Golf Digest’s top California courses tend to be in NorCal

Golf Digest’s list of the top 100 courses in the course, along with other lists associated with the big list, are now out. And one of those “other” lists is a list of the top 40 courses in California. If you read the list, you get the impression the voters started at the Oregon border and worked their way down the state in putting the list together.

The 17th hole of The Quarry at La Quinta, ranked 11th by Golf Digest among California golf courses (Marilyn Chung/The Desert Sun)

Four of the top five courses in the state, according to the list, are in Northern California. That would be, in order, Cypress Point (1), Pebble Beach (2), Olympic Club Lakes Course (4) and San Francisco Golf Club (5). The only SoCal course invading the top five is Riviera Country Club.

Four of the next five courses on the list are also in Northern California, with one LA Country Club’s North Course making the list at No. 6. The Coachella Valley’s first course on the list is No. 11 with The Quarry at La Quinta. The desert has nine courses in the top 40.

Okay, no one is going to argue Cyrpess Point and Pebble Beach, other than to perhaps argue which of those two great courses is better.

But the is a trend on the list that certainly tends to go against SoCal courses and in particular desert courses. Yes, the Pacific Ocean helps the courses in the Monterey Peninsula. But the courses on the top of the list tend to be older courses, big, old trees, maybe some softer conditions. Nothing that the desert can match.

And if you are looking for my personal outrage of the week, it’s that the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club didn’t make the top 40 in the state. It should be in the top 20 at least. But the folks at Mission Hills tend not to play the game of trying to get on the list that many of the newer courses that are popping up on the list play. But gosh, the Shore Course is such a great course, it’s hard to imagine it not being named to even just the California list.