Golf is said to be the sport of the elite, a rich man’s game played on some of the most lavish landscapes in the world. Well it’s going to be hard to argue against that point as we dive into the worlds most expensive golf courses which would make even those with the deepest pockets do a double take.
While golf is an extremely expensive sport to play the courses themselves are a thing of beauty and the ones on this list are a credit to the amazing course architects who can make the land around them come alive in spectacular fashion. These courses are lavish, they have breathtaking views, they have amazing amenities and they will absolutely leave a big fat dent in your wallet. Let’s take a look at the most expensive courses in the world.
Kingsbarns Golf Links
Golf Rates: $389 per round
Location: Kingsbarns, Scotland
What Makes Kingsbarns Links So Expensive
- Caddies available every round, extra $55 plus tip
- Three 5 star luxury hotels available for accommodation
- Has hosted some European Tour events along with the British Women’s Open in 2017
- Ranked in Top 60 of golf courses wolrdwide
- Playing along the Fife coast, the views are spectacular
Kingsbarns golf links is a rare newer course in Scotland that opened up in 2000. It is located just a few miles away from the famous St. Andrews golf course which many consider the home of golf. It is considered a hidden gem in Scotland with some of the most picturesque holes you will find in the world. The resorts are located off site so you are basically paying for the course itself. While that may seem steep, the golfers who have played at Kingsbarns say the course is immaculate and the staff treat you like kings and queens. If you play once they will offer you a second round at half price so if you are hanging around a while that is a significant discount for a great course.
The Pinehurst Resort – Golf Course #2
Golf Rates: $410 per round
Location: Pinehurst, North Carolina
What Makes Pinehurst Golf So Expensive
- Luxurious resort that contains nine 18 hole golf courses
- No. 2 has hosted many prestigious PGA events including 4 PGA Championships, the Ryder Cup and soon to be US Open
- Have four accommodation options for guests including a Hotel, Villa, Manor or Inn
- Has it’s own on-site brewing company
- Their clubhouse has been labelled by some to be the best in all of golf
- BMW Rentals, E-Bike Rentals, Croquet Courts, Lawn Bowling, Tennis, Carriage Rides, Shopping Mall, Multiple Pools
The Pinehurst resort is a golfers dream with nine playable golf courses all within it’s compound. The whole site is like it’s own little town designed specifically for golfers. It is one of the most popular places to go for a dream golf vacation and you will be challenged on each and every course. There is multiple restaurants and bars to choose from after the round is done and even a village to walk through for latte night strolls. Pinehurst has hosted numerous big name PGA events and continues to do so with the 2024 US Open scheduled to be played hole Course #2.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort – Ocean Course
Golf Rates: $410 per round
Location: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
What Makes The Ocean Course So Expensive
- Claims to have the most seaside holes in the world along side the Atlantic Ocean
- 80 seat on site restaurant and 54 seat bar and dining patio with panoramic ocean views
- 19th century 24,000 square foot clubhouse
- Free caddie service but a tip is expected
- Has hosted the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship
Said to be the only course designed specifically for a PGA event that being the 1991 Ryder cup, the Ocean course is a magnificent piece of golf design. Spanning along the Atlantic Ocean the Ocean course can be a difficult challenge with winds changing the dynamic almost hole to hole. The resort offers a bit of everything no matter what your interests. It includes 5 golf courses, 22 tennis courts, over a dozen restaurants, nature programs, a wedding chapel, business centre and vacation cottages.
Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Golf Rates: $415 per round
Location: Pebble Beach, California
What Makes Spyglass Hill So Expensive
- Hosts the annual Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament on the PGA tour
- Has been ranked as high as 5th on Golf Digest’s greatest American courses
- Breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean with some of the most famous holes in the world
- 3 luxurious resort options to stay in, some with terraces that overlook the course
- 7 award winning restaurants, plus a variety of of sports bars at every resort
- Complimentary Lexus rentals
- Full shopping with over 15 retail stores spread across the resorts
Spyglass Hill is one of the most famous golf courses on the PGA Tour with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The course itself was inspired by the 1833 book Treasure’s Island and all 18 holes are named after characters from the book. It is a links style course that first opened in 1966 and today it is a bucket list course for many amateur golfers. To play here is going to cost you as rates can run as high as $415 per round for resort guests and even more for non-guests.
Whistling Straits Golf Course
Golf Rates: $450 per round
Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin
What Makes Whistling Straits Expensive
- Scottish Blackface sheep are brought in during the golf season to roam the land and provide an extra bit of uniqueness
- No carts are allowed at anytime, this keeps the course in excellent condition
- Caddies are available to use but will add cost to your already expensive round plus a recommended $50 tip
- 13,000 square foot Clubhouse
- 1st floor 64 seat restaurant that overlooks the 18th green
- 2nd floor bar and locker rooms which include 2 fireplaces
A Pete Dye designed course that has hosted many famous PGA Events including the PGA Championship in 2004, 2010 and 2015. It will also host the 2020 Ryder Cup although a date has yet to be announced due the Covid-19 virus outbreak. There are actually 2 courses located on the premisses both designed in a Links Style, they are The Straits and The Irish. The straits is the more expensive of the two and is 560 acres.
The course itself is stunning with massive bunkers, difficult fescue and a beautiful view of Lake Michigan as the course spans around 2 miles along the shoreline. The course is vert difficult to play as like most Links Style courses there are no trees and the wind can wreck havoc on even the most skilled golfer. If you are lucky you will get to see a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep that can often be found roaming the course daily.
Old Head Golf Links
Golf Rates: $350 to $450 per round
Location: County Cork, Ireland
What Makes Old Head Links Expensive
- One of the most remarkable golf lands in the world, feels like you are on the edge of the world in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
- Some tee boxes are 300 feet up and there are actually birds flying below you
- One of the most challenging golf courses in the world, bring balls and lots of them
- At any given time you may run into 64 different species roaming the course including Hares, Foxes, Hedgehogs, Seals, Otters and if you are a lucky enough Whales roaming the Atlantic
- Helicopter transportation available to and from the courses, hotels and airport
- Caddie service, almost 160 working throughout the season at Old Head
- Clubhouse has 15 lavish member suites. 14 seaside suites and 1 presidential suite
- State of the art spa including steam rooms, light therapy sessions, heated loungers, seaweed wraps
- On-course dining available: Oysters, Salmon, Champagne, Guinness…whatever you want you can get delivered to you on course.
I’m not even sure a links style course is the proper way to describe Old Golf Head in Ireland, it is more of a cliff style golf course. Old Head is one of the most remarkable golf experiences you will ever enjoy. The course stretches three miles out into the Atlantic Ocean and looks like something out of a fantasy video game. You will be teeing it up on 300 foot cliffs with their 8 seaside holes making them the highest elevation above sea then any other course in the world. Everything about playing here is a golfers dream and the team at Old Head make sure it is the most enjoyable round you have ever played. They make sure to spread out their tee times so no one feels rushed or has to wait around between tees which is every golfer’s pet peeve. You can even travel by helicopter to and from the course which is a nice added touch to those who want to go all out and enjoy a luxurious vacation.
Shadow Creek Golf Course
Green Fees: $500 per round
Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada
What Makes Shadow Creek So Expensive?
- Very exclusive and only available to MGM resort hotel guests
- Fees include caddy and limo transportation to and from course
- The limo isn’t optional, the course only allows limo transportation
- Hosted the 1st ever Tiger vs Phil head to head matchup
- Incredible scenery as the course is carved out of the Nevada Desert
- Only available to the public Monday to Thursday, any other day is by invite only
- Drinks and food delivered to you at any hole
A course so exclusive rumor has it even former president Bill Clinton couldn’t play it without meeting the proper protocols of staying at an MGM resort. Shadow Creek is the high roller of golf courses and would you expect anything else from a luxury course in Las Vegas. The course where Tiger Woods clashed in a one on one battle in 2018 and Phil calls the 18th hole his favorite in all of golf. Not convinced this is exclusive enough yet? Well about this, only two public foursomes are allowed on the course every day, two! Any other golfers have to be invited and those that get the invited are only the highest of high rollers. The course looks like art as it is kept in the most pristine condition at all times. If you happen to hit it big while in Vegas and are a golfer, then keep $500 aside to check this course off your bucket list.
Golf Rates: $550 per round
Location: Ponte Verda Beach, Florida
What Makes TPC Sawgrass So Expensive
- Sawgrass has maybe the most famous hole in all of golf, the 17th Island hole
- Hosts the annual TPC Sawgrass tournament considered maybe the best PGA event outside the 4 majors
- Ranked #2 Best Course in Florida by Golf Digest
Outside of the Majors the TPC sawgrass event played on the Stadium course may be the most popular event of the year. The course is home to the island green, a par 3 hole surrounded by water on all sides. It is open to the public year round but it comes at a hefty price above $500. You are basically paying for the bragging rights to say that you played on a PGA course and to have your iconic moment taking on the island green. It’s the bucket list golf experience for those with money to burn.
Wynn Golf Club
Golf Rates: $550 per round during peak season
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
What Makes Wynn Golf Club So Expensive
- The course sits right behind the Wynn, like it’s own private monster backyard right on the strip. It’s a nice escape from the strip without actually having to leave the strip.
- Get a hole-in-one on the on the short 250 yard, par 4 18th hole and you can win up to $20,000.
- Caddies and cart included in the price
- Callaway loaner clubs come at no extra expensive if needed
- Re-developed in 2018 by designer Tom Fazio the course is quite the spectacle including waterfalls, forestry, 8 brand new holes and a practice facility.
It’s hard to believe tucked in behind the Wynn casino is fully fledged 18 hole golf course. In fact, I have been to Vegas around 8 times now and walked around the Wynn plenty not even realizing the course existed. I don’t think many people know of the course which is what makes it so impressive and exclusive. The course is a masterpiece with fairways and greens so lush they don’t even look real. You would expect nothing less from Vegas as when they do something for entertainment purposes they go all out. The price tag can be steep during the peak months at $550 but you can get a round in for around $300 if you go during the right season which is pretty good for Vegas considering you can drop $300 in a blink of the eye at the casino. And of course being that it is Vegas there is a chance to win a big jackpot on the 18th hole where if you manage a hole-in-one you can win up to $20k depending on which tee’s you use.