Golf Magazine has come out with a list of the 100 best courses you can play without buying a membership or waiting around the front gate with pleading eyes for someone to invite you.
Golf Digest has published a list of the 50 most fun courses in the country (where you dont have to play through a clowns mouth.)
These lists are not to be confused with the 100 greatest courses in America or the 100 greatest courses in the world or the 15 clubs with the best cheeseburgers or the 30 courses with the cutest cart girls.
Those last two are mine, but golf magazines do run a lot of lists.
The Carolinas shone brightly in the 100 best courses you can play, placing 12, and got six spots among the fun places.
Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head, Linville Golf Club and Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club doubled up, making both lists, and rightly so. If you cant enjoy playing those courses, you should have that looked at. The other fun courses making the list was Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club in Pinehurst, a Donald Ross layout, Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan, S.C., and Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C.
Among the top 100 you can play, Pinehurst No. 2, the king of Carolinas golf, ranked No. 3. The Ocean Course at Kiawah was fifth. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, the Dunes Golf & Beach Club, May River Country Club, Barefoot Resorts Davis Love III course, Tobacco Road, The Dormie Club and Pinehurst Resort No. 8 were others receiving recognition. You can play those courses but bring money.
Whats a fun course anyway? One thats not too long, not too hard, doesnt have a lot of out of bounds or too much water, has good variety, has friendly employees and has carts that dont rattle. Its a place from which you can walk away thinking about the fun you had instead of about how many balls you lost, and you dont have any large bruises.