50 Best Courses for Women
Golf for Women Magazine
GFW’s list of the 50 Best Courses for Women is dedicated to the idea that all golfers are not created equal. And that’s why we look for courses that offer excellent opportunities for golfers of all skill levels to enjoy their round (read: multiple tee offerings with multiple women’s ratings). Every year, Golf For Women invites a panel of prominent women in the golf industry to nominate their favorite public access courses, taking into account the entire golf experience from the quality of the course to the aesthetics and amenities. Our experts include golf course architects, top amateur players, travel writers and members of the Golf Digest Ranking Panel.
Playability, with multiple tee choices, receives the most weight in the ranking. Does the course offer the chance to play a manageable distance? Does it rate more than one set of tees for women? Does it maintain its challenge and design from the forward tees? Courses get highest marks for having a forward set between 4,800 and 5,200 and a second set between 5,500 and 5,800.
Our panelists also gave extra weighting to the quality of the amenities (locker room and clubhouse facilities, on-course restrooms) and the ability to create your own golf experience (the option to play nine holes or to walk, or to receive top-notch instruction from a woman professional).
Happily, the selection process is getting more and more difficult. We added 10 new courses this year, which doesn’t mean that the ones you no longer see listed are no longer excellent and women-friendly. It just means that the new courses are that much better. You’ll see that some courses have moved up a few spots, and some down. It might be because a course is being reconditioned, or that a new feature, such as a clubhouse, has been added. No matter what ranking, every course here sets a standard in creating a women-friendly golf experience.
– Susan Comolli Davis
New for 2003:
43.Purgatory Golf Club
It seems as if there’s more sand than grass here, but the 125 or so bunkers give more visual punch (outlining the fairways and defining the greens) than punishment. Still, straight shooters will be rewarded; there are safe routes to every green, plus six sets of tees to choose from. One of the co-owners (a woman) made sure the forward tees were built with the same loving care as the back, with the perfect one-degree fall and smart positioning. FYI: The course boasts one of the shortest sets of tees (4,562) and the longest (7,754) in Indiana. A woman’s touch is also evident in the pro shop, which carries five lines of women’s clubs, plus Lilly Pulitzer and Ralph Lauren apparel.