It may make scant sense to shout, “Stop the presses!” in a quarterly magazine, but when the votes were tallied we realized we had a major international incident on our hands. For the first time since readers began voting for the Platinum List, the Old Course at St Andrews has been asked to step aside for a new top dog.  And some other courses are also rubbing shoulders with old favorites for the first time.  

Pebble Beach
Courtesy of Pebble Beach Golf Links /Joann Dost

TOP 20 U.S.
1. Pebble Beach Golf Links, California9.(tie) Bethpage State Park Black Course, Farmingdale, New York17. Links/Quarry Courses at Bay Harbor Golf Club at The Inn at Bay Harbor, Michigan
2. Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Eatonton, Georgia9. (tie) The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina18. (tie) Cascades Course at The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia
3. Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida11. (tie) Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Pawleys Island, South Carolina18. (tie) Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Verda Beach, Florida
4. The Challenge at Manele at Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay11. (tie) Course No. 4 at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Lemont, Illinois20. (tie) Black Mesa Golf Club, La Mesilla, New Mexico
5. Fazio Canyons at Barton Creek Resort and Spa, Austin, Texas13. Original Championship Course at Blackwolf Run, Kohler, Wisconsin20. (tie) CordeValle Golf Course, San Martin, California
6. (tie) Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina14. (tie) Bedford Springs Old Course, Bedford, Pennsylvania20. (tie) Pinehurst No. 2, North Carolina
6. (tie) Mauna Kea Golf Course at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kohala Coast, Hawaii14. (tie) Cougar Canyon Golf Links, Trinidad, Colorado
8. South Course at Torrey Pines, La Jolla, California14. (tie) Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, California

Bedford Springs Old Course

Playing at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania is akin to taking a history seminar in golf course architecture, but more fun. One of the earliest routings in the country was laid out by Spencer Oldham, then
remodeled by A.W. Tillinghast and Donald Ross. The restored grandeur of the historic hotel, host to 10 U.S. presidents, is equally heady.

Phil’s Caddie Connection
Pebble Beach Golf Links

Few professionals have a connection to Pebble Beach Golf Links like Phil Mickelson. His grandfather, Al Santos, was one of the first caddies to loop here when the fabled bucket-list course opened in 1919. Mickelson still marks his ball with a 1900 silver dollar his grandfather gave him. Savor the view at The Bench, the resort’s new dining option, which looks over the iconic 18th hole.

Southern Star
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

The Caledonia Golf & Fish Club wildly evokes a deep-South, antebellum feel with the help of the many live oaks lining the entrance. The late Mike Strantz would do more dramatic work in his all-too-short career, but few better. The home hole requires a second shot over big water to a huge green in full view of judgmental patio onlookers.