Top 10 Golf Courses of 2015

As 2016 approaches, we can’t help but reflect back on what an amazing 2015 season we’ve had. We started the year on an incredible three month road trip, where we set sail in Calgary and drove through Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and saw nearly the entire coastlines of California and Oregon.

We were fortunate to play a lot of amazing courses in 2015. Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe that we played all these courses in one calendar year.

There are so many factors to consider when narrowing down a list of golf courses, and ranking them 1 through 10. Ranking golf courses is subjective, no matter what anyone says. A combination of architecture, value, routing (is it walkable?), playing conditions, prestige/history, and overall experience are factored into this particular list.

After much contemplation, here are my top 10 golf courses played in 2015.

10. Pacific Grove Golf Links, Pacific Grove, California (click here for full review)

PG Golf Links gets my vote for the best value in golf, which earns it a much deserved spot on this list. Also known as “Poor Man’s Pebble”, this charming, down-to-earth municipal golf course offers up some stunning ocean views on the back-9, without charging ocean view prices.

Pacific Grove Golf Links

9. Silverado Resort (North Course), Napa, California (click here for full review)

World-class golf in the heart of California wine country — what’s not to love about that?  Johnny Miller did a great job giving this track a face lift. It has proved challenging enough to host the PGA Tour, yet remains playable enough to be a fun resort course the other 51 weeks of the year. Throw in superb service and great facilities, and it’s an experience that won’t disappoint.

Silverado Resort North Course

8. Tower Ranch Golf Club, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada (click here for full review)

Tower Ranch offers up some of the best views of the stunning Okanagan Valley. They sacrificed convenient routing to carve out the most picturesque golf holes that they could. A very unique golfing experience.

Tower Ranch Golf Club

7. Bermuda Dunes Country Club, Bermuda Dunes, California (click here for full review)

I am a sucker for old, classic layouts made for walking. Bermuda Dunes has stood the test of time, which played host to the PGA Tour for 50 years. It’s a challenging course with unique, domed green complexes. This private club provides 5-star service, adding to the memorable experience.

Bermuda Dunes Country Club

6. TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California (click here for full review)

Another old, classic layout that begs you to walk. A solid challenge without any frills or gimmicks. It has plenty of allure having hosted many prestigious events such as the 2005 WGC American Express Championship, the 2009 Presidents Cup, the Champions Tour Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2010, 2011, and 2013, and the 2015 WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship.

TPC Harding Park 18th hole

5. Bandon Dunes, Bandon, Oregon (click here for full review)

The original course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. A cool mix of links golf and modern features, with stunning views of the Pacific. A memorable,  bucket-list experience.

Bandon Dunes

4. Torrey Pines (South), La Jolla, California (click here for full review)

A front-runner for most difficult course on the list. If the site of Tiger’s amazing 2008 U.S Open triumph doesn’t get you excited, well, I can’t help you. With The North Course next door, Torrey produces a powerful, must-play duo.

Torrey Pines South

3. Bandon Trails, Bandon, Oregon (click here for full review)

Coore and Crenshaw hit a homerun with Trails. In my humble opinion, the best designed and most underrated course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. I could play this course everyday and not get tired of it.

Bandon Trails

2. Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach, California (click here for full review)

I can’t get enough of this golf course. The opening ocean holes among the coastal dunes are some of the most scenic in the game, and pair nicely with the peaceful and scenic trek through the Del Monte forest. Spyglass is a stern challenge, but very fair.

Spyglass Hill #1

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California (click here for full review)

The Mount Everest of public golf courses. It’s tough to compare the experience you get at Pebble Beach. Holes 6 through 10 are quite possibly the best stretch of holes in all of golf. The fact that I played here the morning before getting married (read about our day here) makes it that much more special to me. I also birdied this little beauty below, which helps.

Pebble Beach Golf Links #7

Here is to a great 2015, and an even better 2016! Thanks to everyone who is following along, you’re the best.

Happy golfing!

Josh

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  13 comments for “Top 10 Golf Courses of 2015

  1. December 21, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Josh these are amazing choices. Top 10 in 2015. Those could be top 10 in a lifetime for most golfers. You are blessed no doubt. It’s always great to reflect back on the new courses we played.

    • December 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Linley,

      Blessed indeed…I didn’t take a moment for granted. It’ll be tough to top in 2016, but there’s no harm in trying!

      Cheers and happy holidays!
      Josh

      • December 22, 2015 at 6:14 pm

        Amen. 2015 will be a tough act to follow. And I am sure you will enjoy every moment trying 👍

  2. December 22, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Thank you for posting, thank you for 2015, and thank you for the greetings.
    A happy 2016 to You and Yours too.

    • December 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you very much! Happy holidays and a happy 2016 to you as well!

      Cheers
      Josh

  3. December 22, 2015 at 3:47 am

    That is an impressive list. I like your criteria and the value you place on ‘gems’ which may be underrated.

    Have a great holidays and hopefully 2016 will allow for a new and exciting list to be developed.

    Cheers, Mike

    • December 22, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Mike,

      Thanks a lot. Good value courses are important and definitely deserve more attention. Why can’t they be on the same lists as Pebble?

      This list will be tough to top in 2016, but it’ll be great in its own unique way. Enjoy the holidays my friend!

      Cheers
      Josh

  4. December 22, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Wow, sounds like you had a great 2015 on the golf course!

    • December 23, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Hi Aaron,

      It was a pretty great year indeed! It’ll be tough to top in 2016, but it should be a great year as well.

      All the best and happy holidays!

      Josh

  5. December 23, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Hey Josh,

    Great to learn about courses I know nothing about. I am learning all the time and my “to play” list continuously grows from other people’s recommendations.

    I will have to come tee it up with you and Beth in 2016 – unless you want to come and play some amazing tracks on PEI. Mike (mrj803) will agree we are very lucky with the courses we have there.

    First though, I am looking forward to night golf in Abu Dhabi.

    Have a great New year.

    Cheers,
    Tiff

    • December 23, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Hi Tiff,

      That would be awesome if we had the chance to tee it up in 2016! We would love to make it out to PEI and play some golf. Mike has made it very clear that it should be high on the priority list!

      Night golf in Abu Dhabi? Sounds like a pretty cool time, I look forward to hearing about it.

      Happy holidays and all the best!

      Cheers
      Josh

  6. December 24, 2015 at 3:32 am

    What a fabulous year’s golfing. Very envious. Great photos that capture the spirit of the courses.

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