Golfers' Choice: Most-Improved golf courses

These courses have come a long way in the last year, and earned special recognition from golfers.
The par-4 16th at The Phoenician Golf Club.

Great turnaround stories at golf courses coast-to-coast (and Hawaii!) are happening all the time, and our review community is the best way to discover which management's efforts are paying off. We assessed your ratings & reviews from 2018-19 to uncover the U.S. golf courses that improved their overall score the most year-over-year.

For each course we found a review quote that shares insight as to why the improvement happened. The reasons range from new greens to improved management to rebuilt facilities. Some of these courses underwent extensive redesigns. Some of these courses are municipally-owned and operated, while others are privately-owned or resort properties. Click to read more about what golfers like you are saying about the experience.

If, during your 2020 golf season, you come across a course that has markedly improved their experience, be sure to acknowledge their efforts with a review of your own. Click here to review a golf course, whether it’s your first or your 100th.

If one of these courses is in your neck of the woods and you had given up on them in years past, maybe it's time to give them a second look.

Most Improved Courses of 2019 in the U.S.

  1. North Palm Beach Country Club

    North Palm Beach, Fla. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: " This course has gone through a major redo and will be incredible...Fairways are on par with PGA National just up the road." -Lee1151656

  2. Algonkian Golf Course

    Sterling, Va. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "I hadn't played Algonkian in many years due to being disappointed in soggy, almost unplayable conditions. A marshal at South Riding said it had been much improved, fairways replanted a few years ago, etc. and I should give it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised at the conditions, much, much better than I'd expected!" - Kevin3120816

  3. La Cita Country Club

    Titusville, Fla. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Conditions are constantly improving and the staff works hard to make you feel welcomed. Due to another local course closing we will be playing La Cita three times a month now!" - Gregorygrc

  4. Tuckaway Golf Course

    Crete, Ill. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "The conditions were far better that I expected, we have had a ton of rain in the area. Looks like they have been putting some subtle changes, but was struggling to put my finger on it." - Glyn3482662

  5. Chimney Oaks Golf Course

    Homer, Ga. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Since the first round of major course upgrades have been completed (new greens and teeboxes, cart upgrades, lengthening of holes, landscaping), C/O is a totally different course." - u293550798

  6. Moccasin Bend Golf Club

    Chattanooga, Tenn. | Read reviews
    WHat they're saying: "Perfect day to be out on a well kept course and extremely friendly staff. Definitely would recommend to anyone that would like a relaxing course to play here in Chattanooga." - Jdpope86

  7. Airport Golf Course

    Columbus, Ohio | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "The new design is finally starting to settle in making the whole course pretty uniform in terms of consistent play." - Robert7964140

  8. Country View Golf Club

    Lancaster, Texas | Read reviews | GolfPass members save
    What they're saying: "Played this course several times the last year and it is in the best shape I’ve seen it in. Care is being taken to protect the greens, fairways are in much better condition, great layout. Water jugs on the course are always full." - u043956733

  9. Jones Course at Sea Trail

    Sunset Beach, N.C. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Cart paths and traps have been redone and are excellent. White tees present 4 par fours that go 400 yards! The fairways are perfect Bermuda and the tees are in good condition." - Dougbond

  10. Westport Golf Course

    Denver, N.C. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Friendly and accomodating staff. The new burmuda greens were in good shape, yet rolled slow." - tarheels01

  11. Makani Golf Club

    Kailua, Kona | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Underwent some great renovations last summer that are really paying off with upgraded course conditions ... New EZGo carts, super friendly and professional staff." - tahoenian
    (Formerly Big Island Country Club)

    Blue skies and an improved experience at Makani Golf Club on the Big Island of Hawaii.

  12. Soldier Hill Golf Course

    Emerson, N.J. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "I had long been a vocal critic of this course's horrible conditions before the county took it over when it was Emerson. Year 2 of being a county course and they have done a great job so far." - cecilirv4

    (Formerly Emerson Golf Club)

  13. Rackham Golf Course

    Huntington Woods, Mich. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Always a pleasure to play Rackham. I've been coming here for 50 years and it's in the best shape ever." - jazzbocrac

  14. Horizon Golf Club

    Horizon City, Texas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "I’ve been playing this course for many years and it has never been better than it is now. The change of ownership over the last few year has drastically improved the course conditions and it seems to only be getting better and is a very well maintained course." - RickGrajeda

    (Formerly Emerald Springs)

  15. The Phoenician Golf Club

    Scottsdale, Ariz. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Enjoyed the new Phoenician course with redesign of holes ... Played under 3 1/2 hours and really enjoyed the quality conditions and fairness of the course." - Uclaasudad

  16. The Links at Heartland Crossing

    Camby, Ind. | Read reviews | GolfPass members save
    What they're saying: "The new owners and staff have turned this course around in less than a year. All the greens are now back to a great condition. I'm happy because this is my favorite course." - 2006houseman

  17. Trophy Club of Atlanta

    Alpharetta, Ga. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Conditions improving ... Fairways are in really good shape, and greens are really really good. Several 'new' pin placements that I hadn’t seen before, and were very playable. (I’ve played here roughly 50x over last 5 years)." - petraglia70

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  18. Lakewood Country Club

    Lakewood, Calif. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Great Value!! The restaurant/bar and driving range have been updated with state of the art construction, and feels like a legit Country Club when you set foot on the property!" - u00000589246

  19. Wellshire Golf Course

    Denver, Colo. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "Great course with history, greens are some of the best challenging and plays like a private club!" - Mitch7663777

  20. Carolina National

    Bolivia, N.C. | Read reviews | GolfPass members save
    What they're saying: "The greens were quick and in good conditions, sand was excellent, tees and fairways grassed in well and fairways pretty open." - a103golf

  21. Gus Wortham Park Golf Course

    Houston, Texas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "This is the 3rd time I've played here since they reopened and each time it gets more mature and lush, It may be the best-conditioned course in Houston. Has always been a great layout. Good job Houston Golf Association." - swstringham

  22. Copper Mill Golf Club

    Zachary, La. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "The course has really come a long way in the last two years. Greens looking good ... Always loved the layout. Some open fairways you can try to Rory it and some you better check up. Love it."

  23. Sammons Park Golf Course

    Temple, Texas | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "In the past I avoided this course, but they replaced the greens and that drastically improved the experience. Staff was great." - colen008

  24. The Challenge Golf Club

    Graham, N.C. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "They have replaced all the greens and are rebuilding sand traps. This were the best greens of all the courses I have played this year." - cott4526673

  25. Arrowhead Country Club

    San Bernadino, Calif. | Read reviews
    What they're saying: "This used to be a private course but now open to the public. Excellent layout, beautiful greens, upgraded carts, and friendly staff." - MsJagbiz

Golfer's Choice rankings are determined by our community of reviewers.
3 Comments
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Commented on

Rodney and his staff have done a terrific job restoring this course to tip-top shape despite attacks from Mother Nature. and Vince has brought back the Maples course to a great shot makers challenge. Come visit Sea Trail

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Commented on

Regarding #12, Bergen county NJ does a very nice job maintaining the courses. I was happy when the county bought Emerson and turned it into Soldier Hill.

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Commented on

Heartland Crossing Links has improved and New Owners take pride in the course. I live on 8th Fairway and I can see the improvement weekly. Great job!

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Golfers' Choice: Most-Improved golf courses