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