2015-16 Ranking: Top 100 U.S. Golf Courses

America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses

For the Golden Anniversary of our ranking, Augusta National is the new No. 1. That's just a start of the changes.



(Parentheses indicate previous ranking)
(Parentheses indicate previous ranking)

Augusta, Ga. / Alister Mackenzie & Bobby Jones (1933) 7,435 yards, Par 72 / Points: 72.1589

No club has tinkered with its golf course as often or as effectively over the decades as has Augusta National Golf Club, mainly to keep it competitive for the annual Masters Tournament, an event it has conducted since 1934, with time off during WWII. All that tinkering has resulted in an amalgamation of design ideas, with a routing by Alister Mackenzie and Bobby Jones, some Perry Maxwell greens, some Trent Jones water hazards, some Jack Nicklaus mounds and swales and, most recently, extensive rebunkering and tree planting by Tom Fazio.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 1, 2009-12, present



Pine Valley, N.J. / George Crump & H.S. Colt (1918) 7,057 yards, Par 70 / Points: 71.9818

A genuine original, its unique character forged from the sandy pine barrens of southwest Jersey. Founder George Crump had help from architects H.S. Colt, A.W. Tillinghast, George C. Thomas Jr. and Walter Travis. Hugh Wilson (of Merion fame) and his brother Alan finished the job. Pine Valley blends all three schools of golf design -- penal, heroic and strategic -- throughout the course, often times on a single hole.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 1, '85-00, '03-08 & '13-14.



Pebble Beach / Alister Mackenzie (1928)

6,524 yards, Par 72 / Points: 69.4448

Glamorous Cypress Point, Alister Mackenzie's masterpiece woven through cypress, sand dunes and jagged coastline, wasn't always the darling of America's 100 Greatest. Golf Digest demoted it to the Fifth Ten back in the early 1970s, saying, "It's not surprising that good players might find Cypress Point wanting: it has several easy holes and a weak finisher." Our panel has since changed its collective opinion. In the 2000s, member Sandy Tatum, the former USGA president who christened Cypress Point as the Sistine Chapel of golf, convinced the club not to combat technology by adding new back tees, but instead make a statement by celebrating its original architecture. So Cypress remains timeless, if short, its charm helped in part by superintendent Jeff Markow, who re-established Mackenzie's unique bunkering with the help of old photographs.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 2, 1987-88.



Stephen Szurlej
Southampton, N.Y. / William Flynn (1931) 7,041 yards, Par 70 / Points: 69.2522

Generally considered to be the earliest links in America, heavily remodeled twice by C.B. Macdonald, then replaced (except for three holes) by William S. Flynn in the early 1930s. It's so sublime that its architecture hasn't really been fiddled with in nearly 50 years, although the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have made several changes, including restoration of a massive waste area on the sixth hole, to prepare Shinnecock for the 2018 U.S. Open.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1967. Highest ranking: No. 2, 2007-08

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Stephen Szurlej
Ardmore, Pa. / Hugh Wilson (1912) 6,886 yards, Par 70 / Points: 68.2949

What a treat it was to see Merion East, long considered the best course on the tightest acreage in America, host the U.S. Open in 2013. Today's generation of big hitters couldn't conquer the little old course, couldn't consistently hit its twisting fairways, which are edged by creeks, hodge-podge rough and OB stakes and couldn't consistently hit its canted greens edged by bunkers that stare back. It's a certainty that it won't take another 32 years for the U.S. Open to return to Merion.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 5, 1989-90 1995-96, Present

Oakmont, Pa. / Henry Fownes (1903) 7,255 yards, Par 71 / Points: 68.1868

Once thousands of trees (planted in the 1960s) were removed, Oakmont's original penal design was re-established, with the game's most nasty, notorious bunkers (founder-architect H.C. Fownes staked out bunkers whenever and wherever he saw a player hit an offline shot), deep drainage ditches and ankle-deep rough. Oakmont also has the game's swiftest putting surfaces, which will likely be slowed down for the upcoming U.S. Open in 2016.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 4, 2003-04 & 2011-12

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Stephen Szurlej
Pebble Beach / Jack Neville & Douglas Grant (1919) 6,828 yards, Par 72 / Points: 67.6226

Not just the greatest meeting of land and sea in American golf, but the most extensive one, too, with nine holes perched immediately above the crashing Pacific surf -- the fourth through 10th, plus the 17th and 18th. Pebble's sixth through eighth are golf's real Amen Corner, with a few Hail Marys thrown in over a ocean cove on eight from atop a 75-foot-high bluff. Pebble will host another U.S. Amateur in 2018, and its sixth U.S. Open in 2019.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 1, 2001-02

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Southampton, N.Y. / C.B. Macdonald (1911) 6,935 yards, Par 72 / Points: 66.9500

This is where Seth Raynor got his start. A civil engineer by training, he surveyed holes for architect C.B. Macdonald, who scientifically designed National Golf Links as a fusion of his favorite features from grand old British golf holes. National Golf Links is a true links containing a marvelous collection of holes. As the 2013 Walker Cup reminded us, Macdonald's versions are actually superior in strategy to the originals, which is why National's design is still studied by golf architects today, its holes now replicated elsewhere.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1967-68 and from 1985. Highest ranking: Present.

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Mamaroneck, N.Y. / A.W. Tillinghast (1923) 7,258 yards, Par 72 / Points: 66.6801

Gone are all the Norway Spruce that once squeezed every fairway of Winged Foot West. It's now gloriously open and playable, at least until one reaches the putting surfaces, perhaps the finest set of green contours the versatile architect A.W. Tillinghast ever did, soon to be restored to original parameters by architect Gil Hanse. The greens look like giant mushrooms, curled and slumped around the edges, proving that as a course architect, Tillinghast was not a fun guy. Winged Foot West will host the 2020 U.S. Open.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 5, 1985-88

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Stephen Szurlej
Fishers Island, N.Y. / Seth Raynor & Charles Banks (1926) 6,566 yards, Par 72 / Points: 66.4241

Probably the consummate design of architect Seth Raynor, who died in early 1926, before the course had opened. His steeply-banked bunkers and geometric greens harmonize perfectly with the linear panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound. The quality of the holes is also superb, with all Raynor's usual suspects, including not one but two Redan greens, one on a par 4.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1969-74 and since '01. Highest ranking: No. 9, 2009-10



Dom Furore
Mullen, Neb. / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (1994) 7,089 yards, Par 71 / Points: 66.2401

The golf course wasn't so much designed as discovered. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw trudged back and forth over a thousand acres of rolling sand hills in central Nebraska, flagging out naturally-occurring fairways and greens. By moving just 4,000 cubic yards of earth, and letting the winds shape (and reshape) the bunkers, the duo created what is undoubtedly the most natural golf course in America.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1999. Highest ranking: No. 9, 2011-14



Stephen Szurlej
Juno Beach, Fla. / Donald Ross (1929) 6,836 yards, Par 72 / Points: 65.7391

A majestic Donald Ross design with a clever routing on a rectangular site, each hole at Seminole encounters a new wind direction. The greens are no longer Ross's, replaced 50 years ago in a regrassing effort that showed little appreciation for the original rolling contours. The bunkers aren't Ross's, either. Dick Wilson replaced them in 1947, his own version meant to imitate crests of waves on the adjacent Atlantic. Seminole has long been one of America's most exclusive clubs, which is why it's exciting that it will host the 2021 Walker Cup.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 8, 1985-86 & 1989-90



L.C. Lambrecht
Frankfort, Mich. / Alister Mackenzie & Perry Maxwell (1931) 6,518 yards, Par 70 / Points: 65.6944

Perry Maxwell, the Midwest associate of architect Alister MacKenzie, lived on site while constructing the course to MacKenzie's plans, but there's evidence Maxwell exercised considerable artistic license on some holes. Whomever did it, Crystal Downs has fairways that zigzag and rumble over the landscape and greens that have doglegs in them. One drawback is that the putting surfaces are so old-fashioned that they're too steep for today's green speeds. The club keeps a running tally on how many putts end up off the putting surface.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1989. Highest ranking: No. 10, 2007-08

Wheaton, Ill. / C.B. Macdonald (1894) / Seth Raynor (1923) / 6,846 yards, Par 70 / Points: 70 65.6429

This is not America's first 18-hole golf course. The first was another C.B. Macdonald creation, also bearing the name Chicago G.C., which opened near Downers Grove, Ill. in 1893. Three years later, the club moved to Wheaton, where Macdonald laid out what he called, "a really first-class 18-hole course of 6,200 yards." It was remodeled into its present configuration, emulating famous holes, in 1923 by Macdonald's longtime assistant Seth Raynor. One thing Raynor retained was Macdonald's routing, with all the out-of-bounds on the left. C.B., you see, was a slicer.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966-68 and since '71. Highest ranking: No. 12, 2009-10

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Jim Mandeville
Dublin, Ohio / Jack Nicklaus & Desmond Muirhead (1974) 7,392 yards, Par 72 / Points: 65.4631

This is the course that Jack built, and rebuilt, and rebuilt again and again. Since its opening in 1974, Jack Nicklaus has remodeled every hole at Muirfield Village, some more than once, using play at the PGA Tour's annual Memorial Tournament for some guidance. In the past three years, he totally changed the par-3 16th and par-4 17th holes. Just before Presidents Cup in October, 2013, he added a new back tee to the par-4 18th, extending it from 444 yards to 484. That's how a championship course remains competitive.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 8, 1985-86 & 1989-9



Stephen Szurlej
Rochester, N.Y. / Donald Ross (1925) 7,145 yards, Par 70 / Points: 65.2247

Back in 1979, George Fazio and nephew Tom were roundly criticized by Donald Ross fans for removing a classic Ross par 4 on Oak Hill East and replacing it with two new holes, including the bowl-shaped par-3 sixth, which would later become the scene of four aces in two hours during the second round of the 1989 U.S. Open. They also built a pond on another par 3 and relocated the green on the par-4 18th. It's all ancient history now. Present history is Jason Dufner's 2013 PGA win at Oak Hill.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 10, 2003-04

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Stephen Szurlej
Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Donald Ross (1918) 7,445 yards, Par 70 / Points: 65.2165

Donald Ross felt his 1918 design was out-of-date for the 1951 U.S. Open and was prepared to remodel it. Sadly, he died in 1948, so Robert Trent Jones got the job. His rebunkering was overshadowed by ankle-deep rough, and after Ben Hogan closed with a 67, one of only two rounds under par 70 all week, to win his second consecutive Open, he complained that Jones had created a Frankenstein. Sixty plus years later, Oakland Hills is even longer, but its bite won't be nearly as severe when it hosts the U.S. Amateur in 2016.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 8, 2003-04

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Stephen Szurlej
Bandon, Ore. / Tom Doak (2001) 6,633 yards, Par 71 / Points: 65.1748

This was the second course built at Bandon Dunes Resort and the highest ranked among the resort's four 18s. To best utilize ocean frontage, Tom Doak came up a unorthodox routing that includes four par 3s on the back nine. Holes seem to emerge from the landscape rather than being superimposed onto it, with rolling greens and rumpled fairways framed by rugged sand dunes and marvelously grotesque bunkers. The secret is Doak moved a lot of earth to make it look like he moved very little.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 14, 2007-10



Stephen Szurlej
Chestnut Hill, Mass. / Willie Campbell (1895) / Alex Campbell (1902) 7,350 yards, Par 70 | Points: 64.9493

The Country Club's 18 holes that were the scene of the 1963 and 1988 U.S. Opens is not the 18 holes ranked by Golf Digest. Those events were played on a composite course, utilizing a few holes from the club's third Primrose nine. We rank the Clyde & Squirrel combination, clearly good enough to be one of the top courses in the world. Gil Hanse performed some course restoration prior to the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966 and since 1969. Highest ranking: No. 10, 1985-86



Kiawah Island, S.C. / Pete Dye (1991) 7,356 yards, Par 72 / Points: 64.9282

The first course designed for a specific event -- the 1991 Ryder Cup -- this manufactured linksland-meets-lagoons layout might well be Pete Dye's most diabolical creation. Every hole is edged by sawgrass, every green has tricky slopes, every bunker merges into bordering sand dunes. Strung along nearly three miles of ocean coast, Dye took his wife's advice and perched fairways and greens so golfers can actually view the Atlantic surf. That also exposes shots and putts to ever-present and sometimes fierce coastal winds.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1997. Highest ranking: Present

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Cashiers, N.C. / Tom Fazio (1987) 7,302 yards, Par 72 / Points: 64.7895

Built during the period when Tom Fazio was still working with the existing landscape rather than ignoring it, Wade Hampton is an exercise in restraint. The fairways flow through a natural valley between flanking mountain peaks. Some holes are guarded by gurgling brooks, but Fazio piped several streams underground to make the course more playable and walkable. Selected as Golf Digest's Best New Private Course of 1987, it has never been out of the Top 40 since it joined America's 100 Greatest.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1991. Highest ranking: No. 15, 2007-'08



Haven, Wis. / Pete Dye (1998) 7,790, Par 72 / Points: 64.7378

Pete Dye transformed a dead flat abandoned army air base along a two-mile stretch of Lake Michigan into an imitation Ballybunion at Whistling Straits, peppering his rugged fairways and windswept greens with 967 (at last count) bunkers. There are no rakes at Whistling Straits, in keeping with the notion that this is a transplanted Irish links. It has too much rub-of-the-green for the comfort levels of many tour pros, who will tackle the Straits again in the 2015 PGA Championship and the 2020 Ryder Cup.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2001. Highest ranking: No. 16, 2013-14

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Baiting Hollow, N.Y. / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2002) 7,049 yards, Par 71 / Points: 64.6514

The challenge for architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw at Friar's Head was to design some holes in breathtaking sand dunes perched 200 feet above Long Island Sound, and other holes on an ordinary potato field to the south. Said Crenshaw, "Our job was to marry the two distinct elements. We didn't want one nine up in the dunes and the other down on the flat." The solution was to move the routing back and forth and to artfully reshape the farm fields into gentle linkslike land. They pulled it off.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: Present

Pacific Palisades, Calif. / George C. Thomas Jr. & W.P. Bell (1926) 7,040 yards, Par 71 / Points: 64.6025

A compact but clever design by George C. Thomas Jr. and associate William P. Bell, Riviera features everything from a long Redan par 3 to a bunker in the middle of a green to an alternate-fairway par 4. With its 18th green at the base of a natural amphitheater, Riviera seems tailor-made as a tournament venue. It's hosted an annual PGA Tour event, but no U.S. Open since 1948. It will be the site of the 2017 U.S. Amateur. Will that be a harbinger of a bigger USGA event to come?

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 18, 1985-86



Hutchinson, Kan. / Perry Maxwell (1937), Press Maxwell (1957) 6,940 yards, Par 70 / Points: 64.4624

Prairie Dunes was the top nine-hole course in America for 20 years. By the time the club found funds to expand it to 18, original architect Perry Maxwell had passed away, but his son Press was able to add nine more holes seamlessly, putting three on the front nine and six on the back. He also replicated his father's great greens. Prairie Dunes reflects all that is Kansas: sand dunes, prairie grasses, yucca plants, cottonwoods and constant wind.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966 and since 1969. Highest ranking: No. 13, 1999-00


(41) LOS ANGELES C.C. (North)

Los Angeles / George C. Thomas Jr. (1921) 7,236 yards, Par 71 / Points: 64.4357

It's on the edge of tinsel town, but the architecture of the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club is solid gold since its 2010 restoration by architect Gil Hanse, his associate Jim Wagner and their colleague Geoff Shackelford. It matters not that Hanse's team didn't replicate the bunkering style of original architect George C. Thomas, but rather the more visually exciting style of Thomas's associate, William P. Bell. The bunkers will look sensational when LA North hosts the 2017 Walker Cup. The club is also bidding to host the 2023 U.S. Open.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 15, 1989-90



Roland, Ark. / Tom Fazio (2004) 7,480 yards, Par 72 / Points: 64.3292

The Alotian Club gives us a hint of what Augusta National would have looked like had Bobby Jones established his dream course in hilly Atlanta. The first tee shot drops 70 feet to a fairway below, with the approach playing back uphill. The tee on the 205-yard par-3 sixth sits 85 feet above the green. Alotian, founded by Warren Stevens, son of former Masters chairman Jackson Stevens, is the first (and still only) course in Arkansas ever to make America's 100 Greatest. The Alotian name comes from the annual golf trips Stevens once took with his buddies. He called it America's Lights Out Tour, and they were the Alotians.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 14, 2011-12



Pinehurst, N.C. / Donald Ross (1935) 7,565 yards, Par 72 / Points: 64.2727

In 2010, a team lead by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw killed and ripped out all the Bermudagrass rough on Pinehurst No. 2 that had been foolishly planted in the 1970s. Between fairways and tree lines, they established vast bands of native hardpan sand dotted with clumps of wiregrass and scattered pine needles. They reduced the irrigation to mere single rows in fairways to prevent grass from ever returning to the new sandy wastelands. Playing firm and fast, it was a wildly successful fortnight when the 2014 Men's and Women's U.S. Opens were played on consecutive weeks at No. 2. Because of its water reduction, the course was recently awarded a Green Star environmental award by Golf Digest.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 9, 1995-02



Tulsa, Okla. / Perry Maxwell (1936) 7,184 yards, Par 71 / Points: 64.1204

A product of the Great Depression, funded by Phillips Petroleum money and constructed by hundreds of workers who stood at the gate each morning hoping for a 25-cents-per-hour job that day, Southern Hills is architect Perry Maxwell's great achievement. Nearly every hole bends left or right, posing critical tee shots that must risk something. The putting surfaces have the classic "Maxwell Rolls" and most are guarded by simple yet effective bunkers. By the way, Maxwell, a former banker, negotiated his design fee on a sliding scale. He finished the job $17,500 under the anticipated $90,000 construction budget, and earned $12,500. In an age of hard times, it was a most lucrative deal in golf design.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 11, 1985-1986. (First 10, 1969-1970 & 1977-1982)

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(27) Gozzer Ranch G. & Lake C.

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho / Tom Fazio (2007) 7,317 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.9136

When it won in 2008, Gozzer Ranch was the 13th Best New Course triumph for architect Tom Fazio. Gozzer won in part because of its gorgeous views of Lake Coeur d'Alene to the north and west and the panoramic farm valley to the east. Little details elevate the architecture of Gozzer Ranch: a slight false right front edge on the first green, the backboard slope behind the sixth green, the fairway contouring on the dual-fairway drivable par-4 12th that kicks even a short drive to the base of the putting surface. Its shaggy-edged bunkers are more than mere set decorations. Some define targets off the tee; other pose options and challenges.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 27, 2013-14

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Ooltewah, Tenn. / Pete Dye (1983) 7,450 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.8943

Considered radical in the early 1980s because of its acres of tall, native-grass rough, unusual Zoysiagrass fairways and terrifying greens perched atop bulkheads of rock, today The Honors Course is considered a well-preserved example of Pete Dye's death-or-glory architecture. Other than reducing the contours in a couple of greens (particularly the 18th) in the late 1990s, Dye has left the course alone. One suspects he might return someday to perform some updates.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1987. Highest ranking: No. 21, 1987-88

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North Las Vegas, Nev. / Tom Fazio (1990) 7,560 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.8509

$47 million to build a golf course? Tom Fazio said that budget was necessary at Shadow Creek to perform what he now calls "total site manipulation," creating an environment where none existed, by carving rolling hills and canyons from the flat desert floor north of Las Vegas and pumping in plenty of water. Original owner Steve Wynn spent that much money because that's what casino hotel owners do, create fantasies like Vermont in Vegas. Alas, this once-in-a-lifetime dream design has been too successful, triggering many equally expensive, but inferior, imitations.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1993. Highest ranking: No. 8, 1993-94



San Francisco / Sam Whiting (1924) 6,934 yards, Par 71 / Points: 63.8476

It seems fitting that, in a town where every house is a cliffhanger, every U.S. Open played at Olympic has been one too. For decades, the Lake was a severe test of golf. But while it still has canted fairways hampered by just a single fairway bunker, its once-dense forest has been considerably cleared away, leaving only the occasional bowlegged cypress with knobby knees. Still, the 2012 U.S. Open stuck to the script: a ball was stuck in tree, slow play warnings were given, a leader snap-hooked on 16 in the final round, and a guy name Simpson won.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 10, 1985-88 and 1991-92

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Atlanta / Robert Trent Jones & Bobby Jones (1947) 7,414 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.7384

The design collaboration by amateur star Bobby Jones and golf architect Robert Trent Jones (no relation) was meant to recapture the magic the former had experienced when he teamed with Alister Mackenzie in the design of Augusta National. But Trent was an even more forceful personality than the flamboyant Mackenzie, so Peachtree reflects far more of Trent's notions of golf than Bobby's, particularly in designing for future equipment advances. When it opened, Peachtree measured in excess of 7,200 yards, extremely long for that era. It boasted the longest set of tees in America (to provide flexibility on holes) and the country's largest greens (to spread out wear and tear). As it turns out, Trent was a visionary, and decades later others subsequently followed his lead.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 16, 1991-92



San Francisco / A.W. Tillinghast (1918) 6,830 yards, Par 71 / Points: 63.6236

San Francisco Golf Club's clever routing was done mostly by a trio of club members, who first staked out the course in 1918. A.W. Tillinghast remodeled the course in 1923, establishing its signature greens and bunkering. He also added the par-3 seventh, called the "Duel Hole" because its location marks the spot of the last legal duel in America. Three holes were replaced in 1950 in anticipation of a street-widening project that never happened. In 2006,Tom Doak re-created the original holes.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1971. Highest ranking: No. 18, 1999-02



New Albany, Ohio / Pete Dye (1967) 7,439 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.5486

The Golf Club may be the most authentic course of Pete Dye's transition period of design, when he first chose to buck convention and start building lay-of-the-land layouts like those he had seen during a 1963 tour of Scotland. In doing so, Dye re-introduced deception, misdirection and railroad ties into American golf architecture. The Golf Club's construction attracted the attention of local boy Jack Nicklaus, who visited several times and made some astute suggestions. That led to a five-year Dye-Nicklaus design partnership. The Golf Club remained untouched for 45 years, until 2013, when Dye remodeled every hole.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1969. Highest ranking: No. 23, 1999-00

Bandon, Ore. / David McLay Kidd (1999) 6,732 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.4556

Chicago recycled-products mogul Mike Keiser took a gamble when he chose tenderfoot architect David McLay Kidd to design a destination daily-fee course on the remote southwestern coastline of Oregon. But the design Kidd produced, faithful to the links-golf tenets of his native Scotland, proved so popular that today Keiser has a multiple-course resort at Bandon Dunes that rivals Pinehurst and the Monterey Peninsula (and for some even exceeds them). None of that would have happened if Kidd hadn't produced a great first design.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2001. Highest ranking: No. 28, 2005-06 & 2011-12



Southampton, N.Y. Jack Nicklaus & Tom Doak (2006) 7,534 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.3638

Not since Augusta National had the nation's greatest golfer teamed with one of the most highly regarded course architects on a design project. But the joint venture by Jack Nicklaus with Tom Doak at Sebonack was complicated by the fact that golfer Nicklaus was also an esteemed architect in his own right, and the project sat right beside two American icons, Shinnecock Hills and National Golf Links. Some pundits have reduced Sebonack to "Tom's bunkers, Jack's greens," but in truth it's just the opposite. Doak convinced Nicklaus to go with small greens of sweeping contours and little imperfections the likes of which Jack would never have considered on his own. Meanwhile, Jack insisted Tom tone down his usual ragged, jagged bunker faces to make them palatable to high-handicap club members. Sebonack hosted the 2013 U.S. Women's Open to great success.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: Present


(31) MEDINAH C.C. (No. 3)

Medinah, Ill. / Tom Bendelow (1928) 7,657 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.3412

Medinah No. 3 is Exhibit A for the notion that great golf courses aren't created, but evolve. A major tournament site since 1949, it has undergone a succession of remodelings and has improved with every session. Its par-3 17th is the most prominent example. It was shifted to a new location in 1986, to precede a whole new 18th hole. (The original 17th is now the 13th.) Ten years later, the 17th green was moved away from a lakefront to a spot atop a hill, but after Tiger Woods' first (of two) PGA Championship victories on the course, the green was moved back to the water's edge, where it remains today. For the 2012 Ryder Cup, consulting architect Rees Jones created an entirely new par-4 15th, with a pond along both fairway and green to pose risks and rewards. Like a fine wine, Medinah has gotten better with age.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 10, 1989-90

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Castle Rock, Colo. / Jack Nicklaus (1981) 7,696 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.2105

When Golf Digest began its annual Best New Course awards in 1983, the review panel selected Castle Pines as the Private Course winner. Bill Davis, co-founder of Golf Digest and founding father of all its course rankings, however, didn't care for the course and vetoed its inclusion, so no private course was honored that year. Davis soon recognized his error, and in 1987, Castle Pines' first year of eligibility, it joined America's 100 Greatest and has remained there ever since. Club founder Jack Vickers, a Midwest oilman, had urged architect Jack Nicklaus to produce a mountain-venue design worthy of a major championship. Jack did, but when a championship never resulted, Vickers established his own, The International, a PGA Tour event played from 1986 to 2006 under a unique Stableford format. It's a pity that The International is no longer on the tour's schedule.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1987. Highest ranking: No. 28, 2009-10



Springfield, N.J. / A.W. Tillinghast (1922) 7,400 yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.1650

Jack Nicklaus won two U.S. Opens on Lower Baltusrol, setting a tournament record each time. Phil Mickelson won a PGA on it. But Baltusrol Lower's most historic event was the ace by architect Robert Trent Jones in 1954 on the par-3 fourth, instantly squelching complaints of critical club members who felt Trent's redesign made it too hard. Trent's younger son Rees has been Baltusrol's consulting architect in recent decades. An avowed A.W. Tillinghast fan, he's lightly retouched the Lower's design for its next major, the 2016 PGA Championship.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 15, 1985-86



Erin, Wis. / Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry, and Ron Whitten (2006) 7,812 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.9110

Contrary to the legend spread by many, Erin Hills wasn't designed specifically to host a U.S. Open. Its original concept was to be a simple, affordable, lay-of-the-land layout that proved Mother Nature is indeed the best golf architect. The concept changed -- some greens moved, one blind par 3 eliminated -- as the quest for a U.S. Open grew. After trial runs hosting the 2008 U.S. Women's Publinks and the 2011 U.S. Amateur, Erin Hills will host the U.S. Open in 2017, the first time the championship will be played in Wisconsin.

100 Greatest History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present

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Photo by Stephen Szurlej
Farmingdale, N.Y. / Joseph H. Burbeck & A.W. Tillinghast (1936) 7,366 yards, Par 71 / Points: 62.8630

Sprawling Bethpage Black, designed in the mid-1930s to be "the public Pine Valley," became the darling of the USGA in the early 2000s, when the course held the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. Then it became a darling of the PGA Tour as host of the 2011 Barclays. Now the PGA of America has embraced The Black, awarding it the 2019 PGA Championship and 2024 Ryder Cup. Heady stuff for something that was once a scruffy state-park haunt.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1967-1976, 1997-1998 and since 2001. Highest ranking: No. 26, 2007-08

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Stephen Szurlej
Morgantown, W.Va. / J. Robert Gwynne & John Raese (2009) 7,588 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.8133

Fifteen years ago, mining company officers John Raese and Bob Gwynne started building a golf course on a newly acquired parcel of forest that their firm will eventually -- 100 years from now -- mine for high quality limestone. Using company engineers and construction equipment, and guidance by veteran tour pros Johnny Pott and Dow Finsterwald, they spent a decade creating Pikewood National. A natural waterfall became the backdrop for their par-3 fifth hole and the linchpin of their routing, which plays along bluffs, through forest and over rapids.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: Present



Courtesy of Victoria National GC
Newburgh, Ind. / Tom Fazio (1998) 7,239 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.8098

Built atop Peabody Coal Company's long-abandoned Victoria strip mine in southern Indiana, Victoria National was a simple routing for Tom Fazio. He just followed the corridors (the perfect width for fairways) that existed between mining spoil mounds (long since overgrown with trees) and some 40 acres of fingery lagoons that had formed as steam shovels carving out coal deposits hit the water table. Chosen as Best New Private Course of 1999, Victoria National stunned most panelists. One gushed it was, "the most unusual, unpolished and unpretentious Fazio design ever." Another called it, "probably the hardest Fazio course I've played. More penal than Pine Valley." Fazio concurred with that assessment. "It's U.S. Open-quality now," he said soon after it opened. "If the wind blew, it'd be too hard."

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2001. Highest ranking: No. 21, 2005-06

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Courtesy of Butler National GC
Oak Brook, Ill. / George Fazio & Tom Fazio (1974) 7,523 yards, Par 71 / Points: 62.7981

Butler National was former tour pro George Fazio's ideal of a championship course, with 10 carries over water in 18 holes. Even before it opened, it was signed to serve as permanent site of the Western Open. Problem was, when it opened, it was the last cool-weather venue on the PGA Tour to utilize bluegrass rather than bentgrass for its fairway, and several prominent golfers declined to play Butler National because of potential flyer-lies from those fairways. Eventually the turf was converted, but then the Shoal Creek scandal occurred. When tour officials required all courses that held tournaments to have non-restrictive memberships, Butler National decided against relaxing its men-only policy and relinquished its role of Western Open host after 1990. So why include a club on America's 100 Greatest that won't allow female panelists a chance to evaluate it? Because we rank golf courses, not club policies.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1975. Highest ranking: No. 21, 2007-08


(44) TPC SAWGRASS (Players Stadium)

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. / Pete Dye (1980) 7,215 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.7181

TPC's stadium concept was the idea of then-PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman. But the 1980 design was pure Pete Dye, who set out to test the world's best golfers by mixing demands of precision with target golf. Random lumps, bumps and hollows ring most greens, what Dye calls his "grenade attack architecture." His ultimate target hole is the heart-pounding, sink-or-swim island-green 17th, which offers no bailout, perhaps unfairly in windy Atlantic coast conditions. The 17th has spawned more than a hundred imitation island greens in the past 30 years.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1983. Highest ranking: No. 25, 1985-86

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Pebble Beach / Robert Trent Jones (1966) 6,960 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.7138

Given the task of designing a course just up 17 Mile Drive from Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, Robert Trent Jones responded with a combination of Pine Valley and Augusta National. The five opening holes, in Pine Valley-like sand dunes, are an all-too-brief encounter with the Pacific seacoast. The remaining holes are a stern hike through hills covered with majestic Monterey pines (which, sad to say, may someday disappear to pitch canker). Add several water hazards that hearken back to the 16th at Augusta (which Trent Jones designed, by the way), and you have what some panelists consider to be Trent's finest work. Others say it's the best course never to have hosted a major event. After all, even Pine Valley and Cypress Point have hosted Walker Cups.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1967. Highest ranking: No. 26, 1993-94



Russell Kirk/Golflinksphotography.com
Garden City, N.Y. / Devereux Emmet (1899) 6,922 yards, Par 73 / Points: 62.6825

Minimalist in its design (you can still see the faint traces of old roadbeds over which the course was routed) and natural in its upkeep, Garden City was one of the great early tournament venues in the United States. Before the 1908 U.S. Amateur, Walter Travis remodeled the course into what it is today, its strategies dictated by many deep pot bunkers. Travis installed them to promote "thinking golf," but one player soon dubbed Garden City the home of the "God-fearing approach shot.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966 Highest ranking: No. 25, 1997-98

Columbus, Ohio / Donald Ross (1916) 7,140 yards, Par 70 / Points: 62.6499

When Michael Hurdzan was hired in 2005 to rebuild Scioto's greens to re-establish much of their Donald Ross character, Jack Nicklaus volunteered to assist, since he had learned the game at Scioto and still remembered the putting surfaces from playing them as a boy. Together they recaptured Scioto's charm, although one green they did not return to a Ross original is the eighth. That green was relocated in 1957 by landscape architect Marion Packard, who created a new island green for the hole.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 22, 1987-88

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Courtesy of Oak Tree National
Edmond, Okla. / Pete Dye & Alice Dye (1975) 7,412 yards, Par 71 / Points: 62.6482

Originally the men's-only Oak Tree Golf Club, with 18 holes patterned after previous Pete Dye designs (the par-3 eighth, for example, was a close cousin to his 17th at Harbour Town, complete with a basket trap on the left), this had long been considered one of Pete's sternest tests of golf. The hilly layout has numerous water hazards and deep bunkers protecting some very tiny greens, as well as gusting Oklahoma winds and gnarly Bermuda-grass rough. It has been a Champions Tour fixture in recent years, hosting the 2006 Senior PGA Championship and the 2014 U.S. Senior Open.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1977-00 and present Highest ranking: No. 15, 1987-88



Indian Hill, Ohio / Seth Raynor & Charles Banks (1927) 6,659 yards, Par 70 / Points: 62.5266

One of Seth Raynor's last designs, it wasn't completed until nearly a year after his death. William Jackson, who later became the club's pro and superintendent, handled the construction and was faithful to Raynor's diagrams with two exceptions: He turned the 16th into a par 4 and the 17th into a par 5. Robert von Hagge added flashy but incongruous bunkers in the early 1980s. They lasted more than 20 years, until Tom Doak undertook a restoration in the Raynor style of geometric-shaped bunkers and greens.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966, 1991-2008 & present. Highest ranking: Present


(46) PETE DYE G.C.

Bridgeport, W. Va. / Pete Dye (1994) 7,308 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.5190

Like Pikewood National, Pete Dye Golf Club is a 100 Greatest course built atop a West Virginia mining deposit, but in this case, it's an active coal mine. (The club's original name was Coal Ridge.) Evidence of that fact is everywhere, from the strip-mine wall along the par-5 eighth and the black cinder bunkers on the par-4 sixth to the abandoned coal train that curls around the outside of the dogleg on the 10th. There's even a coal-mine shaft you can walk through to reach the seventh tee. Construction took so long that Dye's style had evolved by the time the full 18 was finally seeded. Early holes sport the railroad-tie motif of Harbour Town while later holes feature the echo-chamber bunkering of Blackwolf Run.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1999-00 & since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 45, 2011-1



Holyoke, Colo. / Tom Doak (2006) 7,147 yards, Par 71 | Points: 62.4953

If Sand Hills Golf Club stands for the notion that there's nothing more glorious than a round of golf beyond the range of cellphone reception, then Ballyneal (Tom Doak's answer to Sand Hills) proves that isolated golf is even better when Spartan in nature. With no carts and with dry, tan fescue turf on fairways and greens, Ballyneal is even more austere than Sand Hills. It provides absolutely firm-and-fast conditions, and with many greens perched on hilltops, the effect of wind on putts must be considered.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: Present

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Bandon, Ore. / Tom Doak & Jim Urbina (2010) 6,944 yards, Par 71 / Points: 62.4879

Old Mike Keiser had a course. Name of Bandon Dunes. Hugged the cliffs of Oregon gorse. It made golfers swoon. So he added one more, then a third next door. Here a lodge, there a hut, even built a pitch & putt. Now it's America's top resort. Name of Bandon Dunes. But Old Mike Keiser wanted more. Down at Bandon Dunes. An ode to an architect he adored. Cut from heather and broom. So Old Macdonald came to be. In spite of a bad economy. Here it's big, there it's bold. Everywhere it looks real old. A Bottle Hole and a Biarritz. Ocean winds that'll give you fits. Short and Eden fit the scenes. Especially with enormous greens. Old Macdonald is part of the lore. Now at Bandon Dunes.

100 Greatest History: Since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 49, 2013-14

©2009 LC Lambrecht
Manakin-Sabot, Va. / Lester George & Vinny Giles (2011) 7,203 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.3339

Since the only way to successfully establish bentgrass tees, fairways and greens in hot, humid Richmond was to create expansive corridors to allow plenty of sunlight and air to the turf, Kinloch Golf Club has more double fairways posing options and alternate routes than nearly every other course on the 100 Greatest, except perhaps National Golf Links. But there's a new issue now in Kinloch's second decade. Given golf's ever-increasing emphasis on water conservation, is a course with 2,000 irrigation heads (instead of the usual 600) realistic?

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 29, 2007-08



Edina, Minn. / Willie Watson (1911) 6,967 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.2701

When Bobby Jones won the 1930 U.S. Open at Interlachen, completing the second leg of what would become the game's first Grand Slam, fellow competitor Gene Sarazen insisted the course was tougher than everything but Oakmont. These days, the hilly, tree-lined design with small greens and plenty of bunkers has been the showcase of women's professional golf, hosting the 2002 Solheim Cup, won by the American team, and the 2008 U.S. Women's Open, won by Inbee Park.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1967-1968 and since 1971. Highest ranking: No. 36 2003-04


(59) BALTUSROL G.C. (Upper)

Springfield, N.J. / A.W. Tillinghast (1922) 7,348 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.2070

It's believed when A.W. Tillinghast began constructing the Upper and Lower Courses at Baltusrol in 1919 (replacing Baltusrol's existing 18 holes), he was building the first contiguous 36 holes at the same time in America. Because of the Lower's tremendous major championship record, most consider the slightly shorter Upper to be secondary at the club. But between the two, it was the Upper, not the Lower, that hosted the first U.S. Open (and third in the club's history) in 1936, won by Tony Manero. The Lower didn't get its first Open until 1954, won by Ed Furgol.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: Present


(76) WINGED FOOT G.C. (East)

Mamaroneck, N.Y. / A.W. Tillinghast (1923) 6,792 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.1452

Like Baltusrol, Winged Foot's a two-course complex that is the product of A.W. Tillinghast's fertile imagination. Every characteristic of the more famous West Course also exists on the Winged Foot East (which was used as a parking lot during recent U.S. Opens). When the East first made the 100 Greatest in 1985, it marked only the second time a tandem from one club made the list at the same time. Champions Golf Club was the first, with its Cypress Creek and Jackrabbit Courses. Bandon Dunes, of course, has four this year.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1985. Highest ranking: No. 24, 1993-94

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Marshall, Ill. / Bob Lohmann & Mike Benkusky (2004) 7,266 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.0898

Energy-industry CEO Jerry Forsythe grew up in east central Illinois and wanted to convert 300 acres of his childhood memories into a family retreat. After golf architect Bob Lohmann built him an elaborate three-hole golf course on the property, Lohmann's then-associate Mike Benkusky convinced Forsythe to stretch it to nine holes and later into a full 18. Ultimately, two million cubic yards of cornfield were moved to form Canyata's massive fairways and greens, which are edged by waterscaped ponds, artificial creeks and a dazzling array of bunkers. With only a handful of rounds played each year by invited guests, the conditioning at Canyata is always nearly flawless.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 37, 2013-14

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Dallas / Tom Fazio (2002) 7,372 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.0630

It occupies some of the best golfing terrain in the Dallas Metroplex -- rugged hills dotted with cedars -- yet Tom Fazio still indulged in considerable shifting of earth when creating Dallas National. The par-3 17th, for instance, is countersunk into an excavated box canyon of rock, while a deep ravine in front of the 18th green was filled to lessen the difficulty of the approach for average players. There's talk that a new course being built in Dallas could have the potential to host a U.S. Open. Dallas already has one: Dallas National.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 59, 2007-12



River Hills, Wis. / H.S. Colt & C.H. Alison (1929) 7,094 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.0331

With much of the course hard against the Milwaukee River and several holes subject to flooding (the green of the 12th and the entire 13th are actually across the river), one might think Milwaukee Country Club is a flat layout. But many of its holes are surprisingly hilly. Its classic design is still tree-lined, but one of the crucial improvements recently made by consulting architect Tom Doak and associate Don Placek was to remove some trees to open views of the river from many upland holes.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966-1968 and since 1989. Highest ranking: No. 40, 2003-04



Coeur d'Alene, Idaho / Jim Engh (2003) 7,130 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.0190

Jim Engh's architecture is all about turning fantasies into realities, and Black Rock delivers on that goal like few others. Among them are some bobsled-run fairways (where one can putt from landing area downhill to the green), rollicking putting surfaces framed by squiggly bunkers and a par-4 11th pinched by towering rock formations that brings to mind a pinball machine. Unusual and controversial -- it won Best New Private in 2003 ahead of Dallas National and Friar's Head -- Black Rock is a thrilling round of golf.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 27, 2009-10

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Charleston, S.C. / Seth Raynor & Charles Banks (1926) 6,808 yards, Par 70 / Points: 61.8511

Though it contained a classic collection of Raynor favorites, including a Road Hole, a Biarritz, a Redan and even a Prize Dogleg based on an entry from a 1914 magazine-design contest, Yeamans Hall suffered from benign neglect for 50 years, with bunkers overgrown and greens both shrunk by mowing habits and mushroomed by topdressing. But in the late-1980s, the course superintendent discovered Raynor's original plans in the clubhouse attic. Architect Tom Doak and his then-associate Jim Urbina used the plans to faithfully restore Raynor features.

100 Greatest History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Arcadia, Mich. / Rick Smith & Warren Henderson (2000) 7,300 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.8071

Can a 100 Greatest course be a sleeper? Arcadia Bluffs has been overshadowed by Pacific Dunes ever since it finished second to it in the Best New Upscale Public Course race of 2001. Same with Crystal Downs, a neighbor every northern Michigan visitor wants to play, even though it's private and Arcadia is public. Same again with Whistling Straits, the imitation links on the opposite side of Lake Michigan that Arcadia Bluffs resembles, except that the sand dunes at Arcadia are natural, not manmade.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 46, 2007-08

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Olympia Fields, Ill. / Willie Park Jr. (1922) 7,205 yards, Par 70 / Points: 61.7926

To prepare Olympia Fields North for the 1961 PGA Championship (won by Jerry Barber in a playoff over Don January), the club didn't hire a golf architect. Instead, superintendent Warren Bidwell relocated 32 greenside and 13 fairway bunkers and added new tees to lengthen the course by 320 yards. Forty years later, golf architect Mark Mungeam supervised extensive changes before the North hosted the 2003 U.S. Open. In 2015, Olympia Fields North and newly remodeled South (redone by architect Steve Smyers) will co-host the U.S. Amateur.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 24, 2003-04

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Pebble Beach / Mike Strantz (2004) 6,873 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.7821

Mike Strantz was battling cancer while transforming the bland, low-budget Shore Course into a scenic and strategic marvel that rivals next-door neighbor Cypress Point. Strantz reversed direction of the fifth through 15th holes to provide a Pacific Ocean backdrop to most of them. He weaved fairways among trees so players could "dance among the cypress," and added native grasses for a coastal prairie look. The stunning landscape would be Strantz's last work of art; he died six months after completing the redesign.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2007. Highest ranking: No. 66, 2013-14



Trinity, Texas / Chet Williams (2000) 7,473 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.7403

Corey Robertson, who made a fortune in coal reserves, staked out the Whispering Pines course in the early 1990s, then brought Texas-based golf architect Chet Williams (at the time a design associate of Jack Nicklaus) to help him create strategies through bunkering and green contours. Williams refined the rough-hewn routing cut through east Texas piney woods into a dazzling romp across a gently rolling landscape, culminating in a final six-hole stretch along gator-infested Caney Creek and the headwaters of Lake Livingston.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: Present



Toledo, Ohio / Donald Ross (1919) 7,255 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.6908

Inverness is considered a classic Donald Ross design even though it was one of many he merely remodeled. Ross fans were outraged when the course was radically altered by George and Tom Fazio in preparation for the 1979 U.S. Open. The uncle-nephew duo eliminated four holes (including the famous dogleg par-4 seventh), combined two holes to make the par-5 eighth and created two modern holes on newly-acquired land. The Inverness course that Ray and Vardon played in 1920 is not the same course that hosted the 2011 U.S. Senior Open.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 17, 2001-02



Scottsdale / Tom Fazio (1995) 7,314 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.6729

Our Best New Private Course of 1996 was Tom Fazio's initial entry into the Scottsdale scene. Positioned beneath the north slopes of Pinnacle Peak and routed to provide a variety of uphill and downhill shots and a change of direction on almost every hole, Estancia is an easterner's version of rock-and-cactus architecture, with wide turf corridors, few desert carries and greens wilder than most.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1999. Highest ranking: No. 61, 2013-14

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Scarsdale, NY. / A.W. Tillinghast (1918) 7,008 yards, Par 70 / Points: 61.6547

Quaker Ridge returned to America's 100 Greatest in 2013 after a two-year absence during which Gil Hanse revised the course by removing trees and rebuilding bunkers. He expanded several greens back to Tillinghast dimensions but reduced the size of the par-4 17th green, chopping off a left-hand lobe added by Frank Duane in 1964. Quaker's strong suit has long been its powerful par 4s and Hanse enhanced them all, including the par-4 sixth, squeezed between a creek and hillside, and the drive-and-pitch 11th, where the green is girdled by a stream.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1967-10 and since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 14, 1989-90



Edison, N.J. / Donald Ross (1921) 7,091 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.5907

There are a number of lofty architectural names attached to Plainfield, but one name not often mentioned is that of club pro Marty O'Loughlin, who combined a par-4 and par-3 in 1930 to create the present, terrific par-5 12th and also carved holes 13, 14 and 15 from an adjoining forest. That three-hole stretch is still called "The Tunnel." There's also former superintendent Red Wender, who in the 1950s filled in a punchbowl green on the fifth hole and added ponds to 10 and 18.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1967. Highest ranking: No. 34, 1985-86



Bernardsville, N.J. / A.W. Tillinghast (1918) 6,756 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.5704

Somerset Hills is another marvelous A.W. Tillinghast design, one of the few that has remained virtually unchanged since it opened in 1918. That may make it the most authentic Tillinghast course on the 100 Greatest. It's a charming, laid-back design that works through seemingly undisturbed rolling terrain, past rock outcroppings and around small-but-distinctive water hazards to some outrageous green contours guarded by knobby mounds dubbed dolomites. It also has the only Tillinghast version of a Redan par 3.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1985. Highest ranking: No. 41, 2003-04



Bandon, Ore. / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2005) 6,759 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.5480

Bandon Trails is the lowest-ranked of the four Bandon courses on America's 100 Greatest, but that's no flaw. We've long considered it such a compelling layout that it needs no seascape to command one's attention. Bandon Trails starts and finishes in serious sand dunes (the 18th was recently remodeled by Coore) and the remainder rolls through Oregon forest. Bump-and-run is the name of the game but the structure of each hole requires thoughtful bumps and targeted runs.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 63, 2011-12



Hingham, Mass. / Gil Hanse (2004) 7,062 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.5457

Boston Golf Club, in the south suburb of Hingham, is a modern-day Pine Valley, massaged by architect Gil Hanse and his team from dramatic coastal topography with gashes of unsullied sand. Fairways tumble across the landscape, posing some blind shots that are embraced, not criticized. One stretch surrounds an old strip mine, with mining spoils incorporated as chocolate drop mounds and one vein serving as a "Hell's Third Acre" hazard. Boston Golf Club, like Garden City Golf Club, finishes with a grand par 3.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 74, 2013-14



Galena, Ohio / Jay Morrish & Tom Weiskopf (1992) 7,175 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.5288

Built by reshaping flat farm fields into gentle hills and valleys, Double Eagle benefits from plenty of elbow room. Some holes have double fairways that pose genuine alternate routes. Greens are benign enough in contours to allow them to be kept lightning fast. A delightfully thoughtful design, it closes with two great water-laden, risk-rewarding holes. The club name does not symbolize a golf term. Original owner John McConnell was a fortune hunter, and the Double Eagle was a rare doubloon discovered in a sunken treasure.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1997. Highest ranking: No. 56, 2009-10



La Quinta, Calif. / Tom Fazio (1994) 7,083 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.4987

The developers of The Quarry hired Tom Fazio in the early 1990s with instructions that he was to trump his design of Shadow Creek. Fazio was savvy enough to ignore those instructions, because he recognized The Quarry site was much better than what he'd had in Las Vegas. Thus The Quarry has more variety, starting and ending in the gravel quarry now lavishly landscaped. In between, holes play on high desert overlooking the Palm Springs Valley, with four holes tucked in an isolated notch of the Santa Rosa Mountains.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1999. Highest ranking: No. 44, 2009-10



Cashiers, N.C. / Tom Fazio (2006) 7,122 yards, Par 70 / Points: 61.4829

Unlike nearby Wade Hampton Golf Club, a Tom Fazio 100 Greatest member routed through natural valleys to forego the need for dynamite, Mountaintop was blasted from solid rock, some holes forged through mountain slopes, like the par-4 sixth, edged by a 30-foot-high wall of granite on the right. Conservative estimates are that all that rock removal raised the cost of construction to $1 million per hole. Six holes also play over a deep gorge formed by Hurricane Creek. Mountaintop proves there was no property too rugged for Tom Fazio.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 74, 2011-12

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Plymouth, Mass. / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2005) 6,908 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.4142

Old Sandwich Golf Club may be the craftiest Coore-Crenshaw design yet built. Amidst its pines, scrub oaks, gnarly bunkers, chocolate drop mounds, wavy fescue and briar bushes are hints of Baltusrol, National Golf Links, Pine Valley, Pinehurst No. 2 and Chicago Golf Club in its cross-bunkering, hazard placement and sandy waste areas. The greens are some of the most rolling of any Coore & Crenshaw design, seeded with a half-dozen bent varieties to give them an old-fashioned mottled appearance. Nobody does old-fashioned better.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 68, 2013-14



Cherry Hills Village, Colo. / William Flynn (1923) 7,348 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.3633

When Cherry Hills opened in the early 1920s, it was a ground-breaking design, with the nation's first island green on a par 5 and closing back-to-back par 5s, although in championship play the 18th is played as a par 4. In the 1960 U.S. Open, winner Arnold Palmer popularized the idea of a drivable par 4 by going for the first green in every round. Curiously, when Palmer and partner Ed Seay remodeled Cherry Hills in 1976, they lengthened the first hole so no player could duplicate Arnie's feat. Nearly 40 years later, modern equipment has once again made the first hole reachable from the tee.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966-1970 and since 1973. Highest ranking: No. 21, 2003-04



Sugar Grove, Ill. Jerry Rich & Greg Martin (1999) 7,715 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.3452

It began as a six-hole backyard course for computer billionaire Jerry Rich, then expanded into a nine-fairway, 11-green layout that could be played multiple ways, finally evolved into a conventional 18-hole layout strong enough to host the 2009 Solheim Cup. With its polish and landscaping, some call Rich Harvest Links the "Augusta of the Midwest," but even Augusta National doesn't have Rich Harvest's flexibility, where every hole can play differently every day, some even from different angles and par. The course will host the LPGA's International Crown Matches in 2016.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 45, 2005-0



Bethesda, Md. / Robert Trent Jones (1962) 7,278 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.3438

Congressional is a Rees Jones redo of a course that was substantially his father's work. Rees didn't remodel it to make it a tough-as-nails championship test. He remodeled it for membership play. He provided definition. One stands on every tee and sees the entire hole, all the hazards, all the strategies. The greens are gentle enough for member play but can be mowed to 14 on a Stimpmeter for tournaments. Congressional once had a par-3 18th. Rees reversed its direction and made it into the long, strong par-3 10th. The old 17th with a peninsula green is now the permanent 18th.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 50, 1985-86. (Fourth 10, 1969-80)

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Montecito, Calif. / Alister MacKenzie & Robert Hunter (1929) 6,744 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.3133

Routed like an hourglass with a wide variety of holes, including the third, hard against a barranca, the downright mountainous 10th, the gorgeous canyon-carry 14th and broad, serpentine 15th. Fairways are generous but the slant of greens demand certain angles of approach. The restored MacKenzie bunkers resemble jigsaw pieces that, observed architect Jim Urbina, seem to fit one another, left and right. An added bonus is its location, in perhaps the best golfing weather in the nation.

100 Greatest History: Rannked 1995-2002 Highest ranking: No. 59, 2001-02



Marion, Mass. / William Flynn (1922) 6,811 yards, Par 71 | Points: 61.2982

Only recently, with the discovery of some original blueprints, has it been conclusively established that the ocean-side, links-like Kittansett, long thought to be the product of an amateur architect, Frederic Hood, was actually the work of well-known course architect William Flynn, who also designed Shinnecock and Cherry Hills. Credit that revelation to authors Wayne S. Morrison and Thomas E. Paul, who reveal that and much more in their massive 2,260-page biography of Flynn entitled The Nature Faker: William S. Flynn, Golf Architect.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1971. Highest ranking: No. 39, 1999-00



Andover, Kan. / Tom Fazio (1997) 6,906 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.2690

Except for its secondary rough of native grasses, Flint Hills National has little in common with the actual Flint Hills in Kansas, which are stark tallgrass prairie plateaus. The softly-rolling Tom Fazio design has over 5,500 transplanted trees, including cedars, maples, pin oaks, pines, redbuds, willows and even 60-foot-tall cottonwoods. Not surprisingly, the club has a full-time arborist. Several long lakes dominate play, especially on the opening and closing holes. The slick, heavily contoured greens are tougher even than those at Prairie Dunes.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 43, 2005-06



Chaska, Minn. / Robert Trent Jones (1962) 7,137 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.2548

Hazeltine may be the most controversial championship course of the 20th Century, designed by Robert Trent Jones for former U.S.G.A. president Totton Heffelfinger, who used his considerable clout to bring the 1966 U.S. Women's Open and 1970 U.S. Open to the very immature layout. Criticisms were so extreme that Trent Jones spent the next two decades remodeling it, straightening doglegs, relocating holes, rebuilding greens. Later, his younger son Rees Jones assumed the task, with even greater success. Hazeltine hosted the 2009 PGA and will host the Ryder Cup in 2016.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 50, 1995-96

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Carmel, Calif. / Tom Fazio, J. Michael Poellot & Sandy Tatum (2000) 7,067 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.2421

Located a few miles inland from the glorious foursome of 100 Greatest courses on California's Monterey Peninsula (Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, Spyglass Hill and the Shore Course at MPCC), The Preserve is dramatically different, the only golf course within a 30,000-acre parcel of gentle hills and mammoth oaks. Fazio moved almost no earth here, so perfect was the routing established by Poellot and Tatum. The greens are subtle, the bunkering low key, the atmosphere one of constant tranquility.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 68, 2011-



Naples, Fla. / Michael Hurdzan & Dana Fry (2001) 7,203 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.2374

Gary Chensoff, a Chicago venture capitalist, survived a rare form of cancer despite long odds, and his recovery strongly influenced how Calusa Pines was designed and built. Chensoff decided to gamble, instructing Hurdzan-Fry to design the most unique course in south Florida despite a dead flat site. They responded by piling up fill from ponds to form ridge lines up to 58 feet, then planted them with mature oaks, pines and sabal palms. Calusa Pines is the Shadow Creek of The South, with far more sandy waste areas. It also sports perhaps the firmest, fastest Bermuda fairways and greens in Florida.



Wilmington, N.C. / Tom Fazio (2000) 7,259 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.2142

Playing Eagle Point Golf Club with club founder Bobby Long, a visitor remarked at the artistry of the 13th, how Tom Fazio's crew had dug a huge irrigation pond, piled the soil into a huge hill and covered it with mature pines to make it look like it'd been there forever. "You're wrong," Long said. "That hill was there before." The club pro then corrected him: "Sir, this was a pasture. Fazio created that." Long was astonished that he'd forgotten what it looked like before. Such is the magic of Tom Fazio.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 48, 2011-12

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Newtown Square, Pa. / Donald Ross (1928) 7,190 yards, Par 70 / Points: 61.1902

Aronimink is an object lesson in architectural appreciation. After Donald Ross completed his design in 1928, he proclaimed, "I intended to make this my masterpiece." That didn't keep club members from bringing in William Gordon in the 1950s to eliminate out-of-play fairway bunkers and move other bunkers closer to greens. The course was later revamped by Dick Wilson, George Fazio and Robert Trent Jones. It took seven years for Ron Prichard, a designer specializing in course restoration, to rebuild the course to something close to the original Ross design.

100 Greatest History: Ranked from 1966-99 & 2001-2006 & since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 49, 1987-88

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Kohler, Wis. / Pete Dye (1990) 7,404 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.0936

Only Pete Dye could have convinced owner Herb Kohler to rip apart an award-winning course and still come out a winner. Dye coupled the front nine of America's Best New Public Course of 1988 (now holes 1-4 and 14-18) with nine newer holes built within a vast bend of the Sheboygan River to produce the River Course. It possesses some of Dye's most exciting holes, from the triple-option reachable par-4 ninth to the boomerang-shaped par-5 11th to the monster par-4 18th, where Kohler surprised Dye by converting a long waste bunker into a temporary lagoon for tournament events.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1993. Highest ranking: No. 31, 1993



Ligonier, Pa. / Dick Wilson (1959) 7,329 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.0633

Considered by some to be Dick Wilson's consummate design, Laurel Valley was founded by a group that included Arnold Palmer, who lived a few miles from the site. In fact, the group tried to persuade Arnie to quit the Tour and become the club's head professional and manager. Palmer reportedly mulled over the prospect for a time before rejecting it. Imagine how different the PGA Tour would have been had Arnie not become the dashing head of Arnie's Army in the early 1960s.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 22, 1989-9

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Carmel, Ind. / Pete Dye (1967) 7,516 yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.9198

Pete Dye insists he designed Crooked Stick in two stages. The back nine, finished first, was his ode to Alister Mackenzie, with a couple of boomerang greens like those he'd played on the Mackenzie-designed University of Michigan Golf Course. The front nine, completed two years later, was his tribute to Donald Ross, with pedestal putting surfaces and deceptive bunkers well short of some greens. To both he added wooden bulkheads of railroad ties and telephone poles. Crooked Stick was the first Dye course to host a major championship, the 1991 PGA Championship.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1971-2006. & since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 54, 2003-04 (Fifth 10, 1983-84)

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Banner Elk, N.C. / Tom Fazio (2003) 7,175 yards, Par 70 / Points: 60.9126

While architecture purists scoff at the notion of waterfalls on golf courses, there is something magnificent about a cascading water feature done right. Few are as effective than the one behind the par-3 17th green at Diamond Creek. Tom Fazio positioned the green nearly at the base of a sheer granite quarry wall, down which a slender falls drops over 100 feet. Amazingly, the club entrance drive is also at the base of the quarry wall, hidden from view on the 17th as effectively as any Fazio cart path.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 87, 2011-12



Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. / Tom Fazio (1996) 7,101 yards, Par 70 / Points: 60.9103

Hudson National G.C. rests on a dramatic bluffs high over the Hudson River Valley, a breathtaking location that, back in the 1920s, had been the site of the ill-fated Hessian Hills Country Club. (The fireplace and part of the foundation of its clubhouse still exists near the fourth green.) Fazio paid little attention to the old routing, however, dynamiting over 130,000 cubic feet of rock to fit his design into the rocky terrain. Greens are blazing fast, and the primary rough is wispy fescue.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 83, 2011-12



French Lick, Ind. / Pete Dye (2009) 8,102 yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.9035

Pete Dye's latest original design, Golf Digest's 2009 Best New Public winner, established that at age 80 the designer still had fresh ideas, including rumpled chipping swales, country-lane cart paths and volcano bunkers. Measuring just over 8,100 yards from the tips, Pete Dye at French Lick is not the first course over 8,000 yards on the 100 Greatest. That would be Runaway Brook in Massachusetts, now the Pines Course at The International Golf Club. It was 8,040 yards when ranked in 1967. Today it's 8,325 yards. The world's longest is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in China at 8,415 yards.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 93, 2013-1

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Louisville / Jack Nicklaus (1986) 7,540 yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.9010

Given a difficult piece of land on which to create Valhalla (half the site was floodplain with high tension power poles), Jack Nicklaus drew on his training under both Pete Dye and Desmond Muirhead to produce a unique design, with an alternate fairway par 5, a par 4 with an island green and an 18th green shaped like a horseshoe. Valhalla has proven to be a great championship site. It has hosted three thrilling PGA Championships, the latest Rory McIlroy's win in 2014, as well as the 2008 Ryder Cup, a rare U.S. win.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1993. Highest ranking: No. 36, 1993-94

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East Hampton, N.Y. / Willie Park Jr. & Jack Park (1924) 6,650 yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.8456

Not only one of America's earliest links courses, Maidstone is also one of the country's earliest golf residential communities. Legend has it that Bobby Jones insisted Maidstone's final three holes made it one of the great match-play courses in America. If so, that's because the 17th has one of the tightest green sites in America, the green sitting just in front of a major street intersection, with roads right and left less than 12 paces off each collar. Coore and Crenshaw have restored many sand dunes areas in rough.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1969. Highest ranking: No. 34, 1997-98

Lake Bluff, Ill. / Seth Raynor (1921) 6,521 yards, Par 71 / Points: 60.7791

Perhaps the most fascinating topography upon which Seth Raynor created a golf course with his usual collection of suspects, including No. 3 (Leven), No. 6 (Biarritz), No. 7 (Double Plateau), No. 8 (Eden), No. 10 (Road) and No. 14 (Redan) all playing along plateaus and over ravines that feed into Lake Michigan. The stretch of 11, 12 and 13, playing across a ravine, down into it and back out of it, are as unique a stretch of holes as can be found anywhere on a 100 Greatest course.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 2001-12 and present. Highest ranking: No. 74, 2009-10



Streamsong, Fla/ Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2012) 7,148 yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.7601

Coore and Crenshaw's Red Course is one half of the hottest golf destination to open in America this decade. (The companion Blue Course, a Tom Doak design, is ranked No. 120.) Built from sand spoils resulting from a massive phosphate strip mine, with some piles formed into dunes reaching 75 feet into the air, the Red has a wonderful mix of bump-and-run links holes and target-like water holes. Some greens are perched like those at Pinehurst, others are massive with multi-levels, like those at St. Andrews. The Bermuda turf is firm and bouncy, and while the routing is sprawling, it's easily walkable.

100 Greatest History: New to list in 2015-16. Highest ranking: Present

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