Best of 2016: Top 25 golf courses in California

If you believe California is the best state for golf in the U.S., Golf Advisor reviewers have certainly submitting the ratings to back it up.

The top-rated course in the country in each of the past two years according to Golf Advisor has come from California. While in 2015, Sacramento-area Yocha Dehe Golf Club took this honors, this time, it was a remote San Diego County course, Rams Hill Golf Club, that had a superlative year of ratings and reviews from golfers. Six California courses made the Top 50, and it's also worth noting the No. 1-rated value course in the U.S. was also from the state.

Our Top 25 courses in California, gathered from your ratings and reviews in 2016, feature courses from many of the top destinations like Monterey, San Diego and Palm Springs. To compile the Top 25, we used a similar method to that of our our national Top 50 ranking. A course's score is based on their overall (50%) rating and subcategory average (50%). A review is weighted based on how prolific that reviewer is on Golf Advisor, and a course receives a bump in their rating if their score is better than that reviewer's average score.

There are high-end resorts as well as some over-achieving, daily-fee facilities. That's the beauty of our reviews from regular golfers: virtually any facility with enough reviews, and not just those on the ocean or with a $200-plus green fee, is eligible. (A few of the most well known courses in California failed to receive enough reviews to be considered in 2016. Want to see your favorite California course in the 2017 list? Leave a review here.)

Top-rated course in each subcategory in 2016

Course layout: Rams Hill Golf Club
Course conditions: Rams Hill Golf Club
Value:Ranch Course at Diablo Grande
Off-course amenities: Desert Willow Golf Resort
Pace of play: Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club
Staff friendliness: Yocha Dehe Golf Club
Most improved
: Boulder Oaks (Formerly Meadow Lake)

Top 25 courses in California in 2016

Yorba Linda

Palm Springs

La Quinta



Santa Cruz



Indian Wells

Palm Desert

San Diego








Indian Wells

No. 41 in the U.S. in 2016

La Quinta
No. 40 in the U.S. in 2016

Palm Desert
No. 19 in the U.S. in 2016

No. 18 in the U.S. in 2016

No. 12 in the U.S. in 2016

Borrego Springs
No. 1 in the U.S. in 2016

Video: Rams Hill earns No. 1 spot in Golf Advisor Top 50

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
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Best of 2016: Top 25 golf courses in California