The Best Golf Courses for High Handicappers

There are almost 104,000 brand-new golfers throughout the United States already in 2023. If that includes you, you probably have a high handicap but are working on improving your skills. 

Well, the best way to get better at golfing is to practice as much as you can. In particular, you need to practice in locations where your high handicap will still allow you to participate well. 

Fortunately, this article can help you with that. It covers the eight best golf courses for high handicappers within the country. Keep reading to see where you might fit in best as you work on your golf game. 

Tobacco Road Golf Course

Tobacco Road Golf Club in Sanford, NC, designed by Mike Strantz, combines a visually stunning course layout with player-friendly features, making it ideal for high-handicap golfers. Wide landing areas and receptive greens encourage strategic play, while multiple teeing grounds accommodate different skill levels.

Despite its acclaim, the club maintains an attractive rate structure, especially during shoulder seasons and afternoon play, striking a balance between quality and affordability.

Papago Golf Course

Situated in the heart of Phoenix, AZ, Papago Golf Course offers a desert-style layout that is as forgiving as it is captivating. The course boasts wide fairways and manageable rough, making it a perfect playground for high-handicap golfers.

Its affordability is complemented by the on-site Lou Grubb Golf Practice Facility, offering golfers an excellent platform to hone their skills.

TPC Sawgrass

The TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida is an ideal golf course for high handicappers. The course has a great layout and design that provides a fair challenge for players of all skill levels.

The course is known for its signature hole, the famous island green on the par-3 17th hole. While this hole may seem intimidating, it’s actually not as difficult as it appears. It provides an opportunity for high handicappers to improve their short game.

Additionally, the course has a variety of tee boxes that allow players to adjust the difficulty level according to their abilities. The staff is also very welcoming and accommodating. They can provide helpful tips and insights that can help high handicappers improve their game.

Overall, it’s an excellent choice for high handicappers who are exploring the vast world of golf. It’s particularly ideal for those who want to experience a challenging but enjoyable round of golf in a beautiful setting.

Bethpage State Park

This course, located in Farmingdale, New York, offers several features and amenities that make it a standout golf course. The course is known for its challenging layout, though it’s still ideal for high-handicap golfers. It has long and narrow fairways and large greens.

The course has a rich history and has hosted several major championships, including the U.S. Open. The course also features a pro shop where golfers can purchase equipment, apparel, and accessories.

The driving range and practice facilities are top-notch, too. These allow golfers to hone their skills before hitting the course.

The course further offers food and beverage options, including a full-service restaurant and snack bar. The park itself is also a great place to explore, featuring hiking trails and picnic areas.

Pinehurst Resort

You can find Pinehurst Resort – No. 2 Course in Pinehurst, North Carolina. It’s a premier golf destination with several outstanding characteristics that make it ideal for high handicappers.

The course has a caddie program, allowing golfers to have an extra set of eyes and ears on the course. The practice facilities include a large driving range, a putting green, and a short game area.

The resort has several dining options, ranging from casual to fine dining, offering a variety of cuisines to suit all tastes. The resort also offers other activities, such as spa services, tennis, and lawn games.

The accommodations are luxurious and comfortable, as well. They provide a relaxing environment after a day on the links. Check out their website to explore even more about this amazing golf course. 

Thendara Golf Club

Nestled in the picturesque Adirondack Mountains, the Thendara Golf Club stands as an inviting golfing retreat for high-handicap players.

thendara golf club old forge

Its course design, characterized by wide fairways and (mostly) forgiving greens, allows golfers ample space for less accurate shots and the opportunity to improve their putting game on moderate surfaces. The front 9 is definitely easier with wider fairways. The back 9 becomes a bit more challenging as the fairways narrow due to heavy tree lines on both sides.

Thendara’s commitment to fostering enjoyment and growth in golf is evident in its supportive management team, which offers training programs to help golfers enhance their skills.

Beyond the golfing experience, Thendara impresses with the scenic beauty of its surroundings and the comforts of its Adirondack-style clubhouse, completing a rewarding and enjoyable journey for high-handicap golfers.

University Park Country Club

Situated in beautiful Sarasota, Florida, University Park Country Club offers an enriching golfing journey for high-handicap golfers. The club’s 27-hole championship course, designed with multiple tees and wide fairways, strikes a balance between challenge and playability, catering effectively to diverse skill levels. Its greens are well-manicured and accommodating, fostering a supportive environment for golfers to improve their skills.

University Park Country Club Sarasota

Beyond the course, University Park stands out for its commitment to golf education, with a professional staff offering golf clinics and instruction aimed at skill enhancement. The club’s appeal extends to its lush surroundings, adorned with mature vegetation and native wildlife, that contribute to an immersive golfing experience. Universally welcoming and beautifully maintained, University Park Country Club emerges as a prime choice for high-handicap golfers looking to enjoy and improve their game.

Indian Creek Golf Course

Indian Creek Golf Course in Omaha, NE, is recognized for its spacious layout and well-maintained terrain.

The course’s broad fairways and uncomplicated greens provide an enjoyable and less intimidating golfing experience for high-handicap players. Offering attractive twilight rates, Indian Creek stands as a testament to accessible, affordable, and enjoyable golf for players of all skill levels.

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines (South Course) is another key golf course for high handicappers. It’s known for its spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and its challenging layout. 

The course is part of a larger park that offers several other activities, such as hiking and beach access. Torrey Pines – South Course is a must-play for any avid golfer looking for a challenging course with stunning views and excellent amenities.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

This next spot, located in Pebble Beach, California, is another ideal golf course for high handicappers. The course is known for its coastal views, making it an unforgettable golfing experience.

While the course may seem intimidating at first, it’s actually quite forgiving for high handicappers. Plus, it’s hosted the U.S. Open more than any other course in the country. Its popularity is unmatched, making it perfect for new golfers to explore. 

Kiawah Island Resort

The Kiawah Island Resort – Ocean Course is a world-renowned golf course. It’s hosted several major golf championships, including the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 2012 PGA Championship, and the 2021 PGA Championship. Designed by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, the course includes several holes with oceanfront views.

The course has a unique design that features elevated greens and deep bunkers. This can make it challenging for golfers of all skill levels. However, the course has a variety of tee boxes to adjust difficulty levels.

The caddie program at the Ocean Course is also highly regarded. Knowledgeable and experienced caddies are available to help golfers navigate the course.

Whistling Straits

This is one of the most famous golf courses in the United States. Whistling Straits – Straits Course, located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, features a stunning links-style layout. It has natural grasses, large sand dunes, and panoramic views of Lake Michigan.

It’s true that some of the holes can be challenging for high handicappers. It features undulating fairways and large greens that require precise shot-making skills. With enough practice, though, you can master this gorgeous golf course in no time. 

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

The Bandon Dunes Golf Resort – Bandon Dunes Course is located in Oregon. It’s a great course for everyone, known for its rugged, natural beauty.

The course was designed by David McLay Kidd. It showcases fescue grasses, natural sand dunes, and wonderful views of the Oregon coast.

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers luxurious accommodations, including several lodges and villas. The resort’s commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the surrounding environment makes it a truly unique golfing experience.

Other Best Golf Courses

These public golf courses offer high handicap golfers the opportunity to enjoy a challenging but fair round of golf in some of the most beautiful settings across the United States. With multiple tee options and excellent course conditions, you should definitely consider playing one of these courses for an unforgettable golf experience.

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