The best of Jack Nicklaus' golf course design portfolio, according to your ratings



Manele Golf Course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai is the top-rated Nicklaus design, according to reviews on Golf Advisor. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Despite being a parkland design, Ireland's Killeen Castle earns strong reviews on Golf Advisor. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor)
In Montana, Old Works Golf Course is one of best value Jack Nicklaus courses you can play. (Courtesy photo)
There's little room for error on the approach shot to the 18th green at Harbour Town Golf Links. (Getty Images)
Goal no. 1 is to avoid the large bunker and boulder in front of the green on the par-3 fourth hole on the Mountain golf course at Bear Mountain. (Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor)
The Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn is a top course you can play in central Oregon. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
The second hole at Old Corkscrew Golf Club is a short par 3. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
Rocky Gap Lodge & Resort features a mountainous Nicklaus design in the Mid-Atlantic. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
Dove Mountain Golf Club, north of Tucson, formerly hosted the WGC Match Play Championship. (Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton G.C.)
Harbor Shores hosted the 2012 and 2016 Senior PGA Championship. (Courtesy of Harbor Shores)

Not only is Jack Nicklaus the most decorated major champion in golf history, he has amassed a global golf-course-design portfolio that is among the world's most prestigious as well.

Muirfield Village -- in his home state of Ohio and host of his PGA Tour tournament, the Memorial presented by Nationwide -- is often regarded as his finest design job. He's designed numerous other exclusive private golf clubs, and his bread-and-butter is building signature golf courses that are the centerpiece of a high-end residential community. Along with Tom Fazio, Nicklaus designs provide some of the best real estate values and appreciation in the golf-course-real-estate industry. But he has numerous other standalone and resort courses that are well received.

In honor of Nicklaus, we took a look at the top-rated Jack Nicklaus designs according to you, the golfers. Since our site began, we've received nearly 7,000 reviews of Jack Nicklaus designs, and 128 of his courses have been reviewed.

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Here is a look at which Nicklaus designs have received the best overall ratings, as well as which properties provide the best value. We've also looked at which courses you've rated the most difficult.

Average overall Nicklaus design score: 4.25
Average overall score on Golf Advisor: 3.8

Lowest rated Nicklaus design: Chickasaw Golf Course * (3.5/5)

Nicklaus designs in the top 50 on Golf Advisor in 2015: 2 Grand Bear Golf Course (30th) and New Course at Grand Cypress (28th)

Nicklaus design with the most reviews: Old Corkscrew Golf Club (568)

Top 10 Nicklaus-designed courses by overall rating on Golf Advisor

1. Manele Golf Course

Lanai City , Hawaii

2. Killeen Castle Golf Resort

Co. Meath, Ireland

3. Harbour Town Golf Links

(collaboration with Pete Dye)
Hilton Head Island, S.C.

4. The Bull at Pinehurst Farms

Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

5. Old Works Golf Course

Anaconda, Mont.

6. Lost Gold Course at Superstition Mountain Club

Apache Junction, Ariz.

7. Highlands Course at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Lake Geneva, Wis.

8. Valley Course at Bear Mountain Resort

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

9. Grand Bear Golf Course

Saucier, Miss.

10. Harbor Shores

Benton Harbor, Mich.

Top 10 Nicklaus designs by Value

A Jack Nicklaus experience often time comes at a high premium, but these 10 courses received strong marks for value.

Aston Oaks is a top value course designed by Nicklaus in Cincinnati, Ohio.


1. Old Works Golf Course

Anaconda, Mont.

2. Rocky Gap Resort

Flintstone, Md.

3. Killeen Castle Golf Resort

Co. Meath, Ireland

4. Salem Glen Country Club

Clemmons, N.C.

5. Grand Bear Golf Course

Saucier, Miss.

6. The Bull at Pinehurst Farms

Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

7. Aston Oaks Golf Club

North Bend, Ohio

8. Grand Haven Golf Club

Palm Coast, Fla.

9. Riviera Cancun Golf & Resorts

Cancun, Mexico

10. Lost Gold Course at Superstition Mountain Club

Apache Junction, Ariz.

Most challenging Nicklaus designs

Golfers have the option to rate how challenging they found the course during their round. On average, Nicklaus courses rate a 4/5 in difficulty. These averaged as the 10 most difficult.

In Benton Harbor, Mich., Harbor Shores will host the 2016 Senior PGA Championship.


1. The Idaho Club

Sandpoint, Idaho

2. Mountain Course at Bear Mountain Resort

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

3. Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn Golf Club

Bend, Ore.

4. Harbor Shores

Benton Harbor, Mich.

5. The Golf Club at Dove Mountain

Marana, Ariz.

6. Old Corkscrew Golf Club

Estero, Fla.

7. Bayside Resort Golf Club

Selbyville, Del.

8. The Bull at Pinehurst Farms

Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

9. Harbour Town Golf Links

Hilton Head Island, S.C.

10. No. 9 Course at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (formerly The National Golf Club)

Pinehurst, N.C.

* Course was closed by the state of Tennessee in 2013 and reopened in 2015.

May 25, 2016

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Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.


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