Golfers' Choice 2022: Top 25 Most Improved Courses

Courses with updated conditions and amenities made nice comebacks.
A view from a tee at Pennyrile Forest State Park Resort.

The pandemic golf boom has allowed golf courses that haven't been updated/improved in years the chance to reinvest back into the product.

The following 25 courses earned higher ratings in 2021 than they did in 2020. By reading your course reviews, we can see what sparked the turnaround. In some cases, the improvement is thanks to new ownership or management. Other times, new greens or a clubhouse renovation is to thank. Sometimes it's as simple as better weather helping a course thrive. Regardless, we love seeing signs of positivity.

If you play a course in your hometown that has improved significantly over the years, be sure to share that with your fellow golfers. Write a review

  1. Dawson Springs, Ky.
    What they're saying: "An absolute gem! This course really took me by surprise. The state park it’s on is absolutely gorgeous and the the course lay out was great." - Otter954

  2. Punta Gorda, Fla.
    What they're saying: "Amazing Improvement. The fairways and greens were in excellent condition. I’ve played here before and it was so so but it has really improved. I think they have new carts too." - mullenbe

  3. Tiffin, Ohio
    What they're saying: "I’ve played this multiple (times) and granted last year (the) pump went out, it’s come back a lot and is still continuing - the fairways, tees and rough are green, have nice grass and (are) really coming around." - thesignguy1986

  4. Monroe, Mich.
    What they're saying: "Lovely classic Ross with improving conditions. I really think this is a gem. ... They’ve cleaned out lots of excess trees over the last 2-3 years, and moved some mow lines further back, much more playable. Also have cleared around the river so it’s more visible. Definitely great value. " - jmcarleton

  5. North Richland Hills, Texas
    What they're saying: "Fun Course. Not a bad course. Better than your average muni after the redo. Pace of play was excellent for a Friday afternoon." - epfrisco

  6. Oro Valley, Ariz.
    What they're saying: "Practically perfect! Last played this course on the day before they closed to replace greens. Happy to report that project turned out well -- the greens now are a bit firm, but otherwise healthy and smooth." - rickthestick

  7. Sunday River Golf Club showcases spectacular fall colors in Maine.

    Newry, Maine
    What they're saying: "Great course! Course was in excellent shape. Fast greens and beautiful fairways. Loved it." - Mark6271553

  8. Broken Bow, Okla.
    What they're saying: "They did a great job of replacing the greens, cleaning up the lake views and reconfiguring the course layout. Have played the course for 15 years, and it’s never been better. Kudos." - golfer review

  9. San Ramona, Calif.
    What they're saying: "I have always loved the layout of San Vicente. Since the big remodel, what was once a very good layout has become even better. The improvements to some of the fairways, the removal of some trees, and much better bunkers is only the beginning. The new greens have transformed the course into a true challenge - undulating, fast, firm, but true rolling." - RickZarkos

  10. Whittier, N.C.
    What they're saying: "Great course. First time to play the course since renovating...Course in great shape." - yomo45

  11. Freehold, N.Y.
    What they're saying: "Nice layout and beautiful Scenery. Good value for the green fee." - gc922303155

  12. DuBois, Pa.
    What they're saying: "Course is in great shape. Enjoyed playing here." - tvsvgolf

  13. The Architects Golf Club pays homage to many of the game's great designers.

    Phillipsburg, N.J.
    What they're saying: "I've played Architects a handful of times. Course layout and staff friendliness is very good." - jpvincenti

  14. Spring Hill, Tenn.
    What they're saying: "As a previous owner of this course, I must say that the current owners have done a spectacular job in upgrading the course and adding the amenities that are in progress." - docsacks1

  15. Shelbyville, Ind.
    What they're saying: "Best value around Indy. Nice layout. You must be able to hit it straight." -james3282943

  16. Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
    What they're saying: "Great course for the money! Course condition has improved greatly since playing here a year ago. Greens were a little slow but in great shape." - Conan239

  17. Clifton, Va.
    What they're saying: "Good for the Value. This course is a nice par 3. It helps your short game. It is a pretty course. The pace of play is very good. Even when it is busy, it moves along." - cleeholland

  18. Wide corridors and broad shaping give College Fields a neo-classic look on a budget in Lansing.

    Okemos, Mich.
    What they're saying: "The course looks great right now. Played in the morning with no one in front of us and flew by." - garygoose

  19. Toano, Va.
    What they're saying: "Strantz Gem is Back! It was worth the wait. This Mike Strantz gem has been through some hard times, but the new owner has rescued this outstanding layout and it is now in terrific condition." - cgpiallen

  20. Cincinnati, Ohio
    What they're saying: "Not a long course but intelligent in its design. Club selection is crucial and the well thought out holes are fun for all types of players." - Dongleboy

  21. West Palm Beach, Fla.
    What they're saying: "Excellent. The course was in the best shape I’ve ever seen and I’ve been playing there for over 20 years." - annieb

  22. Ocean Pines, Md.
    What they're saying: "New clubhouse. New course superintendent. We were very impressed." - golfer review

  23. New Orleans, La.
    What they're saying: "Local weather had the course in pretty bad shape, but the greens were great. Good value for your money." - da1200433

  24. Mohave Valley, Ariz.
    What they're saying: "We had not played this course for a few that time conditions were deteriorating. Now a pleasant surprise! This course has made a fantastic comeback. The greens are excellent condition." - golfer review

  25. Seymour, Ind.
    What they're saying: "Hidden gem of southern Indiana. Great course and awesome staff.
    Love this course." - B30216

Commented on

#13 Architects in Philipsburg, NJ is my favorite golf course in New Jersey

View all the Golfers' Choice 2023 lists, including all 50 states.
Some golfers prioritize playing fast almost as much as playing well. These golf clubs kept things moving in 2022.
Our community of reviewers determine the Bluegrass State's top 20 golf courses.
By Golfers' Choice
Our community of reviewers honor the top 10 golf courses in Iowa.
By Golfers' Choice
Every golfer loves a good deal, and these courses delivered in 2022.
Our community of reviewers determine the best golf courses in Arizona.
By Golfers' Choice
A friendly staff goes a long way toward a great day on the golf course.
More from the author
4 Min Read
December 4, 2023
From shoes to clubs and apparel, we've played golf with some really cool new gear that ranks among the best golf equipment in 2023.
3 Min Read
November 30, 2023
We share travel tidbits from Asia, London, Greater Zion and more in our latest column.
6 Min Read
November 6, 2023
We make golf gift shopping easier with this handy guide.
3 Min Read
September 30, 2023
Golf on Maui returns after the wildfires closed many of the island's courses.
2 Min Read
August 30, 2023
A golf lottery you *might* actually win is open until Sept. 6, and other insider travel notes.
4 Min Read
July 30, 2023
The new golf course mini-boom is going to really tantalize golfers come 2024 and 2025.
16 Images
November 27, 2023
There's a lot to be thankful for this November.
4 Min Read
November 15, 2023
The streaming giant picked golf as the medium for its foray into live sports. How did it go?
3 Min Read
November 30, 2023
For six days in early spring, The Old Course at St. Andrews will open its "reverse" routing, offering a completely different experience at one of the world's great golf courses.
3 Min Read
November 12, 2023
Rounds at tough-to-access private clubs, luxury travel experiences and more are on offer, all for a good cause.
Now Reading
Golfers' Choice 2022: Top 25 Most Improved Courses