The Best Colleges for Golfers

By Ryan Watson


While college is a time for students to get serious and consider their futures, it is also a time for improving your short game. Many universities maintain their own golf courses and offer students free or discounted rounds. GolfLink has compiled this list of the best college courses in the country. Keep up your grades up and you just might be in line to play some of these courses!



Stanford University Golf Course

91 Links Rd, Stanford, CA 94305

Built in 1930 by course architects George C. Thomas and Billy Bell, Jr., Stanford University’s golf course is routinely ranked as one of the NCAA’s best. The course offers challenging holes that rely more on strategy than length, and feature beautiful views of both the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding countryside. Students can play the course for $25. 


The Orchards

18 Silverwood Terrace, South Hadley, MA 01075

Built for Mount Holyoke College, a private liberal arts college for women, The Orchards features a layout built by Donald Ross in 1922. The course is a wooded and hilly layout typical of New England golf, and has hosted several prestigious women’s events, including the U.S. Women’s Open. 


Ohio State University Golf Club

3605 Tremont Rd, Columbus, OH 43221

The Ohio State University Golf Club is home to 2 stellar courses, the Gray and Scarlet. Both courses were designed by Alister MacKenzie, though the Scarlet course has since been lengthened to more modern dimensions by Ohio State alum Jack Nicklaus. The course is well known for its inventive bunkering and provides a stern challenge for all golfers.


Palouse Ridge Golf Club

1260 Palouse Ridge Dr, Pullman, WA 99164

Located on the edge of Washington State’s campus, Palouse Ridge Golf Club opened its modernized course in 2008. The course is a full length championship course with the tips measuring 7,308 yards and was designed by John Harbottle III. The rolling course is a shotmakers course with numerous elevation changes, and students enjoy rates from $35-$40 with alumni also receiving discounts.  


The Rawls Course at Texas Tech

3720 4th St, Lubbock, TX 79415


Home to the Red Raiders golf program, The Rawls Course is a Tom Doak designed championship course. The course uses the rugged and varied terrain of Texas as inspiration, with the flat Lubbock land having been completely resculpted by Doak. The course is seen as one of the best public courses in Texas. 


University Ridge Golf Course at University of Wisconsin

9002 County Rd PD, Verona, WI 53593


The University of Wisconsin’s home course is University Ridge was built by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in 1991. In addition to being home to Big Ten golf, it is also home to the American Family Insurance Championship on the PGA Tour Champions tour. The course features many tree-lined holes and uses both water and elevation changes to keep it challenging. 


Taconic Golf Club

19 Meacham St, Williamstown, MA 01267


Taconic Golf Club is Williams College home course and dates back to 1928. The Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek designed course was updated in 2009 by Gil Hanse to more modern dimensions, and features trees, rolling terrain, and elevated greens. The course is seen as one of New England’s best public courses. 


Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club

4 Ransom Dr, Norman, OK 73019


Oklahoma University’s home course is a beautiful natural track on land that was previously part of a Navy training facility. The course was designed by Perry Maxwell and opened in January 1951. Bishop Creek and the South Canadian River both come into play along with groves of oak. The prairie winds also add another degree of challenge to this beautiful course. 


Yale Golf Course

200 Conrad Dr, New Haven, CT 06515


One of America’s elite institutions is also home to one of America’s elite courses. The course was designed by Seth Raynor and Charles Blair Macdonald, one of the major driving forces behind the creation of the United States Golf Association (USGA), and is an example of a classic Scottish-style links course set in New England. It is a wooded course that features many of Macdonald’s famous “template” holes that have gone on to have a great influence American golf architecture. Be sure and bring your best game as the course is routinely listed among the greatest and most difficult courses in the world. 



About The Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.


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