Public Golf Course Rankings of the Western Golf Alliance

Copyright 2002-2019, Western Golf Alliance, LLC. All rights reserved
Emerald Portlandia
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 somehow underappreciated.

2. Salish Cliffs Golf Course
Salish Cliffs is always in GREAT condition, and while it can be very challenging it remains one of the three most entertaining courses in all of Washington State.

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

4T. 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.

4T. Chambers Bay
Yes it's great, butwhen you charge top $ for greens so bad your caddies appologize for them 6-7 times per round, your groundskeeping team needs to be fired. NOW.

6. Camus Meadows Golf Club
Just across the Columbia River, tucked back into a great woodlands setting, this is actually the "local favorite" for golfers in Portland.

7. 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 Portland courses just south of downtown.

8. 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.

9. The WSGA Home Course
Now that this location has hosted national amateur events and proven its chops, the Home Course is a high quality and entertaining test of your golf game.

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

11. 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.

Southern California
1. Torrey Pines, South Course
A "true muni", a PGA tour stop, and a U.S. Open host course ... that is a great public golf course, especially for locals who get a HUGE discount on greens fees.

2. Pelican Hill, Ocean South Course
Pelican Hill feels like a "top rated private club" or "five star resort", but anyone can play it any time. The best feature on the entire property is the beautiful south course.

3. The Crossings at Carlsbad
With ocean views, undulating fairways, perfect conditions, and great staff, this is the course San Diego locals love to play all year long.

4. 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.

5. Maderas Golf Club
Built as a private club, Maderas continues to excel as a public venue, and is now firmly established as one of the best courses in all of Southern California.

6. 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.

7. 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).

8. Barona Creek Golf Club
This casino course north of San Diego is good enough to a former mini-tour course, and is great for Saturday 18 or a weekend getaway.

9. Sandpiper Golf Club
A public course near Santa Barbara, Sandpiper always had the "curb appeal" with its Pacific vistas, but locals love the place now that they've improved the conditions.

10. Trump National Los Angeles
We tried to find reasons to not include this location - honestly, we did! - but this is a must-play course with great views and even better service.

11T. Rustic Canyon Golf Course / Indian Wells Resort (Players)
A little known location near LA perfect for a quick 18, and a famous Palm Springs destination resort. These last two SoCal locations couldn't be any more different.

Directors' Choice
1. Kapalua Golf, Plantation Course
One of the true "event" destinations on the PGA Tour, Kapalua Plantation is a  bucket-list calibur course in paradise and a must-play for any golfer visiting Maui.

2. Sand Hollow Resort
A unique course in southern Utah, Sand Hollow provides a challenge wrapped through red-rock canyons.

3. Fairmont Jasper Park Golf Course
Tucked out of the way in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper Park is a destination course located in one of the most beautiful national parks in North America.

4. Coeur d'Alene Resort
Without a lot of locals, this is a destination resort course that is famous for its floating island green, but is significantly more than just that one hole.

5. Fairmont Banff Springs - Thompson Course
Banff is a vacation location west of Calgary, and if you ever go there take your sticks. This resort course is a special treat with amazing mountain vistas all around.

6. Mauna Kea Golf Course
The 'original' course built on the black lava flows on the Big Island, Mauna Kea is still the best, and also has easier access that other resort courses on the Kona Coast.

7. Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club
The best course in the Vancouver area is another Fairmont resort course, and again rolling through some of the greatest mountain scenery in North America.

8. Shadow Mountain Golf Course
For golfers near Calgary, Shadow Mountain - one of the 50 best courses in Canada - is a non-resort course that locals can rely upon as the cornerstone of a weekend getaway.

9. Coeur d’Alene Casino, Circling Raven Golf Course
A top 100 course that used to be a stand alone public course, combining Circling Raven with the Coeur d'Alene Casino created a great golf destination.

10. Manele Golf Course
This amazing course is under appreciated due to being located on isolated Lanai. If you are seeking a Hawaii golf trip, this really needs to be on your itinerary.

11. Princeville Makai Golf Club
When The Prince course went semi-private, Princeville put money into Makai to turn it into the best public course on Kauai. It is worth a day of vacation to play here.

Other Oregon
1. Pronghorn Club, Nicklaus Course
Bend/Sunriver is a premier golf destintion, and Pronghorn-Nicklaus is easily the cornerstone course that establishes the credentials for this small town.

2. Crosswater at Sunriver
Crosswater hosted NCAA tournaments, PGA championships, USGA tournaments, and a Champions Tour major - this is one absolutely great golf course.

3. Brasada Canyons
After some changes, if you're lucky enough to have a business trip to this remote ranch-style resort, bring your clubs for an outstanding golf experience.

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

5. Widgi Creek Golf Club
There are many great resort courses in central Oregon, but this is where the locals take visiting friends to play - all the beauty, just as challenging, half the price.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Black Butte Ranch, Glaze Meadow
Both courses at Black Butte Ranch were remodeled this decade, but Glaze Meadow is the headliner that makes Black Butte a fine golf destination.

9. Aspen Lakes Golf Course
Mostly known for its red-volcanic-sand traps, Aspen Lakes is  the course locals in the Sisters/Bend area are most likely to play for a special weekend outing.

10. Eagle Point Golf Club
North of Medford, if this course were in a better known location it would be widely known as one of the absolutely best courses in Oregon.

11. Black Butte Ranch, Big Meadow
Also redesigned a few years ago, Big Meadow is a solid course that provides Black Butte Ranch with the 1-2 punch of more famous top-end golf resorts.

Sequoia Dunes
1. Pebble Beach Golf Links
Of the three true "bucket list" golf courses in the world (Augusta National, The Old Course, Pebble), all you need to play here is money. Everyone must play it once.

2. Bandon Dunes Resort, Pacific Dunes
"Pebble vs. Bandon" again comes down to a discussion of the single best course or overall quality. Pac Dunes remains the best course at the Bandon Resort.

3. Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon Dunes
... And the original course at the resort remains just barely behind. Purists may like other courses, but some of the greatest holes in the world are on this course.

4. Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon Trails
We think this is Bandon's 3rd - not 4th - best course. Because it is different than the other three course, it is a must-play during your visit.

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

6. Bandon Dunes Resort, Old MacDonald
Old Mac is probably the trickiest of the Bandon course, with wide open fairways, hidden traps, and huge greens, presenting infinite possibilities.

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

8. The Links at Spanish Bay
With a great reputation and a few breathtaking holes, this course suffers by comparison to Pebble and Spyglass, but don't skip it during your trip.

9. Bayonet Black Horse (Bayonet)
The 36 hole location visitors skip when they're busy playing Pebble, the locals know they are blessed by having this place all to themselves.

10. Poppy Hills
Technically not part of the Pebble Beach resort, Poppy Hills is still part of the PGA event rota, and the place you should play if you're in the area not 'on-resort'.

11. Pacific Grove Golf Links
Monterrey Peninsula locals know this is their hidden gem - a solid true muni on the Pacific costing literally pennies on the dollar compared to the local resort.

California Sierra
1. DarkHorse Golf Club
DarkHorse remains our traditional favorite course in the Sacramento area. This course is fun to play, while requiring you to hit every club in your bag well.

2. Rosewood CordeValle Resort
Now an established tour stop and great resort, this a great destination for any group planning a northern California golf weekend.

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

4. The Course at Wente Vineyard
After this course was acquired and upgraded by a local winery, it is now an enjoyable experience during a weekend getaway or just a quick 18 holes.

5T. Nakoma Resort, Dragon Course
Former amazing local course, turned private country club, now turned resort, the Dragon has again emerged as a fantastic, accessible course.

5T. 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!

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

8. Saddle Creek
This unknown location aggressively advertises it is open to the public, while the locals truly hope you never, ever hear about it.

9. Coyote Moon Golf Course
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.

10. Incline Village, Championship Course
Meanwhile back in the Stateline area, the Championship Course is a great course nestled in the mountainside overlooking the lake and town.

11. Silverado Resort, North Course
Another PGA Tour stop to bookend this region's rankings, Silverado survived recent fires and is the favorite destination for golf in the Napa Valley.

Greater Las Vegas
1. Wolf Creek Golf Club
Perhaps the most amazing layout in the U.S., Wolf Creek has been recreated for video games despite most golfers not even knowing where it is.

2. Conestoga Golf Club
Another Mesquite NV location, this relatively unknown 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. Falcon Ridge Golf Course
Now that it has matured, Falcon Ridge is very similar to the Wolf Creek experience, but perhaps a bit more "fair" to the average golfer.

5. Royal Links Golf Club
Classified as a "gimmick" course because it recreates former British holes, this is actually a fine course and a lot of fun to play.

6. Shadow Creek
Bottom line: If you can play here, you pay the money and do it, just so you can wisper about the experience to other golfers for years and years to come.

7. Coyote Springs Golf Club
While far out of the way of most other golf destinations, Coyote Springs is worth the drive to find not just a great course, but a great golf experience.

8. Cascata
Affiliated with Caesar's Palace, Cascata was built to compete with other 'high-roler' perks, and is certainly worth doing the little extra effort to play a round there.

9. 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.

10. Bear's Best Las Vegas
Another "gimmick" courses in Vegas, this track delivers on the promise of combining a collection of the "best Nicklaus designed holes" into a great course.

11. Paiute Resort, Sun Mountain Course
The second of the three courses at Paiute, Sun Mountain is the most straightforward - and probably the most consistent conditioned - of the courses here.

Arizona Unlimited
1. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, Cholla
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, Saguaro
... the 1-2 punch of both courses. Saquaro is second only to its older brother Cholla  when it comes to quality golf 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. Ak-Chin 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. 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.

6. Quintero Golf Club
30 miles due north of Phoenix, this course isn't easy for locals to get to, and yet they regularly make the trek to this amazing desert destination course.

7. TPC Scottsdale, Stadium Course
After a remodel that was the buzz of the early PGA Tour two seasons ago, the Stadium Course is once again the place locals proudly take their visiting friends.

8. Verrado Golf Club
Without a doubt, Verrado is the favorite course for all golfers in the west Phoenix area, and the place they are most likely to play every Saturday.

9. Arizona National Golf Club
After a few years of financial turmoil, our members in Tuscon have rediscovered their love for this track, as it has re-emerged as the local favorite.

10. 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.

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 2018 "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 West. 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 sixth 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 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 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!!

Evergreen State
1. Gamble Sands
This new creation in the middle of nowhere (an hour northeast of ... Chelan?) has immediately become the best course in Washington, hands down.

2. 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.

3. Suncadia Resort, Rope Rider Course
Suncadia continues to grow into its desire to be a destination resort, and Rope Rider is the primary reasons why golfers need a weekend getaway here.

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

5. Suncadia Resort, Prospector Course
Not far behind Rope Rider - if at all - Prospector is also a great golf course. If you take time to play only one course here ... you're doing it wrong. Play both!

6. Semiahmoo Resort, Loomis Trail
As the Semiahmoo Resort recovers from past financial woes, the Loomis Trail course remains one of the best courses in northwest Washington.

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

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

9. Highlander Golf Club
Highlander is a stand-alone course that competes with resort destinations, but it is a great course with a solid layout and inspiring Columbia River views.

10. Bear Mountain Ranch
Any golfer taking a weekend trip to Lake Chelan - but who doesn't get out to Gamble Sands - plays the hillside course at Bear Mountain with its majestic views.

11. 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 good staff and consistent conditions.