Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play: Pennsylvania

Pete Dye designed 18 courses that rank among the top 200 on Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses list, with dozens more sprinkled among the rankings for best layouts in various states. The legendary designer, who died in 2020 at the age of 94, also was credited with a healthy handful of courses that are the top public-access layouts in several states, including Florida (TPC Sawgrass’s Players Stadium Course), South Carolina (Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course) and Wisconsin (Whistling Straits’ Straits Course).

Count Pennsylvania among those states graced with a top public-access layout by Dye, with Nemacolin leading the way.

Golfweek ranks courses by compiling the average ratings – on a points basis of 1 to 10 – of its more than 750 raters to create several industry-leading lists of courses. That includes the popular Best Courses You Can Play list for courses that allow non-member tee times. These generally are defined as layouts accessible to resort guests or regular daily-fee players.

Nemacolin’s Mystic Rock in Farmington is No. 1 on that list in the Keystone State. Built in 1995 and renovated in 2004, Mystic Rock also ranks No. 9 on Golfweek’s Best Casino Courses in the United States, and it is No. 88 among Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses in the U.S.

Nemacolin is also home to Shepherd’s Rock, which Dye built in collaboration with Tom Liddy and that opened in 2017. Shepherd’s Rock ranks No. 5 on Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list in Pennsylvania and No. 178 among all U.S. Resort Courses, giving the resort a powerful golf punch.

Omni Bedford Springs Old Course GolfOmni Bedford Springs Old Course Golf

Omni Bedford Springs’ Old Course in Bedford is No. 2 among public-access layouts in Pennsylvania, dating to 1895 with design credits for Spencer Oldham, A.W. Tillinghast and Donald Ross and a restoration credit for Ron Forse.

The Golf Course at Glen Mills, designed by Bobby Weed in 1998, is No. 3 in Pennsylvania and offers a unique story. The course is owned and operated by Glen Mills School, which for nearly two centuries has provided services to troubled youth. Students can work at the course in several curricula, and the school helps qualified graduating students seek jobs in the golf industry.

Olde Stonewall in Ellwood City, opened in 1999 and designed by the team of Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, ranks No. 4 in Pennsylvania on Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list.

Rounding out the top 10 among Pennsylvania’s public-access layouts for 2020 are Hershey Country Club’s West Course in Hershey, Inniscrone in Avondale, the Links at Gettysburg, Wyncote in Oxford and Berkleigh in Kutztown.

Olde Stonewall 16 bestOlde Stonewall 16 best



Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Pennsylvania

1. Nemacolin (Mystic Rock)

Farmington (m)

2. Omni Bedford Springs (Old)

Bedford (c)

3. Golf Course at Glen Mills

Glen Mills (m)

4. Olde Stonewall

Ellwood City (m)

5. Nemacolin (Shepherd’s Rock)

Farmington (m)

6. Hershey CC (West)

Hershey (c)

7. Inniscrone

Avondale (m)

8. *Links at Gettysburg

Gettysburg (m)

9. Wyncote

Oxford (m)

10. Berkleigh

Kutztown (c)

Oakmont Country ClubOakmont Country Club

Golfweek’s Best Private Courses in Pennsylvania

1. Oakmont CC

Oakmont (No. 6 c)

2. Merion (East)

Ardmore (No. 7c)

3. Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)

Flourtown (No. 37 c)

4. Aronimink

Newtown Square (No. 61 c)

5. Fox Chapel

Pittsburgh (No. 67 c)

6. Lancaster CC

Lancaster (No. 85 c)

7. Laurel Valley

Ligonier (No. 91 c)

8. CC of Scranton

Scranton (No. 99 c)

9. Stonewall Links (Old)

Elverson (No. 100 m)

10. Gulph Mills

King of Prussia (c)

*New to the list in 2020

(m): modern; (c): classic

How we rate them

The members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on our 10 criteria. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings on each course are averaged together to produce a final rating for each course. Then each course is ranked against other courses in its state, or nationally, to produce the final rankings.