Top golf state in the country? Most players think of the sunshine in Florida or Arizona. Maybe the shoreline or mountains of both the Carolinas. California is certainly stacked.
But when it comes to elite public-access courses, no state offers a better lineup than Oregon, thanks in tremendous part to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort’s five courses.
Golfweek ranks courses by compiling the average ratings – on a points basis of 1 to 10 – of its more than 750 raters to create several industry-leading lists of courses. That includes the popular Best Courses You Can Play list for courses that allow non-member tee times. These generally are defined as layouts accessible to resort guests or regular daily-fee players.
The top five in Oregon on that list for 2021 are all at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort: No. 1 Pacific Dunes by Tom Doak, No. 2 Old Macdonald by Doak and Jim Urbina, No. 3 Bandon Dunes by David McLay Kidd, No. 4 Sheep Ranch by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and No. 5 Bandon Trails by Coore and Crenshaw.
How strong is that lineup? Bandon Trails, a gorgeous layout and the only track at the resort that isn’t directly on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, is the fifth-ranked 18 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It would be the No. 1 public-access course in every other state except five (listed with the top course in each): California (Pebble Beach), North Carolina (Pinehurst No. 2), South Carolina (Kiawah Ocean Course), Nevada (Shadow Creek) and Wisconsin (Whistling Straits).
In 2020, Golfweek compiled the average rankings of the top five public-access courses in each state to compare states. Oregon won handily, followed by Wisconsin, California, Florida and North Carolina. And Bandon Dunes achieved that superiority before the introduction of the Sheep Ranch, which opened in 2020 and was not able to contribute to that high state ranking.
And it’s not just the public-access list where Bandon Dunes shines. Take, for example, the 2021 Modern Courses list for all layouts – public or private – built in the U.S. in or after 1960. Pacific Dunes is No. 2 on that list, followed closely by No. 5 Old Mac, No. 9 Bandon Dunes, No. 13 Sheep Ranch and No. 15 Bandon Trails.
The resort also grabs much of the attention for Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses for the entire U.S. Pacific Dunes is No. 2 on that list, followed by No. 4 Old Mac, No. 6 Bandon Dunes, No. 8 Sheep Ranch and No. 10 Bandon Trails. That gives the resort five of the top 10 Resort Courses in the U.S.
Still, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is not the only destination to draw praise in Oregon from Golfweek’s Best raters.
Silvies Valley Ranch in the high desert of eastern Oregon has a reversible course built by Dan Hixson that plays in opposite directions on alternating days, sharing nine greens and with each course having nine greens of its own. Silvies’ Hankins layout is No. 6 among Oregon’s public-access layouts, and the Craddock version is No. 8 in the state. The Hankins also ranks No. 31 among all U.S. Resort Courses, and Craddock is No. 38 on that resort list.
Filling out the top 10 public-access layouts in this stacked golf state are No. 7 Crosswater in Sunriver, No. 9 Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek in North Plains and No. 10 Pronghorn’s Nicklaus Course in Bend.
Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Oregon
1. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Pacific Dunes)
Bandon (No. 2 m)
2. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Old Macdonald)
Bandon (No. 5 m)
3. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Bandon Dunes)
Bandon (No. 9 m)
4. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Sheep Ranch)*
Bandon (No. 13 m)
5. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Bandon Trails)
Bandon (No. 15 m)
6. Silvies Valley Ranch (Hankins)
8. Silvies Valley Ranch (Craddock)
9. Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek)
North Plains (m)
10. Pronghorn (Nicklaus)
Golfweek’s Best Private Courses in Oregon
1. Eugene CC
Eugene (T95 m)
2. Pronghorn (Fazio)
4. Pumpkin Ridge (Witch Hollow)
North Plains (m)
5. Portland GC
(m): modern; (c): classic
Golfweek’s Best 2021
- Top 100 Best Courses You Can Play
- Best Courses You Can Play, state by state
- Top 200 Modern Courses
- Top 200 Classic Courses
- Top 30 Campus Courses (2020)
- Top 50 Casino Courses (2020)
- Best Private Courses, state by state
How we rate them
The members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on our 10 criteria. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings on each course are averaged together to produce a final rating for each course. Then each course is ranked against other courses in its state, or nationally, to produce the final rankings.
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/05/11/golfweek-best-courses-you-can-play-2021-oregon/