Monday, April 04, 2005

Golf Digest's Top 100 Courses List

It is that time of year again when Golf Digest brings out its list of the Top 100 coures in the U.S. I'm on the rating panel (primarily for Best New Course in Canada), though I've rated numerous U.S. courses as well.
This year's list is as intriguing as any, especially since the magazine dropped its so-called "tradition" points, a factor GD's Ron Whitten points out in an accompanying article.
So what are the big changes? There aren't that many. Pine Valley is still the best in the U.S. (and the world, according to rival Golf magazine), while the rest of the Top 10 (see list below) is pretty much in tact. Seminole moves up to #10 (too high in my estimation), while Crystal Downs coasts in at #11. The big move is Sand Hills, the Coore and Crenshaw beauty, that comes in at #12 from #38 in the last list, an amazing move. That said, Tom Doak's Pacific Dunes, surely one of the great courses in the world, only comes in at #22. I find it hard to imagine that it isn't 10 places higher.
And what happened to World Woods' Pine Barrens? It makes Golf's Top 100 in the world, but only cracks the Top 30 public in GD's list? That's just wrong. And I still have a really hard time imagining Oakland Hills as a Top 20 course in the U.S. It was simply average when I played it the summer before last year's Ryder Cup.
Here's the Top 50 for 2005-06
FIRST 10
Yards Par Points
1. PINE VALLEY G.C. 6,853 70 74.04
Pine Valley, N.J.—George Crump & H.S. Colt (1918)
2. AUGUSTA NATIONAL G.C. 7,290 72 73.14
Augusta, Ga.—Alister Mackenzie & Bobby Jones (1933)
3. SHINNECOCK HILLS G.C. 6,821 70 72.42
Southampton, N.Y.—William Flynn (1931)
4. CYPRESS POINT CLUB 6,509 72 71.30
Pebble Beach—Alister Mackenzie & Robert Hunter (1928)
5. OAKMONT C.C. 7,279 71 70.41
Oakmont, Pa.—Henry Fownes (1903)
6. PEBBLE BEACH G. LINKS 6,840 72 70.40
Pebble Beach—Jack Neville & Douglas Grant (1919)
7. MERION G.C. (East) 6,852 70 69.92
Ardmore, Pa.—Hugh Wilson (1912)
8. WINGED FOOT G.C. (West) 7,229 72 68.87
Mamaroneck, N.Y.—A.W. Tillinghast (1923)
9.NATIONAL G. LINKS OF AMERICA 6,876 73 68.14
Southampton, N.Y.—C.B. Macdonald (1911)
10. SEMINOLE G.C. 6,836 72 67.97
Juno Beach, Fla.—Donald Ross (1929)
SECOND 10
Yards Par Points
11. CRYSTAL DOWNS C.C. 6,518 70 67.96
Frankfort, Mich.—Alister Mackenzie & Perry Maxwell (1931)
12. SAND HILLS G.C. 7,089 71 67.94
Mullen, Neb.—Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (1994)
13. OAKLAND HILLS C.C. (South) 7,099 72 67.92
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.—Donald Ross (1918)/Robert T. Jones (1950)
14. PINEHURST RESORT & C.C. (No. 2) 7,274 72 67.60
Pinehurst, N.C.—Donald Ross (1935)
15. MEDINAH C.C. (No. 3) 7,580 72 67.58
Medinah, Ill.—Tom Bendelow (1928)
16. FISHERS ISLAND CLUB 6,566 72 67.34
Fishers Island, N.Y.—Seth Raynor & Charles Banks (1926)
17.WADE HAMPTON G.C. 7,154 72 67.28
Cashiers, N.C.—Tom Fazio (1987)
18. MUIRFIELD VILLAGE G.C. 7,269 72 67.16
Dublin, Ohio—Jack Nicklaus & Desmond Muirhead (1974)
19. THE COUNTRY CLUB (Clyde/Squirrel) 6,577 71 67.15
Brookline, Mass.—Willie Campbell (1895)/Alex Campbell (1902)
20. SHADOW CREEK 7,239 72 67.03
North Las Vegas, Nev.—Tom Fazio (1990)
21. VICTORIA NATIONAL G.C. 7,239 72 66.99
Newburgh, Ind.—Tom Fazio (1998)
22. PACIFIC DUNES 6,633 71 66.76
Bandon, Ore.—Tom Doak (2001)
23. WHISTLING STRAITS (Straits) 7,362 72 66.55
Haven, Wis.—Pete Dye (1998)
24. PRAIRIE DUNES C.C. 6,708 70 66.32
Hutchinson, Kan.—Perry Maxwell (1937)/Press Maxwell (1957)
25. THE OLYMPIC CLUB (Lake) 6,850 71 66.31
San Francisco—Sam Whiting (1928)
26. SOUTHERN HILLS C.C. 7,085 71 66.28
Tulsa, Okla.—Perry Maxwell (1936)
27. OAK HILL C.C. (East) 7,145 71 66.08
Rochester, N.Y.—Donald Ross (1925)
28. BANDON DUNES 7,326 72 66.07
Bandon, Ore.—David McLay Kidd (1999)
29. BETHPAGE STATE PARK (Black) 7,299 71 66.00
Farmingdale, N.Y.—Joseph H. Burbeck & A.W. Tillinghast (1936)
30. QUAKER RIDGE G.C. 6,835 70 65.87
Scarsdale, N.Y.—A.W. Tillinghast (1926)
FIFTH 10
Yards Par Points
41. INVERNESS CLUB 7,255 71 64.94
Toledo, Ohio—Donald Ross (1919)
42. SOMERSET HILLS C.C. 6,659 71 64.68
Bernardsville, N.J.—A.W. Tillinghast (1918)
43. FLINT HILLS NATIONAL G.C. 6,946 71 64.54
Andover, Kan.—Tom Fazio (1997)
44. INTERLACHEN C.C. 6,829 73 64.53
Edina, Minn.—Willie Watson (1911)
45. RICH HARVEST LINKS 7,601 72 64.48
Sugar Grove, Ill.—Jerry Rich & Greg Martin (1999)
46. GARDEN CITY G.C. 6,911 73 64.44
Garden City, N.Y.—Devereux Emmet (1899)
47. RIVIERA C.C. 7,013 71 64.36
Pacific Palisades, Calif.—George C. Thomas Jr. & W.P. Bell (1926)
48. MILWAUKEE C.C. 6,928 72 64.34
River Hills, Wis.—H.S. Colt & C.H. Alison (1929)
49. SHOAL CREEK 7,114 72 64.25
Shoal Creek, Ala.—Jack Nicklaus (1977)
50. CASTLE PINES G.C. 7,619 72 64.18
Castle Rock, Colo.—Jack Nicklaus (1981)

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