Golfers' Choice 2022: Top 25 Courses for Pace of Play

Golfers loved the lack of congestion at these popular golf courses in 2021.
The second hole on the Catalina course at Omni Tucson National Resort is a straightaway par 5.

Golf courses continued their momentum from 2020 throughout 2021. With rounds played as high as they've been in recent memory, it created a lot of demand for tee times. Rare were the days you had the golf course all to yourself. So the golf courses that were able to achieve a steady pace of play should be applauded more than ever. Balancing demand with safety and social distancing in 2021 was no small feat.

Pace of play is one of six subcategories you can rate when you review a golf course and we've uncovered the Top 25 golf courses as rated by our community based on reviews from 2021. The list features courses ranging from municipals to high-end resort courses. It just goes to show that golf courses of any class can set up their tee sheet for success.

  1. Franklin, W.V.
    What they're saying: "Play this course at least once a month during the season or more. Worth the hour plus drive! This course is a hidden gem in Franklin, West Virginia, 30-45 minutes from Harrisonburg, Va. Play it and you won't regret it!!!!!" - kingmanz

  2. West Palm Beach, Fla.
    What they're saying: "This course was great. Staff, pace of play and greens are awesome." - golfer review

  3. Tucson, Ariz.
    What they're saying: "No waiting. No rush. Finished in 3 hrs and 45 minutes. Course was in great shape." - vernehill

  4. Montague, Mich.
    What they're saying: "Pace of play was excellent and the staff is always friendly and courteous." - Wgeckert

  5. Oconomowoc, Wis.
    What they're saying: "Fun fun fun. I literally cannot say a bad thing about my experience at this course. Staff was great; pace of play was wonderful; course conditions were impeccable." - kmergens

  6. Mauna Lani's South Course is on the ocean. The 15th hole flies over a scenic coastal cove.

    Kohala Coast, Hawaii
    What they're saying: "Majestic! Played the course multiple times. The tee box on 15 brings back memories of Pebble Beach!" - NLD3rd

  7. Red Wing, Minn.
    What they're saying: "Course was in great shape and the pace of play was outstanding. Greens were excellent and we had our best rounds of the summer." - golfer review

  8. Bellaire, Mich.
    What they're saying: "Great course. We found the course to be very beautiful, clean, and challenging. We had a great day!!" - Corey1758346

  9. Orlando, Fla.
    What they're saying: "It can be a bit expensive but what else would you expect considering the name and association. Staff are very friendly and facility is immaculate." - jparham2

  10. Fort Morgan, Colo.
    What they're saying: "We played in less than 4 hours and the course was in good condition. The staff is always very friendly. We enjoy playing this course." - golfer review

  11. The 14th at the Links at Perry Cabin has an excellent green complex for a short par five. This is one of the testier spots on an otherwise gracefully subdued Dye design.

    Saint Michaels, Md.
    What they're saying: "Unbelievable layout and conditions. Best course by far in the area and on par with premier courses anywhere!" - Golffman

  12. Vermilion, Ohio
    What they're saying: "Sure did like this course. Very well kept. All the folks were friendly. We were off early. Finished our round in no time." - jmsflet

  13. Greenwood, S.C.
    What they're saying: "The course was in great shape, the pace of play was great. Always enjoy playing there." - Cdivens7

  14. El Dorado, Ark.
    What they're saying: "Course is a great challenge. Tests all aspects of your game. It’s heavily wooded, lots of well placed water hazards, and the greens have lots of slopes and tough bunkers." - cheetahwoods395

  15. New Castle, Co.
    What they're saying: "We literally had the course to ourselves. (Only) A single in front. We played in 3hrs, 20mins." - abetterroundtoday

  16. Saint Marys, Ga.
    What they're saying: "Course is always beautiful. Staff is friendly. Pace of play very good. Well worth the money." - golfer review

  17. Stowe, Vt.
    What they're saying: "Enjoyable place to play. Course in great condition. Friendly folks and friendly course layout." - Paul3681344

  18. Raeford, N.C.
    What they're saying: "The Bayonet is in great shape! Fairways are lush and the greens are smooth." - usecotton

  19. Pinetops, N.C.
    What they're saying: "We played at a good pace and were not held up by slow golfers. A hidden gem playing during the week and very affordable." - golfer review

  20. The Dragon at Nakoma Resort is one of the most beautiful and difficult golf courses in the region.

    Clio, Calif.
    What they're saying: "This course requires some knowledge and strategy. Beautiful and challenging course." - Reno6208

  21. Cle Elum, Wash.
    What they're saying: "The pace of play was very good. At times it seemed like we had the course to ourselves." - golfer review

  22. Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
    What they're saying: "Pace of play was fine. We caught up to a foursome in front of us and they kindly let us play through." - PolskiGolfer

  23. Louisa, Ky.
    What they're saying: "Hardest course I’ve ever played but also one of the most stunning." - datshoint25

  24. Rumford, R.I.
    What they're saying: "We played 18 holes in just under 3 hours with a cart. The course is very short but a few challenging holes. Greens and tee boxes are pristine." - chris8073713

  25. Wintergreen, Va.
    What they're saying: "Great condition. Great pace. Beautiful scenery and super friendly staff. Don't miss it." - Ripper61


Absolutely: it was still hard to find a course in 2021 where you could have it to yourself. The only genuine exceptions for me were northern Vermont (but a bit pre-season and on a cold day in early June) and in the hinterlands of New York State–and, even at that, ‘to yourself’ was a relative term. Pace of play seemed a bit better, nonetheless, than it was in general over 2020.

That 15th at Mauna Lani South may well be the most beautiful golf hole on the planet. If there’s something more stunning, I can’t think of it.

View all the Golfers' Choice 2023 lists, including all 50 states.
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Golfers' Choice 2022: Top 25 Courses for Pace of Play