What Are The Most Expensive Green Fees?

Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas has golf's most expensive green fee, and there are several other pricey options too

The 18th hole at Shadow Creek
Shadow Creek has a green fee of $1,250
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The chances of the average golfer playing some of the world’s most exclusive private clubs are limited, to say the least.

Good luck getting a round at Liberty National without knowing a member or paying the reported $450,000 initiation fee to join, for example. However, some of the most iconic courses on earth are open to the public, giving the perfect “bucket list” opportunity for recreational golfers.

That doesn’t mean the chance always comes cheap, though, with several world-renowned courses setting you back high three-figure sums for the privilege of playing them. There's one course that stands out for its eye watering green fees, though - Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.

The MGM-owned course was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1989 as a private club run by casino and hotel magnate Steve Wynn. The reason? So he could invite his friends over for a round!

That arrangement stayed in place until Wynn sold the course to MGM in 2000, when it was made available to a limited number of its hotel guests. Back then, it cost $500, and in the years since, that green fee has unsurprisingly skyrocketed.

The second hole at Shadow Creek

Shadow Creek opened to the public in 2000

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The latest hike came in 2023, with the green fee reportedly rising from $1,000 to $1,250, cementing its place as golf’s most expensive. Even then, that’s without factoring in the cost of staying at an MGM Resorts destination, which remains a prerequisite for the chance to play the course.

So, what does the casual golfer teeing it up at the Nevada course get for their money? As well as knowing you will be treading the same fairways as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson did in the 2018 edition of The Match, the course is also extraordinarily beautiful.

It is framed against the backdrop of stunning mountains, while its lush and manicured fairways are set among mature pines. There are beautiful creeks and ponds throughout, too, making it easy to forget that the course was built out of the rugged Nevada desert.

Its signature hole is the par-3 17th, which requires a shot over water to a green guarded by bunkers and a waterfall overlooking it.

Viktor Hovland putts at the 17th at Shadow Creek Golf Club

Shadow Creek Golf Club's signature hole is the par-3 17th

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But is it worth the huge green fee? That’s for the individual to decide, but overall, there is no doubt Shadow Creek is not only one of best courses in Las Vegas, but the entire country.

For those whose budget doesn’t quite stretch to a round at Shadow Creek, there are cheaper options - but not by much. Here are six more courses with some of the world's most expensive green fees.

TPC Sawgrass

The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass

The home of The Players Championship is open to the public - but it's not cheap to play

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Green Fee: $920 (including caddie)

TPC Sawgrass is not just the home of one the most revered tournaments in the world, the PGA Tour's flagship event The Players Championship, it also has one of the most iconic holes, the 17th, with its world-famous island green. 

The Florida course is also open to the public, but the privilege doesn't come cheap, costing up to $920 including caddie fee during peak season. 

Pebble Beach

The 8th at Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach is one of the most picturesque courses in the world

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Green Fee $730 (including cart fee)

The Californian home of the PGA Tour's Pebble Beach Pro-Am is blessed with spectacular views over the Pacific, while its tiny greens and iconic par-3 seventh mark it out as one of the world's most famous courses.

It's tricky, too, with its proximity to the ocean making it a stern test when the wind blows in. Anyone wanting to test their abilities at the course can, for around $675.

Wynn Golf Club

The 18th hole at Wynn Golf Club

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Green Fee: $650

Named after the former owner of Shadow Creek, Wynn Golf Club is another Las Vegas course open to the public - for a price. The course, which hosted The Netflix Cup in 2023, stands on the site of the former Desert Inn Golf Course and features water on 12 of the holes and 8,000 trees. 

Replicas of the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty from the Las Vegas strip also overlook it, adding a surreal quality to the experience of playing there. Those who want to can for around $650.

Whistling Straits

The eighth hole at Whistling Straits

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Green Fee: $550

The host course of the 2021 Ryder Cup is a Pete Dye effort built along two miles of stunning Lake Michigan shoreline.  

The links-style course has a huge number of bunkers and elevation changes along its open and rugged terrain, and the public can experience a round there for around $550. 

Pinehurst No.2

The 17th at Pinehurst No.2

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  • Green Fee: $788 (minimum two-night stay)

Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina is known as The Cradle of American Golf, with the number of courses running to double figures, but it's Pinehurst No.2 that is its most famous. 

The 2024 US Open venue was designed by Donald Ross and is considered his masterpiece, which is known for its has difficult domed green complexes. How difficult? You can find out, but you'll need a stay at the resort to do it. One of the packages offers a two-night stay and three rounds starting at $747.

The 6th at Kingsbarns Golf Links

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Green Fee: £418 ($535)

Kingsbarn's Golf Links is situated just seven miles from the Home of Golf, St Andrews, and it's widely regarded as one of the best in Scotland. Opened in 2000, it has a reputation as a modern classic that could even be a contender for a future edition of The Open

It embraces the natural, rugged landscape of the Scottish coast and combines it with a contemporary design to offer a spectacular venue, and it's open to the public, with a green fee of up to £418 ($535)

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.