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The 50 best golf courses in the Midwest, according to GOLF Magazine’s expert raters

CapRock Ranch

GOLF Magazine recently unveiled its 2022-23 ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S. But why stop there? To better illuminate the scope of epic golf around the nation, we’ve broken the country into four regions and ranked the top 50 in each. The takeaway: whatever part of the U.S. you call home, you don’t lack for world-class options. Below, you’ll find the top 50 courses in the West. 

Other regional rankings: Top 50 in the Northeast | Top 50 in the Southeast | Top 50 in the West

The golf season may not be as long in the Midwest as other parts of the United States, but all that does is build demand. Two-time U.S. Open champ Andy North once put it perfectly to GOLF Magazine: “If you get nice weather in April, you can’t keep people away.”

Yes, they’re rabid in the Midwest, and with good reason. The region delivers an incredible slate of options. Mixed in among 24 of the top 100 courses in the country, the Midwest boasts classics like Chicago Golf Club — one of the five founding clubs of the USGA — as well as modern masterpieces like CapRock Ranch, which debuts as No. 59 in the country. Now that you know their names and when to visit — May through September is your sweet spot — booking the trip is all you’ve got left to do.

The 50 best golf courses in the Midwest

1. Sand Hills — Mullen, Neb. (Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 1994)

The majesty of Sand Hills Getty Images

2. Chicago GC — Wheaton, Ill. (C.B. Macdonald, 1985; Seth Raynor, 1923)

3. Prairie Dunes — Hutchinson, Kan. (Perry Maxwell, 1937; Press Maxwell, 1957)

4. Oakland Hills – South — Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Donald Ross, 1917)

Oakland Hill is a Michigan institution. Larry Lambrecht

5. Crystal Downs — Frankfort, Mich. (Alister Mackenzie/Perry Maxwell, 1932)

6. Southern Hills — Tulsa, Okla (Perry Maxwell, 1936)

7. Shoreacres — Lake Bluff, Ill. (Seth Raynor, 1921)

8. Inverness — Toledo, Ohio (Donald Ross, 1919; Andrew Green, 2017)

9. Camargo — Cincinnati, Ohio (Seth Raynor, 1926)

10. Muirfield Village — Dublin, Ohio (Jack Nicklaus, 1974-2020)

11. The Golf Club — New Albany, Ohio (Pete Dye, 1967)

12. Whistling Straits — Haven, Wisc. (Pete Dye, 1998)

13. CapRock Ranch — Valentine, Neb. (Gil Hanse/Jim Wagner, 2021)

14. White Bear Yacht — White Bear Lake, Minn. (William Watson, 1915)

15. Moraine — Kettering, Ohio (Alex Campbell, 1930)

Moraine from above. John Cavalier

16. Scioto — Columbus, Ohio (Donald Ross, 1916; Andrew Green, 2021)

17. Milwaukee — River Hills, Wisc. (C.H. Alison, 1929)

18. Lawsonia – Links — Green Lake, Wisc. (Bill Langford/Ted Moreau, 1930)

19. Saint Louis CC — St. Louis, Mo. (S.B. Macdonald, 1914)

20. Kingsley — Kingsley, Mich. (Mike DeVries, 2001)

21. Prairie Club – Dunes — Valentine, Neb. (Tom Lehman/Chris Brands, 2010)

The Dunes Course at Prairie Club. Brian Oar

22. Davenport — Pleasant Valley, Iowa (C.H. Alison, 1924; Forse Golf Design, 2014)

23. Brookside — Canton, Ohio (Donald Ross, 1922)

24. Sand Valley – Sand Valley — Neekoosa, Wisc. (Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2017)

25. Trinity Forest — Dallas, Texas

26. Interlachen — Edina, Minn.

27. Erin Hills — Erin, Wisc.

28. Sand Valley – Mammoth Dunes — Neekoosa, Wisc.

29. Old Elm — Highland Park, Ill.

30. Landmand — Homer, Neb.

31. Cedar Rapids — Cedar Rapids, Iowa

32. Forest Dunes – The Loop — Roscommon, Mich.

It’s not hard to imagine how Forest Dunes can play in each direction. Courtesy Photo

33. Dismal River – Red — Mullen, Neb.

34. Whispering Pines — Trinity, Texas

35. Omaha — Omaha, Neb.

36. Olympia Fields – North — Olympia Fields, Ill.

Some of the best players in the world have routinely visited Olympia Fields’s North Course during PGA Tour events. Getty Images
Billy Horschel plays from the rolling fairways of Olympia Fields’ North Course. Getty Images

37. Harvester — Rhodes, Iowa

38. Beverly — Chicago, Ill.

39. TXO (formerly Wolf Point) — Port Lavaca, Texas

40. Kirtland — Willoughby, Ohio

41. Idle Hour — Lexington, Ky.

42. Ozarks National at Big Cedar Lodge — Hollister, Mo.

The walk up the 6th at Ozarks National. Evan Schiller

43. Pine Hills — Sheboygan, Wisc.

44. Austin Golf Club — Austin, Texas

45. Medinah #3 — Medinah, Ill.

46. Franklin Hills — Farmington Hills, Mich.

47. Blackwolf Run – River — Kohler, Wisc.

Blackwolf Run USGA/Steven Gibbons

48. Canterbury — Beachwood, Ohio

49. Brook Hollow — Dallas, Texas

50. Bloomfield Hills — Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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