Flint Hills National-17

Top 100 Golf Courses 2019: Honorable Mentions

Each year it becomes increasingly difficult to publish my list of my favorite top 100 golf courses.

It’s hard enough when I’m playing a couple dozen new courses each year, but then when you throw in the fact that there are many courses I now haven’t played in a few years – it’s quite the challenge.

But we must press on!

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time over the last month pouring over photos, scorecards, and my previous writings to come up with my list of my favorite 100 courses in the world.

But obviously, with only 100 on the list, there are going to be some great courses that get left out in the cold – and that’s why this year I decided to create an Honorable Mentions post to highlight some hidden gems or other notable tracks that just got edged out of the top 100 list this year – that I still wanted to mention.

The Top 100 Countdown will begin next Tuesday, November 19th. We’ll release 10 courses a day for 10 days until we reveal my #1 course in the world – so be sure to check back. Or sign up here to get an email when it goes live.

Best Golf Courses: Honorable Mentions

Aspen Lakes Golf Course – Sisters, Oregon

Aspen Lakes hole 12 in Sisters, Oregon

I’ve played this course probably 30 times in my life, and it’s the course I keep coming back to when people ask me about hidden gem recommendations. When asking myself “would I rather play this, or this” Aspen Lakes often gets the nod over much more notable courses.

The routing is fun, has elevation, never laps you back and forth – and has beautiful scenery. Not sure what else you can ask for in a golf course.

Engineers Country Club – Roslyn, New York

The famous 2 or 20 hole at Engineers Country Club

The famous 2 or 20 hole at Engineers Country Club

I played Engineers totally last minute after our scheduled round at a different course fell through – and honestly? I’m glad it did. Engineers is a wonderful, and brutally hard golf course. 

The 2 or 20 hole is one of the great short holes in golf, and it has some very memorable elevated and sunken green sites. Definitely worth playing if you’re ever in the area and get an invite.

Aronimink Golf Club – Newtown Square, PA

The par 3, 8th at Aronimink

Aronimink was the last round we played on our June Philadelphia swing in 2016. It was a race against time from flood-like weather that didn’t hit until I was pulling out of the gate at the airport that night.

Aronimink is a beautiful club and one of the hardest courses you’ll find. By now you should know long, classic, championship golf is not necessarily my preferred style. But Aronimink has some fun holes, and if you’re playing from the correct tees, it’s a definite treat.

I’d expect this to rank higher now that Hanse has completed his restoration – I just haven’t played it since then. Also cool to see them finally get their major with the 2027 PGA Championship.

Full Recap: Aronimink Golf Club 

Old Oaks Country Club – Purchase, NY

The 3rd hole at Old Oaks

I was supposed to go play Yale, but we pulled an audible the morning of and went to Old Oaks instead.

Man what a place. Stately, massive, and…completely unknown?

Most people I’ve talked to have never heard of it. It’s too bad as it’s a really underrated Tillinghast track. This might have been the round when I realized I much prefer Tillie’s courses to Ross’.

Tokatee Golf Course – Blue River, OR

Tokatee Hole 11

Is Tokatee the most difficult golf course out there? Nope.

Does it have the most interesting and varied hole designs? Nah.

Is it a really fun course in a truly unique setting? Absolutely.

I play Tokatee every single Memorial Day weekend, and it never gets old. It sits at the base of the Three Sisters mountains and doesn’t take itself too seriously – which usually leads to very good golf in my experience.

Coeur d’Alene Resort – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Coeur D'Alene Golf Resort Hole 5

 

Coeur d’Alene goes down as one of the most fun times I’ve had on a golf course. I say this despite playing on a day where it was pouring down rain and we were the only ones on the course.

The conditioning is second to none, and it has some of the most favorable local rules I’ve ever seen. You’ll go for the island 14th, but be surprised by how many fun, scenic holes are scattered throughout the round.

Full Recap: Coeur d’Alene Resort

Turning Stone Resort (Kaluhyat Course) – Verona, NY

Kaluhyat at Turning Stone Resort was just bared knocked out of the top 100 this year.  I found it to be the best of the three courses at Turning Stone, and a true golf adventure. It had a little bit of everything, open holes, elevation, forests.

It kept you engaged throughout the entire round and was worth the drive up there from NYC. Not to mention the resort and casino was much more impressive than expected.

Full Recap: Kaluhyat at Turning Stone

Rustic Canyon Golf Course – Moorpark, CA

Rustic Canyon Golf Course

Rustic Canyon may very well be the best value in the United States. This Gil Hanse design wasn’t exactly in tip top shape when we played  – but I could easily look past the conditioning given how much fun the routing is.

It also marks the spot of the only hole in one I’ve ever seen in person. Unfortunately, it wasn’t mine…

Stonewall Links (North Course) – Philadelphia, PA

Approach on 18 at the North Course at Stonewall.

In 2018, we had our Eighty Club championship at Stonewall, and both courses are very impressive. And there aren’t many better places in golf to hang out at for a weekend.

The North Course, or “Udder Course” as it used to be named has some fantastic holes, nice use of elevation, and is a perfect compliment to its sister down the road.

 Salish Cliffs – Shelton, Washington

Salish Cliffs hole 16

 

I was totally surprised by Salish Cliffs. From the opening with a reachable par 5, short par 4, and then long downhill par 3 – I knew this was going to be a fun round.

It stayed interesting all the way through, and is definitely worth taking the time to play if you’re heading to Chambers Bay. Having taken two trips there now, both times I’ve been impressed with how much I enjoyed the course.

Full Recap: A Weekend at Salish Cliffs

Flint Hills National – Andover, Kansas

The 17th at sunset at Flint Hills National.

The 17th at sunset at Flint Hills National.

Flint Hills National is a really cool club. The accommodations on site are phenomenal, and the course is a ton of fun to play. This is one that just barely missed the cut, but is one I’d be happy to run out any play again anytime. 

Green Gables Golf Club – Prince Edward Island, Canada

The par 3, 16th at Green Gables.

The par 3, 16th at Green Gables.

It’s interesting because when people think of golf on Prince Edward Island, this is not the course that is usually recognized. But of the 4 tracks I played there? It was my favorite.

It’s totally old school, golden age golf, and the par 3 16th is one of the most sprawling and massive par 3s I’ve played. If you’re a fan of other Thompson designs like Banff Springs – you won’t be disappointed here.

There You Have It

So there you have it, those are a handful of my favorite courses that didn’t quite make the top 100 list this year. Sign up to be notified and get all of our reviews once a month to your inbox.

And in the meantime go take a look at our holiday golf gift guide or our 2019 Top 100 Countdown.




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