The American Express

La Quinta, Calif.


Course Rankings

Crooked Stick Golf Club

April 29, 2021

Dave Sansom/Courtesy of Crooked Stick

106. Crooked Stick Golf Club

Pete Dye (1967)/Pete Dye (2008)

Crooked Stick is the course where Pete Dye became Pete Dye. Conceived following an extended tour of British courses, Pete founded Crooked Stick, located the land, raised the funds and designed the course, rejecting conventional golf holes in favor of radical ones, using bulkheads of vertical telephone poles to create abrupt change and long expanses of sand to emulate dunes. What’s more, he built it himself, pressing even his wife, Alice, and young sons Perry and P.B. into construction work. They opened the back nine first, in 1965, with Mackenzie-style boomerang greens; the front nine came two years later, with lines and angles appropriated from Donald Ross. Crooked Stick was the first Dye course to host a major championship, the 1991 PGA Championship.

100 Greatest/Second 100 Greatest History: Ranked on America's 100 Greatest: 1971-2006 & 2009-2020. Second 100 Greatest: 2021-2022. Highest ranking: No. 54, 2003-2004 (Fifth 10, 1983-1984). Previous ranking: No. 99

Watch Golf Digest’s latest “Every Hole At” course videos below:

Panelist comments:
“Crooked Stick is an outstanding Pete Dye effort. It's amazing how he was able to create a landscape and make it all tie in without it looking forced. I wish that Pete would build more restrained courses like this instead of trying to outdo himself.”

“The 8th hole is one of the best holes in modern golf with a great use of angles, and the 12th hole uses angles really well, too. The 15th green is cool and unique, and surprisingly playable, and the finishing trio is outstanding -- a very difficult closing stretch.”

“Pete views this as one of his most prized designs, and thus, keeps tinkering to the course to make slight improvements. To compare it with Donald Ross, this is Pete's Pinehurst #2.”

“Indiana is relatively flat, and even without dramatic elevation changes, the course was stunningly beautiful, pretty difficult, and a lot of fun to play.”

“The land used is half old Indiana farmland ,with open spaces and rolling land, and partly wooded on the low part of the property around a creek and ponds. The standouts are really the par-3's, starting with the somewhat short but well bunkered 3rd, the dramatic downhill 6th over water towards the red covered bridge, and the very difficult 13th.”

Dave Sansom/Courtesy of Crooked Stick

Dave Sansom/Courtesy of Crooked Stick

Dave Sansom/Courtesy of Crooked Stick