Best of 2018: Top 25 Most-improved golf courses

The U.S. facilities that improved their ratings most year-over-year
Crews work on the water feature on the ninth hole on the Valley Course at Sand Canyon Country Club.

Nothing beats a great comeback story, and that is especially true when it's about a golf course in your town. We surveyed all of the golf courses to receive reviews on Golf Advisor in 2017-2018 to see which courses improved their overall rating year-over-year the most.

Some of the turnarounds are extraordinary, with the most notable courses improving their ratings from 100% to even 200% in just a year's time.

By reading the reviews, we can see that some courses are benefiting from new ownership or management, or recent renovations or the addition of a new clubhouse. Other courses' reviews don't make it totally clear what has improved the most, but sometimes it could be as simple as a course adjusting its rates to reflect the experience compared to its peer courses, or the local weather was more agreeable to conditions than year's past.

Others, like Jacksonville Beach, are municipal courses that have received the blessing from their local government to invest and improve, and golfers are singing its praises. Another muni in Florida, Miami's Melreese, is seeing more reviews coming in from locals who are realizing it may not be around much longer.

If you see a golf course in your area that as has improved dramatically, be sure to let them know their efforts and investment has paid off.

Up Next

Autoplay is paused

Golf Advisor's Most Improved and Value lists

Top 25 most improved courses based on your reviews from 2017-2018

  1. Rusted Rail Golf Club

    Crandall, Texas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "After a year closure and MAJOR overhaul this is a real golf course again...It’s only been open for 3 weeks so look for better things to come." - Asheppard
    *Formerly named Creekview Golf Course

  2. Sprain Lake Golf Course

    Yonkers, N.Y. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "The major work that was done last year has really made a massive difference to the course. It's in wonderful shape and is definitely worth a visit." - Knocknagin

  3. Copper Hills Golf Club

    Oxford, Mich. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Greens were butter just the way we like them...Overall course in great shape." - barrygiroux22

  4. Whittle Springs Golf Course

    Knoxville, Tenn. | Read Reviews
    What they're saying: "Had not played here in 10 or 12 years. It was in much much better shape then I remembered." - FootballRef75

  5. Lake Presidential

    Upper Marlboro, Md. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "This course is an awesome challenge when it’s in great shape. I love the layout and really enjoy this course when the condition matches the mystique." - Krisg0912

  6. Skyland Pines Golf Club

    Canton, Ohio | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "I have played this course many years and witnessed its decline. Since the new ownership the course is back on track to becoming one of the best in Stark County." - josiah168

  7. Yorktown at Williamsburg National

    Williamsburg, Va. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "A few years ago the course went a little south. But in the past couple of years Jay Long the superintendent has done a great job and his excellent maintenance crew is outstanding." - Cogginator

  8. Forest Creek Golf Club

    Round Rock, Texas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Greens complexes much improved. Several bunkers eithe moved or added. All bunkers renovated. Greens very nice and good fairways. If you liked it before it is a better course now." - texag74

  9. Mountain Brook Golf Club

    Gold Canyon, Ariz. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "I have played here in the past and it wasn’t such a great experience. But this year they’re under new ownership and I can’t believe the difference." - Dkildahl

  10. Stoatin Brae at Gull Lake View

    Augusta, Mich. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: " Ignore the reviews from 2017, the first year the course was open. Greens were immaculate and the entire course was well maintained." - brossman82

  11. Rio Secco

    Las Vegas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "After a renovation last year, Rio Secco certainly retains its spot as one of the Las Vegas area's best golf courses." - MikeBaileyGA

  12. Bridges Golf Course

    Madison, Wisc. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "This course is well worth the money. 1st. Class. The course is in great condition." - BRYAN5180854

  13. Pequabuck Golf Club

    Pequabuck, Conn. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Green and fairways are as good shape as ever been. Fun to play." - patdmbs

  14. Valley of the Eagles Golf Club

    Elyria, Ohio | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "First time here as Valley of the Eagles. Played before when it was Spring Valley. Course is better and was nice to play...Can't wait to see how it will look when totally finished." - nvseve

  15. Vineyard Valley Golf Club

    Pomfret Center, Conn. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "The staff recently turned over as did ownership. The course layout is the same but you can tell the maintenance has improved and the over look of the course is more appealing."
    *9-hole course

  16. Jacksonville Beach Golf Course

    Jacksonville Beach, Fla. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "We played there about 3 years ago and said we would never go back. The course was in such rough shape. 3 years forward and a complete renovation. Ranks as one of the best courses I’ve played." - Karen05

  17. Prairie View Golf Club

    Carmel, Ind. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "I have lived in the area for 30 years. Why have I never played it before? I must be an idiot. It is one of ( if not the) best courses in Central Indiana."

  18. Raccoon Creek Golf Course

    Littleton, Colo. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "The course is in great shape and the new clubhouse is fantastic." - mike5416

  19. The Tribute Golf Club

    The Colony, Texas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Its nice to see that The Tribute is back in Fighting shape! The greens are maturing nicely and the fairways and bunkers are in top form." - TheOBchef

  20. Sand Canyon Country Club

    Santa Clarita, Calif. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Played here a few times and it only gets better! There are a lot of renovations going on and I can't wait to see the finished product." - DPG12

  21. The Dunes at Maui Lani

    Kahuilui, Hawaii | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "The wait is over. After several years of neglect, all eighteen greens have been re-grassed." - JoeySpacey

  22. Melreese Golf Course

    Miami | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "First time playing this course last weekend, it's probably my favorite municipal in the area now." - KevinCoombs

  23. Boulder Creek Golf & Country Club

    Boulder Creek, Calif. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "It has been 10 years since I have played at Boulder. The fairways and greens were excellent - a very big improvement from 10 years ago." - 11GNherring

  24. Brentwood Country Club

    Beaumont, Texas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "They have done some work on the course from the last time I was there. The golf cart path is in much better shape. The greens are a lot better." - rserna

  25. Del Monte Golf Course

    Monterey, Calif. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "I have not played this course in several years and I have never seen it in better condition." - ButtercutBrother

1 Comments
Default User Avatar
Commented on

Thanks for being you

Everyone loves a comeback story. These U.S. golf courses' ratings improved the most year-over-year.
3 Min Read
Golfers love a great comeback story. The following 25 golf courses improved their ratings a full point or more. From Florida to Washington, give these courses a second look.
4 Min Read
We looked at course reviews year-over-year to find the top 25 most improved golf courses in the U.S. according to Golf Advisor reviews.
3 Min Read
We took the 2013-14 ratings of golf courses across the U.S. to seek out the most improved courses coast-to-coast. The biggest improvement, based on ratings from GolfAdvisor users, was Tucson's Arizona National Golf Club.
2 Min Read
View all the Golfers' Choice 2021 lists, including all 50 states.
Best campus and collegiate-affiliated public golf courses according to our reviews community.
1 Min Read
Best public-access courses in the Lone Star state based on reviews from our community of golfers.
1 Min Read
Best public golf courses in the state based on our community of reviewers.
1 Min Read
The best executive, par-3 and nine-hole public golf courses according to our reviews community.
4 Min Read
Best public golf courses in the state based on our community of reviewers.
1 Min Read
Best public courses in the state based on our community of reviewers.
1 Min Read
Now Reading
Best of 2018: Top 25 Most-improved golf courses