Municipal Golf Courses

What is a municipal golf course?

municipal course ("muni" or "muny" for short) is a golf course that is owned by a governmental authority. This includes cities - or  municipalities, hence the term "municipal golf course." Courses owned by a county, state or province might also be referred to  as  municipal  courses.


How many municipal golf courses are there in the U.S.?

According to the National Golf Foundation, there are 2,487. This represents the all-time “high water mark” for the number of municipal facilities since golf started in America. 


What is the difference between a municipal and public golf course?

Municipal courses are owned and/or managed by the city, town or county. Public courses are owned by individuals, real estate development companies, partnerships or corporations. Public courses may be owned by one entity and managed by another. 


What are some of the best U.S. municipal golf courses?

In 2013, Golfweek released its list of "Best Municipal Golf Courses." Below are the top five:

1. Bethpage State Park - Black (Farmingdale, N.Y.), designed in 1935 by A.W. Tillinghast 

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2. Chambers Bay (University Place, Wash.), designed in 2007 by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Bruce Carlton

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3. Butterfield Trail (El Paso, Tex.), designed in 2007 by Tom Fazio


4. Torrey Pines - South (La Jolla, Calif.) - designed in 1957 by William F. Bell

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5. TPC Scottsdale - Stadium (Scottsdale, Ariz.) - designed in 1987 by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf

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