Online Golf Course Guides

You can take a virtual tour of about a zillion golf courses. Web sites carry descriptions, layouts, and score cards for countless golf courses around the world. From the comfort of your own desk chair, you can explore championship layouts from Alabama to Zimbabwe.

For example, this figure shows the home page for golf’s oldest and greatest course: the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland. From this site, you can view historical information about the course, make hotel and tee-time reservations, and even play a virtual round. Similar pages cover other famous golf courses and resorts — often with gorgeous photos — from Pebble Beach to PGA West to Shadow Creek.

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Many sites specialize in giving golfers an up-close-and-virtual look at courses nation- and worldwide. Here’s a look at some of the best:

  • About.com's course guide helper: This handy site provides links to several prominent Web sites devoted to courses. On this site, you can find your way to just about any tee or green on Earth.

  • The Golf Magazine Golf Course Guide: One of the largest golf-course databases. You can easily find what you need, even if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for.

  • If you want to go beyond course listings, head back to the main site for golf tips, classified ads, news, rules, online golf games, and a chat room.

  • GolfCourses.com: Check out tee-time availability at thousands of courses. This site also features a slide show of the current week’s PGA Tour venue. You can also find featured resorts, deals, links, reviews, and more.

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  • Fore! Reservations: Getting tee times just got a lot easier. This nationwide reservation system provides you with direct access to thousands of courses at the click of a button. Just choose a state to make a list of available courses appear. Double-click the course you’re interested in, and — voila! — you’re on your way.

  • GolfClubAtlas.com: You won’t find course discounts or a tee-time locator here — just the smartest, most passionate discussion of the merits of the world’s golf courses you’re likely to find anywhere. The brainchild of founder Ran Morrissett, GolfClubAtlas.com is dedicated to all things having to do with golf-course design. You can find out about famous architects and their work, see photos of noteworthy holes, and spend hours online, kicking opinions around with some highly knowledgeable folks — including some of the architects themselves.

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