GOLF’s course evaluation board
November 29, 2020
For every great spot that made GOLF’s 2020-21 ranking among the top 100 courses in the US, dozens of other must-play games have been externally directed – including at least a handful in your home state. Some of these designs just missed a Top 100 nomination, others ended up lower in the ranking, but all are well worth your time. To highlight the best courses in each state, we’ve put the full results of our top 100 courses into lists by state. Here’s a closer look at Oregon.
Oregon Golf by the Numbers:
Number of courses and US rank: 201 (28) *
Number of golfers per capita rank: 39 *
Average green fees for public courses: $$ of $$$ *
Average Daily Temperature and Rank: 48.4 (33)
Annual rainfall and rank: 27.4 in. (36)
* Source: National Golf Foundation
All of our market picks are selected and curated independently by the editorial team. When you purchase a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Prices may vary.
Best Golf Courses in Oregon (2020/2021)
1. Pacific Dunes (Bandon) [1, 2, 3, P]
This unconventional Doak delight catapulted him into the limelight. A series of par-4s on the first nine gives way to a peculiar 3-3-5-4-3-5 start on the second nine. Only Mike Keizer would have agreed to such an unusual sequence, and this course helped modern architecture break free of certain design restraints that had restricted designers over the past five decades. Scattered blowout bunkers, gigantic natural dunes, elegantly contoured greens and Pacific panoramas complete Doak’s first masterpiece.
Book a tee time with Pacific Dunes.
2. Bandon Trails (Bandon) [1, 2, 3, P]
Some of Coore & Crenshaw’s best designs are in hard-to-reach private clubs, but much of their work is graciously available to the public, often courtesy of Mike Keizer. This is one of their best – public or private. The route runs over and over rolling dunes and through an enchanting coastal forest, and the fact that you don’t miss the sight of the water for most of the loop speaks for its design quality.
Book a tee time with Bandon Trails.
3. Bandon Dunes (Bandon) [1, 2, 3, P]
Bandon’s original course is a design by David McLay Kidd draped on rugged headlands over the Pacific. The ocean view is stunning to the senses, along with steep-pinned sand dunes sprinkled with Scottish broom and gorse bushes, coastal pines, crashing surf, windswept tall native grasses, and stacked lawn bunkers. The most memorable tests at the sea are the par 4, 4 and 5, the par 3 12 and the mobile par 4 16, each with a breathtaking landscape and pleasant risk / gain. No wonder the 2020 US amateur broadcast was fascinating from here.
Book a tee time with Bandon Dunes.
4. Old Macdonald (Bandon) [1, 3, P]
True to its name, this collaboration between Tom Doak and Jim Urbina pays homage to the giant of the Golden Age, Charles Blair Macdonald, who himself was known for paying tribute through his portfolio of template holes. The Redan. The short film. The long. The Eden. Here you’ll find references to all of these points, along with tips on the St. Andrews Road Hole and Double Plateau Green, which Macdonald first used at National Golf Links. For all its imitation, Old MacDonald leaves a unique impression with deep, riveted bunkers and solid fescue turf that allows for as faithful an Old World link experience as any publicly accessible course in the US.
Book a tee time at Old Macdonald.
5. Sheep Ranch (Bandon) [1, 3, P]
The newest building in Bandon Dunes is a masterpiece of routing and sits on the smallest of the property’s five 18-hole courses. However, it has the longest stretch of coastline with nine greens on the seaside cliffs. Another noticeable feature is the lack of bunkers. Instead, the holes are framed by gorse, native grasses, and a few dead trees known as “tree stumps”. Some of these ghostly guardians stand astride the first hole (par 5) that curves over a ridge towards the water for one of the game’s most exciting ocean revelations.
Book a tee time at the Sheep Ranch.
6. Eugene (Eugene)
7. Waverley (Portland)
8. Crosswater (Bend)
9. Silvies Valley Ranch – Craddock / Hankins (Seneca) [P]
Book a tee time at the Silvies Valley Ranch.
10. Pumpkin Comb – Witches Cave (North Plains)
11. Pronghorn – Fazio (bend) [3, P]
Book a tee time with Pronghorn.
12. Pronghorn – Nicklaus (Bend) [3, P]
Book a tee time with Pronghorn.
13. Portland (Portland)
14. Astoria (Warrenton)
15. Tetherow (bend) [P]
Book in Tetherow at start time.
1 = GOLF Top 100 course in the USA
2 = GOLF Top 100 course in the world
3 = GOLF Top 100 Resort
P = resort / public golf course
Ed. Note: Some courses were not listed in our ranking because they did not receive enough votes.
Course spotlight: Waverley Country Club (Portland), 7th place in Oregon. At 6,668 yards, Waverley doesn’t test the golfer for as long as it does for ornate architecture, courtesy of Chandler Egan. Amazingly, this course has one of the best par 3 sets of any course on the list, including the 130 yard course over a deep front bunker and the sharp downhill 220 yard course with the gushing Willamette River as a backdrop. As with Baltusrol Lower, the course ends with two cracking par 5s that are completely different from each other. – GOLF Top 100 Course Rater
How we rate America’s best golf courses
For the newly published 2020-21 US list, a list of 489 courses was made available to each panelist. Alongside this list of courses were 11 “buckets” or groupings. If our panellists rated a course as one of the top three in the country, they ticked this box. If they believed the rate in the US was below numbers 4 to 10, they checked this box, followed by 11 to 25, 26 to 50, and so on.
Panellists could also write on courses that they thought should have been included in the vote (we had fewer than a handful of such additions to the US vote).
Points were assigned to each bucket; To get an average score for each course, we divide the total score by the number of votes. From this point on, the courses will be classified accordingly. It’s a purposely simple and straightforward process. Why? Because it always produces results that are widely praised. As with the game itself, there is no need to unnecessarily complicate things.
To learn more about how we rate courses, click or tap here.
Meet our course assessors
We empower and hold a group of 97 well-traveled and well-connected golfers / enthusiasts responsible, each able to express their own sense of outstanding design at the highest level. The group is experienced and experienced – we are looking for evaluators who know what is out there, what is changing and what is in store for the pike. By assessing contributions on four continents, our panelists are able to put courses from different regions around the globe in the right context. This is one of the main reasons why GOLF’s top 100 finishes are most valued in the game.
Other ranking outlets employ thousands of reviewers. Our less-is-more approach creates a more meaningful and thoughtful list. Think about it: when planning a golf trip, do you call every golfer you know? No. You contact a handful of people whose opinions you value most.
Meet our entire crew of panelists here.