Best of 2018: Top 25 golf courses rated by conditions

One of the iconic holes in the U.S. is the finisher at Harbour Town Golf Links.

We're looking back on the publicly-accessible U.S. golf courses in 2018 that delivered the best playing conditions according to our community of golfers.

While many of the following courses have the benefit of resort or high-dollar semi-private budgets, others are much more affordable and the beneficiaries of well-built courses or over-achieving greenskeepers.

Golf Advisor reviewers have the option to leave not only an overall star rating, but six subcategory star ratings. We determined the list by examining each course's Course Conditions star rating average throughout 2018. The resulting list features courses in the Midwest, desert southwest, northeast and Florida and greater southeast.

We've included a quote from each course to share a little about the experience, as well as the superintendent of record there at the end of 2018.

Top 25 U.S. courses according to conditions in 2018

  1. Harbour Town Golf Links

    Hilton Head Island, S.C. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: John Wright

    What they're saying: "We got to play 2 days before the course was shut down ahead of the RBC Heritage, so it was in immaculate condition - greens were firm but read true." - rothy824

  2. Pilgrim's Run Golf Club

    Pierson, Mich. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Ken Hunt
    What they're saying: "The care given to the course by the maintenance crew is evident on every hole. Just pure beautiful golf. The greens are very demanding but also fair once you understand and take the correct approach to them. We used this course for our putting competition during a three day outing and it definitely showed who was who in the putting department." - rpruck

  3. Chariot Run Golf Club

    Laconia, Ind, | Read reviews
    Superintendent: David Beanblossom
    What they're saying: "The course is beautiful and it is in fantastic condition. The greens are in much better shape than any other local course right now! There are a lot of bunkers and they are sometimes wicked -- but the amount and type of sand in them is consistent, which was really helpful." - kmphilley1

  4. South Course at Mauna Lani

    Kohala Coast, Hawaii, H.I. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Tim Snelling
    What they're saying: "A palm lined and lava outcropping tropical delight. Paspalum greens were perfect, rolling quick and smoothly. The rough requires a firmer stroke as this amazing grass strain sticks the blade." - WilliamCoen

  5. Lakes Course at Chautauqua Golf Club

    Chautauqua, N.Y. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Trevor Burlingame
    What they're saying: "Both courses where in excellent shape, and I don't mean for a public course. They would presently rival most country clubs in the buffalo area right now." - aaronjantzi

  6. Gladstone Golf Course

    Gladstone, Mich. | Read Reviews
    Superintendent: Bruce Cline

    What they're saying: "I played with my brother-in-law - he is a caddie at Inverness (Toledo's pro level course) - he said that Gladstone was about as well kept as Inverness." - krue2024

  7. Macatawa Legends Golf & Country Club

    Holland, Mich. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Kevin Haack
    What they're saying: "Best fairways in the area. Greens were just punched but still were true. Tee boxes were nice and level, challenging layout but fair." - Neil5039850

  8. Snow Mountain at Las Vegas Paiute

    Las Vegas, Nev. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Jeremy Shay and Jason Morgan
    What they're saying: "I love coming out here because everyone knows you are getting the best conditions year round. It's 100 degrees out and the course is lush green, greens are smooth and staff is friendly." - longball1047

  9. Royal Manchester Golf Links

    Mount Wolf, Penn. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: n/a
    What they're saying: "This is the best public course in our region. It drains much better than any other course I have seen because of how it sits and what it sits on and how they built it." - sstites16

  10. The Trophy Club

    Lebanon, Ind. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Dan Kaar
    What they're saying: "The course was in fantastic condition considering it is season end. The fairways and rough were will groomed and even the heather areas were neatly outlined. The traps, and I found most of them, were soft and very playable. The greens are diabolical but smooth and fast. Love the course and can't wait til next season." - ddallape

  11. Rams Hill Golf Club

    Borrego Springs, Calif. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Jose Verduzco
    What they're saying: "Fantastic course in the desert. The course just opened for the season, but the condition on greens and fairways was perfect." - 0318Max

  12. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

    Pawleys Island, S.C. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Jackson Clemens
    What they're saying: "The greens were absolutely pure all you had to do was roll it on the right line and it would be in. Aside from course conditions I comeback here for the beauty of the grounds and the friendly staff." - GregMBRP

  13. Celebrity at Indian Wells Golf Resort

    Indian Wells, Calif. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Jonas Conlan and Andy Lindloff

    What they're saying: "I’ve played several other courses in the area during September and none are in the condition that Indian Wells was in! Breathtaking views that will have you pulling out your phone to take pictures more than you use your range finder." - MINIJAM28

  14. Heritage Palms Golf Club

    Indio, Calif. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Nate Glaser
    What they're saying: "Excellent course condition! This time of year (summer) in the desert can be problematic in terms of greens and fairways. No such problems at Heritage Palms. Superintendent deserves a raise!! " - larry4113531

  15. Black Lake Golf Club

    Onaway, Mich. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Chris Elwell
    What they're saying: "This course is the hidden gem of Up North golf. Course is in perfect condition, which will challenge golfers of all skill levels." - thale7

  16. Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club

    Wickenburg, Ariz. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Ed Shimkus
    What they're saying: "The greens were in mint shape and pin placements played very fair. Fairways were in great shape and bunkers seemed to be as well even though I managed to stay out of them." - leftybutterfade

  17. King and Bear at World Golf Village

    St. Augustine, Fla. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Ken Ausley
    What they're saying: "During the winter month, King and Bear over seeds their tee boxes, fairways and greens, producing a brilliant green color which provides a stunning contrast to the dormant Bermuda grass. It also makes for some fabulous playing conditions during the winter months." - TheGolfinGuy

  18. Quintero Golf Club

    Peoria, Ariz. |Read reviews
    Superintendent: Trevor Cooke
    What they're saying: "This course is definitely one of the best in the valley (private or public!). Layout is fantastic. Course conditions were excellent. Definitely worth the drive!!" - bgoeyes

  19. Kiva Dunes

    Gulf Shores, Ala. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Zeke Mims
    What they're saying: "I have played Kiva before and after the remodel of the bunkers. It made a great course even better. The turf, greens, layout and hospitality are unmatched." - TBgolfiii

  20. Stonelick Hills Golf Course

    Batavia, Oh. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: David Meek
    What they're saying: "Even with all of the rain that we have had, the course is in fabulous shape. The greens are fast and true. The course is very well manicured." - clyde2jan

  21. The Links at Union Vale

    Lagrangeville, N.Y. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Chris Strehl
    What they're saying: "It was cool and rainy but course was in great shape Greens were fantastic. Fairways were perfect. Best part we had course to ourselves and finished in 3 hrs." - GOLFRICHANDJIM

  22. Nevel Meade Golf Course

    Prospect, Ky. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Todd Smith
    What they're saying: "The staff was super friendly, and the course was in immaculate condition. This is the nicest course I have played in Louisville this year and that includes two country clubs." - dgrecon2

  23. Wahconah Country Club

    Dalton, Ma. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Mike Salinetti
    What they're saying: "This beautiful course was well maintained and quite scenic. The tee boxes were perfect, fairways and traps were well maintained, and the greens were large and smooth." - rosetwig

  24. Eagle Eye Golf Club

    Bath, Mich. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Steve Fiorillo
    What they're saying: "The turf was a pleasure to play from. The course features a few really fun holes. We played the white tees with the exception of a couple of feature holes. We decided they would be more fun from the tips. The greens were true and in excellent condition." - mch1dap

  25. Yocha Dehe Golf Club

    Brooks, Calif. | Read reviews
    Superintendent: Kyle Jones
    What they're saying: "All the hard work put in this winter is starting to work out ... greens are running true and fast. I love the work done on the waste area on #8 looks wonderful." - Todd04

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Commented on

The Old White course at the Greenbrier. Also, the Gold Course at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg VA was just updated and is immaculate.

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Commented on

Double Eagle Club is best conditioned course in the country. Nothing else close

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Wahconah Country Club in Dalton, Massachusetts is the most beautifully maintained in Massachusetts. The best of the Berkshires. Definitely has experienced, hardworking Superintendant and grounds crew. The scenery is awesome.

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Best of 2018: Top 25 golf courses rated by conditions