Choice Destinations: The best value courses in and around Rochester, N.Y.

Rochester - the host of the 2023 PGA Championship - features a deep stable of public courses for all budgets.
Wetland and woods guard the 16th fairway at Ravenwood Golf Club in Victor, N.Y.

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For a place that has such a short summer season, Rochester (N.Y.) residents sure do love their golf.

Rochester, ranked among America's top 80 cities when it comes to population with more than 1 million people living in its surrounding areas, features some of the best private golf courses in New York state, many dating back to the Golden Age of golf architecture. Oak Hill Country Club's venerable East Course by Donald Ross is set to host the 2023 PGA Championship, its fourth, which adds to its incredible history of hosting the Ryder Cup, three U.S. Opens, two U.S. Amateurs, the U.S. Senior Open and two Senior PGA Championships.

Several other area private playgrounds with ties to Ross - the Irondequoit Country Club in Pittsford and the Country Club of Rochester - plus the Seymour Dunn classic Locust Hill Country Club, also in Pittsford, showcase the depth of golf around the city, where the birth of companies such as Bausch and Lomb, Eastman Kodak Co. and Xerox made it one of America's original boom towns.

Rochester's public golf scene is equally as deep, although many of its best courses are more modern, having sprung up in the countryside surrounding the city. If you're visiting for the PGA Championship, or for business or pleasure any time from late spring to early fall, make sure to bring your clubs. Here's the best suggestions on where to play for less than $75.

Best value public golf courses near Rochester

The Links at Greystone

Walworth, N.Y.
This 2021 review tells you all you need to know about a course that routinely pulls in five-star reviews: "A friend originally from the Rochester area recommended this course while I was on a quick business trip in the area. As a single, I called the day before and they offered me choices to head out early by myself or join a group. I played alone, and was behind a twosome, but decided not to play through and enjoy my round. I still finished in under 3 hours. Spectacular track, superb conditions. Only advice I had was that they could have charged me twice the amount and I still would have been impressed with the value." Green fees: $50-$73.

Walworth, New York

Durand Eastman Golf Course

Rochester, N.Y.

This Monroe County-owned municipal gem also gets good reviews for its 6,000-yard layout and value. One GolfPass review from 2022 calls it the "most important golf course" in upstate New York. "The history, the uniqueness, the design, the beauty, the challenge, the fun! Everything you want in a golf course, you'll find at Durand. Originally laid out by Donald Ross, redesigned by Robert Trent Jones in the '30's, and fine tuned over the years, this course takes you on a majestic and challenging ride! ... as a county course, it's an extremely good value." $16-$33

Rochester, New York

Ravenwood Golf Course

Victor, N.Y.

Ravenwood has ranked among the top 12 courses in New York state in Golfers' Choice five of the past seven years. Golfers love its conditioning and challenge. Reviews admit the green fees are higher than most area courses, but the experience justifies the price jump. One review by 'jetssoccerclub' reads: "One of the finest courses to be found anywhere. Each fairway a challenge to your club selection. With fairway bunkers throughout the course, you are challenged to keep your shots near the middle of the fairway. Scenic views on every fairway. Nice clubhouse with friendly staff." $39-$82

Victor, New York

Wild Wood Country Club

Rush, N.Y.
New owners have taken the semi-private Wild Wood up a notch the past five years. It has ranked among the top 25 courses in the state in Golfers' Choice since 2019. Golfers have noticed the improvements. A GolfPass review by 'danny33c' writes: "What a great course! The hills, the vistas, the grounds were all top notch. In early spring, courses can (be) littered with sticks, uneven greens, or uncut fairways. Wild Wood was not that course. It is very hilly, so walking would be a challenge. I would recommend this course to anyone." Cost: $35-$65

Rush, New York

The Golf Club at Blue Heron Hills

Macedon, N.Y.
Jack Nicklaus gave some input in designing this semi-private club in the late 1980s. The result is a challenging test with water hazards pinching landing areas on 10 holes. Four of the final five holes are water-logged, so save your best swings for last. $55-$65.

Macedon, New York

Timber Ridge Golf Club

Brockport, N.Y.
Opened in 2011, the par-70 Timber Ridge is short on yardage at roughly 6,100 yards but long on fun. It lights up in fall with the changing colors of the leaves. Golfers who like a good stroll through the woods can walk. $43.

Brockport, New York

Livingston Country Club

Geneseo, N.Y.
Seymour Dunn, an underrated Golden Age architect from the 1920s, laid out Livingston CC in 1927. The 6,500-yard classic was ranked among the top 25 courses in New York by Golfers' Choice from 2017-21 and even made the top 25 nationally for value in 2020. A review by 'Jarmani44' from 2021 notes the "greens (are) in great shape. Layout is great with quite a bit of variety - plus some elevation changes. Some holes are open but others were tight. Overall a great course." $30-$36.

Geneseo, New York

Charleston Pines at Lima Country Club & Party House

Lima, N.Y.
Although it's the older of the two layouts at the club, Charleston Pines (6,900 yards) gets better reviews than the shorter Island Oaks (6,100 yards). The two courses were built 30 years apart by the same architect, giving golfers a unique time capsule of how course architecture and tastes have changed over the years. There's plenty of water on Charleston Pines to keep players honest. $44.

Lima, New York

Caledonia Country Club

Caledonia, N.Y.
Public golfers get the taste of lightning-fast, private-club greens at Caledonia CC, which opens its doors to everybody Mondays and Tuesdays. The 6,619-yard course dating to the 1960s ranked among the top "value" courses nationally in Golfers' Choice in 2021 because the $35 greens fee includes lunch, too. $35.

Caledonia, New York

Looking for somewhere to stay on a Rochester golf vacation? Click here for a listing of Choice Hotels properties in the area.

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Choice Destinations: The best value courses in and around Rochester, N.Y.