A wise person once said, 'Golf is a many-splendored thing'.

Ok, I actually just now said that and I can't lay particular claim to being all that wise, but I do love all of the many facets of the great game of golf that make it an incomparable sport that is beloved by millions worldwide.

The Origins of Golf

The 150th Open - Day Two
Getty Images

Legend has it that the origin of the game of golf occurred in 15th century Scotland. The first actual 18-hole-round of golf came at what is known as 'the old course' at St. Andrews, Scotland.

Luckily for golfers everywhere, the game spread far and wide around the globe. Here in the United States, it is estimated that there are somewhere between 15,000 and 16,000 courses. Living on the west coast, I wanted to know which courses are thought to be the most exclusive. I asked some of my most well-traveled golf friends to share their opinions, and not surprisingly, they all had a short list of destinations that they agreed were at or near the top. Here are three - one from each of the states of Washington. Oregon, and California.

Seattle Golf Club in Washington State

via YouTube Selling Seattle Matt Steel
via YouTube Selling Seattle Matt Steel

Seattle Golf Club is a private, members-only golf club located in Shoreline, Washington. It was established in 1900 and has a rich history of hosting prestigious golf tournaments, including the 1952 U.S. Amateur Championship. The course was designed by golf course architect, H. Chandler Egan, redesigned by ‘The King’ Arnold Palmer in 1996, and features tree-lined fairways, well-manicured greens, and stunning views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains.

I have not played this course but I did have a tour a few years ago while living in Seattle. It's breathtaking, looks very challenging, and it's beautifully manicured.

Pronghorn Golf Resort in Oregon

via YouTube Breaking Eighty
via YouTube Breaking Eighty

Pronghorn Resort is a luxury golf resort located in Bend, Oregon. The resort features an 18-hole golf course designed by the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus. The Course is known for its challenging layout and stunning views of the Cascade Mountains.

The course features well-manicured fairways, greens, and bunkers, as well as several water hazards. This one is definitely on my list of must-play courses this year.

Cypress Point Golf Course in California

via YouTube Golf Digest
via YouTube Golf Digest

Cypress Point Golf Course is legendary, located on the Monterey Peninsula in California. The course was designed by golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened in 1986.  As you can see in the video below, it is known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged coastline, as well as its challenging layout which features narrow fairways and well-protected greens.

The course has hosted several high-profile golf tournaments and is considered one of the best courses in the world. This one is a bucket-list golf course for me.

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