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In these frugal times a corporate membership to a private club may not be the best way to entertain clients. A less expensive but still impressive alternative is an upscale public course with all the amenities of a private club, from wood-paneled lockers to spectacular golf to fine dining. You could organize several outings during the year for a fraction of the cost of a private-club initiation fee and a year's dues.
To help you find a "country club for a day" near you, we identified the top 25 business centers in the United States using the U.S. Census of Business. John Rooney, Regents Professor of Geography at Oklahoma State University and manager of Golf Digest's Database of Golf, narrowed the list to 18 (plus two in Canada) based on business activity and golf interest.
Rooney, OSU's Eric Hardy, and Golf Digest Architecture Editor Ron Whitten then identified the top-rated public courses within an hour's driving distance from the Central Business District of each city using Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Public Courses listing and Golf Digest's Places to Play guide, which ranks more than 6,500 public courses in the United States and Canada. For an extended listing, visit www.golfdigest.com. By Ron Whitten and John Rooney, PhD