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

bandon dunes 5th hole

Bandon Dunes ranks 11th among GOLF's Top 50 Courses in the West.

Evan Schiller

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 Midwest

The famous proclamation “Go West” didn’t apply to golf, but these days it’s an apt directive for any golfer with a nose for design. The western side of the United States is teeming with incredible courses, ranging from the glitzy all-stars on the Monterey Peninsula, in California, to the wealth of linksy fun awaiting at Bandon Dunes, in southern Oregon, to a dizzying array of options in Hawaii (lush), Arizona (desert) and Colorado (mountainous). Go West, indeed…

The 50 best golf courses in the West

1. Cypress Point — Pebble Beach, Calif. (Alister MacKenzie, 1928)

cypress point drone photo
Cypress Point, in all its awe-inspiring beauty, is the top course in the western U.S. Gary Lisbon

2. Los Angeles (North) — Los Angeles, Calif. (George C. Thomas Jr., 1921)

3. Pebble Beach — Pebble Beach, Calif. (Jack Neville/Douglas Grant, 1919)

4. Riviera — Pacific Palisades, Calif. (George C. Thomas Jr./Billy Bell Sr., 1926)

5. Pacific Dunes — Bandon, Ore. (Tom Doak, 2001)

pacific dunes drone shot
GOLF’s Course Raters named Pacific Dunes the true gem of the Bandon resort courses. Evan Schiller

6. San Francisco — San Francisco, Calif. (A.W. Tillinghast, 1918)

7. California Club of San Francisco — South San Francisco, Calif. (A.V. Macan, 1926/Alister MacKenzie, 1928/Kyle Phillips, 2007)

8. Ballyneal — Holyoke, Colo. (Tom Doak, 2006)

9. Bandon Trails — Bandon, Ore. (Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2005)

10. Rock Creek Cattle Company — Deer Lodge, Mont (Tom Doak, 2008)

11. Bandon Dunes — Bandon, Ore. (David McLay Kidd, 1999)

drone shot rock creek cattle company
Rock Creek Cattle Company is a Tom Doak gem set into some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. Evan Schiller

12. Valley Club of Montecito — Montecito, Calif. (Alister MacKenzie/Robert Hunter, 1929)

13. Pasatiempo — Santa Cruz, Calif. (Alister MacKenzie, 1929)

14. Olympic Club (Lake Course) — Daly City, Calif. (Sam Whiting, 1924)

15. Monterey Peninsula (Shore Course) — Pebble Beach, Calif. (Bob Baldock, 1962/Mike Strantz, 2004)

16. Bel-Air — Los Angeles, Calif. (George C. Thomas Jr./William F. Bell, 1926)

bel-air country club
An overhead look at the bunkering and superb green complexes at Bel-Air Country Club. Evan Schiller

17. Gozzer Ranch — Harrison, Idaho (Tom Fazio, 2007)

18. Shadow Creek — Las Vegas, Nev. (Tom Fazio, 1990)

19. Old Macdonald — Bandon, Ore. (Dom Doak/Jim Urbina, 2010)

20. Monterey Peninsula (Dunes) — Pebble Beach, Calif. (Seth Raynor, 1924/Tom Fazio/Jackson Kahn, 2015)

21. Gamble Sands — Brewster, Wash. (David McLay Kidd, 2014)

gamble sands drone shot
Gamble Sands, built in 2014 by David McLay Kidd, is one of the newest additions to GOLF’s Top 100 list. Brian Oar

22. Cherry Hills — Cherry Hills Village, Colo. (William Flynn, 1923)

23. Nanea — Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (David McLay Kidd, 2003)

Nanea golf club overhead
Nanea Golf Club is the highest ranked Hawaiian course on by GOLF’s course raters. Courtesy Nanea Golf Club

24. Sheep Ranch — Bandon, Ore. (Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2020)

25. Colorado Golf Club — Parker, Colo.

26. Scottsdale National (The Other Course) — Scottsdale, Ariz.

27. Chambers Bay — University Place, Wash.

28. Spyglass Hill — Pebble Beach, Calif.

29. Forest Highlands (Canyon Course) — Flagstaff, Ariz.

30. Desert Forest — Carefree, Ariz.

31. Meadow Club — Fairfax, Calif.

32. Silvies Valley Ranch (Craddock/Hankins Reversible) — Seneca, Ore.

33. Kapalua (Plantation Course) — Lahaina, Hawaii

The Plantation Course at Kapalua rests upon one of golf’s most breathtaking vistas and recently completed a renovation to enhance its playability. Getty Images

34. Reserve at Moonlight Basin — Cameron, Mont.

35. Estancia — Scottsdale, Ariz.

36. Wilderness Club — Eureka, Mont.

37. Sand Hollow — Hurricane, Utah

shadow creek resort no. 15
Sand Hollow in Utah is built for a postcard, but that’s not all. It’s home to some of the finest publicly accessible golf in the United States. Brian G. Oar – Fairways Photography

38. Eugene Golf Club — Eugene, Ore.

39. Wilshire Golf Club — Los Angeles, Calif.

40. Rustic Canyon — Moorpark, Calif.

Rustic Canyon Golf Course
Rustic Canyon is a true hidden gem in the California golf scene. Courtesy

41. Waverley — Portland, Ore.

42. Clear Creek — Carson City, Nev.

43. Entrada — St. George, Utah

44. Mauna Kea — Waimea, Hawaii

mauna kea
Mauna Kea is not for the faint of heart. Mauna Kea

45. Stone Eagle — Palm Desert, Calif.

46. Castle Pines Castle Rock, Colo.

47. Diablo — Diablo, Calif.

48. Hokulia Kealakekua, Hawaii

49. We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro) — Fort McDowell, Ariz.

50. Challenge at Manele Bay — Lanai City, Hawaii

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