Golfers' Choice 2023: Top 25 Courses for Pace of Play

Some golfers prioritize playing fast almost as much as playing well. These golf clubs kept things moving in 2022.
Cedar River is one of four courses at Shanty Creek Resorts near Traverse City, Michigan.

Nobody wants a five-hour round of golf.

In this post-pandemic world, it's harder than ever for many golf facilities to properly manage pace of play. More new golfers are sharing courses with experienced players, and that can sometimes lead to disjointed rounds. Some clubs handle the issue much better than others.

We've uncovered the top 25 golf courses with the best pace of play as rated by our community of golfers based on reviews from 2022. The list features courses of all types, from popular munis to high-end resort courses. Almost any golf course can set up a tee sheet for success if it is a priority.

  1. Mayville, Wis.
    What they're saying: "Mayville G.C. exceeded my expectations. The course is in excellent condition. Fairways, greens, bunkers are all in really good condition. It's a fun layout which is challenging but fair. It was a bit of a drive but well worth it. I will be returning very soon." - uwp1974

  2. Aerial view from Sierra del Rio Golf Course

    Elephant Butte, N.M.
    What they're saying: "This was our 3rd year traveling from Southern AZ to Sierra Del Rio to play golf during our overseed season. Always a fun time, great staff, and great club house. The greens were great and fairways a work in progress. New owners and course superintendent hopefully will get it back to its prior glory!! Still, a great track. We truly enjoyed our outing and will be back! Camped in our RVs at Elephant Butte State Park which is alway top notch and inexpensive!" - kpickeringaz

  3. Elwood, Ind.
    What they're saying: "Other than a few rough spots on a couple of greens, course was in very good shape. Not busy so pace of play was better than average." - mdharrison99

  4. Saint Michaels, Mary.
    What they're saying: "Course was in great condition and felt like it was all to ourselves! Highly recommend experiencing this beautiful course." - cmoore47

  5. Bellaire, Mich.
    What they're saying: "AWESOME COURSE, a must play if your in the area. Challenging but fair. Was here the week before Labor Day and had the course to ourselves. Can’t wait to play it again." - ladendo

  6. Franklin, W.V.
    What they're saying: "Blown away by the value for the money at this course. Really nice playable layout with great views and super tricky undulated greens a good test for any player. It is a bit of a drive but I am looking forward to making the trip again soon." - indyclay01

  7. Whitney, Texas
    What they're saying: "First time out to White Bluffs. Played the New Course. Greens were in excellent condition. Rolled a little slow but were true. Fairways were thick, mowed and green. Course layout is interesting and not a course that allows you to bomb driver every hole. The layout requires you to make shots, hit targets and plan ahead. I highly recommend looking at the hole description and layout on the card prior to hitting your tee shot. Using a GPS device would also be useful fittest time out. Very friendly staff, no crowds at all on this Sunday afternoon. Looking forward to playing again!" - mattyposton

  8. The par-4 10th hole at the Dragon at Nakoma Golf Resort plays from an elevated tee down to a green guarded by water.

    Clio, Calif.
    What they're saying: "Absolutely FANTASTIC!!! Every hole is just simply AMAZING. Not like any other course in the whole Northern State..... Better bring your A game because the dragon isn't forgiving. Bought a hot deal and was the only one on my card with NOBODY in front of me. Needless to say the pace of play was no issue. Finished in less than 3 hours. Will DEFINITELY be back playing early here again!!! Do YOURSELF A FAVOR and go check out the Dragon!!!! You will NOT regret it." - Nariz775

  9. Bonne Terre, Mo.
    What they're saying: "Course is in fantastic shape. Greens are in great shape. Play it every week." - u314163343350

  10. Deerbrook, Wisc.
    What they're saying: "The scenery is second to none and the course is always in great condition. The staff is friendly and courteous." - Jon2919604

  11. A view of a hole at Barnsley Resort.

    Adairsville, Ga.
    What they're saying: "Barnsley is in excellent shape and is a beautiful golf course. The greens were extremely true and played fairly firm and fast. Bunkers had a ton of sand and were very soft and fluffy. Overall, a course that is extremely well taken care of and a relative value as it feels like a rather high-end private course." - Blackburn1984

  12. Kohala Coast, Hawaii
    What they're saying: "Played the South course. Really well maintained and was fun to play. Great views from multiple locations. A must play if on Big Island." - sinharajeev

  13. Charlevoix, Mich.
    What they're saying: "We had a 10:00am tee time, and the course was wide open. The staff member that assisted us gave us the history of the course, which was great. The course was in excellent condition, and the views are beautiful. Dunmaglas is a hidden gem, and we look forward to playing it in the future." - u000007955002

  14. Paso Robles, Calif.
    What they're saying: "This is a funky fun course to play! Not crowded or stuffy! Enjoy the views and just have a relaxing time!" - berniemunn

  15. Village Mills, Texas
    What they're saying: "This is a Hidden gem in East Texas, course was well maintained, very friendly staff, and pace of play was unbelievable." - Steven2318972

  16. Shelby, N.C.
    What they're saying: "Took the trip from Charlotte (45min) to check this place out. Although relatively short from the tips, there are lots of dog legs and elevation changes to keep things interesting. I think I hit driver less than a half dozen times. Greens are decently quick and complex, pins were challenging. They take course maintenance seriously here and it shows. Will definitely come back with critical course knowledge in hand." - qcm5cl

  17. Cordele, Ga.
    What they're saying: "This was a great course. Winter has taken a toll on the course but they are doing a great job during the winter months. We took advantage of the reduced rates at certain times of the day. Have wanted to play this course for a long time and I finally got a chance. The course did not disappoint." - u314162473947

  18. A view of a green protected by bunkers at PGA National Estates Golf Course.

    West Palm Beach, Fla.
    What they're saying: "The course is in excellent condition and has great practice facilities with a driving range and chipping and putting greens. Practice balls are included with the green fee. The pace of play was phenomenal, I got the rare and lucky chance to play by myself which made the round soooo much better." - tiburonazo

  19. Peoria, Ariz.
    What they're saying: "I almost never think the higher-priced Sun City courses are worth it, especially in the summer, but the Lakes course was in sensational condition. I was more than surprised when we played it for how nice everything was. There was also no one else out there so we played the round as a twosome in just over 3 hours." - u314160823170

  20. Barneveld, Wisc.
    What they're saying: "The course is picturesque and challenging for a mid-level golfer. The staff is friendly and course well maintained." - Patrick7261918

  21. Plymouth, Ind.
    What they're saying: "Woodbury is a great place to golf. The golf course was in great shape over the 4th of July weekend. Also, the staff is always very friendly." - u314159442530

  22. Coldwater, Mich.
    What they're saying: "We played on Father’s Day during a family trip. This course is a great track and in great shape. Greens are challenging in all the best ways. We had a ton of fun. Pace of play was good for a Sunday morning and the staff was super friendly. Will definitely come back." - Djgra3ff5833

  23. View of the 7th hole at The Natural at Beaver Creek Resort

    Gaylord, Mich.
    What they're saying: "Had a wonderful during the week golf experience. Course was in great shape and few others out today. Overall great experience!" - jdtwait

  24. Hot Springs, S.D.
    What they're saying: "Perfect (place) to play. You don’t feel like you’re being watched constantly and rushed along. Friendly place. Beautiful fairways and greens." - dianeirene

  25. Montague, Mich.
    What they're saying: "Played recently. The course great shape. Completed the round in 3.5 hours. Highly recommend Old Channel!" - Wgeckert

Commented on

I noticed that only about 1/2 of the comments actually mentioned pace of play, and the ones that did often noted that the course was "not busy" or empty. Anyone can play fast in that situation. How is the pace when they are busy?

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Golfers' Choice 2023: Top 25 Courses for Pace of Play