Top 100 Golf Courses of the USA 2014

15 December 2013 Respond to this article

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Top 100 Golf Courses of the USA 2014

Our latest US Top 100 is unveiled

15 December 2013

In January 2012, we decided to abandon our US Top 250 rankings because we found it too difficult to define the positions for US courses in the ranking range of 150 to 250. Instead, we promised to develop and extend our US Best In State rankings and focus on providing the best possible list of the Top 100 Golf Courses of the USA.

Cypress Point ClubFor 2014, we included more data from an even wider range of sources, but our final rankings offer rather less change than two years ago. However, there is still a fair level of movement as courses settle towards their plateaux.

Cypress Point and Pine Valley continue to slug it out at the very top of the US national rankings. Mathematically, Cypress came incredibly close to knocking Pine Valley off the top, but Pine Valley prevailed once again. The National Golf Links of America makes a bold upward move to 5th place. The two big US tabloids (Golf Magazine & Digest) do not hold the NGLA in the same high esteem as we do, which surprises us because most golfers we know rate the National well inside their personal US Top 10.

Streamsong - Red courseEight new entries push eight very solid courses off the hundred and into the Best In State rankings. All of a sudden, Florida starts to punch somewhere nearer its fighting weight thanks to the Red and Blue courses at Streamsong bursting into the chart. If Streamsong could find room for a White course, there would be no need to fly the Stars and Stripes at this aspiring golf resort.

The Plantation course at Kapalua (straight in at 86) suggests that resort courses really can hold their own in the top rankings alongside a majority of private facilities. Talking of which, the Upper joins the Lower at Baltusrol in our hundred for the first time and Aronimink, White Bear Yacht Club and Holston Hills also make their debut. Finally, we welcome back Galloway National, which narrowly missed out on a place in 2012 having been ranked inside our US Top 100 since 2006.

Los Angeles North courseLos Angeles (North) jumps eleven places to 21st as the magnitude of Gil Hanse’s restoration finally dawns and there’s a meteoric rise of forty places (to 54th) for the California Golf Club of San Francisco. According to our US Correspondent, Fergal O’Leary: “Since the outstanding restoration of the MacKenzie bunkers and routing by Kyle Philips, the ‘Cal Club’ has gone from strength to strength… The restoration has been the catalyst for the club's rising national ranking, and I can only anticipate continued future success.”

Boston Golf Club leaps up thirty places to 59th and, according to one of our reviewers, “this hidden away club is back on its feet financially and continues to impress… Bay Staters often find themselves debating preference between Boston and nearby Old Sandwich. Having played them both multiple times, my feeling is that Gil Hanse’s design variety and consideration for all skill levels will tip the scales towards Boston making it the course I’d rather play every day”.

There’s a rise of nineteen places for Nanea, which for some unfathomable reason has never been ranked in the national hundred by Golf Digest. Fergal O’Leary made the following comment: “I'm currently playing the Top 100 golf courses in the US and the World and am almost finished with the challenge. When I stepped onto the first tee at Nanea, I had a similar reaction to how Monty described Loch Lomond… Wherever Nanea is ranked, it should be higher.”

Yeamans Hall ClubYeamans Hall is another of our high climbers but this club is also out of favour with Golf Digest’s panellists. The course does split opinion and one of our reviewers reckons “the club itself is off the charts amazing… A real throwback and a true delight to be there… It gets all the hype associated with Raynor designs, but man I don't understand the adulation.”

A rise of twenty places for Essex County Club continues our theme of bucking the trend of the magazine ranking panels. One of our reviewers sums it up perfectly: “Essex was once home to Donald Ross and his legacy can be felt throughout the course. His old house is located by the 15th tee box, and the course is a testament to his craft. I have played a number of Ross courses, including Pinehurst #2 and many of the top Ross courses around Boston, and I always come back to Essex as my favourite.”

Medinah No.3 courseEuropeans may hold Medinah (No.3) in the highest regard and it’s an undeniably good golf course that staged the European Ryder Cup miracle of 2012, but many aficionados feel that this old classic has been injured by the “Open Doctors” and is now too much toil and not enough fun. The No.3 course drops a painful thirty-three places in our 2014 rankings.

We suspect our new US Top 100 will not gain universal approval, but we’ve given these new rankings deeper consideration than ever before. If you have any comments or feedback, I’d love to hear from you. Just for the record, I’d like to remind you that Top 100 Golf Courses is truly independent and we have no association with any magazine publication.

If you would like to help improve our US golf course rankings, please get in touch. Our new Best In State rankings will be published soon, so please keep an eye on the Top 100 website and our social networking channels for the latest updates.

Finally a big thanks to everyone who has taken the time to post course reviews online. Please keep them coming, it’s your reviews that cut to the chase and make the Top 100 website come alive.

Keith Baxter
Editor-in-Chief
www.top100golfcourses.com

2014

Course

Move

1

Pine Valley

No change

2

Cypress Point

No change

3

Shinnecock Hills

No change

4

Augusta National

No change

5

National Golf Links of America

Up 4

6

Sand Hills

Down 1

7

Oakmont

Down 1

8

Merion (East)

Down 1

9

Pebble Beach

Down 1

10

Bandon Dunes (Pacific Dunes)

No change

11

Crystal Downs

No change

12

Chicago

Up 1

13

Winged Foot (West)

Down 1

14

Fishers Island

No change

15

Pinehurst (No.2)

Up 1

16

Prairie Dunes

Up 1

17

Seminole

Down 2

18

San Francisco

Up 4

19

Friar's Head

Down 1

20

Riviera

Up 3

21

Los Angeles (North)

Up 11

22

Country Club (Clyde/Squirrel)

Down 2

23

Oakland Hills (South)

Down 2

24

Kiawah Island (Ocean)

No change

25

Whistling Straits (Straits)

Down 6

26

Ballyneal

No change

27

Bethpage (Black)

No change

28

Muirfield Village

Up 1

29

Olympic Club (Lake)

Down 4

30

Bandon Dunes (Bandon Dunes)

Up 1

31

Golf Club

Down 1

32

Sebonack

Up 2

33

TPC at Sawgrass (Stadium)

Up 5

34

Old Sandwich

Up 3

35

Garden City

No change

36

Bandon Dunes (Old Macdonald)

Up 5

37

Shoreacres

Up 9

38

Camargo

Up 9

39

Oak Hill (East)

Down 11

40

Quaker Ridge

Up 4

41

Somerset Hills

Down 1

42

Baltusrol (Lower)

Down 9

43

Pasatiempo

Up 8

44

Maidstone

Down 1

45

Shadow Creek (North)

Down 6

46

Valley Club of Montecito (Valley Club)

Up 7

47

Wade Hampton

Down 11

48

Peachtree

Up 7

49

Bandon Dunes (Bandon Trails)

Down 4

50

Southern Hills

Down 8

51

Spyglass Hill

Down 1

52

Plainfield

Up 4

53

Honors Course

Up 1

54

California

Up 40

55

Myopia Hunt

Up 2

56

Pete Dye

Up 2

57

Inverness

Down 9

58

Chambers Bay

Down 6

59

Boston

Up 30

60

Winged Foot (East)

No change

61

Monterey Peninsula (Shore)

No change

62

Nanea

Up 19

63

Yeamans Hall

Up 17

64

Kingsley Club

No change

65

Rock Creek Cattle Company

Down 6

66

Milwaukee

Up 1

67

Gozzer Ranch

Up 10

68

Kinloch

Down 5

69

Newport

Down 1

70

Harbour Town

Down 1

71

Kittansett

Down 5

72

Yale University

Up 7

73

Interlachen

Down 11

74

Scioto

Down 2

75

Calusa Pines

Up 10

76

Baltimore (East)

Up 2

77

Streamsong (Red)

NEW

78

Piping Rock

Up 15

79

Essex County Club

Up 20

80

Victoria National

Up 15

81

Whispering Pines

Up 15

82

Medinah (No.3)

Down 33

83

Baltusrol (Upper)

NEW

84

Olympia Fields (North)

Down 10

85

Colorado

Up 5

86

Kapalua (Plantation)

NEW

87

Streamsong (Blue)

NEW

88

East Lake

Down 18

89

Aronimink

NEW

90

Black Wolf Run (River)

Down 7

91

Alotian

Down 4

92

Congressional (Blue)

Down 17

93

Wannamoisett

Down 2

94

Dallas National

Down 18

95

Cherry Hills

Down 14

96

Galloway National

NEW

97

White Bear Yacht Club

NEW

98

Ridgewood (West/East)

No change

99

Holston Hills

NEW

100

Colonial

No change

Click to see in detail our new 2014 Top 100 Golf Courses of the USA