2017-18 Ranking

America's 100 Greatest Public Courses

Great public golf can be found in every corner of the United States. Let our 2017 ranking of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses lead the way.

(RELATED: The best courses in every state)




Stephen Szurlej
Pebble Beach / 800-654-9300 / pebblebeach.com /Jack Neville & Douglas Grant (1919)/Herbert Fowler (R. 1920)/H. Chandler Egan (R. 1928)/Jack Nicklaus (R. 1998)/Arnold Palmer & Thad Layton (R. 2007-2016) / 6,828 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 67.6991

Pebble Beach has been the No. 1 course ever since we introduced the 100 Greatest Public in 2003. It's 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 the 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 Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 1, 2003, 2015-16 & present

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Bandon, Ore. / 888-345-6008 / bandondunesgolf.com / Tom Doak (2001) / 6,633 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 65.0391

The second course built at Bandon Dunes Resort. To best utilize ocean frontage, Tom Doak came up with 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. The rolling greens and rumpled fairways are 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 Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 2, 2007-12, 2015-16 & present

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Stephen Szurlej
Kiawah Island, S.C. / 888-854-2924 / kiawahgolf.com / Pete Dye & Alice Dye (1991) / 7,356 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 64.7249

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 Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: Present

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Stephen Szurlej
Haven, Wis. / 800-344-2838 / whistlingstraits.com / Pete Dye (1998) / 7,790 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 64.7018

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 1,012 (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, two dozen of whom will tackle the Straits again in the 2020 Ryder Cup.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 2, 2013-14

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Courtesy of Shadow Creek GC
North Las Vegas, Nev. / 866-260-0069 / shadowcreek.com / Tom Fazio, with Steve Wynn (1990) / 7,560 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 64.0722

One of a kind, and maybe Tom Fazio's finest work ever. Shadow Creek plays like a musical composition in three movements, with alternating heavy beats and light moments, building to an resounding crescendo. Every golfer should experience Shadow Creek at least once. Few remember Shadow Creek started out as a private course. It was Golf Digest's Best New Private Course of 1990.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 3, 2005-06

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Pinehurst, N.C. / 800-487-4653 / pinehurst.com / Donald Ross (9 1902/Donald Ross & Walter Travis (A.9 1907)/Donald Ross (R.1935)/Rees Jones (R.1998)/Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (R.2010) / 7,588 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.8751

In 2010, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw led a team that descended on Pinehurst No. 2 and killed out all the Bermudagrass rough 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 Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 2, 2003-06

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Stephen Szurlej
Bandon, Ore. / 888-345-6008 / bandondunesgolf.com / David McLay Kidd (1999) / 6,732 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 63.4635

Maybe not as visually mesmerizing as Whistling Straits (which it beat for Best New Upscale Public Course of 1999), but talented golfers consider Bandon Dunes to be the consummate shotmaker's course, as good a total examination of one's game as there is in America. What's more, the holes are a more natural fit into the windswept terrain than the mammoth-mounded Straits Course. Bandon Dunes is also ranked sixth among our 50 Most Fun Public Courses.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 5, 2011-12

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Stephen Szurlej
Farmingdale, N.Y. / 516-249-4040 / nysparks.state.ny.us / Joseph H. Burbeck & A.W. Tillinghast (1936)/Rees Jones (R. 1998 & 2008) / 7,468 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 63.3433

Gone are its rock hard tees, gravely bunkers, patchy fairways and thatchy greens. Bethpage Black now has the conditioning of a U.S. Open or PGA Tour stop, both of which it has been in recent years. No need to sleep in the parking lot just to get a tee time anymore (just go online), but you may still have to verify your handicap. As a sign on the first tee states, Bethpage Black is an extremely difficult course recommended only for highly skilled players.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 3, 2003-04

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Dom Furore
Erin, Wis. / 866-772-4769 / erinhills.com / Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry & Ron Whitten (2006)/Michael Hurdzan & Dana Fry (R.2008) / 7,812 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.7274

Despite 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 2017 U.S. Open, the first time the event has ever been in Wisconsin.

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100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 8, 2015-16



Stephen Szurlej
Bandon, Ore. / 888-345-6008 / bandondunesgolf.com / Tom Doak & Jim Urbina, with George Bahto, Bradley Klein, Karl Olson & Mike Keiser (2010) / 6,944 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 62.5472

When it opened seven years ago, we predicted Old Macdonald would eventually become the most popular course at Bandon Dunes Resort, mainly because it has wide fairways and generous greens. At the urging of "Design Fairness proponent" Arthur Little, owner Mike Keiser installed a set of Royal Blue tee markers at 4,258 yards for beginners and older golfers. That should just add to its popularity.

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

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Courtesy of Pebble Beach Company
Pebble Beach / 800-654-9300 / pebblebeach.com / Robert Trent Jones (1966) / 6,960 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.5376

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, but are being replaced in some areas with cypress trees). Add several water hazards that hearken back to the 16th at Augusta (a hole 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 Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 5, 2003-04

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Courtesy of TPC Sawgrass
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. / 904-273-3235 / tpcsawgrass.com / Pete Dye (1980)/Pete Dye (R.2006)/Steve Wenzloff (R. 2016) / 7,215 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 62.4822

TPC's stadium concept was the idea of then-PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman. 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. Most greens are ringed by random lumps, bumps and hollows, 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 over a hundred imitation island greens in the past 30 years. To make the layout even more exciting during tournament play, Steve Wenzloff of PGA Tour Design Services recently remodeled several holes, most significantly the 12th, which will now be a drivable par 4. The changes were revealed too late to be considered by panelists for this survey.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 9, 2009-14

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Nile Young Photography/Courtesy of Arcadia Bluffs GC
Arcadia, Mich. / 800-494-8666 / arcadiabluffs.com / Rick Smith & Warren Henderson (2000) / 7,300 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.7943

Can a 100 Greatest course be a sleeper? Arcadia Bluffs has been overshadowed by No. 18 Pacific Dunes, ever since it finished second to it in the Best New Upscale Public Course race of 2001. And likewise second-fiddle to No. 12 (on America's 100 Greatest Courses) Crystal Downs, a neighbor every northern Michigan that visitor wants to play, even though it's private and Arcadia is public. And even by Whistling Straits, the imitation links on the opposite side of Lake Michigan that Arcadia Bluffs resembles, although the sand dunes at Arcadia are natural, not manmade. Arcadia Bluffs will gain more exposure if a proposed second 18 designed by Dana Fry is built in the next few years.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 10, 2005-12

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Stephen Szurlej
Bandon, Ore. / 800-345-6008 / bandondunesgolf.com / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2005) / 6,759 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.7675

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 being recently remodeled by Coore) while 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. It's most controversial hole is the short par-4 14th with a thumb of a green personally fashioned by Crenshaw.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2007. Highest ranking: No. 14, 2009-12, 2014-15 & present

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Courtesy of Kohler Co.
Kohler, Wis. / 800-344-2838 / blackwolfrun.com / Pete Dye (9 1988, A. 9 1990) 7,404 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 61.0481

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. For major events, like the 2012 U.S. Women's Open, Dye's original 18 was used. But for survey purposes, Golf Digest evaluates the River 18 available for general play.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 11, 2005-06

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Stillwater, Okla. / 405-743-1658 / karstencreek.com / Tom Fazio (1994) / 7,407 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.9551

Karsten Creek, winner of Golf Digest's Best New Public Course title in 1994, was developed by Oklahoma State University and thus is also often at the top of rankings of the best collegiate courses in America. Bold in its features and contours, this is Tom Fazio in a surprisingly challenging mood. Karsten Creek is potentially one of the toughest layouts among America's 100 Greatest Public.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 12, 2011-12



Streamsong, Fla. / 863-428-1000 / streamsongresort.com
Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2012) / 7,148 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 60.8119

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. 22.) 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 Public History: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: Present



Santa Cruz, Calif. / 831-459-9155 / pasatiempo.com / Alister MacKenzie & Robert Hunter (1929)/Tom Doak (R. 1998-2006) / 6,500 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 60.7670

Pasatiempo is arguably Alister Mackenzie's favorite design. (He lived along its sixth fairway during his last years.) With its elaborate greens and spectacular bunkering fully restored by Tom Doak, it's is a classic example of Mackenzie's art. The back nine, playing repeatedly over deep barrancas, is a test for even the most talented. In 2014, Pasatiempo received a Golf Digest Green Star environmental award for its measures in dealing with drought. Today, water worries are in the past, in part because of a new storage tank that allows the club to capture and store recycled water.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 18, 2003-04



French Lick, Ind. / 888-936-9360 / frenchlick.com / Pete Dye (2009) / 8,102 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.7272

If you're foolish enough to want to play Pete Dye at French Lick from the tips, you'll do a lot of walking back from previous greens to those tees. From the 6,400-yard white markers, however, you'll breeze though an 18. Pete Dye and his companions have twice played the course from those tees in less than three-and-a-half hours, on foot. It's an incredibly easy walk for a mountain course. Pete Dye at French Lick was Golf Digest's Best New Public Course of 2009.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 17, 2013, 2015-16



Princeville, Kauai, HI / 800-826-1105 / princeville.com / Robert Trent Jones (9 1988, A. 9 1990) / 7,378 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.5047

The Prince is a prince, indeed. It was Golf Digest's Best New Resort Course of 1990 and a member of America's 100 Greatest from 1993 until 2013. It recently underwent a total renovation. The new and improved Prince now has Seashore Paspalum turf and some of the surrounding jungle cut back for playability. The clearing also improved views of both the Pacific surf to the north and jagged volcanic mountains to the south.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 9, 2007-08



Kapalua, Maui, HI/ 877-527-2582 / kapaluamaui.com / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (1991) / 7,411 Yards, Par 73 / Points: 60.4313

Here's a curious fact: Kapalua's Plantation Course, built on old pineapple fields, is irrigated by the same system used a hundred years ago to water pineapples. A century-old stone aqueduct brings water from the top of a rain-soaked volcano down to a pond that sits 800 feet above the course. The pond supplies Kapalua's sprinkler system, which is pressurized solely by gravity.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 17, 2011-12



Streamsong, Fla. / 863-428-1000 / streamsongresort.com / Tom Doak (2012) / 7,176 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.1608

We suspect many a discussion will occur in Streamsong's 19th hole comparing the merits of both the Tom Doak-designed Blue Course and Coore and Crenshaw-designed Red Course (ranked No. 17). Our take: The Blue starts a bit more dramatically, with the back tee on hole one atop a 75-foot sand dune. It's also a bit more compact, since the Blue sits in the center with the Red Course looping around its outside edges. The Blue definitely has the bolder set of greens, some with massive shelves and dips. Bottom-line: Blue is no little brother. Many may well prefer it.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: Present



Hilton Head Island / 800-955-8337 / seapines.com / Pete Dye & Jack Nicklaus (1969)/Pete Dye (R.2015) / 7,101 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 60.1185

The 16th at Harbour Town has contributed a term to golf. Back when Pete Dye was building the course, he was asked to dispose of a huge quantity of sewer sludge from housing developments on Hilton Head, so he dug a big pit to the left of the par-4 16th, had it dumped in there, then covered it with acres of sand. The late golf writer Charlie Price, who lived on the island, took one look at it and dubbed it a "waste bunker." Actually, that's the sanitized version of what he called it. But "waste bunker" is the term that stuck.

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

Stephen Szurlej
University Place, Wash. / 253-460-4653 / chambersbaygolf.com
/ Robert Trent Jones, Bruce Charlton & Jay Blasi (2007) / 7,585 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 60.0744

By the time Golf Digest named Chambers Bay as America's Best New Public Course of 2008, the USGA had already awarded the course the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open. At the Amateur, it proved to be hard, both in the firmness of its dry fescue turf (Jones called the fairways "hardwood floors") and its difficulties around and on the windswept greens. Some greens have been toned down, some fairways have been narrowed and a few new tee angles introduced. A nasty deep bunker now sits in the center of the 18th fairway.

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



Dom Furore
Roscommon, Mich. / 939-275-0700 / forestdunesgolf.com / Tom Weiskopf (2002) / 7,116 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 59.8400

Forest Dunes is another course, like Spyglass Hill, that has portions that look like Augusta National (pristine turf, pines and gleaming white sand bunkers) and other portions that look like Pine Valley (rugged holes edged by native sand dunes deposited by the nearby Au Sable River). Forest Dunes has clever greens with subtle contouring, with some treacherous pin positions, just beyond false fronts of steep putting surface or right beside fall-away ear lobes the lead off the sides of greens.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2007. Highest ranking: No. 18, 2009-10



Lanai City, Lanai, HI / 808-565-2222 / golfonlanai.com / Jack Nicklaus (1993) / 7,039 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 59.7004

If anything, this course, previously called The Challenge at Manele, should be even more popular than Mauna Kea, as it has not one, not two, but three ocean-cove holes, including the par-3 12th and dogleg-right par-4 17th. As it is, it ranks one position below and tiny fraction of a point behind Mauna Kea. Manele is used to being an underdog. It finished seventh in Golf Digest's ranking of Best New Resort Courses of 1994, well behind World Woods' Pine Barrens Course (which ranks No. 73 this year.)

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: Present



Hot Springs, Va. / 800-838-1766 / thehomestead.com / William Flynn (1923) / 6,667 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 59.6263

As Wayne Morrison and Tom Paul point out in their massive, comprehensive biography of William Flynn, Seth Raynor was originally consulted about building the course, but declared the property insufficient. So the relative unknown Flynn got the job and made the most of it. The topography of the course is magnificent, the bunkering is superb (particularly the crossbunkers on 12 and 13) and the course finishes with a rare par-3 18th. Cascades was ranked by Golf Digest as one of America's 100 Greatest for 40 years and is No. 142 on our exclusive Second 100 Greatest ranking in 2017.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 4, 2003-04



Meadows of Dan, Va. / 866-960-7746 / primland.com / Donald Steel (2006) / 7,053 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 59.3993

Just as Cascades is considered the one of nation's best mountain courses, so too is The Highland Course at Primland, named as 2007's Best New Public Course in the $75 and Over category. Primland sits atop a mountain plateau overlooking some of the most unusual scenery in America, a deep river valley dotted with tall spirals of rock. The course design by veteran British architect Donald Steel is austere in its green contours and bunkering, as if not to overpower the setting.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 13, 2011-12



Kohala Coast, HI / 808-882-5400 / maunakeabeachhotel.com / Robert Trent Jones (1965)/Rees Jones (R.2008) / 7,370 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 59.3677

The immediate thrill at Mauna Kea is its iconic par-3 third, a daunting tee shot over an ocean cove that's a great substitute for those unable to gain an invitation to tackle the 16th at Cypress Point. The remaining holes at Mauna Kea are thrilling, too, with constant views of the ocean, awkward lies on sloping fairways and roughs of crunchy lava rock.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 17, 2003-04



Bibawik, Minn. / 800-688-7669 / giantsridge.com / Jeff Brauer (2003) / 7,201 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 59.3134

It doesn't get the press that courses like Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Whistling Straits or Arcadia Bluffs, but The Quarry at Giants Ridge plays very links-like with its collection of fairway speed slots, greenside backboards and backstops and reverse camber greens. Its very inventive design also demands some aerial play, too. A standout is its 13th, a drivable par 4 that's nearly as wide as it is long, with three alternate routes to a 100-yard-wide green.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 16, 2005-06 & 2011-12



White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. / 855-453-4858 / greenbrier.com / C.B. Macdonald (1915)/Lester George (R.2006)/Steve Wenzloff (R.2010)/Keith Foster (R.2016) / 7,274 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 59.0874

C.B. Macdonald's nearly 100-year-old design of the Old White at The Greenbrier was always respected, but after Lester George's restoration (re-establishing such things as a Principal's Nose bunker and Dragon's Teeth mounds), Golf Digest panelists rediscovered its pleasures and ranked it the Best New Public Remodel of 2007. It now hosts The Greenbrier Classic, an annual event on the PGA Tour.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 29 in 2014-15



Stephen Szurlej
St. Simons Island, Ga. / 855-572-4975 / seaisland.com
Tom Fazio (1999) / 7,055 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 59.0067

The resort continues to credit H.S. Colt for its design, but in truth the present Seaside Course is purely Tom Fazio, who incorporated the original Colt-designed nine (called Seaside) and the Marshland nine designed in 1974 by Joe Lee to create a new 18-hole course. But in keeping with the resort's heritage, Fazio styled his new course in the manner of Colt, with big clamshell bunkers as well as exposed sand dunes off most of the windswept fairways.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 22, 2005-06



Stephen Szurlej
La Jolla, Calif. / 800-985-4653 / torreypinesgolfcourse.com / William F. Bell (1957)/Rees Jones (R. 2001) / 7,628 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.9138

Torrey Pines sits on one of the prettiest golf course sites in America, atop coastal bluffs north of San Diego with eye dazzling views of the Pacific. Rees Jones's remodeling of the South Course in the early 2000s not only made it competitive for the 2008 U.S. Open, it brought several coastal canyons into play for everyday golfers, especially on the par-3 third and par-4 14th. The USGA recently awarded Torrey Pines its second U.S. Open, to be held in 2021.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 38, 2013-14



Photo courtesy of SentryWorld
Stevens Point, Wis. / 715-345-1600 / www.sentryworld.com / Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1982)/Robert Trent Jones Jr., Bruce Charlton & Jay Blasi (2013) / 7,145 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.9121

The lush, tree-lined SentryWorld won Golf Digest's first-ever Best New Public award in early 1984, but never made our 100 Greatest Public ranking until this year, as the highest-ranking newcomer. Four years ago, Trent Jones Jr. partner Charlton and their former associate Blasi remodeled SentryWorld, rerouting four holes and adding a new par-3 12 and par-4 13th, but they preserved the famous "Flower Hole," the par-3 16th which uses petunias, snapdragons, marigolds, geraniums and other annuals grown on site as decorative hazards. The flower beds are treated as lateral hazards.

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Colorado Springs / 800-634-7711 / broadmoor.com / Donald Ross (9 1919)/Robert Trent Jones (A.9 1952)/Mark Mungeam (R.1993)/Ron Forse (R.2006) / 7,355 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.8292

Another classic mountain course, built hard against Cheyenne Mountain with green contours that pose optical illusions. Many putts that look uphill are actually running downhill. Few golfers recognize that the East is a combination of Donald Ross holes (one through six and 16 through 18) and Robert Trent Jones ones (holes seven to 15). It was the site of Jack Nicklaus's first U.S. Amateur win in 1959 and Annika Sorenstam's first U.S. Women's Open win in 1995. It has also hosted the 2008 U.S. Senior Open, won by Eduardo Romero, and 2011 U.S. Women's Open, won by So Yeon Ryu.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 22, 2007-08



Bend, Ore. / 866-372-1003 / pronghornclub.com / Jack Nicklaus (2003) / 7,379 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.7830

When it first opened, Pronghorn was strictly private and its Nicklaus Course was ranked second by Golf Digest among America's Best New Private Courses of 2004. Four years ago, the club (which also has a Fazio-designed 18) began allowing public play on its Nicklaus track. Its back nine may be the most delightful Jack has ever designed, with gambling holes and gorgeous scenery at every turn.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 23, 2011-12



Brewster, Wash. / 509-436-8323 / gamblesands.com / David McLay Kidd (2014) / 7,169 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.5935

Winner of Golf Digest's Best New Course of 2014 award, Gamble Sands, on a high plateau of sand overlooking the Columbia River Valley, is oversized in every respect, with enormously wide fairways, mammoth greens, no rough and the most panoramic vistas of any ranked course. Using "friendly contours" that divert shots away from bunkers and toward targets, designer Kidd wants everyone to have fun, maybe even shoot personal best scores. With three reachable par 4s on the 18, that's a possibility.

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present

Saucier, Miss. / 877-805-4657 / fallenoak.com / Tom Fazio (2006) / 7,487 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.5653

Although it didn't get built for another 15 years, Fallen Oak was first conceived in the early 1990s by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn soon after Tom Fazio had completed Shadow Creek. Wynn wanted Fazio to design a similar course for his Beau Rivage casino hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Wynn's empire got swallowed by MGM Grand, which ultimately had Fazio create Fallen Oak. Unlike Shadow Creek, it's built on rolling forest and wetlands, with no need for mammoth earth-moving.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 18, 2009-10



Bluffton, S.C. / 866-706-6565 / palmettobluff.com / Jack Nicklaus (2004) / 7,171 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.5588

Built some 35 years after nearby Harbour Town Golf Links, May River is an interesting contrast in Jack Nicklaus's portfolio. It's an equally low-profile layout with a number of bump-and-run approach shots but with several Pine Valley-like waste areas and with larger, bolder greens. The classic routing has the front nine turning clockwise through forest while the back nine circles counter-clockwise. Both touch repeatedly on the wetlands of namesake May River.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 22, 2009-12



Rhodes, Iowa / 641-227-4653 / harvestergolf.com / Keith Foster (2000) / 7,340 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.2981

The Harvester is a throwback design, incorporating the look, feel and playing qualities of classic old courses built 80 years ago by architects like Macdonald and Raynor. Holes that seem to emerge from the land, greens and bunkers have an angular appeal to them and other crisp-edged features flow in long horizons across the landscape. Harvester finished second among America's Best New Affordable Public Courses of 2001.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 21, 2005-06



Stephen Szurlej
Valentine, Neb. / 888-402-1101 / theprairieclub.com / Tom Lehman & Chris Brands (2010) / 8,058 Yards, Par 73 / Points: 58.1127

Both 18s at Nebraska's premier golf resort join the 100 Greatest Public this year. The Dunes Course, as the name implies, flows through a rumpled blanket landscape of the rugged, treeless, windswept sand hills of central Nebraska. Most fairways are generously broad, most greens are perched, tucked or otherwise half-hidden to reward only shots correctly placed at certain angles. The most fascinating hole comes early, the par-4 second with out-of-bounds indicated by a barbed-wire fence hard along the right from tee to green.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: No. 35, 2015-16



Joey Terrill
San Martin, Calif. / 408-695-4590 / cordevalle.com / Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1999) / 7,169 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 58.0503

Located in the little-known but abundant golfing area south of San Jose, the gorgeous CordeValle was a private club when it first opened, but is a high-end resort destination these days, with climbing and descending soft hills dotted by gnarled oaks. It hosted both the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur and PGA Tour's Frys.com Open in 2013 and was the site of the U.S. Women's Open in 2016.

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



West Point, Miss. / 662-494-6463 / oldwaverly.com / Bob Cupp & Jerry Pate (1988) / 7,000 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.9773

A carefully crafted design, Old Waverly was No. 3 among Best New Private Courses in 1989 and was the site of Juli Inkster's only U.S. Women's Open win, in 1999. It has twice been ranked among America's 100 Greatest, from 1995 to 1998 and from 2005 to 2006. Five years ago, the former private club became semi-private, began accepting outside play and soon made our ranking of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses. It now genuinely serves as a country club for the day.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 29, 2011-12



Pebble Beach / 800-654-9300 / pebblebeach.com / Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom Watson & Sandy Tatum (1987) / 6,821 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.9617

The Links at Spanish Bay was the first true links course built in America in many decades, but it took years for conveyor belts to deposit sand atop exposed bed rock to return this mined-out sand quarry back to a linkland site. The trio of designers, playfully dubbed "The Holy Trinity," thoughtfully shaped an 18 that looks natural, plays strategically and is sensitive to the coastal wetland environment.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: Present



Haven, Wis. / 855-444-2838 / whistlingstraits.com / Pete Dye (2000) / 7,201 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.8250

The Irish Course has the same manufactured dunescape found on its more famous sister Straits Course, but has three major differences. The fairways are bent grass, not fescue. Carts are allowed, although confined to cart paths. (It's walking only on the Straits. Both 18s are relatively easy to walk.) And the Irish has the only blind par 3 found at Whistling Straits, the 13th playing 183 yards over sand hills to a huge green ringed by more than a dozen bunkers. It doesn't get more Irish than that.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 30, 2009-10



Sandia Park, N.M. / 866-898-5987 / paakoridge.com / Ken Dye (2000) / 7,562 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.8193

Paa-Ko Ridge, Golf Digest's Best New Affordable Public Course of 2000, is quite long from the tips and regular tees. Yes, a golf ball carries farther at its 6,500-foot elevation, but Paa-Ko also plays long because both nines work up mountain foothills for several holes before playing downhill. The 496-yard par-4 seventh is the same shape and dimensions as the 10th at Augusta National and the back tees of the par-4 17th, atop a butte, affords perhaps the best vista in New Mexico. There are very wide and deep greens here, too, so a depth chart is a must.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 20, 2005-06



La Quinta, Calif. / 800-742-9378 / pgawest.com / Pete Dye (1986) / 7,300 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.8143

Originally private, the TPC Stadium Course (the original 18 at PGA West) finished third in Golf Digest's survey of Best New Private Courses of 1986. It was also once among the rota of courses for the old Bob Hope Desert Classic, until some pros, objecting to its difficulty, petitioned to remove it. It's Pete Dye at his rambunctious best, with a finish that mimics his later design at TPC Sawgrass: a gambling par-5 16th (called San Andres Fault), a short par-3 17th to an island green and an intimidating par-4 18th with water hard against the left edge all the way to the green.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 38, 2013-14



Mesquite, Nev. / 866-252-4653 / golfwolfcreek.com / Dennis Rider (2000) / 6,939 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.7993

Wolf Creek is a fantasy calendar come to life, with holes clinging to stark canyon hillsides and plunging down narrow ravines. A genuine amateur architect design (although Jim Engh provided an early routing), Wolf Creek finished third in Golf Digest's survey of America's Best New Upscale Public Courses of 2001, behind Pacific Dunes and Arcadia Shores. All three are now ranked among America's 100 Greatest Public Courses.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 21, 2009-10

West End, N.C. / 855-955-1999 / dormieclub.com / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2010) / 6,883 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 57.6412

Conceived as an exclusive private club just a few miles north of Pinehurst, the economic downturn forced owners to open its doors to outside play. The design is typical of Coore and Crenshaw, a timeless look where holes often play to targets obscured by landforms, bunkers or ground-hugging green contours. Play it soon. One never knows when Dormie will revert to its original business plan.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 30, 2013-14

Photo credit: Sean Ogle, Breakingeighty.com

Sunriver, Ore. / 800-801-8765 / sunriver-resort.com / Bob Cupp (1995) / 7,683 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.5239

Part of Crosswater was reportedly built in the meadow where John Wayne, as Rooster Cogburn, filmed his climactic charge with guns blazing in the 1969 film, True Grit. The Bob Cupp design is far more subtle than a Wayne western, with low-profile greens edged by graceful chipping areas and fairways intersected repeatedly by the Big and Little Dechutes rivers. Crosswater was Golf Digest's Best New Resort Course of 1995.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 32, 2007-08


(53) COG HILL G. & C.C. (NO. 4)

Lemont, Ill. / 866-264-4455 / coghillgolf.com / Dick Wilson (1965) / 7,554 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.4549

Some tour pros were critical of Rees Jones's remodeling of Cog Hill No. 4, insisting it's too hard for high handicappers. What did they expect? Its nickname is, after all, Dubsdread. And there are three easier courses at Cog Hill for high handicappers. Original owner Joe Jemsek wanted a ball-busting championship course when it was built back in the mid-1960s. Jones's renovation was true to the philosophy of original architect Dick Wilson, who liked to pinch fairways with bunkers and surround greens with more bunkers, all of them deep.

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

Havre de Grace, Md. / 888-285-5375 / bullerock.com / Pete Dye (1998) / 7,375 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 57.4136

This great course is built on the old Blenheim Farm, which had been the home of many thoroughbred race horses. Indeed, Bulle Rock is named for a direct descendant of the very first thoroughbred stud brought to America. Pete Dye's bold design spreads over 275 acres, with no homesites or amenities other than golf. Besides being named America's Best New Upscale Public Course of 1998, Bulle Rock hosted the LPGA Championship from 2005 through 2009.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 33, 2005-06



Stanwood, Mich. / 800-972-4837 / tullymoregolf.com / Jim Engh (2001) / 7,250 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.3897

Architect Jim Engh doesn't do conventional. He does controversial. His Tullymore design in central Michigan has probably the longest, skinniest set of putting surfaces of any course on America's 100 Greatest Public, along with the longest, skinniest set of bunkers, most of which are deep trenches with repeating curvaceous banks that bring to mind Art Deco. Tullymore was Golf Digest's Best New Upscale Public Course of 2002, and was also ranked among America's 100 Greatest from 2007-2010.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 14, 2007-08



Myrtle Beach / 855-409-2177 / thedunesclub.net / Robert Trent Jones (1949)/Robert Trent Jones (R. 1959)/Roger Rulewich (R.1999)/Rees Jones (R.2013) / 7,195 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.3869

Its ocean-side dunes are mostly covered with turfgrass and mature trees now, but when Robert Trent Jones built The Dunes back in the late 1940s, the property was primarily windswept sand dotted with lagoons. Those lakes come in prominently on many holes, particularly on the 11th through 13th, dubbed Alligator Alley. (The boomerang-shaped par-5 13th is called Waterloo.) The home hole, with a pond in front of the green, started as a gambling par 5 but today is a daunting par 4.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 15, 2003-04



Sanford, N.C. / 877-284-3762 / tobaccoroadgolf.com / Mike Strantz (1999) / 6,554 Yards, Par 71 | Points: 57.3033

The late Mike Strantz was the game's most unconventional course designer, and Tobacco Road was perhaps the best example of his unorthodoxy. In the horse-drawn-carriage neighborhood of Pinehurst No. 2, he created a landscape more suitable for motocross racing, with mammoth hills and deep craters. Each hole looks intimidating from the tee but reveals plenty of elbow room for tee shots and approaches, as well as spin-outs and crash landings.

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

Boulder City, Nev. / 702-294-2005 / golfcascata.com / Rees Jones (2001) / 7,137 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.2911

One of the great engineering feats in golf thus far in this century, Cascata climbs up and down a steep, rocky mountain hillside southeast of Las Vegas. It's authentically Nevada on the edges, the barren areas akin to Wolf Creek in Mesquite, but its turfed areas, planted with date palms, ironwoods and willows, and crossed by endless babbling brooks, is something of a salute to nearby Shadow Creek. Cascata plays mostly uphill on the front, downhill on the longer back nine. The ninth tee is 600 feet above the clubhouse; it reportedly snowed on the ninth one day while people were dining on the clubhouse patio below.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 46 in 2015-16



Tower, Minn. / 800-992-4680 / golfthewilderness.com / Jeff Brauer (2004) / 7,207 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.2500

In 2005, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay won America's Best New Upscale Public Course, a year after architect Jeff Brauer won the same award for No. 25 The Quarry at Giant's Ridge, also in northern Minnesota. Where The Quarry uses slopes and ramps, Wilderness rewards aerial play, with some high-low alternate fairways, lake-edged greens and a pair of drop-shot par 3s. As we wrote back in 2005, "its options outnumber its rock outcroppings, and there are outcroppings galore."

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 40, 2011-12



Brainerd, Minn. / 800-642-5363 / maddens.com / Scott Hoffmann, with Geoffrey Cornish, John Harris & Warren Rebholz (1996) / 7,102 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.1828

The Classic is a genuine amateur architect design, although course superintendent Scott Hoffmann consulted with veteran course architect Geoff Cornish as well as others when creating The Classic at Madden's. It's beautiful but not for the faint of heart, a hilly course with some narrow, pine-lined fairways and occasional challenging shots over water from sidehill or downhill lies. But, like other multiple course operations such as Bethpage and Cog Hill, Madden's has easier alternate layouts for high-handicappers.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 33, 2003-04



Green Lake, Wis. / 800-529-4453 / lawsonia.com / William Langford & Theodore Moreau (1930)/Ron Forse (R.2014) / 6,853 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.1355

The geometric shapes and steep, angular slopes of Lawsonia's massive green pads and deep bunkers have led many to conclude it's a Seth Raynor design, which it is not. Langford and Moreau built the course using steamshovels, which resulted in most of those distinctive landforms. The par-3 seventh has another explanation entirely. Its green, perched like a birthday cake, was formed by piling dirt over an old railroad boxcar.

100 Greatest Public History: Since 2015-16. Highest ranking: Present



Kohler, Wis. / 855-444-2838 / blackwolfrun.com / Pete Dye (9 1988, A.9 1989) / 7,250 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.0049

Even before Pete Dye completed the River Course at Blackwolf Run, he had taken the front nine of the original Blackwolf Course (Best New Resort winner of 1988) and merged it with a newly-constructed nine to form the Meadows Valley Course. Although the Sheboygan River isn't in play as much on Meadows Valley as it is on the River (the 18th hole plays over it), there are plenty of deep bunkers and tricky pin positions.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 60, 2011-12



Courtesy of Trump National Doral
Doral, Fla. / 305-592-2000 / trumpgolfdoral.com / Dick Wilson (1961)/Gil Hanse & Jim Wagner (R. 2013) / 7,590 Yards, Par 72 Points: 56.9936

The linchpin of the famous four-course complex previously known as Doral Golf Resort, the Blue Monster had hosted a PGA Tour event annually from 1962 to 2016. The fearsome layout has been given added bite by Hanse and Wagner by creation of new slopes and ridges on several holes and the excavation of new lakes on par-3 15 and drivable par-4 16 to add more excitement to the finish. But they wisely left the legendary 18th nearly untouched. Why mess with history?

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Northern California Golf Association
Pebble Beach / 831-625-1513 / poppyhillsgolf.com / Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1986)/Robert Trent Jones Jr. & Bruce Charlton (2013) / 7,002 Yards, Par 71 | Points: 56.9653

When originally built, Poppy Hills had unpopular perched greens framed by massive containment mounds. Following a 2013 remodeling by Jones and Charlton, it's now a graceful, low-profile layout. "We popped the hills at Poppy Hills," says Trent Jr. A new feature are sandy naturalized areas and pine straw off the fairways instead of manicured rough, part of a concerted effort to significantly reduce water consumption.

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Bend, Ore. / 541-388-2582 / tetherow.com / David McLay Kidd (2008) / 7,298 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.9440

A decade after David McLay Kidd established his architectural reputation with the original Bandon Dunes course, he returned to Oregon, settled in Bend and built another dazzling course, Tetherow. Far different than Bandon, with a manufactured landscape of lumps and bumps, far more bunkers, plus a couple of lakes, it nonetheless has the same fescue as at Bandon, so tee shots get plenty of roll and some approach shots can be bounced into flagsticks.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 54 in 2015-16



Pinehurst, N.C. / 800-487-4653 / pinehurst.com / Tom Fazio (1996) / 7,092 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 56.8839

Located not within the Pinehurst Resort complex but about a mile north, Pinehurst No. 8 is one of Tom Fazio's most versatile designs, as each hole plays differently from the previous. The front nine is mostly tree-lined, the back more open, with both touching on ponds, marsh and Pine Valley-like sandy wastelands. For putting surfaces, Fazio built crowned greens with greenside swales, intended as a salute to Donald Ross and Pinehurst No. 2.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 44, 2005-06



Nashport, Ohio / 740-763-1100 / thevirtuesgolfclub.com / Arthur Hills (1999) / 7,243 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.8575

Course designer Art Hills called The Virtues (formerly known as Longaberger) "probably as beautiful as piece a property as I've had to work with." Told to route the course to preserve as many trees as possible, Hills made the brawny Virtues course wander gracefully from ridge top to valley, testing every shot with uphill, downhill and sidehill lies. It's Hills's most natural design, and it won Golf Digest's award for Best New Upscale Public Course of 2000.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 51, 2013-14



Stephen Szurlej
Gordonsville, Va. / 540-832-0744 / springcreekgolfclub.com / Ed Carton (2006) / 7,389 Yards, Par 72 | Points: 56.8557

Spring Creek was an upset winner of Golf Digest's 2007 award for America's Best New Public Course Under $75. With its sprawling bent-grass fairways and greens framed by a dense forest of hardwoods and massive sculpted bunkers, the course looks like a Tom Fazio design, for good reason. Designer Ed Carton learned the business working for Fazio, but he achieved Spring Creek at a fraction of a Fazio budget.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 55 in 2015-16



Farmington, Pa. / 800-422-2736 / nemacolin.com / Pete Dye (1995)/Pete Dye (R.2002) / 7,550 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.8271

Mystic Rock is one of the more curious courses Pete Dye ever designed, with mostly oval greens and rectangular bunkers. Because many holes were blasted from rock, some holes have fields of boulders in the rough and all water hazards are bulkheaded with stacked stone. The course concludes with Dye's favorite finish, a gambling par-5 16th, a 17th over water (in this case, 205 yards) and a now-strong par-4 18th. Mystic Rock's 18th was rebuilt and lengthened before the course hosted a PGA Tour event, the 84 Lumber Classic from 2003 to 2006.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 60 in 2015-16



Southern Pines, N.C. / 800-747-7272/ pineneedles-midpines.com / Donald Ross (1928)/Donald Ross (R.1937)/John Fought (R.2004)/Kyle Franz (R.2016) / 7,015 Yards, Par 71 | Points: 56.8203

Whenever golfers visit Pinehurst, they always book rounds at Pinehurst No. 2 as well as the others at the resort. Pine Needles, just down the highway in Southern Pines, often gets overlooked. It shouldn't, especially since its Donald Ross heritage has been reinforced by a restoration by John Fought over 10 years ago. Pine Needles has hosted three U.S. Women's Opens, so was it being overlooked when the 2014 U.S. Women's Open was conducted at Pinehurst No. 2? No. The USGA has already indicated that Pine Needles will host another in the future.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked 2003-04 & since 2007. Highest ranking: No. 43, 2007-08



Courtesy of Troy Burne G.C.
Hudson, Wis. / 877-888-8633 / www.troyburne.com / Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry & Tom Lehman (1999) / 7,034 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 56.7991

Drawing upon Lehman's extensive PGA Tour experience, Hurdzan and Fry created an 18 that several Golf Digest panelists consider among the best in terms of risks and rewards. Farm fields were transformed into recessed fairways framed by muscular mounds and dotted by over 120 deep sprawling bunkers. The putting surfaces are large and contain many ridges, placing a premium on both approach shots and long putting. The namesake burn gurgles along several back nine holes, a manmade cascading stream flowing from an upper lake to a lower one.

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Gothenburg, Neb. / 308-537-7700 / playwildhorse.com / Dan Proctor & Dave Axland (1999) / 6,955 yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.7582

Proctor and Axland, two of the country's best golf course shapers (they've worked on many Coore & Crenshaw projects) also team on occasion to build high-quality, low-profile, low-budget daily-fee layouts. Wild Horse is perhaps their finest, laid out on the southern edge of the Nebraska sand hills and patterned after the great Sand Hills Golf Club to the northwest, which both Proctor and Axland helped build. With green fees under $50 on weekdays and just over $50 on weekends, Wild Horse is a true bargain among America's 100 Greatest Public.

100 Greatest Public History: Since 2015-16. Highest ranking: Present



Wolcott, Colo. / 970-754-8425 / redskygolfclub.com / Tom Fazio (2002) / 7,113 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.7541

The companion to No. 81 Norman Course at Red Sky, the Fazio 18 features more elevation change, with the mostly open front nine atop a bluff dotted with hand-planted sage and juniper bushes and the back nine rising in switchback fashion far up a mountain slope through groves of aspen before plunging downhill on the final three holes. The bunkers here are some of Fazio's most elaborate.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: Present



Bay Harbor, Mi. / 231-439-4028 / bayharborgolf.com / Arthur Hills, with Stephen Kircher (9 1996, A.9 1998) / 6,724 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 56.7435

One of three grand "new Pebble Beaches" that debuted in the late 1990s, Bay Harbor was ranked third in Golf Digest's survey of Best New Upscale Public Courses of 1999, behind the twin juggernauts (and fellow Pebble Beach clones) Bandon Dunes and Whistling Straits. Bay Harbor consists of 27 holes, but we rank its Links 9, which plays mostly on a plateau overlooking Lake Michigan, and its Quarry 9, which dips in and out of a lakefront stone quarry.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 23, 2007-08



Brooksville, Fla. / 352-796-5500 / worldwoods.com / Tom Fazio (1993) / 7,259 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 56.7358

Back when Golf Digest's named the Pine Barrens Course at World Woods' America's Best New Resort Course of 1994, most panelists said the layout, carved from a sand-based pine plantation, compared favorably to Pine Valley, with similar belts of sand and vegetation lining each hole. Pine Barrens also has some canyons of sand that jut into fairways and pose risks and rewards. The Pine Barrens Course was ranked among America's 100 Greatest from 1999 until 2003.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 26, 2003-06



Kauai, Hawaii / 808-826-1912 / makaigolf.com / Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1972) / 7,223 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.7332

The first solo design of Robert Trent Jones Jr., Makai (called Princeville Makai when it opened in 1972) is situated on bluffs overlooking Kauai's Hanalei Bay and pipeline surf. Two of its three nines (the Lake and Ocean 9s) were re-grassed and re-bunkered in 2009 by Jones and partner Bruce Charlton, who also re-established the width of several holes. The untouched Woods 9, now considered the resort's walking course, provides a graphic reminder of how golf has changed in 43 years.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 65 in 2015-16



Getty Images
Verona, N.Y. / 877-748-4653 / turningstone.com / Tom Fazio (2004) / 7,315 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.7183

A stern championship test for a casino resort destination, Tom Fazio's Atunyote features a pond or wetlands in play on three of the first nine holes and on all but one hole on the back nine. Only a handful of holes play in mature woods, the rest have newly planted trees that are rapidly maturing. Atunyote hosted the 2006 BC Open on the PGA Tour, which became the Turning Stone Resort Championship in 2007 through 2010.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 52 in 2014-15



Newport Coast, Calif. / 800-315-8214 / pelicanhill.com / Tom Fazio (1991)/Tom Fazio (R.2007) / 6,580 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 56.6794

One highlight of Pelican Hill's Ocean South Course, which was Golf Digest's Best New Resort Course of 1992, are the 12th and 13th, back-to-back par 3s tucked on a ledge just above the Pacific Ocean, the latter hole with alternate greens. Although the rest of the course is farther from the coastline, mostly on highlands above the Pacific Coast highway, the entire 18 offers spectacular views and short but tricky holes.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 61 in 2015-16



J.D. Cuban
Austin / 866-572-7369 / bartoncreek.com / Tom Fazio (2000) / 7,153 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.6485

Unlike its older brother, the Fazio Foothills Course, which had been ranked among America's 100 Greatest Public in 2011-2012, the Fazio Canyons Course at Omni Barton Creek has wider corridors, softer slopes and more gentle bunkering. But it has plenty of water in play in the form of streams, creeks and ponds. The 561-yard 18th plays twice over the same serpentine boulder-edged creek.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2007. Highest ranking: No. 42, 2013-14



Acme, Mich. / 231-534-6000 / grandtraverseresort.com / Jack Nicklaus (1984) / 7,078 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.5985

Another out-and-back routing (the eighth green is the farthest point from the clubhouse), the Nicklaus-designed Bear leap-frogs over 12 water hazards between first and last hole. Built at the height of the mania of difficult golf, The Bear had at one time the highest course and slope ratings in the country. But that phase has passed. They no longer even post them on the scorecard.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 72, 2013-14



Williamsburg, Va. / 800-648-6653 / colonialwilliamsburg.com / Robert Trent Jones (1963)/Rees Jones (R.1997 & 2016) / 6,817 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 56.5975

Back in 1966, Golden Horseshoe was ranked among America's 200 Toughest Courses by Golf Digest. How times change. In 2012, we ranked The Gold Course as one of America's 50 Most Fun Public Courses. "Trent Jones in his kinder, gentler persona," we wrote. "Even the island green seventh hole is a generous target."

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 32, 2009-10



North Plains, Ore. / 503-647-4747 / pumpkinridge.com / Bob Cupp (1992) / 6,839 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 56.4405

The once and future king of golf, Pumpkin Ridge's Ghost Creek Course was Golf Digest's Best New Public Course of 1992 and, with spectator vantage points installed during construction, was expected to host major championships. But the 1996 U.S. Amateur (the third and final win by Tiger Woods), the 1997 and 2003 U.S. Women's Opens and 2006 U.S. Women's Amateur were all played on the club's private 18, Witch Hollow. Still, a major could be in the cards for Ghost Creek someday. It's that good.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 48, 2005-06



Wolcott, Colo. / 866-873-3759 / redskygolfclub.com / Greg Norman (2003) / 7,580 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.4244

There are two 18s at Red Sky Ranch, one by Greg Norman, the other designed by Tom Fazio, No. 71 on this year's ranking. Public play on each alternates on a daily basis. A ridgeline separates the two courses (the ridge designated as a wildlife corridor), with the Norman 18 positioned on an old sheep ranch on the western slope, affording long-range views of the Rockies to the west and south as well as gorgeous sunsets. Typical of a Norman design, the greens are big but docile and the bunkering is plentiful and dramatically shaped.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 70, 2013-14



Kailua-Kona, Hawaii / 808-325-8480 / hualalairesort.com / Jack Nicklaus (1996) / 7,117 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.4003

Hualalai has long hosted an annual Champions Tour stop. In 2015, it was the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Laid out entirely on ancient jagged lava fields, the course moves up and across slopes for much of the front nine, returns to the clubhouse at 14 and then descends toward the sea, with the often-photographed par-3 17th right on the coast. Like the Greg Norman-designed 16th at TPC San Antonio, the Nicklaus-designed par-3 12th at Hualalai features a bunker smack in the center of the green. Obviously, that feature is a favorite of tour pro designers.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: Present



San Antonio, Tex. / 888-363-6036 / tpcsanantonio.com / Greg Norman, with Sergio Garcia (2010) / 7,435 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.3947

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Oaks Course, current host of the Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour, are not the thousands of squat live oaks which edge most holes, but the vertical limestone back edges of several bunkers, formed when those bunkers were literally chiseled or blasted from the subsurface rock. The walls of rock add distinctive beauty and a bit of intimidation factor. Luckily for golfers, most of the bunkers don't have a hard rock edge to them. That includes the bunker positioned in the middle of the green on the par-3 16th. It's intimidating in a whole different way.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: No. 68, 2015-16



Sheboygan Falls, Wis. / 800-584-3285 / golfthebull.com / Jack Nicklaus (2003) / 7,354 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.2102

Located less than a half mile down a highway from Blackwolf Run (thus reinforcing the old adage that great golf comes in clusters), The Bull was built from a legendary cattle operation breeding champion Holsteins that was indeed called Pinehurst Farms. The 18 weaves around homesites for the first three holes, then alternates stretches of holes into thick pines and back out onto pasture. Nicklaus designed a couple of interesting dual fairway holes and a surprising number of cross hazards.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 70, 2015-16



Pawleys Island, S.C. / 800-483-6800 / fishclub.com / Mike Strantz (1994) / 6,526 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 56.1822

Caledonia, the first solo design in the short, brilliant career of Mike Strantz, is an 18 shoehorned into an oak-dotted sand-dune parcel so tight that the ninth is a pitch-shot par 3 over the entry road to a wide green that's smaller than the bunker fronting it. No room for a practice range, either. Players use the one across the highway at sister course True Blue, another Strantz gem.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked 2003-10 & since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 66, 2009-10



Peoria, Ariz. / 928-501-1500 / quinterogolf.com / Rees Jones & Steve Weisser (2000) / 7,208 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 56.0746

Perhaps no course in the greater Phoenix area provides a better experience of the area's diverse topography. Some holes are framed by mountain ridges, others are out in the Sonoran desert. Still others are edged by manmade irrigation lakes or natural desert washes. Holes like the par-5 eighth and par-4 14th climb up long slopes, while dazzling par 3s at six and 16 plunge dramatically downhill. Quintero, a former private club, is a scenic and playable delight.

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



French Lick, Ind. / 888-936-9360 / frenchlick.com / Donald Ross (1922)/Lee Schmidt (R.2006) / 7,030 Yards, Par 70 / Points: 56.0154

Even before the Donald Ross Course at French Lick hosted the 1924 PGA Championship, one golf writer gushed, "It's the kind of course that would make an old hard-nosed Scot stand on the first tee and cry like a baby. This course is no place for prissy fashion boys. People don't perspire on it, they sweat." While the far newer Pete Dye Course at French Lick now better resembles that description, the Ross Course, faithfully restored by Lee Schmidt, is much as it was back in 1922, a timeless classic design.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 83, 2015-16



J.D. Cuban
Eatonton, Ga. / 800-800-5250 / reynoldsplantation.com / Jack Nicklaus (1992) / 6,698 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.9832

Early in his design career, Jack Nicklaus said he would design resort courses differently than championship ones. Great Waters is a vivid example of that intent. With a routing that features 10 holes on Lake Oconee, Jack and his associate Jim Lipe worked hard to vary the encounters with water. On one hole it's a carry off a tee, on another, it's beside a green, while on a couple, it's a cove in front of a green. Every encounter features a generous bailout option. Another concession to resort golfers: the greens are big but simple, with few complex contours.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked 2003-08 & 2015-present. Highest ranking: No. 61, 2005-06



Stephen Szurlej
Valentine, Neb. / 888-402-1101 / theprairieclub.com / Graham Marsh (2010) / 7,403 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.9404

Not as pure a Nebraska sandhills experience as sister Dunes Course, which is ranked No. 41, the Pines Course has just 11 holes playing in the tumbling prairie topography. It repeatedly touches the edge of a deep canyon formed by the Snake River. Those seven holes (6 & 7, 10 & 11 and 16 through 18) are lined with tall pines and cedars and bring to mind a collection of holes in the Colorado Rockies. For pure golfing variety, Prairie Club rivals even Bandon Dunes.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: Present



Verona, N.Y. / 877-748-4653 / turningstone.com / Robert Trent Jones Jr. & Ty Butler (2003) / 7,105 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.9066

Another course at New York's Turning Stone Resort ranked among the Top 100 Public, Kaluhyat opened a year before sister course, No. 75 Atunyote. Kaluhyat is an out-and-back routing (like The Bear at Grand Traverse, the eighth green is farthest from the clubhouse) on a hilly piece of property, with 50 feet of elevation change. It has more forested holes, more water hazards and forced carries than Atunyote.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 71, 2013-14


(76) LINVILLE (N.C.) G.C.

Linville, N.C. / 800-742-6717 / eseeola.com / Donald Ross (1926) / 6,959 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.8943

It's not the oldest course in North Carolina. That was an earlier Linville Golf Club. This one, in much the same location, is a Donald Ross design started in 1922 that took four years to complete. It has a surprising number of parallel holes and a surprising number of unbunkered greens, but several holes are menaced by Grandmother Creek and nearly all of them afford views of Grandfather Mountain.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 76, 2015-16



Lake Tahoe, Nev. / 888-881-8659 / edgewoodtahoe.com / George Fazio (1968)/Ronald Fream (1980)/Tom Fazio (2008) / 7,529 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.8676

Tom Fazio, now one of the premier designers of all time, was just 20 years old when he supervised construction of Edgewood Tahoe for his uncle, George Fazio. The original design was low budget and simple in concept, so as not to compete with the stunning scenery of its Lake Tahoe locale. But the course has since been periodically upgraded by Tom. The result was a 100 Greatest Public ranking from 2003 until 2013. After a two-year absence, the popular celebrity tournament venue is back on the list. Here's an obscure fact: when you step from the eighth green to ninth tee, you move from Nevada into California.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked from 2003-13 and present. Highest ranking: Present



Courtesy of Mid-Pines GC
Southern Pines, N.C. / 910-692-9362 / pineneedles-midpines.com / Donald Ross (1921)/Kyle Franz (R.2013) / 6,723 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.8618

What began as a private retreat called Knollwood, funded by Roaring Twenties millionaires like James Barber, Horace Rackham and Henry Ford, is now a charming public Donald Ross design, revitalized by young first-time designer Kyle Franz in the style of nearby Pinehurst No. 2, on whose restoration crew Franz had worked. Mid-Pines now features acres of exposed sand instead of traditional rough and marvelous naturalized bunkers protecting small, perched putting surfaces. Any trip to Pinehurst should include a round on this gem.

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Getty Images
Belgrade Lakes, Maine / 207-495-4653 / belgradelakesgolf.com / Clive Clark (1998) / 6,723 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 55.8371

Brit Clive Clark was a five-time winner on the European Tour before becoming a well-regarded course architect in Great Britain. Belgrade Lakes, his first design in America, involved the carving of holes through pine forest and the blasting of half a million tons of glacial rock. Holes not lined with towering trees are framed by huge piles of gray boulders, some piles nearly 20 feet high. The effect is definitely unique.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked from 2003-10 and present. Highest ranking: No. 63, 2005-06 and 2009-10



Stephen Szurlej
Bronx, N.Y. / 718-414-1555 / trumpferrypoint.com / John Sanford, Jack Nicklaus & Jim Lipe (2014) / 7,407 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.8283

Originally planned as a private Nicklaus design atop a decommissioned city dump, Ferry Point became a NYC muny when the private developer went belly up. Sanford, experienced in landfill projects, teamed with Nicklaus and Jack's former chief associate Lipe to win the competitive bid to create a U.S. Open-worthy layout just off the Whitestone Bridge. President Trump does not own this course. His golf operation company merely leases it under a long-term contract with the city. A faux links with plenty of pot bunkers and gorgeous golden rough each fall, Ferry Point proves the Bronx can be beautiful.

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Dom Furore
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho / 208-667-4653 / cdaresort.com / Scott Miller (1991) / 6,803 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 55.8191

Everybody plays Coeur d'Alene Resort for the experience of hitting to its famous floating island green par-3 14th, which is certainly worth the trip. But the rest of the immaculate par 71 design is terrific too, especially its four other par 3 holes, including the back-to-back downhill fifth and sixth with Lake Coeur d'Alene as their backdrop.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2009. Highest ranking: No. T74, 2011-12



Newport Coast, Calif. / 877-735-4226 / pelicanhill.com / Tom Fazio (1991)/Tom Fazio (R.2007) / 6,825 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 55.7798

The slightly younger companion to No. 76 Ocean South at Pelican Hill, the Ocean North Course (previously called the Links Course) is a bit longer and a bit farther inland. Some holes are on higher plateaus, too, which provide for even more scenic Pacific vistas. Only one pond is in play, on the inside corner of the par-5 17th, but deep canyons must be carried several times during a round, including on the approach off the dogleg right 18th.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked 2005-06, 2011–present. Highest ranking: No. 80, 2011-12



Fort McDowell, Ariz. / 866-660-7700 / wekopa.com / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2006) / 6966 Yards, Par 71 / Points: 55.7588

The challenge for the dynamic duo of Coore and Crenshaw was to translate their low-profile design philosophy into a gentle desert setting. They did so by creating many elevated tee pads, carving fairways along desert washes, liberally bunkering many holes and boldly shaping several greens. A favorite is the putting surface on the par-3 fifth, with a sweeping bank to the right leading down to a hollow on the left. Crenshaw calls it their "toboggan run."

100 Greatest Public History: Newly ranked. Highest ranking: Present



Choctaw, Miss. / 866-447-3275 / dancingrabbitgolf.com / Tom Fazio & Jerry Pate (1997) / 7,128 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.7551

Each hole is framed by towering oaks and pines, but it's thousands of azaleas that transform Dancing Rabbit's Azaleas Course into a public Augusta National each spring. Creeks meander through the course, guarding targets on several holes, but the only pond in play edges the long, narrow 18th green. The same designers also did Dancing Rabbit's other 18, the Oaks Course, which could someday be a contender for 100 Greatest Public. A decade ago, Hurricane Katrina performed an impromptu remodeling of it, removing over a thousand trees. Somehow, the Azaleas Course was left untouched.

100 Greatest Public History: Ranked 2003-08 & present. Highest ranking: No. 70, 2005-06



Austin / 512-329-4000 / bartoncreek.com /Tom Fazio (1986) / 7,125 Yards, Par 72 / Points: 55.6430

Long known for the natural limestone cave incorporated as a hazard on the par-5 18th - the "spelunker bunker" - Fazio Foothills, the original 18 at Omni Barton Creek, is now over 30 years old. Most holes play downhill (uphill transitions handled between holes), has more grass depressions than sand bunkers, lots of exposed rock and perhaps Fazio's earliest drivable par 4 at No. 12. The course is closed in the summer of 2017 to refurbish the design with new irrigation and turf, some reworked bunkers and additional tees. It will reopen by fall, 2017.