Pacific Dunes beats Pebble Beach for the No. 1 spot in our ranking of America’s best public-access courses

August 14, 2014

In a photo finish, Pacific Dunes edges Pebble Beach for the top spot in our biennial ranking of the Top 100 Courses You Can Play, while three Florida courses crash the top 20.

The margin was one-groove thin, but a win is a win. The decade-long rivalry between Pacific Dunes and Pebble Beach for the best public course in America is closer than ever, with Tom Doak's charming, challenging jewel once again edging the Monterey Peninsula classic.

Voting was oh so close. Our judges were wowed by recent improvements at Pebble, such as firmer turf, fairways moved closer to the ocean, and a renovated ninth green.

Beyond the Big Two, six newcomers joined the chase, including Streamsong Red and Blue (our two highest-debuting party crashers) and Northwest Montana's remote and ravishing Wilderness Club.

Another Florida entry, Trump National Doral's Blue Monster, made the biggest leap in the history of our biennial rankings, soaring 80 spots to No. 20, following its Gil Hanse makeover. Trump could make another big move in our next rankings with the 2015 launch of his Ferry Point course in New York City, but until then, we'll leave it to Pacific Dunes and Pebble Beach to battle for supremacy.

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