You've probably seen what famous local golf courses such as Merion and Aronimink look like before, whether from watching tournaments played there on TV or just looking up photos online.

But you've probably never seen them in the way that local photographer Matt Satell captured 50 - yes, 50 - of the region's top courses for a recent photo essay.

Satell is renowned for his website Philly By Air, where he features spectacular videos of Philadelphia's skyline shot with a drone camera.

For his latest project, he took his drone camera to the suburbs to craft a grand tour of golf courses from Glen Mills to Plymouth Meeting, Huntingdon Valley and Willingboro. There are courses within Philadelphia's city limits, too.

The Bala Golf Club on Belmont Ave., with the Philadelphia skyline in the background. (Courtesy of Matt Satell)

The compilation took two months to assemble.

"This was the first time I was seeing some of these courses myself," Satell said. "It's amazing how much different of a perspective you can get from just a few hundred feet in the air. Aerial photography is a great tool to gain a better understanding and appreciation of our surroundings."

Satell is no stranger to the links. He has played a few of the courses he shot for the project, including Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, though he confessed he's "definitely a better drone pilot than golfer."

He's also well aware that many golfers in the region aren't able to walk the hallowed turf of the exclusive country clubs that own many of the courses he featured. Just seven of the 50 he photographed are public courses.

In fact, Satell couldn't get ground-level access to the country clubs for his shoots. So he went over the gatekeepers' heads. Literally.

"We operated independently of the clubs," Satell said. "For each course, we had to scout out a good location in advance. We tried to avoid flying too low or directly over the courses to not distract any of the golfers. We take a lot of precautions with all of our shoots."

After compiling all the photos, Satell assembled a subjective "most beautiful" ranking of the courses. Merion East, which hosted the 2013 U.S. Open, topped the list. Aronimink and the Philadelphia Cricket Club's Wissahickon course were also high up the charts.

A view from above of the famed Aronimink Golf Club. (Courtesy of Matt Satell)

You'll probably notice, though, that another of the region's most famous courses isn't included: the ultra-exclusive Pine Valley Golf Club, near Clementon, N.J. It's widely regarded as one of the world's very best courses.

Satell conceded that he wanted to focus his work on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River, and not venture too far into New Jersey. The only New Jersey courses he included were Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, the public Rancocas Golf Club in Willingboro, and Merchantville Country Club. All three are closer to the city than Pine Valley.

"Philadelphia has so many great courses in the area that unfortunately we couldn't include them all," he said.

Even with Pine Valley excluded, Satell has assembled a collection of really cool photos of places most of us will never get to.