ORLANDO, Fla. – Golf Advisor today announced its anticipated, annual list of Top-50 golf courses in the United States, revealed from more than 100,000 authentic reviews posted in 2016 from golfers who use and depend on the world’s leading golf course ratings and review website.
“Other golf course ranking lists are great at showcasing courses many golfers aspire to play, but Golf Advisor’s Top 50 and other ‘Best of’ lists, compiled by everyday golfers, help provide a new perspective to golfers looking to play the best courses,” said Golf Advisor Managing Editor Brandon Tucker. “They can book these courses with confidence, knowing other golfers like them found their experiences to be exceptional values. Our Top 50 includes a few bucket-list courses, but there are plenty more from coast-to-coast that golfers on a more limited budget can afford.”
Unlike rankings published by various golf publications, which normally are geared toward architecture or history and conducted by a panel of industry insiders, the Golf Advisor Top 50 is totally consumer-driven. Ages, handicaps and budgets of golfers using the site run the gamut, so the nearly 600,000 reviews Golf Advisor has accumulated showcase the golf course characteristics that are most important to avid golfers across the country. In addition to rating course layout, the Top 50 list also rates other subcategories like staff friendliness, pace of play, value and more. More than 2,000 U.S. golf courses were considered, having received the minimum 15 reviews to qualify for the Top 50.
Unlike other industry rankings, Golf Advisor’s Top 50 has plenty of volatility year-to-year due to changes in consumer tastes. These swings can range anything from conditioning and weather the destination experienced to new pricing. The 2016 list includes eight new courses within the top 10 that were not included on the 2015 list and 36 new courses overall.
The current list includes heavily-publicized courses like Harbour Town Golf Links, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, Bayonet Golf Course and French Lick Resort. But more often than not, the list includes many highly affordable and unknown courses.
Below is Golf Advisor’s list of Top 50 Courses. An asterisk signifies a course new to the list; a 2015 ranking appears in parentheses. To read about the methodology behind the list, as well as see the review pages for each course included, click here:
- Ram’s Hill Golf Club – Borrego Springs, Calif. (#13)
- *The Georgia Club – Statham, Ga.
- *Harbour Town Golf Links – Hilton Head Island, S.C.
- *Kiva Dunes Golf Course – Gulf Shores, Ala.
- *Eagle Eye Golf Club – Bath Township, Mich. (#5 in 2014)
- *AK-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club – Maricopa, Ariz.
- FarmLinks Golf Club – Sylacauga, Ala. (#7)
- *Quintero Golf Club – Peoria, Ariz.
- *Glendarin Hills Golf Club – Angola, Ind.
- *Kelly Plantation Golf Club – Destin, Fla.
- *The Jewel Golf Club – Lake City, Minn.
- Yocha Dehe Golf Club – Brooks, Calif. (#1)
- Mission Inn Resort & Club (El Campeón Course) – Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (#2)
- *Thistle Golf Club – Sunset Beach, N.C.
- *Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course at Lake Richard B. Russell – Elberton, Ga
- *Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club – McKinney, Texas
- *Woodstock Country Club – Woodstock, Vt. (#4 in 2014)
- Bayonet & Black Horse (Bayonet Course) – Seaside, Calif. (#45)
- *Classic Club – Palm Desert, Calif.
- *Chariot Run Golf Course – Laconia, Ind. (#3 in 2014)
- *Bowes Creek Country Club – Elgin, Ill.
- Cedarbrook Country Club – Elkin, N.C. (#15)
- *French Lick Resort (Dye Course) – French Lick, Ind.
- Royal Hylands Golf Club – Knightstown, Ind. (#12)
- Scotch Hall Preserve – Merry Hill, N.C. (#14)
- *Los Caballeros Golf Club – Wickenburg, Ariz.
- *Southern Hills Plantation Club – Brooksville, Fla.
- *Hiland Park Country Club – Queensboro, N.Y.
- Wilderness Golf Course – Lake Jackson, Texas (#41)
- *Wild Rock Golf Club (Championship Course) – Wisconsin Dells, Wisc. (#8 in 2014)
- *Tunica National – Tunica, Miss.
- *Crumpin-Fox Club – Bernardston, Mass.
- *Red Hawk Run Golf Course – Findlay, Ohio
- Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (Sun Mountain Course) – Las Vegas, Nev. (#4)
- Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (Snow Mountain Course) – Las Vegas, Nev. (#23)
- *Squaw Valley Golf Course (Apache Links Course) – Glen Rose, Texas
- *Harbor Links at Sagamore Resort – Liberty, Ind.
- *Edgewater Golf Club – Lancaster, S.C.
- Grand Bear Golf Course – Saucier, Miss. (#30)
- *PGA West (Greg Norman Resort Course – La Quinta, Calif.
- Ojai Valley Inn and Spa – Ojai, Calif. (#32)
- *Royal Manchester Golf Links – Mount Wolf, Penn.
- *Mirimichi Golf Course – Millington, Tenn.
- *Heritage Hill Golf Club – Shepherdsville, Ky.
- Waldorf Astoria Golf Club – Orlando, Fla. (#5)
- *Moody Gardens Golf Course – Galveston, Texas
- *Baywood Greens – Long Neck, Dele.
- *Sunriver Resort (Woodlands Course) – Bend, Ore.
- *Grand Cypress Golf Club (North/South Course) – Orlando, Fla.
- *TPC Sawgrass (Dye’s Valley Course) – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Consistent, steady growth has been par for the course since Golf Advisor launched in early 2014. A 2016 summary of key measurement metrics showed that page views, unique visitors and visits all increased by more than 50 percent year over year.
SOURCE: Golf Channel Release