Top 25 Course Conditions in the U.S. in 2015 on Golf Advisor

Perhaps no element of a round of golf is under more scrutiny than the conditions of the golf course. From tee-to-green, golfers can be merciless beings when it comes to the standards at which the course is presented. Even after a big rainstorm, or when greenskeepers aerate turf during shoulder season, anything short of Augusta National in April just doesn't quite cut it.

So this particular Best-of ranking subcategory is for the greenskeepers. We've found the top 25 courses as rated by their Course Conditions subcategory rating in 2015. In this ranking, you'll find a mix of courses throughout the U.S., including both high-dollar courses as well as overachieving value plays.

We received more than 121,000 reviews during the year, and like all of our country-wide lists, courses needed a minimum of 20 reviews to qualify.

The top-rated courses by condition in 2015 on Golf Advisor

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23. Wilderness Golf Course

Lake Jackson, Texas
Price: $34-$60
What they're saying: "The greens were rolling as fast as any I have played on." -- itismej83

Top 25 U.S. courses for Staff Friendliness on Golf Advisor in 2015

As important as a course design and conditions are to golfers, it seems most golf markets have that one course where the staff is well known to go above and beyond. It can come in the form of an attentive course ranger moving pace along, or a beverage cart who's always right on time when it's time for another cold one. Sometimes a staff check-in member can get you out earlier than your tee time, or a starter can make first-timers to the course feel welcome and know any little details.

We've compiled the top 25 courses in the U.S. based on their Staff Friendliness subcategory rating on Golf Advisor in 2015.

It just goes to show that no matter the green fee, staff members can go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of their golfers. The following list was compiled using the more than 121,000 reviews submitted to Golf Advisor over the last year. Like all of our national lists, courses needed a minimum of 20 reviews during the calendar year to qualify.

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20. Wilderness Golf Course

Lake Jackson, Texas
Price: $24-$60
What they're saying: "The staff is extremely friendly and I would highly recommend the Wilderness to anyone." --Philip7456579

Green fees are based on latest peak-season rates and are subject to change. In the case of resort courses, stay-and-play packages and specials often greatly reduce the price of the green fee. Many of these courses also offer dynamic online tee times, off-season and twilight rates that lower the green fee.

Top 50 U.S. courses on Golf Advisor in 2015: Nos. 50-26

Off the backs of more than 121,000 reviews from more than 75,000 golfers over the course of the year, we're excited to announce the top 50 golf courses on Golf Advisor in 2015.

Below, you can view the full list, as well as our methodology in selecting these courses. The Golf Advisor top 50, based on your reviews, is meant to bring a new perspective compared to the top-100 rankings you're used to seeing from well known golf publications. Their annual rankings are comprised of bucket-list experiences, geared towards golf course architecture and history and are rated by expert industry panelists assessing courses with a strict criteria.

Consumer reviews provided on Golf Advisor present an entirely different assessment. Raters' age, handicaps and budgets run the gamut. Over the years, as over 450,000 reviews have been filed, we've learned that most reviewers for Golf Advisor tend to rate the course based on their expectation.

You'll find our top 50 list features a handful of courses you're used to seeing on a top 100 public ranking, while many others you may have never heard of. That's precisely what we hope makes our list useful. In fact, the no. 1 course in 2015, located in northern California, most certainly qualifies as a hidden gem compared to the many bucket-list courses in the area. An affordable, over-achieving municipal in rural Texas like Delaware Springs G.C. has as much of a chance of receiving a strong review as a $300 resort course in Arizona like the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. In our top 50, those two courses are neck-and-neck.

Both perspectives -- consumers and experts -- are valuable, which is why at Golf Advisor we celebrate both, with articles and rankings from staff, like Matt Ginella's top 50 courses, but also provide plenty of room to promote the best ratings from paying golfers like you.

The Golf Advisor top 50 U.S. courses methodology

Our 2015 methodology is a bit more complex than the inaugural top 50 U.S. rankings in 2014. Courses still need a minimum of 20 reviews on Golf Advisor between Jan. 1 and Dec. 27 of 2015. But instead of simply taking the overall score, we've created a four-pronged formula aimed at identifying what were truly the best courses year round. A course's score is comprised of the following:

• 50 percent of the overall rating in 2015

• 50 percent of its subcategory ratings in 2015

• We rewarded courses that had many reviews throughout the year by dropping their lowest review for every 10 reviews after 20 in 2015. We determined this was more fair to Southern courses open year round compared to Northern courses only open in the summer that don't deal with as many shoulder seasons and maintenance periods.

• Lastly, we are evaluating the Reviewer Strength of each course, so it benefits a course to have not only 5-star reviews, but input from reviewers who are active on our platform. The course's total score is adjusted, either up or down, based on their Reviewer Strength score.

Course reviews often come through reviews from our booking partners such as GolfNow.com and others, but all U.S. courses with at least limited public or stay-and-play access were eligible. Nearly 2,000 courses received 20 or more reviews in 2015, making them eligible for this year's top 50.

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41. Wilderness Golf Course

Lake Jackson, Texas
Architect: Jeff Brauer
Price: $49-$60
What they're saying: "This is a course that I could play everyday.." -- jc1980us


Green fees are based on latest peak-season rates and are subject to change. In the case of resort courses, stay-and-play packages and specials often greatly reduce the price of the green fee. Many of these courses also offer dynamic online tee times, off-season and twilight rates that lower the green fee.

Click Here for Complete Best of 2015 Lists from Golf Advisor