Purgatory was privileged to make Golf Digest’s prestigious America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses in 2005.
Below is what they had to say about America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.
Power to the people
Our ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses: the best you can play
By Ron Whitten
America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses are undeniably grand. But for the most part–unless you know somebody–you can’t play them. That’s why we created another golf course ranking two years ago, one that celebrates not just architectural superiority but also accessibility.
We call it America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, and every course on this updated list is available to any golfer (or resort guest) willing to call for a tee time and pay a daily green fee.
The top 15 on this list are also on America’s 100 Greatest: stunners like Oregon’s Pacific Dunes (No. 4 on the public list), New York’s Bethpage Black (7) and Hawaii’s Prince (12). We generate this ranking precisely the same way as the other one, with the results provided by our national panel who play and evaluate courses using seven main criteria: Shot Values, Resistance to Scoring, Design Variety, Memorability, Aesthetics, Conditioning and Ambience.
In place of exclusivity, the 100 Greatest Public offer considerable diversity in style. Several former members of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses are represented, including the Pine Valley-inspired Pine Barrens at Florida’s World Woods (26), Alister Mackenzie’s Pasatiempo in California (31), and Crosswater (28) and Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek (48) in Oregon, both showcasing the versatility of designer Bob Cupp. There’s also Mauna Kea (32) and The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (39), two of the all-time finest from Robert Trent Jones, as well as his son Trent Jones Jr.’s Links at Spanish Bay (62) and George Fazio’s Edgewood Tahoe (54), both previously ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
There are PGA Tour stops, too, such as 23rd-ranked Cog Hill No. 4, outside of Chicago, where the pros will play the Cialis Western Open, and TPC at Deere Run (56), in the Illinois section of the Quad Cities, home of the John Deere Classic. Bulle Rock (33) near Baltimore is the new site of the McDonald’s LPGA Championship.
Recent winners of Golf Digest’s Best New Public awards appear on our ranking, including No. 16 The Quarry at Giants Ridge in Minnesota (its sister course, The Legend at Giants Ridge, is ranked 88th), Paa-Ko Ridge (20) near Albuquerque, Running Y Ranch (46) in Oregon, Lakewood Shores’ Gailes (47) in Michigan and Longaberger (65) in Ohio.
There was a spirited competition to make America’s 100 Greatest Public, with 19 new courses joining the list in 2005. These include Great River (34) in Connecticut, Shenendoah (52) and Saratoga National (57) in upstate New York, Ocean Hammock (80) along the Atlantic coast in Florida, and Rivers Edge (83) in coastal North Carolina. Let’s not forget the intriguingly named Purgatory Golf Club (87) near Indianapolis. That’s right, it’s a public course. What, you thought purgatory was for members only?