The changing of the clocks back from daylight saving time each fall is a real bummer for golfers.
The 9-to-5 crowd no longer have after-work golf options and dwindling daylight means weekend players are forced to battle for a limited supply or set the alarm clock for early-bird tee times.
Thank the golf gods for night golf! Our ultimate guide to night golf in America has been one of the most popular stories we've ever done at GolfPass. While golf under the lights is most prolific in Asia, there is certainly interest in it in America and especially in the south. Golfers can tee it up in America under the lights at more than 60 facilities in 23 states. If you live near one, consider yourself fortunate. But the real lucky golfers are the ones with regular access to the cream of this unique crop - the 10 best night golf courses in America. A number of them are located in key U.S. winter golf destinations - Orlando, Naples, Palm Springs, San Diego - so put them on your radar during your next golf trip.
Day golf is good, but night golf can be great! Here's where:
The Lights at Indio Golf Course, California
Any night-lit course that has attracted Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler for casual rounds must be cool. The pictures of their visits while in town for the PGA Tour's Desert Classic are hanging in the clubhouse. Business skyrocketed during the pandemic (read the story below). This 2,777-yard, 18-hole executive course might be the smartest tee time in town during summer when it's blazing hot. The par-54 muni, built by the city on 46 acres in 1965, is full of beefy par 3s: Seven longer than 160 yards.
"This course is rad!" wrote reviewer TroyShenanigans. "18 par 3s with lights on until 10 pm. Super fun to play, great for betting, great for a round after work, and super value."33 Min ReadOctober 6, 2020Long before TopGolf became popular, golfers who wanted to play after dark had to search for golf courses lit by floodlights for night-time play. We've found 65 such facilities in 23 states. Here's a convenient guide to help you get your golf fix at night.
Cloud 9 at Angel Park Golf Club, Las Vegas
There's lots of competition for your entertainment dollar after dark in Las Vegas, but we promise you won't be disappointed by spending 90 minutes or so on the Cloud 9 at Angel Park. This 12-hole par-3 course, which complements two championship courses by Arnold Palmer, becomes 9 holes lit for night golf after dark with holes ranging from 80-130 yards. Designers Bob Cupp and John Fought built replica holes like the "Island Green" (Players Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass), "Valley of Sin" (Old course at St. Andrews), "Postage Stamp" (Old course at Royal Troon) and "Riviera" (with the bunker in the middle green like Riviera Country Club). I gave the experience five stars after a daylight round in spring 2021 and can't wait to try again after dark.
3's Golf & Grill, Greenville, South Carolina
When the facility was called CrossWinds, it was 18 holes by John LaFoy, who recruited a few famous architect friends to "design" their specific hole. After an ownership change, enter Architect Jeff Lawrence, whose 2020 redesign shrank the footprint to 12 holes, playing 1,430 yards. In the process, the experience improved with better food and a festive atmosphere. Regular events attract niche audiences - Friday Date Night, Family Sundays, Wednesday Skins Night and TGIF Closest to the Hole Happy Hour every Friday from 5-7 p.m. The 17,000-square-foot Humps & Bumps putting course, home to 12 holes that stay lit until midnight, was inspired by the original Himalayas at St. Andrews. With the music pumping and people with drinks in hand, it also doubles as a dance floor. The 12 par-3 holes, ranging from 72-149 yards, are still named after well-known architects, including Pete & Alice Dye and Bob Cupp, and stay lit until 10:30 p.m. year-round.
Legends Walk at Orange Lake Resort, Kissemmee, Florida
Orange Lake Resort does a family vacation right with pools, lazy rivers and spacious accommodations galore. Legends Walk, a 9-hole executive course lit for night-time play, adds to the fun. From the tips, there's only one hole shorter than 147 yards and three 197 yards or more, so this 1,581-yard course has some beef to it. My family enjoyed it years ago when my kids were little (that's my son pictured above). Despite the fact that I'm the only golfer, everyone had a great time. Kids 12 and under golf for free any time, day or night, with a paying adult.
The Links of Naples, Florida
The only lighted golf course and aqua range in southwest Florida, the Links of Naples is also the third-longest course in America offering night golf, sporting four par 4s longer than 300 yards. The routing is a par 61 of 4,005 yards, built in 2000. The Links of Naples currently offers night golf seasonally, November until April, from 6-10 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Older GolfPass reviews are positive, although the only recent one in 2021 calls the facility a "housing development waiting to happen". For fans of night golf, let's hope not. Several reviews further warn golfers to bring their mosquito repellent.
Westchester Golf Course, Los Angeles, California
Westchester, located two miles from LAX airport, has an advantage over other night-golf courses. Thanks to some new longer holes added during a 2010 renovation, it plays as a 4,339-yard par 64. The routing now features 8 par 4s, ranging from 267 yards to 355 yards, and a 515-yard par 5, a rarity in night golf. Lights allow play until 10 p.m. every day. In reading GolfPass reviews, it seems most golfers are happy enough with the course and its condition but often run into slow play and customer service issues. That's L.A. public golf for ya.
Mission Bay Golf Course & Practice Center, San Diego, California
With perfect year-round weather, you would think San Diego would have more night-golf facilities but the 18-hole executive Mission Bay is it. Only tee boxes and greens are lit, and city laws require all lights turned off by 9:30 p.m. Only nine-hole rates are charged on the par-54, 2,719-yard course after 6:30 p.m. Of the four par 4s, the 291-yard closer is the longest. Although the lone 2021 review isn't great - it's been a tough year for growing grass everywhere in California - our Brandon Tucker played it in 2019 and came away with a positive experience. "I was generally impressed with the turf quality for how short it is." he wrote in his GolfPass review. "There are a couple short par 4s on each nine so you can hit some woods if you'd like. As non-residents we paid nearly $40 to walk it, so it's not the greatest value to play mostly par 3s, but it was a good hang."
Heartwell Golf Course, Long Beach, California
Heartwell's history is connected to two SoCal golf legends - Architect William F. Bell and Tiger Woods. Bell designed the 2,143-yard, par-54, 18-hole course, where a young Tiger learned the game. “It was lit at night, just like most of the people who were there,” Woods once cracked, according to the National Golf Foundation. Only two holes are 140 yards long (nos. 8-9), so it's a great spot to practice the short game or groom beginners for bigger things. Heartwell's commitment to consistent conditions and a friendly staff generally garner better reviews than most night-golf facilities.
Timpanogos Pasture Par 3 Course, Provo, Utah
When the Timpanogos Pasture Par 3 Course opened Oct. 7, 2020, as part of a major redesign and renaming of the former East Bay municipal golf facility in Provo, Utah, it became the first night-lit golf course in the state. The project by Architect Kevin Atkinson enhanced the main course and added a seven-hole Legacy Trail Short course that can be played with S.N.A.G. (Starting New At Golf) equipment and the nine-hole executive routing of 1,168 yards with holes ranging from 82 yards up to 211 yards. Its name comes from the first rudimentary nine-hole course created by the First War Pasture Cattle Company - often illuminated by the headlights of cars - that eventually became the site's first course in 1923.
Manor Valley Golf Course, Export, Pennsylvania
When the lights were installed at Manor Valley in 1964, it became the first regulation-sized lit course in the world and the only night course between New York and Chicago. The lit front nine plays 2,888 yards, so golfers can hit plenty of drivers, something rarely available to night golfers anywhere else in America. Pro Shop Manager Charlie Pekar said night golf isn't as popular today as it was several years ago when the lights were on for leagues Monday through Friday. In 2021, two night leagues played until 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. "Next year, we might do more. It depends," he said.