The Best Golf Courses in Pennsylvania 2024

Best golf courses in Pennsylvania
Downtown Philadelphia by night. Credit: Bruce Emmerling 

Pennsylvania, with its diverse landscapes and picturesque scenery, boasts some of America’s finest courses.

The Keystone State has a storied golfing history, with a lineage of legendary players, prestigious tournaments, and iconic courses. Some of golf’s greatest players have emerged from Pennsylvania, including Arnold Palmer, one of the sport’s most influential figures. Palmer’s impact on the game resonates throughout the state, with his birthplace in Latrobe now home to the renowned Latrobe Country Club.

Pennsylvania has also played host to numerous prestigious golf tournaments, attracting the world’s top players to its fairways. The state has welcomed major championships such as the US Open, the PGA Championship, and The Ryder Cup, solidifying its status as a premier golfing destination.

Independence Hall, Philadelphia
Independence Hall, Philadelphia. Credit: Jenn Dixon

Away from golf, Pennsylvania is steeped in history, playing a significant role in the formation of the United States. Known as the birthplace of American democracy, the state hosted the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in 1776. It also served as the temporary capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800. This deep historical legacy is evident throughout the state, with numerous landmarks and museums paying tribute to Pennsylvania’s pivotal role in shaping the nation.

Beyond its historical significance, Pennsylvania’s natural beauty is awe-inspiring. The state is home to diverse landscapes that range from rolling hills and lush farmland to majestic mountain ranges and serene forests. Golfers are treated to stunning backdrops as they navigate the fairways, with breathtaking vistas and tranquil settings enhancing the overall golfing experience. Let’s explore the top golf courses in Pennsylvania.

  1. Merion Golf Club
    An iconic name in the annals of golf and a storied venue with a unique history, Merion is among the best golf courses in the United States and not just in the state of Pennsylvania. Located in Ardmore, Merion has hosted numerous major championships, including the US Open and although it consists of two courses, The East and the West, it is the East that attracts the best players in the world. Merion Golf Club is also known for its distinctive wicker baskets, which sit atop the pins in the place of traditional flagsticks. These iconic wicker baskets have been a fixture at Merion since the early 1900s and have become synonymous with the club. The deny the golfer the benefit of being able to gauge the wind direction as easily as they might do with a flag and add an element of tradition and character, enhancing the overall experience for players lucky enough to visit these hallowed grounds.

    Merion Golf Club
    Merion is known for the distinctive wicker baskets, which sit atop the pins
  2. Oakmont Country Club
    Widely recognised as one of the most difficult golf courses in the United States – Oakmont Country Club is the ultimate test. Known for its formidable bunkers, undulating greens, and narrow fairways, Oakmont has hosted a record nine US Opens. Its demanding design and exceptional conditioning make it a favourite for those looking a challenge. If that’s you, Oakmont Country Club is a must-play destination.

    Oakmont Country Club
    Oakmont is among the hardest courses in the US
  3. Aronimink Golf Club
    Located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Aronimink Golf Club is a masterpiece designed by renowned architect Donald Ross. This private club offers a pristine parkland setting, blending seamlessly with the natural landscape. Immaculate fairways, strategic bunkers, and challenging greens make Aronimink an exacting test of golf. That coupled with its rich history and a reputation for hosting prestigious events, including the BMW Championship, means it secures a well-deserved spot on our list.

  4. The Philadelphia Cricket Club
    Founded in 1854, The Philadelphia Cricket Club is one of the oldest and most storied private golf clubs in the United States. With two outstanding courses, the Wissahickon and the Militia Hill, the club offers a classic American experience. The Wissahickon course, designed by A.W. Tillinghast, is known for its challenging terrain and beautiful tree-lined fairways.

  5. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
    Nestled in the breathtaking Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort boasts two stunning championship golf courses. The Mystic Rock course, designed by Pete Dye, provides a dramatic and challenging layout, while the Shepherd’s Rock course, crafted by the renowned team of Pete Dye and Tim Liddy, offers a visually stunning experience. With its luxurious amenities off the course, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort guarantees an unforgettable golfing getaway.

    Best Golf Courses in Pennsylvania
    The Mystic Rock course, is designed by Pete Dye. Credit:
  6. Fox Chapel Golf Club
    Fox Chapel, situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was designed by the legendary Seth Raynor. This club offers a challenging yet enjoyable round with meticulously maintained fairways, strategic bunkering, and magnificent views of the Allegheny River helping to create a serene atmosphere that sets Fox Chapel apart.

Pennsylvania is a golfer’s paradise, and these top golf courses exemplify the state’s dedication to providing exceptional golfing experiences. From the historic Merion Golf Club to the challenging Oakmont Country Club and the picturesque Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, each course offers its own unique blend of beauty, challenge, and prestige. Whether you’re a local golfer or planning a golfing trip, make sure to add these best golf courses in Pennsylvania to your bucket list. Prepare to be amazed by the impeccable courses, breathtaking landscapes, and the unforgettable memories that await you in the Keystone State.

Claire's career as a journalist has seen her regularly write about some of the best restaurants, hotels and destinations in the world. She has also interviewed the past three Prime Ministers and has been a Digital Editor overseeing a number of newspaper titles. She is the founder of the content marketing company Smiths & Sons.

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