Industry News

Golf Advisor debuts 2021 ‘Golfers’ Choice’ lists, revealing the courses recreational golfers say are best in 10 categories

Top 50 U.S. courses highlights collection, also featuring rankings of courses by state, most improved, pace of play, value, course conditions, staff friendliness, and more

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2021) – Golf Advisor today revealed its highly anticipated, annual collection of Golfers' Choice lists of the best golf courses in the United States, which can be found within dedicated pages on GolfPass.

Relied on by recreational golfers for its 1-million-plus, user-generated golf course reviews and expert travel content, Golf Advisor recently completed its integration to GolfPass, the sport’s most comprehensive digital destination and membership program. The Golfers’ Choice lists – recognizing top courses in 10 categories as determined by golfers who shared their reviews throughout the previous year – are revealed each January and are Golf Advisor’s most popular lists.

“2020 was a remarkable year for the game and that was reflected in the more than 265,000 reviews we received, a 72% increase year over year,” said Brandon Tucker, senior managing editor for GolfPass. “The golf courses that were able to navigate the pandemic and still provide a safe and exemplary experience were rewarded by grateful golfers who found a refuge at their facility and thanked them for their efforts.”

The Golfers’ Choice lists recognize top courses in 10 categories, highlighted by the "Top 50"  overall, and also including:

  • Most Improved
  • Value
  • Layout
  • Staff Friendliness
  • Pace of Play
  • Course Conditions
  • Off-Course Amenities
  • By State
  • Short
  • College

Unlike golf course rankings published by industry insiders who have access to golf courses the public may never have the opportunity to play, Golf Advisor’s Golfers’ Choice lists are totally consumer driven – by recreational golfers, for recreational golfers. Ages, handicaps and budgets of golfers using the website run the gamut, so the 1-million-plus reviews Golf Advisor has accumulated showcase the golf course characteristics that are the most important to avid golfers across the country.

“The average star rating from our community was at all-time highs,” Tucker said. “And perhaps due to travel restrictions and guidelines, local-oriented courses within and near metro areas appeared to score particularly well in this year’s lists.” 

More than 4,200 golf courses received the minimum 10 reviews in 2020 to qualify for consideration. All Golfers’ Choice lists are based on more than 265,000 user-generated reviews received throughout the year.

Below is Golf Advisor’s Golfers’ Choice list of "Top 50" golf courses in the U.S. for 2021. Additional categories can be found on GolfPass. An asterisk signifies the 17 courses that have never previously appeared on the list:

1.         Yocha Dehe at Cache Creek Casino – Brooks, Calif. 
2.         Erin Hills* – Erin, Wisc. 
3.         Wilderness Golf Course – Lake Jackson, Texas
4.         Nicklaus Course at Pinehills Golf Club – Plymouth, Mass. 
5.         Snow Mountain at Las Vegas Paiute – Las Vegas 
6.         Jones Course at Pinehills Golf Club – Plymouth, Mass.
7.         Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute – Las Vegas
8.         Quail Lodge Resort & Club* – Carmel, Calif. 
9.         Talamore Golf Club* – Southern Pines, N.C. 
10.       Prairie Landing Golf Club, West Chicago, Ill. 
11.       Wynn Golf Club* – Las Vegas 
12.       Tobacco Road Golf Club – Sanford, N.C. 
13.       Atlantic City Country Club – Northfield, N.J. 
14.       The Ranch Golf Club – Southwick, Mass.
15.       Riverwood Golf Club – Port Charlotte, Fla. 
16.       Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club – Wickenburg, Ariz.
17.       Arrowhead Golf Club* – Wheaton, Ill. 
18.       Koasati Pines at Coushatta – Kinder, La. 
19.       Commander at Lakewood National - Lakewood, Fla. 
20.       Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale* – Scottsdale, Ariz. 
21.       Championship Course at Sand Hollow* – Hurricane, Utah 
22.       Old Course at Omni Bedford Springs Resort – Bedford, Pa. 
23.       Ballamor Golf Club – Egg Harbor Township, N.J. 
24.       Devil’s Claw at Whirlwind Golf Club – Chandler, Ariz. 
25.       Rio Secco Golf Club*, Henderson, Nev. 
26.       Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort* - Kiawah, S.C.
27.       Players Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort – Indian Wells, Calif.
28.       Laughlin Ranch Golf Club* - Bullhead City, Ariz.
29.       Maderas Golf Club – Poway, Calif. 
30.       Chariot Run – Laconia, Ind. 
31.       Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club – Pierson, Mich. 
32.       Los Caballeros Golf Club – Wickenburg, Ariz. 
33.       Knoll West Country Club* - Parsippany, N.J. 
34.       Rams Hill Golf Club – Borrego Springs, Calif. 
35.       Annbriar Golf Club – Waterloo, Ill. 
36.       Branson Hills Golf Club* – Branson, Mo. 
37.       FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms – Sylacauga, Ala. 
38.       Links at Land’s End* – Yantis, Texas. 
39.       Thunderhawk Golf Club* – Beach Park, Ill.  
40.       White Horse Golf Club – Kingston, Wash.  
41.       Black Course at Streamsong Resort* – Fort Meade, Fla.  
42.       Southern Hills Plantation – Brooksville, Fla.  
43.       Tierra Verde Golf Club* – Arlington, Texas 
44.       Gaylord Golf Club* – Gaylord, Mich. 
45.       Cateechee – Hartwell, Ga.
46.       Pasatiempo Golf Club – Santa Cruz, Calif.  
47.       Quintero Golf Club – Peoria, Ariz. 
48.       Kiva Dunes – Gulf Shores, Ala. 
49.       Chimney Oaks Golf Club* – Homer, Ga. 
50.       Royal Hylands Golf Club – Knightstown, Ind.

GOLFPASS HELPS GOLFERS PLAY MORE AND BETTER GOLF:  GolfPass is designed for today’s golfer and is the only digital golf membership that delivers exclusive content and comprehensive benefits designed to help every type of golfer – from beginner to expert – play more and better golf. Developed in partnership between global golf superstar Rory McIlroy and NBC Sports Group, GolfPass is a first-of-its-kind, direct-to-consumer subscription program, which offers opportunities to play more golf, comprehensive tools to improve any golfer’s game and high-quality video content. Series included in the vast library of video content available exclusively as part of a GolfPass membership, are originals like The Conor Moore ShowBreaking into the Game: Juniors with Michael Bannon, My Daily RoutineMy Roots, and more. A GolfPass membership is available in North America at, in the U.K. and Republic of Ireland at, and in Australia at The GolfPass membership also is available via connected TV, iOS and Android apps.

 -NBC Sports Group-

Dan Higgins
GOLF Communications