- Valley Club of Montecito photo
Winter presses on and golfers yearn for warmth. For competitive amateurs, a ray of light greets us in the form of USGA’s release of the year’s qualifying sites. Strategy begins to be formulated, and sometimes it’s simple. Which qualifier is closest to my house? Where do I have the most course knowledge?
Related: Where will you play? USGA releases 2022 qualifying sites, dates
But for some, the list provides an opportunity for an experience. A scenic destination, a famous design, a championship host, or an exclusive club. This is the 2022 “Best Of” USGA Qualifying Sites.
Best of: 2022 USGA Qualifying Sites
Valley Club of Montecito - Santa Barbara, Calif. (U.S. Mid-Amateur)
Prior to Augusta National, Alister MacKenzie was at work crafting west coast gems. In 1928, the Scottish surgeon and British Military legend designed Valley Club – one of 10 California layouts to his name – and arguably his second-best in the state behind the esteemed Cypress Point.
Camargo Club - Cincinnati, Ohio (U.S. Amateur)
Seth Raynor and Charles Banks are best known for their stunning Fishers Island Club – the “Cypress Point of the East” on a small New York island just south of the Connecticut coast. A year after closing the book on Fishers Island, the eventual club pro and superintendent William Jackson unexpectedly wrapped up Camargo Club on his own after Raynor’s death at the age of 51. Consistently ranked in the top 25 of Golfweek's Top 200 Classic Golf Courses
, this private club on the east side of Cincinnati boasts nearly all of Raynor’s distinctive design elements.
Omaha Country Club - Omaha, Neb. (U.S. Open local)
Having hosted two of the most recent eight U.S. Senior Opens, won by Kenny Perry (2013) and Jim Furyk (2021), Omaha Country Club’s 1952 Perry Maxwell re-design was thoughtfully maintained while being renovated by Keith Foster in 2005. The course’s unforgiving, undulating terrain is likely its signature element, particularly displayed on the par-4/5 10th hole.
Druid Hills Golf Club - Atlanta, Ga. (U.S. Senior)
Since 1941, Druid Hills has hosted one of the most historic Majors of Amateur Golf, The Dogwood Invitational, with past champions including PGA Tour winners Hudson Swafford, Webb Simpson, and Brian Harman. The H.H Barker design from 1912 was carefully restored in 2003 when Bob Cupp directed the overhaul.
Bayou DeSiard Country Club
- Monroe, La. (U.S. Open local)
Host of the W.E. Cole Cotton States Amateur since 1949, won by Hal Sutton in 1976
The Bear’s Club
- Jupiter, Fla. (U.S. Senior Open)
The newest course in this list and the aptly-named Jack Nicklaus design is one of the most exclusive clubs in South Florida
Country Club of Birmingham
- Mountain Brook, Ala. (U.S. Junior Amateur)
Donald Ross design that hosted the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur and 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball is also home to the annual Birmingham National Invitational
Canoe Brook Country Club
- Summit, N.J. (U.S. Amateur)
While the South Course was the first design work for Alister MacKenzie in the United States, the better-known North Course was handled by Walter J. Travis. Though both tracks have been substantially redone by Rees Jones
Dallas Athletic Club
- Dallas, Tex. (U.S. Mid-Amateur)
Site of the 1963 PGA Championship and 1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur, as well as the annual host of the Dennis Ewing Invitational, a major amateur four-ball tournament.
Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club
- Stateline, Nev. (U.S. Open local)
Picturesque lakeside course on the shores of Lake Tahoe that is home to the American Century Championship
The Home Course
- DuPont, Wash. (U.S. Amateur)
Stroke play co-host during the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, and future site of the 2023 U.S. Women’s Four-Ball
The Omni Homestead Resort, Cascades
- Hot Springs, Va. (U.S. Senior Open)
Championship course at the Omni Resort set within the Appalachian Mountains and site of the 2000 U.S. Mid-Amateur
Kearney Hill Golf Links
- Lexington, Ky. (U.S. Open local)
Scottish Links style public track designed by Pete Dye that was host of the 1997 U.S. Public Links and 2007 U.S. Women’s Public Links
Oakland Hills Country Club (North)
- Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (U.S. Amateur)
The runaway No. 1 on this list would have been Oakland Hills and its famed South Course, though it will be the understandably-overshadowed but still spectacular North Course for this qualifier
Ohio State University Golf Course
- Columbus, Ohio (U.S. Am / U.S. Women’s Open)
Alister MacKenzie-designed public course just minutes from Ohio State’s campus, home to the Korn Ferry Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship since 2007
Southampton Golf Club
- Southampton, N.Y. (U.S. Open local)
Seth Reynor design nestled between two Long Island masterpieces – Shinnecock Hills and National Golf Links of America
Waialae Country Club
- Honolulu, Hawaii (U.S. Women’s Amateur)
Longtime host of the PGA Tour’s Sony Open