Best Golf Courses in Pennsylvania

Updated February 2024 to update booking information.

When I hear the Words “Pennsylvania” and “golf” in the same sentence, one thing comes immediately to mind.  Arnold Palmer.  The King was born in the town of Latrobe and where his dad was the Superintendent at Latrobe Country Club.  I get chills even as I write this.

Before I start convulsing, we’d better move on to the purpose of this article.  We’re here to talk about the best public golf courses in Pennsylvania.  From everything I’ve heard, there’s no shortage to be found.

Regardless of where you choose to play on this list, remember to “swing your swing.”  That’s what the King did.

1

Sky Top Lodge

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If you’re seeking an unforgettable golfing event in the serene and beautiful Poconos Mountains, Sky Top Lodge offers wide fairways and higher elevations for a unique and demanding game.

Situated in Pennsylvania, this public golf course stands out among the top golf courses in the state. The Sky Top Golf Club not only provides an exceptional golfing adventure but also offers stay-and-play packages, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings.

The course’s higher elevation provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains, adding to the allure of the game.

Sky Top Lodge’s golf course boasts family-friendly amenities, making it a great destination for golfers of all levels. The combination of the breathtaking natural surroundings and the excellent golfing facilities sets this course apart, ensuring that every golfer can enjoy their time on the green.

Although the playing season may be shorter, the unique challenges and unforgettable experiences make Sky Top Lodge a must-visit destination for any golf enthusiast.

 

2

Wyncote Golf Club

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Wyncote Golf Club, designed in a heathland style by Brian Ault, offers modern design features, forgiving fairways, and large green complexes with varied undulations, making it a standout destination for golf enthusiasts in Pennsylvania.

This public course is revered as the best-conditioned course in the state and an underrated modern design on the East Coast. With its ample room off the tee, golfers can appreciate the forgiving fairways and take on the challenge of the large green complexes and undulating terrain.

Brian Ault’s design showcases the beauty of the heathland-style course, providing an exceptional encounter for golfers of all levels. Wyncote Golf Club has garnered a reputation for its impressive layout, ensuring that players are met with a blend of strategic challenges and scenic beauty.

The course’s commitment to maintaining top-notch conditions and its modern design features make it a top choice for those seeking a memorable round of Pennsylvania golf. Whether you’re a local enthusiast or a visitor, Wyncote Golf Club promises a rewarding experience on the course.

 

 

3

Founders Course at Penn National Golf Club and Inn

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Moving on from the heathland-style Wyncote Golf Club, let’s explore the challenging and historically rich Founders Course at Penn National Golf Club and Inn. Lied against the picturesque scenery of Pennsylvania, this course offers a traditional design with narrow fairways and small greens, providing a demanding yet rewarding adventure for golfers of all levels.

The firm and fast greens during the summer months add an extra layer of difficulty, testing even the most skilled golfers. What sets this course apart is the last five holes, considered the toughest stretch in the state, making each game an exhilarating adventure. Additionally, the course’s historical significance, built on the site of an old iron mine, adds a unique element to the golfing event.

Penn National Golf Club, home to the Founders Course, is situated near State College and was designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer. Completing 18 holes with a good scorecard here is truly an accomplishment. When planning your visit, be sure to inquire about green fees and any additional amenities available at the club.

 

   

4

Iron Forge Course at Penn National Golf Club and Inn

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Take shelter within the scenic view of Pennsylvania, the Iron Forge Course at Penn National Golf Club and Inn offers a modern design with spacious fairways and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. This 6,900-yard championship golf course provides an exceptional happening for golf enthusiasts of all levels.

The course, open since 1997, features a mountain effect on holes four through 11, adding an exciting challenge to your game. The ample room off the tee allows for comfortable play, while the expansive vistas provide a charming backdrop for your round.

Additionally, the facility offers stay-and-play packages for both the Iron Forge and Founders courses, making it an ideal destination for a golf getaway. Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, the Iron Forge Course at Penn National Golf Club in Pennsylvania promises a memorable and enjoyable golfing encounter in the United States.

If you’re seeking a course that combines modern design with breathtaking natural surroundings, this is a must-visit location on your golfing journey.

5

Berkleigh Golf Club

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As you continue your exploration of Pennsylvania’s exceptional golf courses, the spotlight now turns to the historic and respected Berkleigh Golf Club. Ranked #8 by Golf Magazine in the Best Golf Courses in Pennsylvania, this club offers a traditional parkland design and a bold adventure for golfers of all skill levels. With its rolling terrain and demanding holes, Berkleigh Golf Club provides a memorable and rewarding golfing adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice, the course’s four sets of tees make it playable for all.

This historic club, formerly home to the LPGA Betsy King Classic, is a must-visit for golf lovers in the Keystone State.

Berkleigh Golf Club’s reputation for excellence places it among the top golf destinations in Pennsylvania, alongside renowned courses like Merion Golf Club and the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The club’s traditional design, combined with its scenic surroundings and demanding layout, has solidified its status as one of the premier Places to Play in the state. Whether you’re a fan of Pete Dye’s designs or simply seeking an exceptional Golf Course in Pennsylvania, Berkleigh Golf Club promises a fulfilling and enjoyable round of golf.

6

Mystic Rock Golf Course at Nemacolin Resort

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Nemacolin Resort’s Mystic Rock Golf Course, ranked No. 1 on Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list for public-access layouts in Pennsylvania, offers an unparalleled golfing event amidst stunning natural beauty. The course underwent a renovation in 2021 by Tim Liddy, a longtime associate of Pete Dye.

Mystic Rock is also ranked No. 10 among all courses owned or operated in conjunction with casinos in the U.S. Nemacolin Resort is home to both Mystic Rock and Shepherds Rock, the latter being ranked No. 5 among public-access courses in the state. Both courses offer public access through daily green fees, resorts, or affiliated hotels.

The Mystic Rock at Nemacolin is where golf meets the rugged beauty of the Laurel Highlands. Here, you’ll find yourself immersed in a golfing event that seamlessly blends the challenge of the game with the serene surroundings. The course’s green complexes are designed to test even the most skillful players, and its reputation as the former host of a PGA Tour event speaks volumes about its caliber.

Whether you’re an avid golfer or a casual enthusiast, Mystic Rock promises an unforgettable journey through a pleasant landscape.

 

7

Old Stonewall Golf Club

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Amidst Pennsylvania’s array of exceptional golf courses, the transition from Mystic Rock Golf Course leads to the unique and bold bunkering of Old Stonewall Golf Club, offering golfers a memorable and strategic experience in a beautiful setting.

Old Stonewall Golf Club, lying close to stunning landscapes, is renowned for its exceptional course conditions and top-notch facilities. The course’s strategic bunkering adds an extra layer of challenge, making it a favorite among golf lovers. With a variety of challenging par 3 holes, Old Stonewall Golf Club demands precision and skill from players of all levels.

Notably, Old Stonewall Golf Club has garnered attention from prestigious sources like Golf Digests, earning its place among the best golf courses in Pennsylvania. This recognition is well-deserved, as the club consistently delivers a world-class golfing adventure. Golfers seeking to play at Old Stonewall Golf Club can look forward to a round that challenges their abilities while surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

For a memorable tee time in Pennsylvania, Old Stonewall Golf Club stands alongside esteemed courses like Latrobe Country Club and Oakmont Country. The club’s allure is further enhanced by its association with golf legend Phil Mickelson, who’s praised the course for its unique layout and demanding design.

8

Jack Frost National Golf Club

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Nestled amidst the scenic Poconos Mountains, Jack Frost National Golf Club offers golfers a picturesque and challenging experience that showcases stunning mountain vistas and varied terrain. The course is renowned for its well-maintained fairways and greens, ensuring an enjoyable play for golfers of all skill levels. With a perfect blend of natural beauty and strategic design, Jack Frost National Golf Club is an ideal destination for golf admirers seeking a memorable round.

The family-friendly amenities and beautiful surroundings make it a fantastic golfing getaway in Pennsylvania.

  • Jack Frost National Golf Club offers stunning mountain vistas and varied terrain, providing a memorable round for golfers.
  • The well-maintained fairways and greens cater to golfers of all skill levels, ensuring an enjoyable play for everyone.
  • The course provides a perfect blend of natural beauty and strategic design, making it an ideal destination for golf fans.

For those seeking the best courses in the state, Jack Frost National Golf Club stands out as a top public course, offering an adventure that rivals renowned courses like Shepherds Rock, Laurel Valley, and Valley Golf, as recognized by Golf Digest.

9
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With its scenic, demanding, and well-maintained layout, The Links at Gettysburg offers golfers another exceptional opportunity to experience Pennsylvania’s diverse and captivating golf courses. This modern course presents expansive views of the surrounding countryside and ample room off the tee, creating an unforgettable golfing event.

The Links at Gettysburg is known for its unique design features, including a mountain effect on specific holes, adding an extra layer of challenge and intrigue to the game.

Located near Gettysburg, the course is part of the Allegheny Mountains region, providing a scenic backdrop for a round of golf. The Links at Gettysburg also offers stay-and-play packages, allowing golfers to immerse themselves fully in the experience. Whether you’re a qualified golfer or just starting, this course provides a memorable and enjoyable adventure for all skill levels.

Golf lovers will appreciate the opportunity to play at a course that has hosted prestigious events such as the Pennsylvania Amateur Championship. The Links at Gettysburg stands as a testament to the quality and diversity of Pennsylvania’s golf offerings, making it a must-visit destination for any avid golfer.

 

10

Toftrees Golf Club

7
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Nestled in the beautiful surroundings of State College, Toftrees Golf Club offers golfers a bold and beautiful course designed by golf course architect Edmund Ault. The club features smooth and tree-bordered fairways, creating a serene and natural playing environment. Players can expect an abundance of bunkers and uphill obstacles, adding an extra layer of challenge to their game.

Toftrees Golf Club is part of a resort with 102 guest rooms and suites, providing a convenient and comfortable stay for visitors.

Located in State College, Toftrees Golf Club is a must-visit for golf fans of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the club’s public course and well-maintained facilities make sure you have an unforgettable event. Don’t forget to bring your golf equipment and get ready to play one of the best courses in Pennsylvania.

Conclusion

The golf season can be on the shorter side in Pennsylvania.  That doesn’t mean there’s any lack of spectacular public golf to be played, however. 

Whether you’re looking for a round in the mountains, the city, or scenic countryside, it can be found in the Keystone State.

As always, I couldn’t have completed this guide without the help of our loyal readers who contributed their thoughts and insight. 

If you have anything you’d like to add, please let us know down below in the comments.

 

  

  

  

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast both on Apple and Spotify talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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