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25 April, 2016
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US Pacific Division Best in State Rankings 2016

Five States in the West Region are updated in the first of nine US divisional revisions

Top 100 Golf Courses inaugurated its Best in State rankings for the United States in 2012 so this is the second biennial update of those listings. Two years ago, we published the revised standings for the fifty States in four geographical groupings. This time around, we plan to spread the announcements across nine distinct Divisions, starting with the five Pacific States of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska.

We’ve also extended the number of courses that we feature in nearly every state. For the Pacific Division, we’ve increased our coverage from 120 to 195 courses, thanks mainly to doubling the size of the Californian chart from a Top 50 to a Top 100. In total, there are 17 Pacific tracks ranked in our national Top 100 for the United States so it’s a division that’s hardly lacking in high quality golf courses.


California

The Top seven places in our Californian listings remain exactly as they have been since 2014 so that means Alister MacKenzie’s Cypress Point remains in the number 1 position – hardly a surprise when you consider it’s also our current US and World No. 1. The course attracted an excellent review last year when somebody posted a wonderful pictorial account of their visit (having spent more than a year carefully planning the trip beforehand ) and their comments ended with the wish that “many more readers of this site get the chance to play [the course], because it really is an experience like no other”.

One of only two courses to make upward moves within the Top 10 standings, California Golf Club of San Francisco rises two places to number 8. Originally laid out in the 1920s, “the Cal Club” was extensively renovated by Kyle Phillips in 2007/8 and the results of that fabulous upgrade are now reflected in the layout’s latest chart position. Mention must also be made to another couple of courses which the same architect has revived with extensive makeovers in recent years: Menlo (at number 48) and Wilshire(at number 50), which are two of the highest new entries in our latest Top 100 for the Golden State.

Rank/CourseMove
1Cypress PointNo change
2Pebble BeachNo change
3San FransiscoNo change
4RivieraNo change
5Los Angeles (North)No change
6Olympic Club (Lake)No change
7PasatiempoNo change
8CaliforniaUp 2
9Valley Club of MontecitoDown 1
10Spyglass HillDown 1
11Monterey Peninsula (Shore)No change
12Bel-AirUp 4
13MayacamaNo change
14PreserveNo change
15Quarry at La QuintaNo change
16Torrey Pines (South)Down 4
17Stone EagleNo change
18MadisonUp 1
19Martis Camp ClubUp 3
20CordeValleNo change
21Monterey Peninsula (Dunes)Up 3
22PGA West (Stadium)Down 4
23SherwoodUp 2
24Rustic CanyonUp 8
25LahontanUp 6
26Links at Spanish BayDown 3
27Bridges at Rancho Santa FeNo change
28Barona CreekDown 2
29TraditionUp 6
30Meadow ClubUp 3
31Shady CanyonDown 10
32Bighorn (Canyons)Down 4
33Pelican Hill (Ocean South)Down 3
34Bighorn (Mountains)No change
35Vintage Club (Desert)Down 6
36Rancho Sante FeUp 1
37Olympic Club (Ocean)Down 1
38Vintage Club (Mountain)Up 1
39Stanford UniversityUp 1
40EldoradoUp 3
41Pelican Hill (Ocean North)Down 3
42TPC Harding ParkDown 1
43Trump National - Los AngelesUp 4
44Pauma ValleyNew entry
45Saddle CreekUp 1
46La PurisimaDown 4
47MaderasDown 3
48Menlo CCNew entry
49Poppy HillsNew entry
50WilshireNew entry
51Indian Wells (Players)Down 6
52Cayote MoonNew entry
53San DiegoNew entry
54La Costa (Champions)New entry
55LakesideNew entry
56La Quinta (Mountain)New entry
57Half Moon Bay (Ocean)Down 9
58Shadow RidgeNew entry
59PGA West (Palmer Private)New entry
60Desert Willow (Firecliff)Down 10
61Toscana (South)New entry
62Reserve Down 13
63Bayonet & Black Horse (Bayonet)New entry
64SandpiperNew entry
65Pacific GroveNew entry
66ClaremontNew entry
67Granite BayNew entry
68PGA West (Nicklaus Private)New entry
69Lake MercedNew entry
70AviaraNew entry
71Dark HorseNew entry
72Old GreenwoodNew entry
73Grand GC San DiegoNew entry
74Ironwood (South)New entry
75Indian Wells (Celebrity)New entry
76Bayonet & Black Horse (Black Horse)New entry
77Mission Hills (Pete Dye Challenge)New entry
78Classic ClubNew entry
79Torry Pines (North)New entry
80TPC StonebraeNew entry
81Journey at PechangaNew entry
82Monarch BeachNew entry
83Silverado (North)New entry
84Peninsula G&CCNew entry
85Wente VineyardsNew entry
86SaticoyNew entry
87PGA West (Nicklaus Tournament)New entry
88Grizzly RanchNew entry
89Poppy Ridge (Merlot & Zinfandel)New entry
90Porcupine CreekNew entry
91Winchester Country ClubNew entry
92Whitehawk RanchNew entry
93AnnandaleNew entry
94SonomaNew entry
95Yocha DeheNew entry
96SilverRock (Arnold Palmer Classic)New entry
97Nicklaus Club - Monterey New entry
98Olympic Club (Cliffs)New entry
99Schaffer's Mill ClubNew entry
100OrindaNew entry

Click the link to see full details of our 2016 California Best in State rankings


Oregon

We’ve expanded our chart for the Beaver State by 50% to create a Top 30 and the top four positions are all occupied by courses from the iconic Bandon Dunes Resort. Tom Doak’s Pacific Dunes layout holds onto the number 1 position and the architect’s second design at this venue, Old Macdonald, climbs one place to the runner-up spot at number 2. All four 18-hole layouts at this popular golf destination are firmly ensconced in our US Top 100 table so it’s really hard to argue against anybody who claims Bandon is the best golf resort in the country.

Two hundred and seventy miles further northeast of Bandon, the Pronghorn Club at Bend offers its residential members two terrific tracks. The rather unimaginatively named Fazio (designed by Tom Fazio in 2006) edges up two places to number 5 in the state listings and its older sibling, the Nicklaus (laid out by Jack Nicklaus in 2004), moves up one position to number 8. Another private facility, Portland Golf Club, enters the Top 10 at number 10 and some might be aware of the historical importance of this course, having hosted the first Ryder Cup after World War II in 1947.

Rank/CourseMove
1Bandon Dunes (Pacific Dunes)No change
2Bandon Dunes (Old Macdonald)Up 1
3Bandon Dunes (Bandon Dunes)Down 1
4Bandon Dunes (Bandon Trails)No change
5Pronghorn (Fazio)Up 2
6EugeneDown 1
7Pumpkin Ridge (Witch Hollow)Down 1
8Pronghorn (Nicklaus)Up 1
9CrosswaterDown 1
10PortlandUp 1
11TetherowDown 1
12WaverleyUp 4
13Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek)Up 1
14Columbia Edgewater (Macan) Down 1
15Broken TopNo change
16Aspen LakesNew entry
17JuniperNew entry
18Running Y RanchDown 6
19Bandon CrossingsDown 1
20SandpinesNew entry
21Black Butte Ranch (Glaze Meadow)New entry
22OregonNew entry
23Brasada RanchNew entry
24Black Butte Ranch (Big Meadow)New entry
25SalishanDown 8
26Eagle PointDown 6
27Reserve Vineyards (South)Down 8
28TokateeNew entry
29AstoriaNew entry
30Reserve Vineyards (North)New entry

Click the link to see full details of our 2016 Oregon Best in State rankings


Washington

We’ve added another five courses to our Washington listings, where Chambers Bay remains the Evergreen State’s number 1 track, despite tumbling down the US national chart that we published four months ago. The course was widely criticised during last year’s US Open for the performance of its putting surfaces but, despite conditioning issues, it’s still regarded by many commentators as one of Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s better designs.

New at number 2, we have David McLay Kidd’s Gamble Sands, which first opened for play in 2014. Set out on top of a sandy mesa within a huge 1,000-acre property, the course lies – in the words of its architect – in a ”once in a lifetime site every golf designer dreams of, rolling sand dunes overlooking a large body of water… no homes, no other development around, just golf on sand, golf as it was truly meant to be.”

Rank/CourseMove
1Chambers BayNo change
2Gamble SandsNew entry
3Sahalee (South/North)Down 1
4AldarraDown 1
5Wine ValleyNo change
6Tumble CreekDown 2
7SeattleUp 2
8Salish CliffsUp 2
9Palouse RidgeDown 3
10Royal OaksDown 2
11TPC Snoqualmie RidgeDown 4
12FircrestUp 2
13Gold Mountain (Olympic)Down 1
14Loomis TrailUp 2
15Desert CanyonDown 2
16SemiahmooDown 1
17Suncadia (Prospector)Up 2
18CanterwoodDown 7
19Port Ludlow (Tide & Timber)Down 1
20Trophy LakeDown 3
21Indian CanyonNew entry
22TacomaUp 3
23Washington NationalDown 3
24Creek at QualchanNew entry
25McCormick WoodsNew entry
26InglewoodDown 5
27Apple TreeNew entry
28PlateauDown 6
29Suncadia (Rope Rider)New entry
30Indian SummerDown 7

Click the link to see full details of our 2016 Washington Best in State rankings


Hawaii

There are now 30 courses in our standings for the Aloha State and another David McLay Kidd design, Nanea, retains the number 1 slot. This ultra-exclusive track on the Big Island was played by Paul Rudovsky last March. Paul (aka Rudo) is closing in on playing every course that has ever appeared on a World Top 100 ranking list: “This is a very very private club. It is simply exquisite, and fun to play, but it also very much values its privacy, and I shall respect that… What you might not expect is the difficulty associated with reading its greens, which are heavily influenced by the slope from Mauna Kea down to the Pacific Ocean. The course is one of the very few that is both challenging and fun to play. If you get the opportunity, do not let it pass.”

Positions 2, 3 and 4 in the new Top 30 all remain as they were then, at number 5 (up two spots), we have the 1993 Jack Nicklaus design at Manele on Lanai Island which a reviewer last year described as “maybe the most visually stunning course you will ever play… almost every hole has spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean… this is my idea of Paradise.”

A little further down the chart, two of our ten new entries arrive inside the Top 10: Kukui’ula at number 8 is a terrific Tom Weiskopf layout on the island of Kauai that debuted in 2010 and Kohanaiki at number 9 is a remarkable Rees Jones design – routed around Ahu rock shrines and hundreds of anchialine pools – which was finally unveiled in 2013, five years after its scheduled opening date.

Rank/CourseMove
1NaneaNo change
2Kapalua (Plantation)No change
3Princeville (Prince)No change
4Mauna KeaNo change
5ManeleUp 2
6Kuki'oNo change
7Hokuli'aDown 2
8Kukui'ulaNew entry
9KohanaikiNew entry
10Hualalai (Ke’olu) Down 2
11WaialaeDown 1
12Poipu BayDown 1
13Hoakalei New entry
14King KamehamehaNew entry
15Turtle Bay (Palmer)No change
16Hualalai (Hualalai) Down 4
17Princeville (Makai)Down 8
18Wailea (Gold)Down 5
19KoeleDown 5
20Wailea (Emerald)No change
21Mauna Lani (North)Down 3
22Ko'olauDown 6
23Kauai Lagoons (Kiele)Down 6
24Mauna Lani (South)Down 5
25Waikoloa Beach (King's)New entry
26Kapalua (Bay)New entry
27Ko OlinaNew entry
28Ka‘anapali (Royal Ka‘anapali)New entry
29PuakeaNew entry
30Mid PacificNew entry

Click the link to see full details of our 2016 Hawaii Best in State rankings


Alaska

The Last Frontier State is the only one in the United States where we list fewer than ten courses. Our number 1 is still Bill Newcomb’s thirty-year-old Anchorage course, located just outside the state’s most populous city. With the Robert Trent Jones Jnr course at Eagleglen closing two years ago, we have a new entry at number 4, Settlers Bay, to take its place in our new Top 5 chart.

Rank/CourseMove
1AnchorageNo change
2Moose Run (Creek)Up 1
3Chena BendUp 1
4Settlers BayNew entry
5PalmerNo change

Click the link to see full details of our 2016 Alaska Best in State rankings

We always like to hear what you think about our re-ranking process so please let us know your opinion of our five newly updated US Best in State charts. What course(s) have we missed or is there one (or more) that really shouldn’t be listed? Perhaps there’s one riding too high or languishing too low in the standings? Whatever your impressions are, please click the “Respond to this article” link at the top or at the bottom of this page.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses

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