the strong community. Those living on the course are required to have a membership at the club, which also includes tennis, social events and a spa.

4. Boca West Country Club (Boca Raton, FL)

Boca West Country Club is home to nearly 6,000 residents and is made up of various residential villages. It is surrounded by the golf course and waterways which make up the community. This is a very family oriented club, and it has homes to match every lifestyle stretching over 1,400 acres.

5. Cypress Point Club (Del Monte Forest, CA)

Cypress Point is a very exclusive golf club along the coast of California. Its single, 18-hole course has been called the most beautiful course in the world. The club has just 250 members, and the course is 6,554 yards.

6. Cornerstone Club (Montrose, CO)

Cornerstone Club’s course is 7,876 yards total, nestled in the San Juan mountains. The residential subdivision that surrounds the course is a family-oriented community at an elevation of 9,223 feet. Cornerstone Club also offers homes and cabins for families to rent during their stay.

7. Desert Mountain Golf Club (Scottsdale, AZ)

Desert Mountain Golf Club is home to seven championship golf courses and more than 2,000 homes. The club owns about 8,100 acres of land, offering events such as concerts and VIP speakers. It also has 1,850 equity golf members.

8. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (Long Island, NY)

Shinnecock Hills is located in Southampton, on Long Island, New York. Founded in 1891, it is believed to be the oldest incorporated golf club in the United States. It is a founding member of the U.S. Golf Association and spans 259 acres.  The club is invite-only, but members can invite guests to play with them. There are also 1,650 homes in the Shinnecock Hills area.

9. Estancia Club (Scottsdale, AZ)

Estancia’s golf course is set at the base of a mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona. The gated community that surrounds the club spans 600 acres. The club has 298 full golf members, but residents and non-residents are welcome to join. The course itself spans 7,146 yards.

10. Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta, GA)

The Augusta Club is in the news each year when it hosts the famous Masters golf tournament. The course is made up of 345 acres of green space and has 10 cabins that are used by club members and their families when visiting. The club also owns over 100 properties that surround the course.

11. Iron Horse Golf Club (Whitefish, MT)

This private club is just minutes away from Glacier National Park in Montana. The bluegrass fairways are laid out on the slopes of Big Mountain. There are over 316 member homes that surround the club, secluded in 820 acres of old-growth forest.

12. Oakmont Country Club (Plum, PA)

Oakmont Country Club is located in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. The club was founded in 1903 and the course opened in 1904. It boasts more than 500 members and over 200 acres. There are places on the property for up to 12 out-of-town guests to stay before or after their time at the country club.

13. Isleworth Golf and Country Club (Orlando, FL)

The Isleworth Club spans more than 600 acres and includes a gated community with 900+ houses. Its 18-hole course has been named one of the longest and most challenging rounds in the country. There are many lakes throughout the green.

14. Kiawah Island Club (Kiawah, SC)

This course covers 7,039 yards, with ocean-front views on a piece of the island that spans 10 miles. The resort where the club is located also manages nearly 500 private villas and homes and has more than a dozen restaurants. It is located just over 20 miles outside of Charleston.

15. National Golf Links of America (Tuckahoe, NY)

The National Golf Links of America is a private, 18-hole course in Southampton, New York. The course is made up of 253 acres on Peconic Bay. It’s invite-only, and prospective members need the support of six current members.

Does being located on a golf course impact the value of a home?

Homes that are located on a golf course usually have premiums that average between 15 percent to 30 percent higher than homes that are in the same subdivision further from the course. The increase in home value is solely due to the distance from the course, which impacts the value of undeveloped lots as well.

Consider the value of a prime lot on the course versus an interior lot, from the National Recreation and Parks Association:

  • Prime Frontage: Lot cost, $250,000; house cost, $400,000; total cost, $650,000.
  • Interior Lot: Lot cost, $100,000; house cost, $400,000; total cost, $500,000.

Other factors that impact real estate value

Besides location and proximity to the course, there are a few other factors that impact the value of these homes. They include:

  • Neighborhood
  • Age of the home
  • Condition of the home
  • Size of the home
  • Any home improvements that have been done

Selling a home on a golf course — or buying one — can be complicated by all these factors. It’s smart to consult with an experienced real estate agent who knows the local market well.