THE BEST GOLF IN THE COUNTRY California's La Quinta Resort's PGA West was named Course of the Year at the first-ever APEX Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the annual convention of the National Association of Golf Tournament Directors.

Some 400 members judged 50 North American courses based on criteria in the categories of course condition, service quality, amenities, equal opportunity, and food and beverage. The APEX awards will be an annual event. This year's awards will be handed out at the NAGTD convention November 30 to December 2 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.

* La Quinta Resort, PGA West, La Quinta, Calif.

* Coeur d'Alene Resort & Golf Club, Idaho

* Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga.

* Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando, Fla.

* Indian Wells Country Club, Indian Wells, Calif.

* Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.

* PGA National Resort & Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

* Pine Needles Resort & Golf Club, Southern Pines, N.C.

* The Links at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Calif.

* Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage, Calif.