Top public and private courses in Pennsylvania

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Want to play the best public-access golf courses in Pennsylvania? The legacy of legendary architect Pete Dye has you covered. Want to play the best private courses in the Keystone State? You have some of the top classic layouts in the country from which to choose, but for most of us, good luck getting a tee time at those ageless beauties.

Dye designed Mystic Rock at Nemacolin, a sprawling resort 90 minutes southeast of the Pittsburgh airport. Mystic Rock opened in 1995 and underwent an expansive renovation in 2021 by longtime Dye associate Tim Liddy. Built on beautifully rolling terrain, Mystic Rock is No. 1 in the state on Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list for public-access layouts. It also ties for No. 10 among all courses owned or operated in conjunction with casinos in the U.S.

Nemacolin is also home to Shepherd’s Rock designed by Dye and the No. 5 public-access course in the state.

On the private side, Oakmont Country Club and Merion Golf Club steal much of the limelight, each having hosted multiple national championships. But they are hardly alone as outstanding private clubs in Pennsylvania. Each of the top 20 private courses in the state ranks among the top 150 on either Golfweek’s Best Modern or Classic course lists, with 1960 being the year that splits those two prestigious lists.

Golfweek’s Best offers many lists of course rankings, with that of top public-access courses in each state among the most popular. All the courses on this list allow public access in some fashion, be it standard daily green fees, through a resort or by staying at an affiliated hotel. If there’s a will, there’s a tee time.

Also popular are the Golfweek’s Best rankings of top private courses in each state, and that list for Pennsylvania’s prestigious private offerings is likewise included below.

MORE: Best Modern | Best Classic | Top 200 Resort | Top 200 Residential | Top 100 Best You Can Play

(m): Modern course, built in or after 1960
(c): Classic course, built before 1960

Note: If there is a number in the parenthesis with the m or c, that indicates where that course ranks among Golfweek’s Best top 200 modern or classic courses. 

* New to or returning to list

2. Omni Bedford Springs (Old)
Bedford (T200c)

3. Olde Stonewall
Ellwood City (m)

4. Golf Course at Glen Mills
Glen Mills (m)

6. Hershey CC (West)
Hershey (c)

8. Links at Gettysburg
Gettysburg (m)

9. Jeffersonville GC
Jeffersonville (c)

10. Broad Run
West Chester (m)

The Church Pews Bunker at Oakmont Country Club in Pennylvania (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

1. Oakmont CC
Oakmont (6c)

2. Merion (East)
Ardmore (7c)

3. Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
Flourtown (T38c)

4. Fox Chapel
Pittsburgh (T63)

5. Aronimink
Newtown Square (68c)

6. Lancaster CC
Lancaster (72c)

7. Laurel Valley
Ligonier (T82c)

8. CC of Scranton
Scranton (T88c)

9. Rolling Green
Springfield (T110c)

10. Saucon Valley (Weyhill)
Bethlehem (T121m)

11. Gulph Mills
King of Prussia (T117c)

13. Stonewall (Old)
Elverson (T128m)

14. Huntingdon Valley CC
Huntingdon Valley (T128c)

T15. Lehigh
Allentown (T130c)

T15. Philadelphia CC (Spring Mill)
Gladwyne (T130c)

17. Pittsburgh Field Club
Pittsburgh (T134c)

T18. Saucon Valley (Old)
Bethlehem (T139c)

T18. Longue Vue Club
Verona (T139c)

T18. Sunnehanna
Johnstown (T139c)

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