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: 175. The top 50 are shown, while courses 51-100 can be viewed here.

Don’t see your favorite course? Check out the map below for a total list of courses I’ve played!


50 (48). Idaho Club, The

65.000

Sandpoint, Idaho

-Jack Nicklaus (2008)

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49 (45). Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club

66.000

Canmore, Alberta

-Gary Browning (2000)

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48 (47). Woodlands Country Club, The (Tournament)

65.150

The Woodlands, Texas

-Robert van Hogge (1987)

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47 (46). TPC Scottsdale (Stadium)

65.650

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Wieskopf & Jay Morrish (1987)

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46 (52). Wolf Creek Golf Resort (Old)

66.000

Ponoka, Alberta

-Rod Whitman (1984)

IMG_20161231_170048_771.jpg
Credit: Andrew Makarchuk

45 (44). Troon North Golf Club (Pinnacle)

66.250

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish (1995)

IMG_2160.JPG

44 (43). Glencoe Golf and Country Club (Forest), The

66.500

Calgary, Alberta

-Robert Trent Jones II (1987)

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43 (41). Phoenix Country Club

66.855

Phoenix, Arizona

-Harry Collis (1919)

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42 (42). Marine Drive Golf Club

67.000

Vancouver, British Columbia

-A.V. Macan (1922)

59C4A19C-B7E4-4E1A-9C7E-05D96107613E.JPG

41 (40). Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa (Gold)

67.700

Litchfield Park, Arizona

-Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1964)

IMG_0809.JPG

40 (39). Commonground Golf Course

67.750

Aurora, Colorado

-Tom Doak (2006)

Image result for commonground golf
Photo credit: Golf Advisor

39 (38). Tobiano Golf Course

67.850

Kamloops, British Columbia

-Thomas McBroom (2007)

Image result for tobiano golf course
Photo credit: Golf Canada West

38 (37). Waterton Lakes Golf Course

68.000

Waterton, Alberta

-Stanley Thompson (1929)IMG_8812.JPG

37 (35). Desert Highlands Golf Club

68.350

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Jack Nicklaus (1983)

IMG_2551 2.JPG

36 (34). Tower Ranch Golf and Country Club

68.500

Kelowna, British Columbia

-Thomas McBroom (2008)

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35 (33). Iron Horse Golf Club

68.555

Whitefish, Montana

-Tom Fazio (2000)

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34 (32). Kelowna Golf and Country Club

68.700

Kelowna, British Columbia

-A.V. Macan (1923)

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33 (31). Talking Stick Resort (O’odham)

68.750

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (1998)

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32 (30). Cascata

69.580

Boulder City, Nevada

-Rees Jones (2000)

IMG_1674

31 (29). Kananakis Country Golf Course (Mount Kidd)

69.850

Kananaskis, Alberta

-Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1983)

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30 (28). Sahalee Country Club (North/South)

69.000

Sammamish, Washington

-Kieth Evans & Ted Robinson Sr. (1969)

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29 (27). Mirabel Club

69.250

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Fazio (2001)

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28 (NEW). Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club

70.000

Vancouver, British Columbia

-AV Macan (1961)

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27 (26). Sand Hollow Resort (Championship)

71.000

Hurricane, Utah

-John Fought (2008)

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26 (25). Wolf Creek Golf Resort (Links)

71.250

Ponoka, Alberta

-Rod Whitman (2012)

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25 (24). Quarry Ranch, The

71.500

La Quinta, California 

-Tom Fazio (2004)

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24 (23). Royal Mayfair Golf Club

71.700

Edmonton, Alberta

-Stanley Thompson (1927)

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23 (22). Rawls at Texas Tech, The

71.750

Lubbock, Texas

-Tom Doak (2003)

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22 (21). Greywolf Golf Course

74.500

Panorama, British Columbia

-Doug Carrick (1999)

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21 (20). Eugene Country Club

74.750

Eugene, Oregon

-Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1927)

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20 (19). Apache Stronghold Golf Course

75.000

Globe, Arizona

-Tom Doak (1999)

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19 (18). Predator Ridge Golf Resort (Ridge)

76.000

Vernon, British Columbia

-Doug Carrick (2009)IMG_4403.JPG

18 (17). Chambers Bay Golf Course

76.150

University Place, Washington

-Robert Trent Jones II (2007)

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17 (16). Blackhawk Golf Club

78.000

Edmonton, Alberta

-Rod Whitman (2003)

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16 (15). World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)

78.550

Brooksville, Florida

-Tom Fazio (1993)

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15 (14). Aldarra Golf Club

78.750

Sammamish, Washington

-Tom Fazio (1993)

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14 (13). We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Saguaro)

78.775

Fountain Hills, Arizona

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2006)

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13 (12). Desert Forest Golf Club

79.000

Carefree, Arizona

-Robert Lawrence (1962)

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12 (11). Gamble Sands Golf Course and Lodge (Sands)

79.150

Brewster, Washington

-David McLay Kidd (2014)IMG_6042.JPG

11 (10). Quarry at La Quinta, The

79.250

La Quinta, California

-Tom Fazio (1994)

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10 (9). Streamsong Resort (Red)

80.250

Bowling Green, Florida

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2012)

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9 (8). Estancia Club, The

80.500

Scottsdale, Arizona

-Tom Fazio (1995)

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8 (6). Bandon Trails

81.500

Bandon, Oregon

-Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2005)

IMG_1889.jpg

7 (5). Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club, The (Stanley Thompson 18)

85.000

Banff, Alberta

-Stanley Thompson (1927)

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6 (7). Club at Sagebrush, The

85.125

Merritt, British Columbia

-Rod Whitman (2009)

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5 (4). Pasatiempo Golf Club

85.250

Santa Cruz, California 

-Allister Mackenzie (1929)

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4 (3). Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course, The

85.450

Jasper, Alberta

-Stanley Thompson (1929)

img_3451

3 (NEW). Capilano Golf & Country Club

85.475

West Vancouver, British Columbia

-Stanley Thompson (1937)

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2. Rock Creek Cattle Company

85.500

Deer Lodge, Montana

-Tom Doak (2008)

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1. Pacific Dunes

87.000

Bandon, Oregon

-Tom Doak (2001)

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