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Tee off at the most scenic seaside golf courses on the USA’s West Coast

Golf courses in the USA are plentiful, with America’s west coast home to some spectacular seaside spots to tee off. Here are a select few which will give you spectacular ocean views as you try to make par.

Words by Triona McBride

North America is home to 51 percent of the world’s golf courses and some of the biggest tournaments including The Masters, Arnold Palmer World Challenge and the PGA Tour.

We’ve rounded up some of the most scenic seaside golf courses on the USA West Coast.

You don’t have to be a master to play at every course but some courses do have strict rules about who can play, while others welcome non-members for a vacation or guest round.

Best golf courses USA

Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine

Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine

Seven oceanside holes at Samoset Resort in Maine make the views worth playing for, situated on a rocky headland that overlooks Penobscot Bay. There is water at seven of the inland holes to present extra challenges for golfers.

People rave about the 5th hole, with the best green on the course, and agree that local architect Brad Booth has made some excellent updates to the original course, designed in 1902.

The 14th hole has an amazing downhill approach with views right onto the Atlantic Ocean.

Bass Rocks Golf Club, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Golfers love playing at Bass Rocks Golf Club, Massachusetts because it’s just good fun. It was built in 1896 and offers links-style golf right beside the sea.

Another huge draw is just how beautiful the views are from every single hole. Designed by Herbert Lee, it has some challenges with players having to navigate tear-drop mounds and fescue patches that obscure the ball from view.

The par 69 course (71 for women) is also affected by the changeable winds that sweep right in off the Atlantic.

Farm Neck Golf Club, Oaks Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard
Farm Neck Golf Club, Oaks Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard

Farm Neck Golf Club, Oaks Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard

Described as golf heaven, Farm Neck in Martha’s Vineyard is an undeniably gorgeous course. Even the best players find the back nine a test, but you can coast into the front nine then.

It has a variety of terrains from woodlands to salt marshes and wide ocean vistas to lure the eye while playing.

The course runs 6,807 yards and was designed by Geoffrey Cornish and Bill Robinson. Keep away from the water hazards – they’re on every single hole.

The Maidstone Club, East Hampton, New York

In a neighborhood with a lot of competition, The Maidstone Club in New York stands out from the rest. Perhaps due to the resemblance to British courses across the ocean or the hazards it has – from street intersects to smart bunkering.

It is an invite-only course, so you’ll need to have some friends in high places, but however you get it, you’ll be justly rewarded. While tee off at the first hole is easy, there’s no joking about at the second hole, with no room to spare at all on the left side.

Many people who have played here love the dunes holes and playing with the sound of the ocean crashing close by.

The Maidstone Club, East Hampton, New York
Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach, Florida

Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach, Florida

This spectacular course in Florida hosted the Walker Cup in 2021, and is also famously where Ben Hogan spent a month preparing for the Masters. You must play with a member, so this is an exclusive experience, but there’s a reason it’s one of the top-rated courses in the country.

Coore & Crenshaw recently carried out an extensive renovation on the course designed in the 1920s, leading to a much better experience for golfers. The uphill approach shots at holes 11 and 14 are much talked about in golfing circles.

Take a breather at holes 13 and 17 to take in the beach and the ocean beyond it. This distinctive course will live long in the memory.

For some people the views are secondary to the golf, but all of these courses offer both.

Set Sail

Colonial America Montreal to Miami with Oceania Cruises

When: September 29, 2023

Duration: 15 nights

Where: Montreal | Quebec | Saguenay | Gulf of St Lawrence | Sydney, Canada | Nova Scotia | Maine | Martha’s Vineyard | New York | Charleston | Miami

Ship: Vista

Price: From £5,859 pp (based on two sharing a Concierge Level Stateroom. Cruise and flights included)

Find out more
Published 11.07.22