Best Arnold Palmer Golf Courses
Best Golf Course Designs by Arnold Palmer
As recognizable as his iconic multi-colored umbrella logo, Arnold Palmer means a lot of things to a lot of people, but when it comes to golf course design, there’s a steady echo of strategy, preservation, fun and natural beauty that resonates with all. Palmer focused on the collection of these elements to ensure that every golfer that played one of his courses left with a smile on their face as big as if they just received one of the King’s cherished autographs. Arnold Palmer’s contribution to golf is truly immense, and while we recommend that you spread out and play all 300+ of his courses around the world, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to start with the top 10 Arnold Palmer designs listed below.
- Bellaire, Michigan
- Arnold Palmer insisted that golf must be fun and that’s definitely the case at Shanty Creek- The Legend in Bellaire, Michigan. Utilizing the rolling Northern Michigan terrain, The Legend captivates golfers with dramatic elevation changes, tricky blind shots and challenging greens. Designed to encourage players to vary their shots as it weaves through the landscape around Lake Bellaire, the entertaining layout at The Legend will ensure that even the highest-scoring player has a good time.
- Kahuku, Hawaii
- Built with an emphasis on embracing the natural charm of Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort- Palmer in Kahuku, Hawaii, ambles through a lush coastal wetland leading to a thick rainforest providing players with the glimpse of Hawaii’s unmatched wild beauty. This innovative Arnold Palmer designed layout has two constants: water and wildlife, the pinnacle of which comes when golfers are treated to an unparalleled panoramic view of the spectacular Pacific Ocean (and perhaps even a dolphin or whale).
- Lakewood Ranch, Florida
- Despite being one of the newest Arnold Palmer Courses, Lakewood National Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, turns back the clock with design influenced by the golden age of golf architecture. Strategy is at a premium at Lakewood National as its wide fairways encourage players to plot their way around the course to have the proper angles to attack the large undulating greens, which run quick and true. Players will need to embrace their inner Arnie to shoot low.
- Palm Desert, California
- Masterfully woven through the stunning desert landscape by designer Arnold Palmer, Classic Club in Palm Desert, California, provides golfers with the perfect oasis featuring well-manicured greens and beautiful water hazards. Classic Club juxtaposes its vibrant green fairways with the hilly arid landscape that surrounds it to create truly memorizing visuals. But golfers shouldn’t get too lost in the scenery because the King’s challenging layout at Classic Club will leave players that don’t play their shots precisely wet or inconveniently high and dry.
- Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
- Staying true to Arnold Palmer’s emphasis on preserving the natural beauty around his designs, The Bridges Golf Club at Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, is artfully routed through a saltwater marsh along the shore of the enchanting Bay of St. Louis. The King expertly merged The Bridges with the surrounding landscape to preserve this special piece of land (as evidenced by its preservation awards) giving golfers the unforgettable experience of viewing countless species of wildlife that call this property home.
- Roanoke, West Virginia
- Arnold Palmer stated that variety is vital to good course design and nowhere is this more apparent than Stonewall Resort- Arnold Palmer Signature Course in Roanoke, West Virginia. The layout of the Palmer Course features an amazing mix of hole types and lengths to keep golfers engaged throughout the round. Nestled in the foothills of West Virginia near Stonewall Jackson Lake, the Palmer Course incorporates countless scenic views to add even more variety to the course and ensuring that every round follows the West Virginia state slogan, “wild and wonderful”.
- Cle Elum, Washington
- Set in the heart of the majestic Cascade Mountains, Suncadia Resort- Prospector in Cle Elum, Washington, is an absolute blast with brilliant vistas, exciting elevation changes and Arnold Palmer’s signature risk/reward challenges. Players will relish the tests they face on The Prospector’s compelling layout as they plot their way around this Arnold Palmer designed gem, dreaming of their next round here as soon as they finish.
- Saukville, Wisconsin
- Situated on an amazing piece of land in Saukville, Wisconsin, The Bog’s innovative routing accentuates Central Wisconsin’s spectacular rolling terrain in a way only Arnold Palmer could. With over 118 bunkers dotting the meandering fairways and protecting tricky, bentgrass green complexes, The Bog showcases the King’s ability to merge natural beauty with golf course features to create the perfect track. When the innovative layout is combined with perfect playing conditions, the brilliance of this Palmer design really shines.
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Much like Arnold Palmer himself, Wildfire Golf Club- Palmer Course in Phoenix, Arizona, is illustrious yet unassuming. The Palmer Course engages with golfers on another level as it flows through the magnificent desert landscape with its countless bunkers and other hazards tactically placed throughout this thoughtful track. Requiring players to use their mind as much as their muscles, the Palmer Course leaves them with an indelible mark similar to those who had the privilege to meet its designer.
- Carlsbad, California
- One of the most alluring courses in California, Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California, provides the quintessential California experience with interesting topography, stunning wildflowers and scenic views. Arnold Palmer skillfully routed Aviara through the spectacular landscape accentuating the amazing features of the area while still requiring a variety of shots to keep the golfers on their toes. Aviara is much more than just an attractive course blending difficulty with beauty to give players a reason to be California dreaming.