Photo by Stephen Szurlej
This is where golf architect 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. Hard to fathom that National Golf Links of America was not ranked in the 100 Greatest from 1969 until 1985.
100 Greatest: Ranked 1967-1968 & since 1985.
2023-'24 ranking: 7th (highest)
Previous ranking: 8th.
Best in State: Ranked Top 5 in New York in 1989 & since 1993; Top 10 from 1983-1987 & 1991.
Current ranking: 2nd since 2015.