Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 17
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Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 17
Designed by Ken Dye, Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, N.M. remains one of the country's best municipals and a great value. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills G.C. - 1st hole
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Pinon Hills G.C. - 1st hole
Pinon Hills Golf Course begins with a downhill, dogleg-left par 4. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 3
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Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 3
There's plenty of mountain scenery, such as the backdrop on the par-4 third at Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, N.M. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills G.C. - 6th hole
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Pinon Hills G.C. - 6th hole
Arguably the signature hole at Pinon Hills Golf Course is the par-3 sixth, which features a large boulder behind the green. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 8
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Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 8
The eighth at Pinon Hills Golf Course is the first of back-to-back par 5s. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills G.C. - 9th hole
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Pinon Hills G.C. - 9th hole
The ninth at Pinon Hills Golf Course measures nearly 600 yards from the back tee. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 11
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Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 11
A giant American flag is visible on several points on Pinon Hills Golf Course, including the par-4 11th. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills G.C. - 13th hole
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Pinon Hills G.C. - 13th hole
Bunkers on the right and water left guard the green of the par-5 13th at Pinon Hills Golf Course in the northwest corner of New Mexico. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 15
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Pinon Hills Golf Course - no. 15
The par-3 15th at Pinon Hills Golf Course is surrounded by natural vegetation. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinon Hills G.C. - 18th
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Pinon Hills G.C. - 18th
The finishing hole at Pinon Hills is a 469-yard par 4 that rates as the no. 2-handicap hole on the golf course. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
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Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, New Mexico still shines as one of country's best munis

FARMINGTON, N.M. -- As far as municipal golf goes, Pinon Hills Golf Course has legendary status.

For years, it was the $15 muni in the northwest corner of New Mexico, often ranked among the top five munis in the country, up against the likes of Bethpage State Park and Torrey Pines, just to name a couple. Pinon Hills may be difficult to get to, but it's well worth it considering the paltry green fee for a course that could command a $200 fee in other parts of the country.

Designed by Ken Dye (no relation to Pete) of Finger, Dye and Spann, it's a championship golf course in championship condition, yet it still remains one of the country's most affordable golf experiences. Sure, it's close to $40 for outsiders to play, but that's still a bargain, and locals can play it on the cheap, especially seniors.

Better yet, this thoughtful design, meant to test skilled players from the tips at 7,000 yards, is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. There's a signature boulder behind the green on the par-3 sixth and perfect undulating greens guarded by PGA Tour-like bunkers throughout.

And though it may be hard to get to, you might be surprised to learn that Farmington is a city of 100,000 with plenty of hotels, restaurants and a few other things to do.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, New Mexico still shines as one of country's best munis