Walk a golf course?
In this heat?
Perhaps most golfers will be riding from shot to shot and hole to hole in carts, especially during the summer. But should you be in good shape and strongly believe in hydration, walking nine or 18 holes of golf is still an experience that borders on the spiritual.
And if it’s on a golf course with scenery such as stately forests or large bodies of water, it’s a chance to take it all in before worrying about your next shot.
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For those who strongly believe that golf is best experienced on two legs, GolfPass has a long list of suggestions.
GolfPass, a multi-layered platform that offers instructional videos, tee time reservations (without fees for Golfpass+ members) and course and equipment reviews, has compiled The Top-100 Walking Courses in the United States, with three area resort facilities making the cut: the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course, the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Ocean Course and the Sea Island Club Seaside Course on St. Simons Island, Ga.
Among the courses on the top-25 are No. 1 Pebble Beach, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, SC, Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina and all three Streamsong courses in central Florida.
“The post-pandemic golf boom has been good for the game in so many ways since 2020, but one of the most unique impacts has been that walking while playing has become more popular than ever,” said GolfPass managing editor Jason Scott Deegan in a news release. “In the early days of the pandemic, most golfers either couldn’t use carts or didn’t want to. Many rediscovered the joys of walking. They bought new push carts and carry bags and have kept on walking.”
The GolfPass editorial team compiled list by list by analyzing thousands of GolfPass reviews of more than 3,000 courses.
All courses had to be accessible to the public, with other criteria considered including the quality of the golf course, how conducive it is to walking and how welcoming the facility is to walkers.
Here is what the review said about the three area courses:
TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course
“Although many players take a cart, walking is allowed and encouraged on the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Pete Dye’s masterpiece, the home of The Players Championship, can be played with walking caddies or forecaddies.
“You’ll need all the help you can get to avoid the treacherous waste bunkers and ponds. Despite a greens fee that fluctuates seasonally to peak above $750, TPC Sawgrass still gets good reviews, ranking among the top 20 courses in Florida every year since 2015.”
GolfPass reviewer ‘SeamusMaccDuff’ says: “When you hit the island green on [No.] 17, you can die a happy golfer.”
Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Ocean Course
“Members are the lucky ones who get to play regularly, but those who stay on property can also enjoy the privilege of exploring the Ocean course. Beyond what might be one of golf’s first island greens [at No. 9]small elevated greens are its hallmark.”
Reviewer ‘Tyquig6’ says: “A beautiful scenic layout in Ponte Vedra. A very fun course that has a few challenges but very fair. Several holes stick out but [Nos.] 16, 17, & 18 are a great way to finish the round.”
Sea Island Club Seaside Course
“Sea Island’s Seaside Course, a longtime PGA Tour host course overhauled by Tom Fazio in 1999, delivers stunning views along the St. Simons Sound, including long-range panoramas out to the Atlantic Ocean. Golfers need to stay at the resort to access it .”
GolfPass reviewer says: “The Seaside course is a great walk among and around St Simons Sound. The views are unbeatable. Water and old-growth trees surround spectacularly laid-out holes. Greens rolled true and beautiful grass everywhere. After the round, make sure to grab a drink at the bar and check out the awesome views of the bay. A definite must-play on the bucket list.”
This article originally appeared on the Florida Times-Union: Take a stroll on the best golf courses in America for walking