Top 250 Golf Courses of the USA 2011
Biennial rankings of the USA’s Top 250 golf courses
Most top-ranked private golf clubs in Britain & Ireland welcome visitors. In fact golfers can play every Open Championship venue by following basic etiquette, which is often, simply, to book with the club in advance. It’s a different story in the Land of Hope and Glory. There are only a handful of US Open venues that are publicly accessible and there are fifty venues that have played host to the US Open since its early beginnings at the exclusive Newport Country Club.
Course accessibility, or rather the lack of it, was one of the reasons we extended our US rankings to 250 golf courses back in 2009. Most golfers cannot play a significant proportion of America’s Top 100 Golf Courses as listed by other golf publications. We believe that by extending the list, golfers will have a more realistic chance of playing a top ranked US course.
Our 2011 US golf course rankings show very little change at the top, but there are many changes lower down the rankings.
San Francisco’s public access Harding Park makes its debut in our first hundred, straight in at 99th, but the Seaside course at the acclaimed Sea Island Resort is our highest climber, which rockets up the rankings by an incredible 111 places to 76th position… clearly we had the Seaside course positioned too far down in our previous rankings. According to Mac, “Seaside is a terrific golf course. On top of that the accommodations on Sea Island are second to none. Add in the history of the club and you've got a magnificent golfing experience.”
Torrey Pines South course, host of the 2008 US Open, is another public access high climber that muscles its way into our first hundred. “Played Torrey South ten days prior to the San Diego Open”, commented Donovan. “The course is in magnificent condition, greens rolling well, walked 18 in 4 hours. Since the US Open in 2008, the conditions have been consistent and 'ready for tournament' caliber. It's a must play, as the North Course is also. If South didn’t exist, North would be the best track in San Diego.”
Torrey Pines is the second municipal course to host the US Open and in 2009 the event returned to the Black course at Bethpage State Park. Then, in 2010, the competition showcased at perhaps the greatest public access venue in the USA, Pebble Beach.
We hope the American trend to hold top events at accessible venues continues, because one of the game’s most precious gifts is for regular golfers to be allowed to follow in the footsteps of the great professionals. Sadly we’ll have to wait until 2014 for the US Open to return to the Pinehurst Resort. Meanwhile we can dream of that elusive invite to the ultra-private Congressional, Olympic Club and Merion, which are the next three host venues for the US Open.
Top 100 Golf Courses is truly independent, having no association with any magazine publications. Our thanks go to everyone who has taken the time to post online course reviews. Please keep them coming, it’s your reviews that make the Top 100 website come to life.
To see our new 2011 Top 250 Golf Courses of the USA in detail click here.
Click here to see the second hundred.
14 February 2011 Respond to this article