The 5 best golf courses in Maine (2022/2023)
As part of GOLF’s course rating process for 2022-23, our fleet of 100-plus expert panelists identified the best golf courses in Maine. Browse the links below to check out all of our course rankings, or scroll down to see the best courses in Maine.
GOLF’s other course rankings: Top 100 Courses in the World | Top 100 Courses in the U.S. | Top 100 Courses You Can Play | Top 100 Value Courses in the U.S. | America’s Best Municipal Courses | The 100 Best Short Courses in the World
Ed. note: Some courses were omitted from our rankings because they did not receive enough votes.
The best golf courses in Maine (2022/2023)
1. Prouts Neck (Scarborough)
Wayne Stiles’ seaside masterpiece has been the subject of a sublime refurbishment effort the last 10 years. The par-3 10th is all new. The short par-4 16th feels all new. The whole place feels different — maybe because the sea or the dunes or Scarborough Marsh are visible from pretty much every hole now that so many trees are gone. The new width better shows what has always been a great set of greens.
2. Portland CC (Falmouth)
3. Cape Arundel (Kennebunkport) [P]
4. Belgrade Lakes (Belgrade Lakes) [P]
5. Kebo Valley (Bar Harbor) [P, V]
How we rank our courses
For GOLF’s course rankings lists, each panelist is provided a list of hundreds of courses and “buckets,” or groupings. If they believe the course to be among the best in its category (World, U.S. Value, etc.), they check the corresponding box to place it in a specific bucket. Panelists are also free to write in courses they felt should have been included on the ballot. Points were assigned to each bucket; to arrive at an average score for each course, we divide its aggregate score by the number of votes. From those point tallies, the courses are then ranked accordingly.
The key to the process is the experience and expertise of our panel. Hailing from 15 nations and all the worldwide golf meccas, each of our 115 handpicked panelists has a keen eye for architecture, both regionally and globally. Many of our panelists have played more than 1,000 courses in 20-plus countries.
Because we don’t prescribe a set method to assess courses as other ranks do, no one opinion carries the day — our rank is a democracy. Some panelists believe that enjoyment is the ultimate goal, and thus prioritize design attributes such as width and playing angles, while frowning on upon having to constantly hunt for balls in thick rough. Other panelists value challenge and the demands of hitting every club in the bag. Still others consider a course’s surroundings and overall environment of paramount importance, thereby emphasizing the setting and naturalness of the course. In the end, allowing raters to freely express their tastes is what produces the desired eclecticism in our Top 100 lists.
Panelist integrity is vital. Voters with any ties or associations to eligible courses must flag such conflicts. Panelists also know not to let the quality of their play influence their ballot — same for a luxe experience or clubhouse. While opulence may make for a more a memorable outing, it’s not what GOLF’s course lists are about. Our focus is on design and architecture. We study the course, not the trappings around it.
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