In the late 1960s, Jack Nicklaus landed the design contract for Harbour Town, then turned it over to his new partner, Pete Dye, who was determined to distinguish his work from that of rival Robert Trent Jones. Soon after Harbour Town opened in late November 1969 (with a victory by Arnold Palmer in the Heritage Classic), the course debuted on America’s 100 Greatest as one of the Top 10. It was a total departure for golf at the time. No mounds, no elevated tees, no elevated greens—just low-profile and abrupt change. Tiny greens hung atop railroad ties directly over water hazards. Trees blocked direct shots. Harbour Town gave Pete Dye national attention and put Jack Nicklaus, who made more than 100 inspection trips in collaborating with Dye, in the design business. Pete’s wife, Alice, also contributed, instructing workers on the size and shape of the unique 13th green, a sinister one edged by cypress planks.
100 Greatest: Ranked from 1971-2014. Highest ranking: No. 29, 1985-'86.
Second 100 Greatest: Ranked since 2015. 2021-'22 ranking: No. 142.
100 Greatest Public: Ranked since the inaugural edition in 2003. Highest ranking: No. 10, 2003-'04. 2021-'22 ranking: No. 25.
Best in State: Ranked inside the top five since 2011.