Public Golf Course Rankings of the Western Golf Alliance

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Western Washington
1. Chambers Bay
Today, when people talk "great true muni's", they talk Torrey Pines and Bethpage Black, but soon the world will see Chambers Bay is part of that conversation.

2. Salish Cliffs Golf Course
Still a young course, and associated with a tribal casino, Salish Cliffs is a great, fun course, and easily one of the three best in the state.

3. Eaglemont Golf Course
From the tips, Eaglemont is the second hardest course in the state; From any other set of tees, it's a fun track requiring accuracy and a hot putter.

4. Gold Mountain, Olympic Course
This course has hosted USGA and NCAA events, it's a classic northwest course with water, woods, and picturesque vistas everywhere.

5. White Horse Golf Club
After some ownership issues have been resolved, White Horse - now affiliated with the Clearwater Casino - is emerging as a one of the best courses in Washington.

6. Semiahmoo Resort, Loomis Trail
Another course with financial issues, the resort's shut-down last year hasn't affected the quality of golf at this far-north golf destination.

7. The WSGA Home Course
Though some elements of the course are still maturing, the Home Course is a high quality yet very forgiving test of your golf game.

8. Semiahmoo Resort, Semiahmoo CC
The second course at this location is a bit more house-lined than it's sister course, but it also has a couple "wow" holes (like #18) to highlight your visit.

9. Washington National Golf Club
The "home of the Huskies", this course can be brutally long from the tips, but offers many tee options to make if playable by all levels of players.

10. The Golf Club at Newcastle - Coal Creek
Just south of Bellevue, some may say the greens fees here are high, however the million dollar views of Seattle make the overall experience worth it.

11. Gleneagle Golf Course
A nearly unknown course north of Everett, locals like to keep this location secret to keep the prices low and their enjoyment high.

Southern California
1. Torrey Pines, South Course
This is one of the two courses everyone mentions when talking about "best true muni" courses, and the ocean views from the La Jolla cliffs are picture perfect.

2. Pelican Hill, Ocean South Course
While everything about the Pelican Hill experience says "top rated private club", the best feature on the entire property is the beautiful south course.

3. The Crossings at Carlsbad
Ocean views, undulating fairways, perfect conditions, great staff ... this fun course just north of San Diego is another example of SoCal golf at its very best.

4. Maderas Golf Club
Originally built as a private club, Maderas made the decision to go public, and thus added to San Diego's reputation as a great public-golf destination.

5. Desert Willow, Firecliff Course
A true muni course affiliated with a full service resort, Firecliff is all-around great with a few true "wow moment" holes (par 3 #17 immediately comes to mind).

6. Pelican Hill, Ocean North Course
When this is the "second best" course on your resort property, you can officially call yourself one of the best golf destinations in the U.S.

7. The Grand Del Mar
A new addition to our list, this golf course associated with a five-star resort continues to add to our ranking's San Diego area legacy.

8. Indian Wells Resort (Players)
The best course at this "grand dame of Palm Springs golf" never disappoints - a premium golf course, with premium service, at a premium resort.

9. PGA West, TPC Stadium Course
Is this the hardest golf course in the U.S.? Yes, probably. Do you absolutely have to play in on your Palm Springs/La Quinta golf trip? Yes, yes you do.

10. SilverRock Resort
While we're talking Palm Springs/La Quinta, when you ask yourself which course to play that you've never heard of, this municipal course is the easy answer.

11T. Oak Creek Golf Club / Strawberry Farms Golf Club
These two Orange County public tracks provide great golf, good conditions, reasonable rates, and a lot of fun for local golfers.

Greater Portland
1. Pumpkin Ridge, Ghost Creek Course
Pumpkin Ridge is still a tier above everything else in the Portland area. This is a "top 100 public" course that is still underappreciated.

2. The Reserve Vineyards, South Course
The Reserve Vineyards has everything - the architectural pedigree, the location, and the pro tour events. The South is the better of the two courses.

3. Camus Meadows Golf Club*
Though technically in Washington (thus the *), this is the course the good people of Portlandia love to as their go-to public course.

4. Langdon Farms Golf Club
A very hot-and-cold course, with those who love it and those who are ambivalent, Langdon Farms remains one of the best courses just south of downtown.

5. The Reserve Vineyards, North Course
Once again, great destinations are defined by the fact that their "second" course is great on its own, and the North is a prime example of this fact.

6. Heron Lakes, Great Blue Course
One of the few courses that has the uber-casual feel of a "true muni" yet is also a great and challenging track, Great Blue has never lost its every-day-golfer vibe.

7. The OGA Golf Course
Lucky Oregonian golfers - their club's official golf course is also a premier track, challenging, interesting, fair, and fun.

8. Cross Creek Golf Club
Without a doubt, this is the local favorite course in Oregon's capital city - a combination of rolling hills, river views, and perfect conditions.

9. Salishan Resort Golf Links
One of our original WGA Open courses continues to shine after its redesign a few years ago; it is still the best course in the northern Oregon Coast area.

10. Stone Creek Golf Club
One of the most entertaining courses to play in Oregon, Stone Creek is a great value for good, all-around golf.

11. Diamond Woods Golf Course
Do you like playing through the woods, or the meadows? Do you like mountains, or water views? Diamond Woods has all of the above.

Other Oregon
1. Bandon Dunes Resort, Pacific Dunes
What a surprise - one of the two greatest west coast courses heads up this region. Every course at Bandon Dunes is great, but Pac Dunes is the consensus #1.

2. Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon Dunes
... And the original course at the resort remains our #2 pick. Purists may like other courses, but some of the greatest holes in the world at here at BD.

3. Bandon Dunes Resort, Old MacDonald
The newest resort track, Old Mac might be the most fun ... wide open with huge greens, it's as if every hole presents infinite possibilities.

4. Pronghorn Club, Nicklaus Course
Finally heading inland to the Bend area, Pronghorn/Nicklaus is easily one of the 25 greatest public courses in the U.S., making it amazing that it's just #4 in the region.

5. Crosswater at Sunriver
In 2013, Crosswater hosted the PGA championship for teaching professionals, and it has hosted a Champions Tour major - this is one absolutely great golf course.

6. Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon Trails
Bandon's 4th best course is always ranked as one of the 20 best public courses in the country ... a case where the "fourth-fiddle" is world class?!

7T. Widgi Creek Golf Club
There are so many great resort courses in Bend, but this is where the locals play - all the natural beauty, just as challenging, half the price.

7T. Black Butte Ranch, Glaze Meadow
After an amazing redesign, Glaze Meadow is now the headliner that makes Black Butte one of the greatest golf destinations in the Pacific Northwest.

9. Tetherow Golf Club
Another Bend area course, and a McLay-Kidd design, Tetherow is a brutally tough track with a unique high-desert layout.

10. Bandon Crossings Golf Course
Most golf trippers to Bandon never wander off the resort, but if they do this is where they're going, the "other" great area course.

11. Running Y Ranch
An out of the way place that many people can't even find, this Arnold Palmer designed course is the centerpiece of a picture-perfect Oregon resort.

California Superior
1. Pebble Beach Golf Links
Of the three true "bucket list" golf courses in the world (Augusta National, The Old Course, Pebble), this is probably the easiest to access. Everyone must play it once.

2. Spyglass Hill Golf Course
One of the best courses in the U.S., yet considered a "second-fiddle" at Pebble, some like it better as a pure, hard, but fair test of their golf game.

3. Pasatiempo Golf Club
Since you can't play Cypress Point or Augusta National, this is the best Alister MacKenzie course you are likely ever going to play.

4. CordeValle Resort
A PGA tour stop and great resort, this is an amazing northern California golf course (though perhaps just a bit overpriced ... that's for you to judge).

5. The Links at Spanish Bay
With a great reputation and a few breathtaking holes, this might be the 3rd best course in the region ... or the 7th best course on the Monterey peninsula.

6. Half Moon Bay, Ocean Course
Yet another California coastal resort, the closing holes at this course alone make a trip to Half Moon Bay worth every penny.

7. TPC Harding Park
Returning to the list this year, the transition to the TPC management model at this true muni is complete, and the course is one of the best in all of California.

8. Rustic Canyon Golf Course
Within driving distance of the northern LA basin, this is one of the best kept golf secrets on the entire west coast.

9. Saddle Creek
Speaking of unknown golf locations, this central California community/resort welcomes public play at their world-class course.

10. Chardonnay Golf Club
We have been known to mix golf and alcohol, so on a trip to Napa Valley this is the course to play between winery visits.

11. La Purisima Golf Course
A truly great course, if La Purisima were anywhere near a significant population center this would be a world famous public course.

Sierra Nevada
1. DarkHorse Golf Club
Once again, DarkHorse proves it is our favorite course in the Sacramento area. This course is fun to play, while requiring you to hit every club in your bag well.

2. Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course
The most famous course in this region, the lakeside holes on this course are the exclamation point on an overall great golf experience.

3. Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club
One of the lesser known resort destinations in California, you may not go here for the golf ... but you better have brought you clubs anyway!

4. Old Greenwood
The best of the Tahoe Mountain Resort courses, this Jack Nicklaus design takes advantage of all the natural beauty in this region.

5. Genoa Lakes, Resort Course
Genoa Lakes is a legitimate Reno golf trip destination, and the Resort Course is the better layout of the two at this wonderful property.

6. Nakoma Resort, Dragon Course
Former amazing local course, turned private country club, now turned resort, the Dragon has again emerged as a fantastic resort course.

7. Coyote Moon
Another great course in north Lake Tahoe, Coyote Moon might just be the most tree-lined golf course you will ever see in your life.

8. Winchester Country Club
Close enough to be considered "near Sacramento", this location is part private club, part resort, part public golf course, and all awesome.

9. Lakeridge Golf Course
A true "local favorite" in the Reno area, and a RT Jones Sr. design, Lakeridge provides a great all-around golf course with some unique challenges.

10. Gray’s Crossing
The third of the Tahoe Mountain Resort courses, making this location in the north Lake Tahoe area a true summer golf destination.

11. Genoa Lakes, Lakes Course
When we said the Resort Course was the "better layout" at Genoa Lakes, that didn't mean the Lakes Course was bad - it too is a great Reno golf course.

Greater Las Vegas
1. Wolf Creek Golf Club
Perhaps the most amazing layout in the United States, Wolf Creek is as close as a golf course can come to providing roller coaster excitement.

2. Conestoga Golf Club
Another Mesquite NV location, this new-ish course provides a canyon/dunes layout option as opposed to the rocky cliffsides of other area courses.

3. Paiute Resort, Wolf Course
Probably the best truly public course in the immediate Las Vegas area, "The Wolf" is the best course at this outstanding 54 hole facility.

4. Oasis Golf Club, Palmer Course
When going to play all the great courses in Mesquite, this is the one true resort to stay and play at, and the Palmer Course is the route to test you.

5, Arroyo Golf Club
Arroyo Golf Club has begun to emerge as the favorite public course for Las Vegas locals, with great conditions throughout the course.

6T. Falcon Ridge Golf Course
Another of the newer Mesquite courses, Falcon Ridge is very like Wolf Creek, but perhaps a bit more "fair" to the average golfer.

6T. Aliante Golf Club
Proof of the Midas Touch the Troon Golf organization possesses, Aliante is a fantastic public course that provides the prototypical "desert golf" experience in Vegas.

8. Bear's Best Las Vegas
The best of the "gimmick" courses in Vegas, this track truly delivers on the promise of combining a solid collection of the "best holes" into a great course.

9. The Chase at Coyote Springs
While far out of the way of most other golf destinations, The Chase is worth the drive to find not just a great course, but a great golf experience.

10. Royal Links Golf Club
Another "gimmick" course, but this time providing all the best holes of the British Open venues, a place you gotta play if just to take on the "road hole".

11. Angel Park
This is the place where locals rave about both the fantastic local course, and the quality of the service/experience every time out.

Arizona Unlimited
1. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, Saguaro
We-Ko-Pa is the absolute best golf destination in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, and the Saguaro course is its crown jewel. But what makes the place so great is ...

2. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, Cholla
... the 1-2 punch of both courses. Cholla, the original course at We-Ko-Pa, is second only to its younger brother in this region.

3. Troon North Golf Club, Pinnacle
Now that our members are comfortable with the rerouting, the Troon North Pinnacle course proves why it is the alpha dog of the Troon golf empire.

4. Southern Dunes Golf Club
One of the most fun courses to play in the southwest, the fact the Ak-Chin Casino is part of the mix at this resort always makes it a great destination for our members.

5. The Boulders Resort, South Course
The Boulders is one of the great resorts in Arizona, and its South Course is the perfect reason for any golfer to agree to give their spouse extra spa time.

6. Vista Verde Golf Club
Branded as "Arizona's best kept secret", they are right on the money! This might be the best course you've never heard of anywhere in the U.S.

7. Papago Golf Course
A great "true muni" owned by the city of Phoenix, Papago is the local public destination that everyone plays when they want a great Saturday with their buddies.

8. Troon North Golf Club, Monument
The "second" course at the home of the Troon North family, the Monument Course is great in its own right - you must play both when heading to this destination.

9T. Grayhawk Golf Club, Talon Course
A former PGA tour course, the Talon Course is a classic desert golf test with some of the best finishing holes you will ever encounter.

9T. Eagle Mountain Golf Club
Eagle Mountain is a bit different from other Arizona courses, tucked into a hillside community and thus creating an undulating challenge for golfers.

11. Longbow Golf Club
Longbow edged out several courses for the final slot in this region, but it was too fun of a course to leave out. It might be one of the best overall values in the area.

The Western Golf Alliance is pleased to release our 2014 "Where You Can Rip It" golf course rankings!

In 2007, our organization began these rankings as a way of returning value to the great game of golf. We wanted to advance golf in a way that explicitly benefited the "average golfer" - the weekend golfer, playing at the local muni, striving to knock two more strokes off his or her handicap, only for the personal pride that would come with it. The idea is simple: Identify, publish, and publicize the 100 best PUBLIC ACCESS golf courses in the Western U.S. Again this year, our members followed an extensive process to evaluate courses subjectively, and engaged in open discussion about the inclusion and ranking of courses in each of our nine regions.

This is the fourth time we have published these biennial rankings. Tens of thousands of golfers now view these rankings annually. Our rankings have been discussed and debated by golf magazines, and our members have been solicited for comment about courses by those same publications. Specific course rankings have been used to promote golf events, referenced in local articles about high school and college tournaments, and even cited in documents used to establish real estate values. However, we don't do this for the publicity - we do it to serve the great game of golf, and to recognize superior golf courses. We strive to acknowledge greatness, and to ensure that the typical weekend golfer can find and experience the best public golf around. As a regional golf organization, we take these rankings seriously. So next time you're looking for a great public golf experience, consider the advice of the Western Golf Alliance ... and Keep It Long and Straight!!

Eastern Washington
1. Palouse Ridge Golf Club
If more people had any idea where Pullman, Washington was, this course on the WSU campus might become known as the best college course in the U.S.

2. Wine Valley Golf Club
When you take a long weekend to the heart of Washington wine country, give your spouse a 'spa day' while you play this awesome course.

3T. Highlander Golf Club
After several years of renovations and improvements, Highlander as a course is now on par with its inspiring Columbia River Gorge views.

3T. Columbia Point Golf Course
Still - and always - our local favorite in the Tri Cities area, Columbia Point is just an all-around solid golf course with a great staff and wonderful conditions.

5. Suncadia Resort, Rope Rider Course
It took several extra years to open, but when it did Rope Rider has become the favorite public course at this five star resort.

6. Suncadia Resort, Prospector Course
Not far behind - if at all - Prospector is also a great golf course. If you take time to play one course here, you're making a mistake ... play both!

7. Apple Tree Golf Course
What some call gimmicky, others call unique. Apple Tree returns to our rankings this year as our favorite course in Yakima.

8. Indian Canyon Golf Course
Another of the great "true muni" courses in the west, this is easily our pick as our Spokane area favorite.

9. Desert Canyon Resort
This location has stumbled through a few different ownership models over the years, which unfortunately hurts the consistency of service at this great golf course.

10. Bear Mountain Ranch Resort
It seems like every hole has a view of Lake Chellan, and is either playing straight up or straight down the hillside overlooking this landmark.

11. Kahler Glen Golf and Ski Resort
Easily the least-known course on our entire rankings, this beautiful location offers a unique mountain golf experience.