My Top 50 Golf Courses

My Top 50 Golf Courses


Ranking golf courses is always tough. Many people carry different opinions in what a good golf course is and why they think so, but, ranking courses is part of the fun, and the main reason of ranking golf courses is to spark discussion and debate among groups.

Here’s how I put together my ranking:

Playability /20

A fairly basic category, this is how accessible a golf course is to everyone. Can a 36 handicap play and have the same fun as a 0 handicap? Is there options with minimal forced carries for the average player?

Shot Value /20

Shot value may be controversial, especially with such a high weighting, but it’s fairly important to a golf course. However, unlike most people (who think shot value is difficulty), shot value is how it challenges people. For example, on a modern golf course, there’s a 80 yard wide fairway, but with the green complex and bunkering the player has to hit to the right side to have a good angle into the green. This doesn’t necessarily add difficulty, because the high handicapper can still get around without losing a golf ball, but it does challenge the player (thus a high “shot value”) while being fair.

Fun /20

Without taking score, conditions, weather, who we played with or any other external factors, how much fun did we/would we have on that certain golf course?

Memorability /20

Is it a course we remember/will remember, or do we need to relook at photos and the scorecard/yardage book? This isn’t about vistas or elevated tee boxes, but will we look back in a year and think “I loved that course because of ___.”

Architectural Values /20

How much thought did the architect put into each hole? Is there 18 quality holes, or is there a few sloppy ones? Is the routing walkable (if applicable*) that utilizes the land well, or is most of the holes on boring land? Is there variety and creative in routing/design/flow?

*While some golf courses have the ability to be walked, some architects don’t have the ability to craft a golf course that’s walkable on certain properties. It’d be unfair to rank those differently just because the architect was given a property that couldn’t be walkable in the first place.

Each golf course with a red title will have a review for you to read if you’re interested in learning more. Total number of courses ranked: 155. The top 50 are shown, while courses 51-100 can be viewed here.

Don’t see your favorite course? Check out my interactive map to see if I’ve played it! Suggestions welcome for hidden gems and critically acclaimed courses alike.


50. Grand Canyon University Golf Club

66.000

Glendale, Arizona 

-William Bell (1961)

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49. Quintero Golf Club

66.500

Peoria, Arizona

-Rees Jones (2000)

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48. Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club

67.250

Coquitlam, British Columbia

-Dr. Michael Hurdzan & Dana Fry (1995)

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47. Marine Drive Golf Club

67.500

Vancouver, British Columbia

-A.V. Macan (1922)

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46. Idaho Club, The

67.700

Sandpoint, Idaho

-Jack Nicklaus (2008)

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45. Woodlands Country Club, The (Tournament)

67.750

The Woodlands, Texas

-Robert van Hogge (1987)

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44. Commonground Golf Course

67.757

Aurora, Colorado

-Tom Doak (1972)

commonground-golf-course-hole-15-3-copy
Credit: Golf Tripper

43. Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa (Gold)

67.775

Litchfield Park, Arizona

-Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1964)

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42. Phoenix Country Club

67.800

Phoenix, Arizona

-Harry Collis (1919)

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41. Tobiano Golf Course

68.000

Kamloops, British Columbia

-Thomas McBroom (2007)

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Credit: World Golf

40. Waterton Lakes Golf Course

68.500

Waterton, Alberta

-Stanley Thompson (1929)

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Credit: Travel Alberta

39. TPC Scottsdale (Stadium)

68.800

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Wieskopf & Jay Morrish (1987)

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38. Tower Ranch Golf and Country Club

69.000

Kelowna, British Columbia

-Thomas McBroom (2008)

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37. Troon North Golf Club (Pinnacle)

70.500

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish (1995)

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36. Camelback Golf Club (Ambiente)

70.750

Paradise Valley, Arizona

-Dr. Michael Hurdzan/Dana Fry

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35. Kelowna Golf and Country Club

70.955

Kelowna, British Columbia

-A.V. Macan (1923)

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34. Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club

71.000

Canmore, Alberta

-Gary Browning (2000)

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T-32. Desert Mountain Golf Club (Renegade)

71.500

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Jack Nicklaus (1987)

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T-32. Desert Highlands Golf Club

71.500

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Jack Nicklaus (1983)

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31. Iron Horse Golf Club

71.750

Whitefish, Montana

-Tom Fazio (2000)

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30. Talking Stick Resort (O’odham)

71.700

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (1998)

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29. Glencoe Golf and Country Club (Forest), The

71.750

Calgary, Alberta

-Robert Trent Jones II (1987)

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28. Cascata

71.755

Boulder City, Nevada

-Rees Jones (2000)

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27 (NEW). Sahalee Country Club (North/South)

71.800

Sammamish, Washington

-Kieth Evans & Ted Robinson Sr. (1969)

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26. Sand Hollow Resort (Championship)

71.850

Hurricane, Utah

-John Fought (2008)

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25. Wolf Creek Golf Resort (Links)

71.995

Ponoka, Alberta

-Rod Whitman (2012)

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24. Mirabel Club

72.000

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Fazio (2001)

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23 (NEW). Quarry Ranch, The

72.250

La Quinta, California 

-Tom Fazio (2004)

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22. Rawls at Texas Tech, The

72.550

Lubbock, Texas

-Tom Doak (2003)

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21. Eugene Country Club

74.750

Eugene, Oregon

-Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1927)

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20. Apache Stronghold Golf Course

75.000

Globe, Arizona

-Tom Doak (1999)

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19. Greywolf Golf Course

75.500

Panorama, British Columbia

-Doug Carrick (1999)

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18. Blackhawk Golf Club

75.750

Edmonton, Alberta

-Rod Whitman (2003)

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17. Predator Ridge Golf Resort (Ridge)

76.000

Vernon, British Columbia

-Doug Carrick (2009)

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16. Chambers Bay Golf Course

77.500

University Place, Washington

-Robert Trent Jones II (2007)

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15. World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)

78.750

Brooksville, Florida

-Tom Fazio (1993)

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14 (NEW). Aldarra Golf Club

78.750

Sammamish, Washington

-Tom Fazio (1993)

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13. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Saguaro)

78.775

Fountain Hills, Arizona

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2006)

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12. Desert Forest Golf Club

79.000

Carefree, Arizona

-Robert Lawrence (1962)

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11. Gamble Sands Golf Course and Lodge (Sands)

79.150

Brewster, Washington

-David McLay Kidd (2014)

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10 (NEW). Quarry at La Quinta, The

81.155

La Quinta, California

-Tom Fazio (1994)

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9. Club at Sagebrush, The

81.000

Merritt, British Columbia

-Rod Whitman (2009)

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8. Streamsong Resort (Red)

81.250

Fort Meade, Florida

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2012)

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7. Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club, The

81.500

Banff, Alberta

-Stanley Thompson (1927)

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6. Estancia Club, The

82.750

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Fazio (1995)

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5 (NEW). Bandon Trails

82.800

Bandon, Oregon

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2005)

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4. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course, The

83.000

Jasper, Alberta

-Stanley Thompson (1929)

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3. Rock Creek Cattle Company

84.000

Deer Lodge, Montana

-Tom Doak (2008)

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2 (NEW). Pasatiempo Golf Club

84.250

Santa Cruz, California 

-Allister Mackenzie (1929)

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1 (NEW). Pacific Dunes

90.000

Bandon, Oregon

-Tom Doak (2001)

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