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Biggest Misses on Golf Digest 2017 State Rankings

rankings golf digest golf courses

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#61 aabcuue

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 12:38 AM

Now that many have had comment(s) on GD ratings, how do you like or not like Golfweeks ratings.

Here's the best you can play by state list:
http://golfweek.com/...each-state/amp/

Edited by aabcuue, 14 June 2017 - 12:42 AM.

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#62 Roadking2003

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 06:54 AM

View PostHighSpeedScene, on 10 June 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Love how every course architecture/design thread ends up with roadking and fairway Fred arguing about whether the porterhouse or the osso buco is better (it's a metaphor, people).

You guys have both played a lot of great courses and I'm pretty sure you both have great taste - different, but great.

Gun to my head: agree with Fred more often.  But, Fred, unfair for you to call roadkings opinions stupid.  Some people love jack courses - they can't all be wrong!

Osso Buco every time !!!!!!!!!!!! :taunt:

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#63 UCBananaboy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:17 AM

View Postmoonshine, on 07 June 2017 - 06:01 PM, said:

I think putting The Judge above both Grand National courses in AL is a joke.  Hard...yes.  Good...LOL.  They left off Farm Links and it is way better than Judge as well.  I think Willow Point belongs on the list not a bad hole and many on the second 9 right on the water.

Wasn't Farm Links #1 for awhile? How did it go from #1 to not even ranked?!

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#64 Roadking2003

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:23 AM

View PostFairwayFred, on 10 June 2017 - 11:23 AM, said:

I didn't use the word stupid I said ridiculous.  I don't think RK understands the nuances of golf course architecture at all, he seems to only favor courses he thinks are beautiful or have good scenery or have held tournaments or have a nice clubhouse which has nothing to do with actually playing the game of golf.  

I never claimed to be an expert on course architecture.  

I evaluate the entire experience including conditioning, caddies, variety of holes, views, variety of shots, etc.  Sorry if you only evaluate the "nuances of the architecture" as you are missing a lot of the golf experience.   I know what I like and don't really care if you or others like something different.

Quote

Anyone who says Old Head is their favorite course in Ireland clearly cares more about views and scenery than actually playing the game of golf.  

Now that statement is clearly ridiculous.  Why do you have so much trouble accepting the fact that other people don't always agree with your opinions?

Quote

This all from a guy who actually suggested replacing long grass and native with water hazards because he doesn't like looking for balls.

The topic was speeding up play.  Yes, water hazards are faster than looking for your ball in the rough.   Looking for balls is not fun and slows down play.  Why do you like looking for balls?

Quote

  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and there is no wrong when discussing course architecture but RK is a prolific poster in this forum and I hope people don't listen too hard to his opinion or risk being steared very much in the wrong direction.

And I equally hope that people in this forum don't risk being steered in the wrong direction by your opinions.  I would hope you haven't convinced anybody that the "nuances of the architecture" are the only criteria for liking a golf course.

Quote

For example anyone who chose to play Flint Hills National over Prairie Dunes is making a tragic mistake missing one of the world's best courses and sets of greens to go play a generic Fazio design that is not hardly any different than any of his other courses.

It's also dangerous to put yourself out there as knowledgeable when you aren't his dissertation on Prairie Dunes was filled with facts that aren't true.  Example only 9 holes at PD are Perry Maxwell and only 9 holes were built before modern Earth moving equipment.


Again, your opinion.  My entire foursome preferred FHN over PD.  We played PD three times and FHN twice.  We loved both courses.  So you prefer a "generic Maxwell design" over a "generic Fazio design" ?  You are entitled to your opinion even if it's biased.


My PD post was 100% accurate and misled nobody.  It was not an attempt to document the history of PD.   You need to learn that not everybody agrees with your opinions.

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#65 1010Time

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 08:23 AM

View PostDrudersh, on 09 June 2017 - 11:31 AM, said:

For a small audience, but for there to be such a small pool of courses to examine and for Biderman to be left off the list in Delaware is laziness or incompetence. 100% better than Wilmington South and not even on there.

Totally agree Biderman being left out for DE is a miss as well as Fieldstone for that matter. Both are better than any of the listed downstate courses in my opinion. Disagree on Biderman being better than the Wilm South when only taking the courses into account.

Regarding the PA list,  Wissahickon at Cricket up to 5th...ehhh. Great conditions, but the layout/restoration is a bit overhyped.


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#66 teejaywhy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 08:49 AM

View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 07 June 2017 - 06:07 PM, said:

I completely agree. Again, this comes down to criteria. The atmosphere, clubhouse, practice facilities are great. But as far as the golf course goes, meh.

I'll defer the USGA course raters who assign the slope and rating. Most of them think the GD guide amusing and somewhat necessary evil.

Call it the Department of Commerce for Golf advertising in one place. Leave it the USGA & professionals to give an independent and non-advertising based rating.


Uhh... ??   The objectives are not even similar.


View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

Will give the touring pros a 2nd for course rating. Yet, each pro has some different critera (e.g. does course fit game and sponser needs) but largely they have similar views. Their rankings are far different than GD.

Being a recreational golfer, I don't automatically assign a higher value to the opinion of someone just because they play golf for a living, probably more likely to discount it.

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#67 DoubleorQuits

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:16 AM

View Post1010Time, on 14 June 2017 - 08:23 AM, said:


Regarding the PA list,  Wissahickon at Cricket up to 5th...ehhh. Great conditions, but the layout/restoration is a bit overhyped.


Agreed

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#68 aabcuue

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 06:26 PM

View Postteejaywhy, on 14 June 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 07 June 2017 - 06:07 PM, said:

I completely agree. Again, this comes down to criteria. The atmosphere, clubhouse, practice facilities are great. But as far as the golf course goes, meh.

I'll defer the USGA course raters who assign the slope and rating. Most of them think the GD guide amusing and somewhat necessary evil.

Call it the Department of Commerce for Golf advertising in one place. Leave it the USGA & professionals to give an independent and non-advertising based rating.

Uhh... ??   The objectives are not even similar.

Both groups rate and review 1000s of courses. Have regular discussions w/ course owners/pros/staff and course architects/designers. Both are probably most knowledgeable groups about course aspects and have played largest number of courses.

View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

Will give the touring pros a 2nd for course rating. Yet, each pro has some different critera (e.g. does course fit game and sponser needs) but largely they have similar views. Their rankings are far different than GD.

Being a recreational golfer, I don't automatically assign a higher value to the opinion of someone just because they play golf for a living, probably more likely to discount it.

Pros have played many 1000s of top courses, appreciate the nuances designed to challenge better and amateur players.

Many pros are course designers/ architects and all have had discussions on good/bad courses aspects w/ pros/designer/architects/etc.

Edited by aabcuue, 14 June 2017 - 06:29 PM.

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#69 az2au

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:30 PM

View Postaabcuue, on 14 June 2017 - 06:26 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 14 June 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

View PostQMany, on 07 June 2017 - 06:07 PM, said:

I completely agree. Again, this comes down to criteria. The atmosphere, clubhouse, practice facilities are great. But as far as the golf course goes, meh.

I'll defer the USGA course raters who assign the slope and rating. Most of them think the GD guide amusing and somewhat necessary evil.

Call it the Department of Commerce for Golf advertising in one place. Leave it the USGA & professionals to give an independent and non-advertising based rating.

Uhh... ??   The objectives are not even similar.

Both groups rate and review 1000s of courses. Have regular discussions w/ course owners/pros/staff and course architects/designers. Both are probably most knowledgeable groups about course aspects and have played largest number of courses.

View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

Will give the touring pros a 2nd for course rating. Yet, each pro has some different critera (e.g. does course fit game and sponser needs) but largely they have similar views. Their rankings are far different than GD.

Being a recreational golfer, I don't automatically assign a higher value to the opinion of someone just because they play golf for a living, probably more likely to discount it.

Pros have played many 1000s of top courses, appreciate the nuances designed to challenge better and amateur players.

Many pros are course designers/ architects and all have had discussions on good/bad courses aspects w/ pros/designer/architects/etc.
I would be absolutely shocked if there were a significantly higher percentage of pros that had more course design knowledge than avid players. I've played a ton of golf with people that play for a living over the years at every level and can tell you that:
1. The statement that they have played 1000s of courses is laughable
2. The majority of them don't really have any stronger opinions on course design than guys I play with and even when they do they mostly only care about how well it fits their games.
3. Understanding golf course architecture and being good enough to play professionally is tangentially related at best.


Also, what is the USGA course ranking you speak of and where do I find their state by state list?

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#70 teejaywhy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:21 PM

View Postaabcuue, on 14 June 2017 - 06:26 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 14 June 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:


I'll defer the USGA course raters who assign the slope and rating. Most of them think the GD guide amusing and somewhat necessary evil.

Call it the Department of Commerce for Golf advertising in one place. Leave it the USGA & professionals to give an independent and non-advertising based rating.

Uhh... ??   The objectives are not even similar.

Both groups rate and review 1000s of courses. Have regular discussions w/ course owners/pros/staff and course architects/designers. Both are probably most knowledgeable groups about course aspects and have played largest number of courses.  

"Both" groups being magazine raters and USGA raters?

I agree members of both groups have probably played lots of courses, 1000's might be a high estimate, probably only a few have played that many.   Fact is, USGA raters are local volunteers, trained of course, but their exposure to a wide variety of course designs is not necessarily a given.  

I also agree that the more broad the scope of courses played (not just the sheer number) makes one more qualified to rate courses ("rate" as for compiling a list of best courses, not "rate" for assigning course rating/slope).

My point, USGA rating and magazine rating are two different exercises and tossing one group into a discussion about the other is nonsensical.


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#71 teejaywhy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:36 PM

View Postaabcuue, on 14 June 2017 - 06:26 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 14 June 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

View Postaabcuue, on 08 June 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

Will give the touring pros a 2nd for course rating. Yet, each pro has some different critera (e.g. does course fit game and sponser needs) but largely they have similar views. Their rankings are far different than GD.

Being a recreational golfer, I don't automatically assign a higher value to the opinion of someone just because they play golf for a living, probably more likely to discount it.

Pros have played many 1000s of top courses, appreciate the nuances designed to challenge better and amateur players.

Many pros are course designers/ architects and all have had discussions on good/bad courses aspects w/ pros/designer/architects/etc.

I think you assign a bit to much acclaim to those who play for pay.  With some exceptions, they are not interested in nuance, they are interested in making the fewest strokes and earning money.  Interesting features that introduce deception, mental challenge and nuance are counter productive to that goal.  "It's all right there in front of you..."

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#72 teejaywhy

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:44 AM

View Postaabcuue, on 14 June 2017 - 12:38 AM, said:

Now that many have had comment(s) on GD ratings, how do you like or not like Golfweeks ratings.

Here's the best you can play by state list:
http://golfweek.com/...each-state/amp/

I think the GolfWeek rating criteria is better aligned with my views on good golf design, but that doesn't always translate to the lists.  Agree that the panels are made up of individuals with varied personal preferences and even the GW panel has people that think Quintero is a good golf course.

Should be noted that GW separates the top 100 lists into Classic and Modern.

Golfweek rating guidelines:
http://golfweek.com/...-course-raters/

Edited by teejaywhy, 15 June 2017 - 08:50 AM.


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#73 FairwayFred

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:42 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 14 June 2017 - 07:23 AM, said:

I never claimed to be an expert on course architecture.  

I evaluate the entire experience including conditioning, caddies, variety of holes, views, variety of shots, etc.  Sorry if you only evaluate the "nuances of the architecture" as you are missing a lot of the golf experience.   I know what I like and don't really care if you or others like something different.

Quote

Anyone who says Old Head is their favorite course in Ireland clearly cares more about views and scenery than actually playing the game of golf.  

Now that statement is clearly ridiculous.  Why do you have so much trouble accepting the fact that other people don't always agree with your opinions?

Quote

This all from a guy who actually suggested replacing long grass and native with water hazards because he doesn't like looking for balls.

The topic was speeding up play.  Yes, water hazards are faster than looking for your ball in the rough.   Looking for balls is not fun and slows down play.  Why do you like looking for balls?

Quote

  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and there is no wrong when discussing course architecture but RK is a prolific poster in this forum and I hope people don't listen too hard to his opinion or risk being steared very much in the wrong direction.

And I equally hope that people in this forum don't risk being steered in the wrong direction by your opinions.  I would hope you haven't convinced anybody that the "nuances of the architecture" are the only criteria for liking a golf course.

Quote

For example anyone who chose to play Flint Hills National over Prairie Dunes is making a tragic mistake missing one of the world's best courses and sets of greens to go play a generic Fazio design that is not hardly any different than any of his other courses.

It's also dangerous to put yourself out there as knowledgeable when you aren't his dissertation on Prairie Dunes was filled with facts that aren't true.  Example only 9 holes at PD are Perry Maxwell and only 9 holes were built before modern Earth moving equipment.


Again, your opinion.  My entire foursome preferred FHN over PD.  We played PD three times and FHN twice.  We loved both courses.  So you prefer a "generic Maxwell design" over a "generic Fazio design" ?  You are entitled to your opinion even if it's biased.


My PD post was 100% accurate and misled nobody.  It was not an attempt to document the history of PD.   You need to learn that not everybody agrees with your opinions.

See the problem lies in the fact that you post about course A being better than course B when what you really mean is you had a better experience at course A than course B.  By your own words above your criteria includes things that could and likely will completely change on another visit like course conditions and what you thought of your caddy.  It's not the courses fault if it rained a bunch the night before for example.  These things are not relevant when discussing what is a better golf course.  Neither is how nice  the clubhouse is or the cabins you stayed in.  

I greatly respect the fact that everyone has a different opinion about golf architecture. In fact that is one of the things i love most about it and I have stated this many times.  I have spent countless hours studying architecture, reading others opinions and trying to understand why people feel the way that they do, especially when they disagree with me.  It's critical to my current profession.  I've tried to engage in conversations with you when we have disagreed to better understand where your coming from but you never give me anything of substance that has anything to do with the actual golf course.  It's clear you value your own experience that day along with things that have nothing to do with actually playing the game of golf like the clubhouse and accommodations etc much more than anything related to the actual golf course.

People spend a lot of money traveling to play golf and most have a very limited amount of time.  I encourage everyone to seek out a large variety of opinions when doing research on where to play.  What concerns me is someone listening to your opinion to go somewhere over somewhere else when in reality you just really got along well with your caddy and enjoyed the burger at the turn.

... Also I never once said that the nuances of golf course architecture are the only criteria for judging a golf course but the course and what is on the ground has to be the most important factor in judging said course.  Without a basic understanding of this its hard to form a credible opinion.

... And I do not like looking for balls at all. I do however like having a chance to find my ball and hit a recovery shot alot more than watching my ball disappear to the bottom of a pond.

... Scary that you would put out there that your post on Prairie Dunes was "100% accurate" when it is clearly filled with facts that are not true.  

... Lastly there is nothing "generic" about Prairie Dunes when it comes to Perry Maxwell courses.  It's very different from his other courses not to mention that he actually only designed 9 of the holes.  FHN is the same Fazio course you have played over and over again in a different location. There is very little unique about any of Fazios work.

... Someone should come out with a ranking that eliminates all the outside noise and only takes into account the quality of the golf course that's on the ground.  No regard for tradition, clubhouse, majors held etc.  Just how good is your golf course.  Maybe that will happen someday?

Edited by FairwayFred, 18 June 2017 - 10:07 AM.

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#74 FourUnder

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 04:12 PM

  • (1) Pacific Dunes, Bandon •^
  • (2) Bandon Dunes, Bandon •^
  • (3) Old Macdonald, Bandon •^
  • (4) Bandon Trails, Bandon •^
  • (5) Eugene C.C. ≈
  • (7) Pronghorn Club (Nicklaus), Bend ≈^
  • (6) Pronghorn Club (Fazio), Bend ≈
  • (8) Pumpkin Ridge G.C. (Witch Hollow), North Plains
  • (9) Crosswater, Sunriver ^
  • (10) Tetherow G.C., Bend ^
  • (12) Waverley C.C., Portland
  • (11) Portland G.C.
  • (13) Pumpkin Ridge G.C. (Ghost Creek), North Plains ^
  • (14) Columbia Edgewater C.C., Portland
  • (New) Brasada Canyons G. Cse., Powell Butte ★

I've played all on the Oregon list and find it to be fairly accurate.  Just a couple minor shifts and one removal.  I'd move Witch Hollow down by Ghost Creek.  I'd bump the Pronghorn courses ahead of Eugene CC, and Fazio in front of Nicklaus at Pronghorn (the way it was last year).  I'd remove Portland GC and put in the Running Y Ranch.

Also, Mid Pines not being in the top 25 courses in North Carolina is a travesty.

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#75 aabcuue

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 05:07 PM

View Postaz2au, on 14 June 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

View Postaabcuue, on 14 June 2017 - 06:26 PM, said:

Will give the touring pros a 2nd for course rating. Yet, each pro has some different critera (e.g. does course fit game and sponser needs) but largely they have similar views. Their rankings are far different than GD.

I would be absolutely shocked if there were a significantly higher percentage of pros that had more course design knowledge than avid players. I've played a ton of golf with people that play for a living over the years at every level and can tell you that:
1. The statement that they have played 1000s of courses is laughable
2. The majority of them don't really have any stronger opinions on course design than guys I play with and even when they do they mostly only care about how well it fits their games.
3. Understanding golf course architecture and being good enough to play professionally is tangentially related at best.

Also, what is the USGA course ranking you speak of and where do I find their state by state list?

I am referring to touring pros not local or teaching pros. They will have played every course in their region and college league. Then they will have competed on mini-tours and development tours. Most PGA pros will have competed for 20+yrs to reach the tour. Its hardly a stretch considering most will play 200+ rounds/year for 20+years.

After meeting and knowing many over decades, they *definitely* do have strong opinions on course design and setup. Many won't publicly say their actual view. Most will be politically correct. Only in player/tour and other private meetings will more accurate views be put forth.

USGA hasn't published the rankings for the public. The results and other information for internal use only. Much of the information is private and between the usga and the course only.

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#76 az2au

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 05:11 PM

View Postaabcuue, on 15 June 2017 - 05:07 PM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 14 June 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

View Postaabcuue, on 14 June 2017 - 06:26 PM, said:

Will give the touring pros a 2nd for course rating. Yet, each pro has some different critera (e.g. does course fit game and sponser needs) but largely they have similar views. Their rankings are far different than GD.

I would be absolutely shocked if there were a significantly higher percentage of pros that had more course design knowledge than avid players. I've played a ton of golf with people that play for a living over the years at every level and can tell you that:
1. The statement that they have played 1000s of courses is laughable
2. The majority of them don't really have any stronger opinions on course design than guys I play with and even when they do they mostly only care about how well it fits their games.
3. Understanding golf course architecture and being good enough to play professionally is tangentially related at best.

Also, what is the USGA course ranking you speak of and where do I find their state by state list?

I am referring to touring pros not local or teaching pros. They will have played every course in their region and college league. Then they will have competed on mini-tours and development tours. Most PGA pros will have competed for 20+yrs to reach the tour. Its hardly a stretch considering most will play 200+ rounds/year for 20+years.

After meeting and knowing many over decades, they *definitely* do have strong opinions on course design and setup. Many won't publicly say their actual view. Most will be politically correct. Only in player/tour and other private meetings will more accurate views be put forth.

USGA hasn't published the rankings for the public. The results and other information for internal use only. Much of the information is private and between the usga and the course only.
I, too, was talking about touring pros and I still don't agree with anything you are saying. Sorry.

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#77 TheGeekGolfer

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:20 PM

View PostFourUnder, on 15 June 2017 - 04:12 PM, said:

  • (1) Pacific Dunes, Bandon •^
  • (2) Bandon Dunes, Bandon •^
  • (3) Old Macdonald, Bandon •^
  • (4) Bandon Trails, Bandon •^
  • (5) Eugene C.C. ≈
  • (7) Pronghorn Club (Nicklaus), Bend ≈^
  • (6) Pronghorn Club (Fazio), Bend ≈
  • (8) Pumpkin Ridge G.C. (Witch Hollow), North Plains
  • (9) Crosswater, Sunriver ^
  • (10) Tetherow G.C., Bend ^
  • (12) Waverley C.C., Portland
  • (11) Portland G.C.
  • (13) Pumpkin Ridge G.C. (Ghost Creek), North Plains ^
  • (14) Columbia Edgewater C.C., Portland
  • (New) Brasada Canyons G. Cse., Powell Butte ★

I've played all on the Oregon list and find it to be fairly accurate.  Just a couple minor shifts and one removal.  I'd move Witch Hollow down by Ghost Creek.  I'd bump the Pronghorn courses ahead of Eugene CC, and Fazio in front of Nicklaus at Pronghorn (the way it was last year).  I'd remove Portland GC and put in the Running Y Ranch.

Also, Mid Pines not being in the top 25 courses in North Carolina is a travesty.

Here's my issue with the Oregon list. Granted, I've only played Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek), so I can't really speak about the rest. However, I've played about 20 or so other courses in the state. I've played Pumpkin Ridge (GC) multiple times and it's a decent enough course. However, I would put Langdon Farms (Portland), Centennial (Medford), or, Aspen Lakes (Bend area) on the list before Pumpkin Ridge (GC). I've never had the pleasure of playing the private Witch Hollow side, but GC is highly over-rated. I think it makes the list just because of it being the step-sister to Witch Hollow and hosting a few years of LPGA Safeway Classic tournaments.

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#78 CMCSGolf

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:57 PM

Two interesting conversations going on here.

The first on what makes a great course is something that can surely be debated forever.  But I agree with Fred that so often people are ranking the experience they had and not the golf course.  When we bring in things like clubhouse and ambiance of the place, it is a different discussion.  In another thread, someone said course history was the most important thing for them in a course.  That's fine and people who love a good bar are entitled to that position, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the course.  It's nearly impossible to completely remove the feeling of a place to how you feel about the actual course, but as mush as possible, we should try to only think about the features of a course when we decide how good/bad it is.  If we want to rank the best golf experiences, that's a worthwhile talk, but it is different and should be kept separate.

The second debate on whether tour pros are good judges of courses is something I have heard before.  I'm in agreement with the party that thinks Tour pros know only slightly more than a serious amateur golfer.  Just because you play a lot of golf and a lot of courses, does not mean your understanding of the architecture improves.  From the interactions I have had with some mini tour players, they just aren't that interested in it on average.  They care more about the competition.  Tour pros also value predictable courses that have level lies and are "fair".  In my mind, these are the least interesting courses out there.  Guys like Zac Blair who love classic courses are the minority out there.

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#79 raynorfan1

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 07:19 PM

View PostCMCSGolf, on 15 June 2017 - 06:57 PM, said:

The first on what makes a great course is something that can surely be debated forever.  But I agree with Fred that so often people are ranking the experience they had and not the golf course.  When we bring in things like clubhouse and ambiance of the place, it is a different discussion.  In another thread, someone said course history was the most important thing for them in a course.  That's fine and people who love a good bar are entitled to that position, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the course.  It's nearly impossible to completely remove the feeling of a place to how you feel about the actual course, but as mush as possible, we should try to only think about the features of a course when we decide how good/bad it is.  If we want to rank the best golf experiences, that's a worthwhile talk, but it is different and should be kept separate.

Personally, I think it's too difficult for most people to divorce the course itself from its surroundings/ambience. If Pebble Beach wasn't on the ocean, would it have the same drama?

Likewise, if Oakmont didn't have the US Open history, would people knock it for having greens that were unnaturally too fast? In many cases, the history validates bold or unconventional architecture.

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#80 CMCSGolf

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 11:00 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 15 June 2017 - 07:19 PM, said:

View PostCMCSGolf, on 15 June 2017 - 06:57 PM, said:

The first on what makes a great course is something that can surely be debated forever.  But I agree with Fred that so often people are ranking the experience they had and not the golf course.  When we bring in things like clubhouse and ambiance of the place, it is a different discussion.  In another thread, someone said course history was the most important thing for them in a course.  That's fine and people who love a good bar are entitled to that position, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the course.  It's nearly impossible to completely remove the feeling of a place to how you feel about the actual course, but as mush as possible, we should try to only think about the features of a course when we decide how good/bad it is.  If we want to rank the best golf experiences, that's a worthwhile talk, but it is different and should be kept separate.

Personally, I think it's too difficult for most people to divorce the course itself from its surroundings/ambience. If Pebble Beach wasn't on the ocean, would it have the same drama?

Likewise, if Oakmont didn't have the US Open history, would people knock it for having greens that were unnaturally too fast? In many cases, the history validates bold or unconventional architecture.

I'll accept it's tough/impossible to separate a course from immediate surroundings like oceans.  Sure the 18th at Pebble would be a lot less cool if it were just a bunker down the left side.  It would be nearly impossible to value the hole properly without accounting for the ocean.

However, I will disagree about history and other things that do not affect how the course plays.  Is a golf course really better because Jack or Tiger made a put on that green?  It might be fun to say you've been there and see those spots, but if we are making a ranking of golf courses this should not be accounted for.  By critically thinking about the merits of holes, a good eye can properly judge a course without taking into account history or other ancillary parts of the experience that do not involve the 18 holes played.

There may be some latent appreciation or excitement over history that can't be overcome.  But to explicitly take this into account changes the conversation from assessing golf course to something else.

Edited by CMCSGolf, 15 June 2017 - 11:02 PM.


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#81 FairwayFred

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:06 AM

View PostCMCSGolf, on 15 June 2017 - 11:00 PM, said:

View Postraynorfan1, on 15 June 2017 - 07:19 PM, said:

View PostCMCSGolf, on 15 June 2017 - 06:57 PM, said:

The first on what makes a great course is something that can surely be debated forever.  But I agree with Fred that so often people are ranking the experience they had and not the golf course.  When we bring in things like clubhouse and ambiance of the place, it is a different discussion.  In another thread, someone said course history was the most important thing for them in a course.  That's fine and people who love a good bar are entitled to that position, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the course.  It's nearly impossible to completely remove the feeling of a place to how you feel about the actual course, but as mush as possible, we should try to only think about the features of a course when we decide how good/bad it is.  If we want to rank the best golf experiences, that's a worthwhile talk, but it is different and should be kept separate.

Personally, I think it's too difficult for most people to divorce the course itself from its surroundings/ambience. If Pebble Beach wasn't on the ocean, would it have the same drama?

Likewise, if Oakmont didn't have the US Open history, would people knock it for having greens that were unnaturally too fast? In many cases, the history validates bold or unconventional architecture.

I'll accept it's tough/impossible to separate a course from immediate surroundings like oceans.  Sure the 18th at Pebble would be a lot less cool if it were just a bunker down the left side.  It would be nearly impossible to value the hole properly without accounting for the ocean.

However, I will disagree about history and other things that do not affect how the course plays.  Is a golf course really better because Jack or Tiger made a put on that green?  It might be fun to say you've been there and see those spots, but if we are making a ranking of golf courses this should not be accounted for.  By critically thinking about the merits of holes, a good eye can properly judge a course without taking into account history or other ancillary parts of the experience that do not involve the 18 holes played.

There may be some latent appreciation or excitement over history that can't be overcome.  But to explicitly take this into account changes the conversation from assessing golf course to something else.

This is a very good post IMO.  +1
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#82 One_Putt_Blunder

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 02:55 AM

Also look at some of the centuries old Scottish links courses. North Berwick for example. People would lose their minds if in today's age someone built a rock wall in front of a green or a massive crazy biarritz like NB has. Those are two of the most photographed holes on that course. Tons of history with a lot more quirkiness in a good way.


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#83 raynorfan1

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:36 AM

View PostCMCSGolf, on 15 June 2017 - 11:00 PM, said:

However, I will disagree about history and other things that do not affect how the course plays.  Is a golf course really better because Jack or Tiger made a put on that green?  It might be fun to say you've been there and see those spots, but if we are making a ranking of golf courses this should not be accounted for.  By critically thinking about the merits of holes, a good eye can properly judge a course without taking into account history or other ancillary parts of the experience that do not involve the 18 holes played.

I don't fundamentally disagree, but I believe that history plays a subconscious role that should be acknowledged. History molds our expectations about what a course should be. The Road Hole with no history is a train wreck. Oakmont's greens are too fast.

The specific "Tiger played here" is not the history that matters - the courses that have been around a long time and truly influenced how the game is played is what counts.

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#84 Roadking2003

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 03:30 PM

View PostCMCSGolf, on 15 June 2017 - 11:00 PM, said:

I'll accept it's tough/impossible to separate a course from immediate surroundings like oceans.  Sure the 18th at Pebble would be a lot less cool if it were just a bunker down the left side.  It would be nearly impossible to value the hole properly without accounting for the ocean.

However, I will disagree about history and other things that do not affect how the course plays. Is a golf course really better because Jack or Tiger made a put on that green?  It might be fun to say you've been there and see those spots, but if we are making a ranking of golf courses this should not be accounted for.  By critically thinking about the merits of holes, a good eye can properly judge a course without taking into account history or other ancillary parts of the experience that do not involve the 18 holes played.

There may be some latent appreciation or excitement over history that can't be overcome.  But to explicitly take this into account changes the conversation from assessing golf course to something else.

The history of the course absolutely affects the golfing experience.  It may not affect how you play the course, but for me, it contributes to enjoyment of the event.  If The Old Course were not a few hundred years old, it would get a fraction of the attention it gets today.  

I think one issue is that we are talking about some very different objectives when evaluating courses.

1.  Evaluate the course design (which is what Golfweek and Golf Digest does.  They rank based only on course design.

2.  Evaluate the entire experience including layout, conditioning, shot values, variety of holes, beautiful views, history, caddies, clubhouse, and the quality of the staff (which is how I rank my favorite courses).

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#85 HighSpeedScene

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:03 PM

View Postaabcuue, on 15 June 2017 - 05:07 PM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 14 June 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

View Postaabcuue, on 14 June 2017 - 06:26 PM, said:

Will give the touring pros a 2nd for course rating. Yet, each pro has some different critera (e.g. does course fit game and sponser needs) but largely they have similar views. Their rankings are far different than GD.

I would be absolutely shocked if there were a significantly higher percentage of pros that had more course design knowledge than avid players. I've played a ton of golf with people that play for a living over the years at every level and can tell you that:
1. The statement that they have played 1000s of courses is laughable
2. The majority of them don't really have any stronger opinions on course design than guys I play with and even when they do they mostly only care about how well it fits their games.
3. Understanding golf course architecture and being good enough to play professionally is tangentially related at best.

Also, what is the USGA course ranking you speak of and where do I find their state by state list?

I am referring to touring pros not local or teaching pros. They will have played every course in their region and college league. Then they will have competed on mini-tours and development tours. Most PGA pros will have competed for 20+yrs to reach the tour. Its hardly a stretch considering most will play 200+ rounds/year for 20+years.

After meeting and knowing many over decades, they *definitely* do have strong opinions on course design and setup. Many won't publicly say their actual view. Most will be politically correct. Only in player/tour and other private meetings will more accurate views be put forth.

USGA hasn't published the rankings for the public. The results and other information for internal use only. Much of the information is private and between the usga and the course only.

What's he saying?


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#86 oldschoolrocker

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 08:32 AM

For years I scratched my head at the various rankings, how can x be left off, and y be touted so high.
  Then, when I retired I went to work part time at a private course consistently ranked in the top 100.  
  It's smoke, mirrors, money and politics.
  My opinion, disagreements and discussions welcomed with an open mind.

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#87 Hawkeye77

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 08:39 AM

GW list for Iowa is just the most recent "big" courses plus, LMFAO, Brooks in Okoboji, which is a bastardization of a once very good golf course, but even 20 years ago not a top 5, LOL.

No accounting for older, much better designed, classic golf courses.

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#88 Roadking2003

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 08:53 AM

View Postoldschoolrocker, on 18 June 2017 - 08:32 AM, said:

For years I scratched my head at the various rankings, how can x be left off, and y be touted so high.
  Then, when I retired I went to work part time at a private course consistently ranked in the top 100.  
  It's smoke, mirrors, money and politics.
  My opinion, disagreements and discussions welcomed with an open mind.

Yes, and add to that the fact that we use vastly different criteria to evaluate a course.

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#89 * J Y *

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:21 AM

How on earth can they leave off Edgewood in Nevada?

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#90 FairwayFred

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:28 AM

View PostRoadking2003, on 18 June 2017 - 08:53 AM, said:

View Postoldschoolrocker, on 18 June 2017 - 08:32 AM, said:

For years I scratched my head at the various rankings, how can x be left off, and y be touted so high.
  Then, when I retired I went to work part time at a private course consistently ranked in the top 100.  
  It's smoke, mirrors, money and politics.
  My opinion, disagreements and discussions welcomed with an open mind.

Yes, and add to that the fact that we use vastly different criteria to evaluate a course.

It's not even fair to say you are evaluating the course.  That's misleading. You are evaluating your personal experience that day including many things that could and will change from one visit to the next.  Anyone that reads your opinion and thinks they should consider it in what is a better golf course is being misled and I think you should be more up front about that when posting your opinion.

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