To arrive at our ranking of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, our panelists play and score courses on eight criteria:
How well does the course present a variety of options involving risks and rewards and require a wide range of shots?
How challenging, while still being fair, is the course for a typical scratch golfer playing from the tees designated as back tees for everyday play (not from seldom-used championship tees)?
How varied is the physical layout of the course in terms of differing lengths (long, medium and short par 3s, 4s and 5s), configurations (straight holes, doglegs left and right), hazard placements, green shapes and green contours?
How individual is each hole when compared to all others on this course?
Watch Golf Digest’s latest “Every Hole At” course videos below:
How well do the scenic values of the course add to the pleasure of a round?
How firm, fast and rolling were the fairways, how firm yet receptive were the greens and how true were the roll of putts on the day you played the course?
How well does the course design exude ingenuity and uniqueness and possess profound characteristics that you would consider outstanding for its era?
How enjoyable for all levels of golfers would this course be to play on a regular basis?
Golf Digest's Fun category was introduced two years ago, so we do not have enough data to use in the calculations of our 100 Greatest rankings.
To arrive at a course's final score, we total its averages in the seven categories, doubling Shot Options. A course needs 75 evaluations over the past 10 years to be eligible for America's 100 Greatest and the Second 100 Greatest.
Here are the category-by-category scores for all courses on our 100 Greatest and Second 100 Greatest.
BY THE NUMBERS