Dogs have been joining humans on the golf course for generations. Hunting hounds used to wander from hole to hole to keep up their fitness during the off-season. Fortunately, there are still a few dog-friendly golf courses that allow canine caddies to join you in the ruff. Remember, most of these courses are seasonal and some are members only, so read the fine print below before you show up with Yappy Gilmore.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. Belgrade Lakes Golf Course
Nestled among rustic woodlands and panoramic hills, Belgrade Lakes Golf Course is a seasonal, 18-hole public course in central Maine. The owners decided to welcome canines after realizing that most dogs who travel are pretty well behaved, and many rental properties don’t allow dogs to stay alone. Even their own pups can be found giving a helping paw at the pro shop. Unlike most of the courses on our list, your pooch can even join you leash free as long as he is under voice command. As an added bonus, the carts are dog friendly, too! However, Fido will need to stay back and guard your precious nine iron when you’re on the putting green, as the pristine conditions need to be maintained (and we all know dogs love a good dig from time to time).
Beyond golfing, this region offers plenty of pet-friendly fun. You can rent a pontoon boat and cruise around a pretty chain of lakes or take off with Fido on a ski boat from Brightside Marina and Boat Rentals. Hungry dogs can enjoy a bite at the Red Barn in nearby Augusta, where treats and water are provided for pets, and hearty fare is on the menu for humans.
Belgrade Lakes Golf Course is located at Country Club Rd, Belgrade Lakes, ME. The course is open from May to October, with green fees ranging from $85 to $180 per person.
2. The Goodwood Estate
Fido’s jetting across the pond for his next golf outing. The Goodwood Estate boasts two world-class 18-hole courses and is one of the most accommodating places for golfing dogs and their owners. “Dogs have been a huge part of the Estate since the family first came to Goodwood in 1697," says Fran Everest, Head of Sports Marketing at Goodwood. "As many as 50 of our members’ dogs enjoy the courses on a regular basis, from Pugs to Wolfhounds.”
Dogs are welcome to walk with their humans on both courses. The Estate even offers pet membership at The Kennels, which comes with unique privileges. “We have dog bowls situated on the course, all inscribed with the individual dog’s name, as well as doggy clean up bags,” Fran says. After a long day on the greens, enjoy a meaty meal at The Goodwood Estate's restaurant, Farmer, Butcher, Chef. Dogs can join their owners while they eat. Make a weekend of it and stay in one of the many dog-friendly rooms at the historic Goodwood Hotel. When you’re not on the golf course, you and your pup can roam the South Downs and the beautiful Sussex coast or just explore the magnificent estate together.
The Goodwood Estate is located at New Barn Hill, Chichester, U.K. Rates start at £20 per person for pay and play golf. Membership is £435 per year, and the Kennels’ Dog Membership package is £50 per year, with 70% of the fee going to The Kennels’ chosen charity, Hounds for Heroes.
3. Discovery Bay Golf Course
The picturesque Discovery Bay Golf Course is an 18-hole marvel in Washington. The oldest public golf course in the state is located in a charming coastal town bordered by the majestic Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. The golf staff is happy to welcome leashed dogs on the links. After showing Fido that you can find lost balls as well as he can, make your way to Quench Waterfront Kitchen and Bar. Dogs are greeted here with a water bowl and a snack, and you’ll be treated to a lovely view across the ocean.
Discovery Bay Golf Course is located at 7401 Cape George Rd, Port Townsend, WA. Rates range from $12 to $45 per person.
4. Agate Beach Golf Course
Agate Beach Golf Course is home to a luscious fairway carved into rolling hills and overlooking the ocean. This family- and dog-friendly course is surrounded by towering stands of pine and fir trees. Built in the 1930s, the nine-holer is open year round and has been a mainstay for beginner and expert golfers alike. Fido will be relieved to know that patrons have been bringing their leashed dogs with them for decades. After you’ve both endured a lengthy round of chopping simple putts into trees and bunkers, enjoy a well-deserved bite at the on-site Agate Beach Golf Course Cafe. If your pup was a good golfing buddy, treat him to a trip to the dog-friendly paradise of Agate Beach State Recreation Site. Fido can shed his leash on the huge beach that lies within a golf ball’s throw of the course, run as free as a birdie, and help you hunt for razor clams for dinner.
Agate Beach Golf Course is located at 4100 North Coast Highway, Newport, OR. Green fees start at $20 per person.
5. Sunningdale Golf Club
Much like Goodwood, Sunningdale Golf Club is an English golf course built on the traditions of yesteryear. The original members were gentlemen-farmers who were often joined on the course by their canine companions. Dogs can still tee off with their owners (if they are members) for free throughout the 18-hole course. As there are no limits on number of pets per person, it’s not unusual to spot a group of four golfers with eight dogs. The only rule is that dogs must be leashed around the clubhouse. Elsewhere, dogs are permitted off leash as long as they don’t disrupt other players. In the halfway house after the 9th hole, they serve a dog sausage for pooches to refuel before the back nine.
Sunningdale Golf Club is located on Ridgemount Road in Sunningdale, Berkshire, U.K. The green fee is £230 per person, per year.
6. True Blue Golf Club
Just a short coastal drive from Myrtle Beach is the pet-friendly True Blue Golf Club. Located on the site of a former 19th-century indigo and rice plantation, this 18-hole course is surrounded by native grasses and vegetation that maintain its old-world character. A lake with a historic clubhouse overlooking the water adds to the idyllic beauty of the place. Dogs are welcomed year round except for peak season, which runs from June 16 to Aug. 31 and Dec. 1 to 15.
True Blue Golf Club is located at 900 Blue Stem Drive, Pawleys Island, SC. Rates start at $89 per person.
7. Murrayshall Country House Hotel and Golf Club
There’s no better place for your dog to experience the best of Scotland’s greens than at the Murrayshall Country House Hotel and Golf Club near the historic city of Perth. The course spans 350 acres of parkland and Scots pine woodland and is ranked among the finest in Scotland. Fido is welcome to join you year round as you hit the links in this secluded wonderland. The estate is steeped in history and includes a statue on the golf course of the two beloved dogs of former Murrayshall owner, Graham Murray, who owned the estate until 1927. Dogs are also welcome in some of the hotel rooms and can even join you for a post-round beverage or bite at Stutts Bar.
Murrayshall Country House Hotel and Golf Club is located on Murrayshall Rd, Perth, Scotland. Green frees start at £20 per person.
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