Golf Digest

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Golf Digest
Editor-in-ChiefJerry Tarde
Total circulation
(January 2015)
CompanyWarner Bros. Discovery
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City, New York

Golf Digest is a monthly golf magazine published by Warner Bros. Discovery through its sports unit under its Warner Bros. Discovery Golf division. It is a generalist golf publication covering recreational golf and men's and women's competitive golf. The magazine started by John F. Barnett in 1950 in Chicago,[2][3] moved to Connecticut in 1964 and was sold to The New York Times Company in 1969. The Times company sold their magazine division to Condé Nast in 2001. The headquarters of Golf Digest is in New York City relocated from Connecticut. On May 13, 2019, Discovery, Inc. acquired Golf Digest from Condé Nast, in order to integrate with GolfTV.[4]

"The World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses" - International[edit]

Golf Digest produces a biennial ranking of the world's best golf courses.[5] As of January 2020 the top ten were:

  1. Royal County Down Golf ClubNewcastle, Northern Ireland
  2. Tara Iti Golf Club – Mangawhai, New Zealand
  3. MuirfieldGullane, Scotland
  4. Royal Dornoch Golf ClubDornoch, Scotland
  5. Royal Melbourne Golf Club (West Course) – Black Rock, Victoria, Australia
  6. Old Course at St AndrewsSt Andrews, Scotland
  7. Morfontaine Golf Club – Mortefontaine, Oise, France
  8. Royal Portrush Golf ClubDunluce, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  9. South Cape Owners Club – Namhae Island, South Korea
  10. Trump Turnberry – (near Ailsa Craig), Scotland

"America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses"[edit]

Since 1965, Golf Digest has produced biennial rankings of "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses". The courses are voted on by a panel of several hundred golf experts. The magazine also produces lists of the best new courses, the best golf resorts, the best courses in each U.S. state and best American golf courses for women. Before the "Greatest" rankings were introduced in 1985, Golf Digest produced lists called at different times America's 100 Most Testing Courses and America's 100 Greatest Tests of Golf.

The top ten on the 2020–21 list are as follows:[6]

  1. Pine Valley Golf ClubPine Valley, New Jersey
  2. Augusta National Golf ClubAugusta, Georgia
  3. Cypress Point ClubPebble Beach, California
  4. Shinnecock Hills Golf ClubSouthampton, New York
  5. Oakmont Country ClubOakmont, Pennsylvania
  6. Merion Golf Club (East Course) – Ardmore, Pennsylvania
  7. National Golf Links of AmericaSouthampton, New York
  8. Pebble Beach Golf LinksPebble Beach, California
  9. Fishers Island ClubFishers Island, New York
  10. Sand Hills Golf Club - Mullen, Nebraska

"America's Top 50 Courses for Women"[edit]

In 2010, Golf Digest produced its inaugural ranking of "America's Top 50 Courses for Women". In creating the ranking, the magazine used nominations and evaluations by its panel of over 100 female raters as well as the woman-friendly criteria established by the editors. Those criteria included: at least one tee less than 5,300 yards; at least two sets of tees with USGA slope and course ratings for women; run-up areas to most or all greens and minimal forced carries for those playing from the forward tees.[7]

The top ten on the 2013 list are as follows:[8]

  1. Pine Needles Lodge & Golf ClubSouthern Pines, North Carolina
  2. Sea Island Golf Club – St. Simons, Georgia
  3. The Boulders Resort and Golf Club – Carefree, Arizona
  4. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Old MacDonald)– Bandon, Oregon
  5. Running Y RanchKlamath Falls, Oregon
  6. Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort (Ocean Links) - Amelia Island, Florida
  7. LPGA International (champions) - Daytona Beach, Florida
  8. Rope Rider Golf Course at Suncadia Resort - Cle Elum, Washington
  9. Keystone Resort (River) - Keystone, Colorado
  10. Grand Cypress Golf Club (East/North) - Orlando, Florida

"America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses"[edit]

Alongside the "100 Greatest Courses" ranking, and using the same methodology, Golf Digest publishes a list of "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses". In this context, "public" means a golf course that is open to play by the public, as opposed to a private club—not necessarily a course operated by a governmental entity.

The top ten on the 2019 list, published in May 2019, was as follows:

  1. Pebble Beach Golf LinksPebble Beach, California
  2. Pacific Dunes Golf CourseBandon, Oregon
  3. Whistling Straits (Straits)Haven, Wisconsin
  4. Kiawah Island (Ocean Course)Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  5. Shadow Creek Golf CourseNorth Las Vegas, Nevada
  6. Pinehurst (No. 2)Pinehurst, North Carolina
  7. Bandon Dunes Golf CourseBandon, Oregon
  8. Bethpage State Park (Black)Farmingdale, New York
  9. Erin Hills Golf CourseErin, Wisconsin
  10. Spyglass Hill Golf CoursePebble Beach, California

Of these courses, the only one that is operated by a governmental entity is Bethpage Black.

In addition to its national rankings, Golf Digest also ranks courses at a state level.

"100 Best Golf Courses Outside the United States"[edit]

The magazine also compiles a list of the leading courses outside the United States. This is created using information from national golf associations, plus votes by the same panelists supplemented by some additional ones with international knowledge.

In 2007, the most represented countries were Scotland with 14 courses in the top 100, Canada with 10, England with 10, Canada with 9, and Australia and Republic of Ireland with 8. The top 10 were:

  1. Royal County Down Golf ClubNewcastle, Northern Ireland
  2. Old Course at St AndrewsSt. Andrews, Scotland
  3. Royal Dornoch Golf Club (championship Course) – Dornoch, Scotland
  4. Royal Portrush Golf Club (Dunluce Course) – Portrush, Northern Ireland
  5. MuirfieldGullane, Scotland
  6. Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Composite Course) – Melbourne, Australia
  7. Ballybunion Golf Club (Old Course) – Ballybunion, Ireland
  8. Turnberry (Ailsa Course) – Ayrshire, Scotland
  9. Carnoustie Golf LinksCarnoustie, Scotland
  10. Cape Kidnappers Golf CourseHawke's Bay, New Zealand

In 2005, the most represented countries were Scotland and Canada with 13 courses each in the top 100. The top 10 were:

  1. Old Course at St AndrewsSt. Andrews, Scotland
  2. Royal Melbourne Golf ClubMelbourne, Australia
  3. Royal Portrush Golf ClubPortrush, Northern Ireland
  4. Royal County Down Golf ClubNewcastle, Northern Ireland
  5. Royal Dornoch Golf ClubDornoch, Scotland
  6. MuirfieldGullane, Scotland
  7. Ballybunion Golf ClubBallybunion, Ireland
  8. New South Wales Golf ClubSydney, Australia
  9. National Golf ClubWoodbridge, Ontario, Canada
  10. St. George's Golf and Country ClubToronto, Ontario, Canada


In 2009, Golf Digest was nominated for a National Magazine Awards by the American Society of Magazine Editors in the Magazine Section in recognition of the excellence of a regular section of a magazine based on voice, originality and unified presentation.[9]

Female golfers[edit]

In April 2014, Golf Digest was widely criticized when, after neglecting to picture a female golfer on their cover for six years, they chose to picture model Paulina Gretzky in a revealing outfit as their May 2014 cover. The move was "particularly frustrating" to LPGA golfers.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][excessive citations] LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan issued a statement echoing the concerns expressed by LPGA players.[18] In the October 2014 edition, U.S. Women's Open winner Michelle Wie appeared on the cover.[citation needed]

In May 2016, the magazine again featured a female celebrity in the cover, Paige Spiranac (who was, at the time, a professional golfer), which was criticized by veteran golfer Juli Inkster.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media. December 31, 2012. Archived from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  2. ^ Weinman, Sam (April 13, 2011). "Golf Digest co-founder Barnett dies at 89". Golf Digest.
  3. ^ "Top 100 U.S. Magazines by Circulation" (PDF). PSA Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 28, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  4. ^ Weinman, Sam (May 13, 2019). "Golf Digest Sold to Discovery, Inc., joins GolfTV to create global editorial powerhouse". Golf Digest.
  5. ^ Whitten, Ron. "World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses (2020 Ranking)". Golf Digest. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  6. ^ "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses". Golf Digest. May 2021.
  7. ^ "America's Top 50 Courses for Women". Golf Digest. January 5, 2010.
  8. ^ "America's Top 50 Courses for Women". Golf Digest. July 2013.
  9. ^ Shea, Danny (March 18, 2009). "National Magazine Awards 2009: New Yorker, GQ, New York Lead Nominations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  10. ^ "Paulina Gretzky's controversial Golf Digest cover". CNN. April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  11. ^ "Paulina Gretzky's Golf Digest cover comes under fire from LPGA golfers". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Crouse, Karen. "Paulina Gretzky's Golf Digest cover generates criticism from LPGA pros". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "Paulina Gretzky's Golf Digest Cover is Getting Slammed By The Women's Golf World". Business Insider. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "Stacey Lewis: Paulina Gretzky on GD cover is frustrating". Golf Channel. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  15. ^ Scott, Nate. "Paulina Gretzky poses on the cover of Golf Digest". USA Today. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  16. ^ "Paulina Gretzky's Golf Digest Cover Spurs Controversy with LPGA Pros". Huffington Post. April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  17. ^ Maine, D'Arcy. "Buzz That Was: Paulina Gretzky Backlash". ESPN. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  18. ^ Holmes, John. "LPGA chief weighs in, Golf Digest responds to comments on Gretzky cover". PGA of America. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  19. ^ Spiranac on Golf Digest cover irks some within LPGA Archived September 27, 2016, at the Wayback Machine – Randall Mell, Golf Channel, 20 April 2016

External links[edit]