Ballyowen, Crystal Springs, New Jersey
Why Play It? Links-style Ballyowen is rated number one in all of New Jersey by numerous golf publications. With three other good courses, Crystal Springs is one of the premier golf resorts in the Northeast.
Your Chances of Getting On: Good. Members love it, but it offers public access 10 days in advance and you can usually get a time.
Peak Greens Fees: $105 to $140.
Contact: 105 Wheatsworth Road, Hamburg; (973) 827-5996;  

Bethpage Black
Why Play It? This classic - and notoriously difficult - U.S. Open venue is one of the most desirable courses in the nation.
Your Chances of Getting on: Very slim through normal channels, as New York State residents get first dibs. But NY Golf Shuttle ( can provide transportation and fairly reliable access to the Black - for $400 to $600 a head.
Peak Greens Fees: $100 to $120
Contact: 99 Quaker Meetinghouse Road, Farmingdale; (516) 249-0700;,  


New Course, Grand Cypress Golf Club
Why Play It? This unique links-style experience is superstar player/designer Jack Nicklaus's homage to the Old Course at Scotland's St. Andrews.
Your Chances of Getting On: Very good during summer and for hotel guests; fair for outside play the rest of the year.
Peak Greens Fees: $120.
Contact: 1 North Jacaranda, Orlando; (407) 239-4700;

The Palm, Walt Disney World
Why Play It? The Palm is the best of 99 holes at the Happiest Place on Earth. It's full of water and sand, and it's home to the resort's PGA Tour event.
Your Chances of Getting On: Excellent in summer; tough the rest of the year, except for guests of Disney's dozens of hotels.
Peak Greens Fees: $89 to $99. 
Contact: 1950 West Magnolia/Palm Drive, Lake Buena Vista; (407) 939-4653;  

Panther Lake, Orange County National
Why Play It? One of the nation's best high-end daily-fee courses, this was the first to be designed with 18 signature holes, which are always kept in top condition.
Your Chances of Getting On: Very good, especially if you book in advance. Tee times can be booked months out.
Peak Greens Fees: $65 to $75. 
Contact: 16301 Phil Ritson Way, Winter Garden; (407) 656-2626;