New for 2024: Golfweek’s Best top 200 Modern Courses in the U.S.

Golfweek  |  
June 10, 2024

Welcome to the Golfweek’s Best 2024 list of the Top 200 Modern Courses built in or after 1960 in the United States.

Each year we publish many lists of course rankings, with this Top 200 Modern Courses list among the premium offerings. The hundreds of members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses, and their overall ratings on a 10-point basis are averaged to produce these rankings. The top handful of courses in the world have an average rating of above 9, while many excellent layouts fall into the high-6 to the 8 range.

Why 1960 as the break point betweek Modern and Classic? As described in our Golfweek’s Best rater’s handbook, the growth of golf in the Modern era of design starts with its mass popularization, the appeal of the late Arnold Palmer and the result of bringing the game into the homes of television audiences. Courses were popping up everywhere.

But it wasn’t just the market that changed. Design and construction techniques for courses shifted fundamentally after 1960. Mechanized earth-moving became the norm, and the USGA developed sophisticated methods to built sand-based greens. Most courses required extensive planning, documentation and meticulous excavation. And while the advent of new, high-performance grasses meant better conditions, the quicker putting speeds meant greens could not be built with the same dramatic slope as with many Classic course. The skills required to build a great course became those of professionally trained landscape architects, not just creative golf visionaries. The industry had changed dramatically.

On to the rankings: To ensure these lists are up-to-date, Golfweek’s Best in recent years has altered how individual ratings are compiled into the rankings. Only ratings from rounds played in the past 10 years are included in the compilations. This helps ensure that any course in the rankings still measures up.

Courses also must have a minimum of 25 votes to qualify for the Top 200 Modern or the Top 200 Classic. Other Golfweek’s Best lists, such as Best Courses You Can Play or Best Private, do not require as many votes. This makes it possible that a course can show up on other Golfweek’s Best lists but not on the premium Top 200 Modern and Classic lists.

In the rankings below, each course is listed with name, its position on last year’s list in parenthesis, then its average rating over the past 10 years. Following is the location, the designers and the year it opened. 

After the designers are several designations that note what type of facility it is:

  • p: private
  • df: daily fee
  • r: resort course
  • re: real estate
  • c: casino

* Indicates new to or returning to this list.

T100. Tributary (T91) 7.05
Driggs, Idaho; David McLay Kidd (2009); re, p