Golf Digest 2015/2016 Course Rankings (2023)

Golf Digest released their new 2015/2016 rankings for the country’s best golf courses, and I can’t say enough how excited I was to see some of the courses that made the new lists.

For starters, I will say that I am proud of our home state of Wisconsin for having one more course on the list of the top 100 public courses this year: The Links course at Lawsonia. The Links course, opened in 1930 as a true masterpiece by William Langford and Theodore Moreau, is one of my real loves in the golf world: The number 52 ranked classic course in the entire country, it broke back in to the top 100 of public courses again this year at number 85.

Whistling Straits, Straits course dropped this year from the number two public course in the country to number four – that’s still really good. 2015 will be a huge year for the Straits course, hosting the PGA Championship for the third time.

Erin Hills, my number one course in the great state of Wisconsin, moved up two spots in the ranking this year with the 2017 US Open on the horizon, to number eight.

WiscoSportsAddict review of Erin Hills

(Video) This is The Hardest and Easiest Year to Find a Driver | The Hot List | Golf Digest

The River course at Blackwolf Run dropped from number 14 to number 16 in the ranking of the country’s very best public courses (number 91 overall). As Pete Dye said, there could not be a more beautiful piece of land to construct a golf course on, and I could not agree more.

The Irish course at Whistling Straits remained in the top 50 of the United States’ very best public golf courses, this year at number 47.

The Bull at Pinehurst Farms moved up significantly this year, from number 77 to number 70. One of the most challenging courses in the state with a slope of 147 from the tips, The Bull is oftentimes the least thought-of course for visitors to the Kohler area although it certainly stands toe to toe at a much lower round rate.

The Meadow Valleys course at Blackwolf Run also dropped considerably this year, from number 62 in the country to number 72. With a back nine that is so good that only the Milwaukee Country Club can even compare, I feel like this is a bit of a sleight against the Meadow Valleys, but the 72nd best public course in the country is certainly nothing to be upset about.

WiscoSportsAddict review of Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys

(Video) 10 years old Jaden Soong incredible swing

In addition to these seven Wisconsin public courses, the Milwaukee Country Club was also named as the number 62 overall rated course in the entire country (the Straits course was ranked number 22, and Erin Hills number 42).

There were plenty of other courses named that I have also reviewed. For example, I thought it was insane that The Prairie Club in the Sand Hills of Nebraska was not better represented. The new rankings changed that very well, with the Dunes course at the Prairie Club being named the number 35 best public course in the country.

The Pines course at The Prairie Club also broke in to the top 100 rankings, being named number 75 this year.

My beloved Chambers Bay, nestled along the coastline of the Puget Sound in University Place, Washington, is my all-time number one favorite course I have ever played. Readying for the 2015 US Open, Chambers Bay moved from number 25 to 26 on the list of the country’s best public courses.

(Video) 2019 Masters Tournament Final Round Broadcast

WiscoSportsAddict review of Chambers Bay

The Harvester, in Rhodes, Iowa, whose photos are being held captive on my broken-down laptop and I have not gotten to do my review on yet, moved up this year from number 46 to 42. I have some stunningly beautiful pictures of this course, and am hoping to have them for you all before the 2015 season opens.

Cog Hill Number 4, Dubsdread actually moved up this year from number 64 to 53, representing one of the biggest leaps made by an established course on the entire list. Dubsdread, which no longer hosts any PGA events since the BMW started its rotation, is one of the toughest courses in the entire country, with a slope of 151 and rating of 77.8.

One course that I cannot wait to get back to again this year came in at number 57: The Wilderness at Fortune Bay. I played this course the weekend it opened ten years ago, during my brother’s bachelor party in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota.

We simply noticed there was a nice looking golf course nearby our houseboat and the casino at Lake Vermillion, and decided to play it on a Saturday morning. Little did I have any idea the quality of this track; that changed when I looked out at the awe-striking 649-yard opening par five with tree-lined fairways split by rock walls. Umm, WHOA.

Not knowing it was literally a world-class golf course, and tremendously challenging, I purchased one sleeve of golf balls with my rented clubs, and figured if I lost those I would find more along the way – fail.

The course is beautiful beyond words, and challenging enough that even after “borrowing” balls from friends I still was not able to finish 17 on account of nobody in my group having golf balls left to play. The scenery alone was worth the venture, and I hope to return this year for a full and well-deserved review.

Another of my all-time favorite courses, and another Minnesota gem, the Classic at Madden’s Resort moved up four spots this year to number 63. The caddy experience at the Classic was the best I’ve ever had, and the course was the great north woods exemplified. This is another spot that I hope to get back to this year, and I have been asked to write a paragraph blurb about it for an upcoming issue of Midwest Golfing Magazine.

WiscoSportsAddict review of the Classic Course at Madden’s Resort

(Video) Playing TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, California

My favorite course to play when I am in Florida is the Pine Barrens at World Woods. One of the great mysteries of golf to me is how the course can maintain a slope of 133 from 7,237 yards from the tips – I will never understand it, even though their club pro tells me it is because water (of which the course has almost none of) is two times more penal than sand (of which the course has an incredible amount of!). The Pine Barrens was named by the PGA as one of the ten most beautiful courses in the world, and to the extent of my knowledge I will not disagree. With actual elevation changes, the Pine Barrens is unlike any other course in the state of Florida.

People who are not like me, who truly love the game of golf, do not understand how big of a deal it is when these rankings are released.

As the former Chairman of the Wisconsin State Golf Association and a 25-year veteran of the Golf Digest rating system (and co-creator of the slope system), Gene Haas, told me sincerely: “Wisconsin’s best course is the one I’m playing.” I agree with that whole-heartedly, but the rankings give credence to the measure of greatness when it comes to a state like ours’, that is blessed so indefinitely with some of the country’s very best golf tracks.

I gave a speech recently to 125 members of the Wisconsin Senior Golf Association entitled “The History of North Hills Country Club and the State of Golf in Wisconsin.” While the economy has caused play to drop dramatically in both the state of Wisconsin and around the country in the past 10-15 years, the state of golf in Wisconsin is one of excitement: This year, we will host the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, and in 2017 we will host the US Open at Erin Hills – the first time our country’s greatest tournament will be held in Wisconsin.

Having SEVEN courses now in the top 100 public rankings only helps bolster my opinion that Wisconsin is truly one of the greatest golf states in the nation.

Just imagine when SentryWorld’s renovated course gets the recognition it deserves, and then when the new Sand Valley courses being designed by Coore/Crenshaw and David McLay Kidd come to fruition in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Wisconsin is already and will be a mecca of the United States’ very best golf destinations. The state of golf in Wisconsin is in very good shape, indeed.

Golf Digest 2015/2016 Course Rankings (15)



What is the number 1 rated golf course in the world? ›

The dominant theme of our new ranking of the World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses is proximity to the sea. We count 46 of the Top 100 as being oceanside venues, including our new No. 1, Royal County Down in Northern Ireland and the two hottest new layouts on the globe, No.

Is Tobacco Road a top 100 course? ›

100 Greatest Public: Ranked since 2009. Highest Ranking: 49th, 2021-2022. Current Ranking: 49th.

What rank is Bay Hill Golf Digest? ›

Ranked 35th, 2021-'22.

What rank is Whistling Straits? ›

Whistling Straits earns spot on World's Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses list. Golf Digest has once again included the Straits course at Whistling Straits on its second biennial list of World's Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses–ranking No. 51 in the world, a recent news release reported.

What is the number 1 rated golf course in America? ›

1. Pine Valley Golf Course, New Jersey. This golf course was designed in 1918 by George Crump and H.S. Colt, and it has been on the top 100 golf courses in the country for multiple years.

What is the toughest pro golf course? ›

Toughest Courses (Season)
1Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course)Farmers Insurance Open
2Memorial Park Golf CourseCadence Bank Houston Open
3Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course)Fortinet Championship
4Congaree Golf ClubTHE CJ CUP in South Carolina
13 more rows

What is the most difficult golf course in the United States? ›

1 | The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, S.C.

Par 5, 16th holeGolf Digest Panelist Comments:"I think the 17th hole is the toughest par 3 in the world.

What is the busiest golf course in America? ›

Most Playedin United States
  • Penmar Golf Club. California, USA. ...
  • Cape Fear National. North Carolina, USA. ...
  • Poplar Creek Golf Course. California, USA. ...
  • Sunnyvale Golf Course. California, USA.
  • Mile Square Golf Course. California, USA. ...
  • Mariners Point Golf Center. California, USA. ...
  • San Jose Municipal Golf Course. ...
  • Los Verdes Golf Course.

How much does it cost to play Pinehurst number 2? ›

Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted the 1936 PGA Championship, the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens and both the men's and women's 2014 U.S. Opens. It will also serve as the site of the 2024 U.S. Open. Greens fees range from $50 to $495, depending on the time of year and which of the club's courses you play.

Is Bay Hill a top 100 course? ›

Bay Hill Club & Lodge - Florida | Top 100 Golf Courses | Top 100 Golf Courses. Win tee times at some of the world's premier courses.

What rank is Augusta golf course? ›

2021-'22 ranking: No. 2. Best in State: Ranked first since 1985. Ranked inside the top 5, 1977-'84.

Is Bay Hill a hard course? ›

Coming off PGA National, which featured just two par-5s and 15 holes with water in play, Bay Hill offers more of a challenge related to length, although target golf is not lost on the premises. Since 2016, Bay Hill has required more approach shots of 200+ yards than any other course on the PGA TOUR.

Why is Whistling Straits so difficult? ›

Whistling Straits Bunkers

There are more than 1,000 bunkers on the Straits course (no one is exactly sure of the number) and a lot of them are small or long and narrow. As a result, many times your ball will roll up against a lip or you will have an awkward stance.

Is Whistling Straits the hardest golf course? ›

Playing to a course rating of 77.2 and slope of 152 from the tips (black tees), the Straits Course is the most difficult of the four courses at Destination Kohler's American Club Resort.

Is Whistling Straits the hardest course? ›

From the tips, Whistling Straits is one of the most difficult courses I've ever stepped on. With strong winds, seemingly more sand than grass, plenty of length, and penalizing fescue lining the fairways, you better bring your 'A' game to contend with the mighty Straits.

What is America's oldest golf course? ›

Foxburg Country Club, established in 1887, is the oldest golf course in continuous use in the United States. It is located in Foxburg, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, approximately 55 miles (89 km) north of Pittsburgh on a hill rising about 300 feet above the Allegheny River.

Who owns the most golf courses in the US? ›

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. ClubCorp is a privately held American corporation based in Dallas and it is the largest owner and operator of private golf and country clubs in the country. It owns and operates more than 200 golf country clubs, businesses, sports and alumni clubs worldwide.

Is a +1 good in golf? ›

In this case, your golf handicap is described as a “plus.” If you were one better than scratch, you would have a “+1 golf handicap.” To give you some perspective, the top players on the PGA tour have golf handicaps in the +8 range. We can all agree that's a good golf handicap!

What golf course has the hardest greens? ›

Oakmont is known by many as the toughest golf course in America, bringing a mix of deep rough, penal bunkering everywhere, and one of the scariest sets of greens in the world, combining extreme slope and hellacious speed to bring golfers to their knees.

What golf course has the fastest greens in the world? ›

Oakmont Country Club

What is the hardest golf major ever? ›

The PGA Championship has the strongest field of any of the four men's majors. The tournament is run by Professional Golfers' Association of America so, unlike the other three majors, no amateurs are in the field.

What is the easiest golf club? ›

The best golf clubs for beginners are:
  • Cobra Fly XL Complete Golf Set.
  • Callaway Edge Complete Golf Set.
  • TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite.
  • Cobra F-Max Complete Golf Set.
  • Callaway Strata Complete Golf Set.
  • Wilson Profile SGI Complete Set.
  • Tour Edge Golf – Bazooka 370 Complete Set.
  • Wilson Men's Profile XD Complete Golf Set.
Jan 5, 2023

What is the oldest 18 hole golf course in the US? ›

The Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Illinois (1892)

Founded by renowned course designer and World Golf Hall of Fame member Charles B. Macdonald, Chicago Golf Club is the oldest 18-hole course in North America. Chicago Golf Club has hosted 12 USGA Championships.

What is the easiest major in golf? ›

The Masters has long been considered the easiest and toughest major to win. It is the easiest because the actual number of players truly capable of winning is typically 20 to 30.

What is the golf capital of USA? ›

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has earned the nickname “Golf Capital of the World,” and is home to over 80 award-winning golf courses set along more than 60 miles of Carolina coastline.

What state has the most golf? ›

Florida has the most golf courses in the country overall, but it's Michigan that leads the way when it comes to the most courses open to the general public.

How much do you tip a caddie at Pinehurst? ›

Caddie fees are paid upon check-in at the golf shop. Most guests typically share a caddie between two players. Our recommended caddie gratuity is $50 and up per bag for a walking caddie, and $30 per bag and up for a forecaddie.

Which is the easiest course at Pinehurst? ›

Walkability at Pinehurst Resort

1 through No. 5 are easier than the No. 6 and No. 7 courses, which were built on more rugged terrain through residential developments, but there are no horrible walks between holes.

How much does a caddie at Pinehurst make? ›

How much does a Caddie make at Caddiemaster in Pinehurst? Average Caddiemaster Caddie weekly pay in Pinehurst is approximately $880, which is 43% above the national average.

What course is most like Augusta National? ›

Augusta National Lookalikes
  • Woburn Golf Club. Woburn is a fantastic golf venue in Buckinghamshire which shares many similarities to Georgia's most renowned golf course. ...
  • Druids Glen. ...
  • Stoke Park Golf & Country Club. ...
  • Foxhills Club & Resort. ...
  • Forest Pines Golf Club. ...
  • Sunningdale Golf Club.

How much is it to play Bay Hill Golf Club? ›

Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge Stay & Play from $209 per day! Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge Stay & Play from $209 per day!
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Mailing Address:Accounting Office: 722 Dulaney Valley Road #205 Towson, MD 21204
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Is Pelican Hill North or South course better? ›

The difference between the North and its sister course the South is fairly straightforward -- the former has the better overall consistency of holes.

Is Peyton Manning a member of Augusta? ›

Peyton Manning wears many hats, even in the golf world. Course owner. Augusta National member. Tiger Woods' playing partner.

Is Tiger Woods a member of Augusta? ›

Tiger Woods is not a member of the Augusta National Golf Club and has never been one. The club is very picky about membership and there is no application process in place. The only way to become a member is to receive an invitation from the Augusta authorities.

Is Bill Gates a member of Augusta National? ›

It's no secret that Augusta National is one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world. In fact, membership at the National is only offered by invitation only. Notable members of Augusta include Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Peyton Manning.

Why is Bay Hill so difficult? ›

But Bay Hill is also quintessentially Florida with a routing full of holes that cross and dogleg around water hazards, and flanked by hungry bunkers with high faces. All of this describes the 11th, a demanding par 4 that's just about as Florida as a golf hole can be.

What is the easiest course at PGA West? ›

A list of all 49 courses used by the PGA Tour in 2018-19 – compiled from ShotLink data and released by GolfWeek – shows that two easiest courses played on tour last season were La Quinta Country Club and the Jack Nicklaus Course at PGA West. Both of which are part of the three-course rotation of the desert's PGA event.

Can a public play Bay Hill Country Club? ›

There's something about Bay Hill that makes a golfer's heart beat faster. Open only to Club members and registered guests staying at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, the breathtaking course sweeps across 270 acres along the shores of the Butler Chain of Lakes.

What are the top 10 courses in the world? ›

  • Accounting & Finance. ...
  • Art & Design. ...
  • Architecture. ...
  • Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering. ...
  • Law. ...
  • Economics & Econometrics. ...
  • Medicine. ...
  • Business & Management Studies.

What is Tiger Woods World golf ranking? ›

Tiger Woods Year End World Rankings
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Which country is No 1 in golf? ›

USA. If you just look at the sheer numbers of leading gold players and Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) listed players, the US of A comes out on top by a country mile.

What is the most demanding course? ›

Best Short-term Job-Oriented Courses
  • Data Science Certification Program. ...
  • AI and ML Certification. ...
  • Cyber Security Certification Program. ...
  • Cloud Computing Certification Program. ...
  • DevOps Certification Program. ...
  • Digital Marketing Certification Program. ...
  • Full Stack Development Certification Program.
Feb 1, 2023

What are the top 5 courses? ›

Top Trending Online Courses
  • Data Science. ...
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. ...
  • Big Data. ...
  • Business Intelligence. ...
  • Cloud Computing. ...
  • Project Management. ...
  • Software Development. ...
  • Full-stack development.
Oct 6, 2022

What is the most profitable course? ›

What Are The Most Profitable Online Courses?
  • Work From Home Business.
  • Influencer Marketing.
  • Machine Learning.
  • Artificial Intelligence.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Programming.
  • Blockchain.
  • Cryptocurrency Investing.
Dec 20, 2022

Has Tiger Woods ever had a double eagle? ›

Such is the case for Tiger Woods, who is without a double eagle in competition. Although Tiger has never recorded an albatross on TOUR, his closest call came in 2015 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which was won by Brooks Koepka.

Is there a par 6 in golf? ›

The United States Golf Association defines a par 6 as any hole longer than 670 yards for men and 570 for women, although we all know that par is a very arbitrary number. Some championship courses are happy to keep holes longer than 700 yards as par 5s from the tips.

What is Tiger Woods favorite golf club? ›

It is clear that TaylorMade is his primary sponsor as he plays their driver, fairway woods, irons, and wedges. The only non-TaylorMade club in his bag is the Scotty Cameron Newport 2, produced by Acushnet, the owner of Titleist.

What does Liv Golf stand for? ›

The name "LIV" refers to the Roman numerals for 54, the score if every hole on a par-72 course were birdied and the number of holes to be played at LIV events. The first LIV Golf Invitational Series event started on 9 June 2022, at the Centurion Club near London, England.

What nationality is best at golf? ›


There are over 550 golf courses spread across Scotland with many of these courses being known to be some of the finest in the world, so it comes as no surprise that Scottish golfers have won their fair share of major championships.

Who is the longest world number 1 golfer? ›

Tiger Woods has spent the most consecutive weeks (281) and most total weeks (683) at the top of the rankings, and Tom Lehman the fewest total weeks, having spent just a single week at the top in April 1997.

Can a normal person play Augusta? ›

Can I play a round of golf at Augusta National or can I go visit the course? No. Augusta National Golf Club is a private club and is only accessible to club members and their guests. The public may visit the course only during the Masters Tournament and only with the proper ticket or badge.

What course is most similar to Augusta? ›

Augusta National Lookalikes
  • Woburn Golf Club. Woburn is a fantastic golf venue in Buckinghamshire which shares many similarities to Georgia's most renowned golf course. ...
  • Druids Glen. ...
  • Stoke Park Golf & Country Club. ...
  • Foxhills Club & Resort. ...
  • Forest Pines Golf Club. ...
  • Sunningdale Golf Club.

What is the most famous Masters hole? ›

The Masters: Hole #12 Golden Bell. One of the world's most famous golf holes, this is Augusta National's shortest par three.


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