Golf Digest is a monthly golfmagazine published by Discovery, Inc. under its Discovery Golf division. It is a generalist golf publication covering recreational golf and men's and women's competitive golf. The magazine started by John F. Barnett in 1950 in Chicago,, moved to Connecticut in 1964 and was sold to The New York Times Company in 1969. The Times company sold their magazine division to Condé Nast in 2001. The headquarters of Golf Digest is in New York City relocated from Connecticut. On May 13, 2019, Discovery, Inc. acquired Golf Digest from Condé Nast, in order to integrate with GolfTV.
Since 1965, Golf Digest has produced biennial rankings of "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses". The courses are voted on by a panel of several hundred golf experts. The magazine also produces lists of the best new courses, the best golf resorts, the best courses in each U.S. state and best American golf courses for women. Before the "Greatest" rankings were introduced in 1985, Golf Digest produced lists called at different times America's 100 Most Testing Courses and America's 100 Greatest Tests of Golf.
The top ten on the 2019-2020 list are as follows:
In 2010 Golf Digest produced its inaugural ranking of "America's Top 50 Courses for Women". In creating the ranking, the magazine used nominations and evaluations by its panel of over 100 female raters as well as the woman-friendly criteria established by the editors. Those criteria included: at least one tee less than 5,300 yards; at least two sets of tees with USGA slope and course ratings for women; run-up areas to most or all greens and minimal forced carries for those playing from the forward tees.
Alongside the "100 Greatest Courses" ranking, and using the same methodology, Golf Digest publishes a list of "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses". In this context, "public" means a golf course that is open to play by the public, as opposed to a private club—not necessarily a course operated by a governmental entity.
The top ten on the 2007–08 list, also published in May 2007, was as follows:
Of these courses, the only one that is operated by a governmental entity is Bethpage Black.
In addition to its national rankings, Golf Digest also ranks courses at a state level. For example, in a 1998 survey of Connecticut Public Golf Courses, Golf Digest ranked Crestbrook Park Golf Course as one of Connecticut's top public golf courses.
"100 Best Golf Courses Outside the United States"
The magazine also compiles a list of the leading courses outside the United States. This is created using information from national golf associations, plus votes by the same panelists supplemented by some additional ones with international knowledge.
In 2007, the most represented countries were Scotland with fourteen courses in the top 100, Canada with ten, England with ten, Canada with nine, and Australia and Republic of Ireland with eight. The top 10 were:
In April 2014, Golf Digest was widely criticized when, after neglecting to picture a female golfer on their cover for six years, they chose to picture model Paulina Gretzky in a revealing outfit as their May 2014 cover. The move was "particularly frustrating" to LPGA golfers. LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan issued a statement echoing the concerns expressed by LPGA players. In the October 2014 edition, U.S. Women's Open winner Michelle Wie appeared on the cover.
In September 2018, the magazine was featured in the Dave panel game Taskmaster for the task “Do something dirty with this magazine”. This task was alluded to in interviews but was never shown in studio, owing to “many, many illegalities”, as stated by series producer Alex Horne. He did however, clarify that no contestant had done anything sexual with the magazines, aside from Phil Wang taking it on a candlelit dinner, and Jessica Knappett French kissing the magazine. Little has been distinguished about Godliman, Gilbert, or Acaster’s attempts, aside from major illegalities, the involvement of emergency services, and in Gilbert’s case, an official apology to the people of Chiswick, as well as the editing staff of Golf Digest.