Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Best Holes and Courses

What is the best golf course in the world?

Alas, there is no simple answer. The top golf courses in the world are quite varied and it depends on what you value the most. The question is too simple and deserves a more complicated answer. Sometimes, it is impossible to separate the context and location of the club from the course.

Greatest Golf Courses
Sand Hills
Royal County Down
Royal Portrush
Shinnecock Hills
Prairie Dunes
Crystal Downs
The National Golf Links of America
Pine Valley
Woodhall Spa
Cypress Point
Royal Melbourne(Composite)
Barnbougle Dunes
Jack's Point
Whippoorwill Club
Augusta National
St. George's Hill

The Best Views and Awe Inspiring Locations
The National Golf Links of America
Pebble Beach
Sand Hills
Bandon Dunes
Pacific Dunes
Royal County Down
Old Head
Loch Lomond
Cypress Point
Kauri Cliffs
Cape Kidnappers
Jack's Point
Augusta National

The Most Historic
The Old Course at St. Andrews
Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Royal St. George's
North Berwick
Merion The
National Golf Links of America
Garden City
Muirfield (The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers)
Augusta National

A Unique Experience, you will remember for a long time
Muirfield (The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers)
Fishers Island
Cruden Bay
Shadow Creek
Yeamans Hall
Pine Valley
The National Golf Links of America
Cypress Point
Augusta National

Special Places
Woodhall Spa
Yeamans Hall
The National Golf Links of America
San Francisco Golf Club
Los Angeles Country Club
Cypress Point
Camargo Club
Somerset Hills
Augusta National
Double Eagle
St. George's Hill

Clubs I would want to join
San Francisco Golf Club
Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Yeamans Hall
Somerset Hills
Camargo Club
The Links Club
Double Eagle

These clubs combine a world-class golf course, a unique and intimate club with great history and are just a bit understated. They also have what the french call a je ne sais quais - that certain something that is hard to put your finger on.

The best hotels I stayed at on the quest
Udny Arms (Cruden Bay)
Dower House Hotel (Woodhall Spa)
Lochgreen House (Royal Troon & Loch Lomond)
Greywalls (Muirfield)
Charleston Place (Yeamans Hall)
Four Seasons George V (Morfontaine)
Westin Valencia (El Saler)
Westin Sydney (New South Wales)
Sea Island Resort (Ocean Forest)
88 Lodge (Kauri Cliffs)
The Marriott Courtyard (Augusta, Georgia)

The Hardest Courses
Pine Valley
Bethpage Black
Olympic (Lake)
Royal County Down

The Best Clubhouses

Rossdhu House - Loch Lomond, most grandeouse
Garden City - A museum
National Golf Links of America - Like a London gentleman's club
Morfontaine - Cozy french hunting lodge
Camargo - understated elegance
Shoreacres - Up on a bluff overlooking the lake, classy and classic
Seminole - Pink, just like my favorite shorts
Oakmont - Golf mecca, old-style, old world charm
Augusta National - the former plantation house has no equals

The Best Caddies
Augusta National
Bandon Dunes
Royal Portrush

The Best Driving Range
Augusta National
Kauri Cliffs

Best Conditioned Greens
Augusta National
Winged Foot
Double Eagle

Best Food Along the Way
In-and-Out Burger (California)
Lobster lunch (National Golf Links of America)
Best golf lunch (Royal St. George's and Prestwick)
Sticky Toffee Pudding (Udny Arms near Cruden Bay)
Sip 'N Soda (Breakfast, before Shinnecock or National. Great local scene and cash only!)
Ginger Snaps with Peanut Butter (Somerset Hills)
Graeters ice cream, since 1870 (Camargo)

Favorite Courses
Augusta National
National Golf Links of America
Castle Stuart
Cruden Bay
Cypress Point
Jack's Point
Loch Lomond
Los Angeles Country Club
North Berwick
Royal Adelaide
Royal County Down
Royal Portrush
Royal St. George's (Sandwich)
Sand Hills
Somerset Hills
St. George's Hill
Whippoorwill Club
Woodhall Spa
Yeamans Hall

The Best Holes I've Played
Aronimink #1 (a donald ross gem, one of the best starting holes)
Augusta National #11 (the start of Amen corner, water left)
Augusta National #12 (155  yards over Rae's Creek, narrow green)
Augusta National #13 (the single best golf hole in the world?)
Baltimore Five Farms #14 (a brilliant Tillinghast par five on great terrain)
Bandon Dunes #6 (a par three set against the Pacific makes it tough to focus)
Bandon Dunes #12 (risk-reward par four plays parallel to the Pacific)
Barnbougle Dunes #4 (the greatest short par four in the world)
Bethpage Black #4 (could be the single best hole in the world)
Bethpage Black #15 (could be the hardest uphill hole in the world)
Boat of Garten #15 (sub 300 par 4 with a lookout tower, two blind shots and a gully. Braid at his best)
Boston Golf Club #14 (Par four plays from crest of hill to bottom, progressively more narrow)
Boston Golf Club #15 (shades of Pine Valley's 7th, a wicked par five with it's own Hell's Half acre and with big hills to boot!)
Camargo #11 (a "short" prototype hole has Raynor at his best)
Cape Kidnappers #15 (a par five with balls, built on a cliff, gets progressively narrower)
Carnoustie #17 (watch the burn, a harder hole than #18)
Castle Stuart #10 (from the top of the dunes down to Moray Firth, at an angle. Hanse's genius)
Chantilly Veneuil #17 (Simpson´s magic par three in the valley)
Chicago Golf #12 ("Punchbowl", tee shot over hill, uphill to punchbowl green)
Creek (The) #6 ("Sound View", downhill par four extraordinaire with an exhilirating punchbowl green)
Cruden Bay #8 (Short par 4 hidden in the dunes, tempting to try to drive the green)
Cruden Bay #15 ("Blin' Dunt", blind, dog-leg par 3, have to see it to believe it)
Crystal Downs #7 (Mackenzie gem, tree in the middle of fairway)
Cypress Point #14 (sharp dogleg right, up the hill through the Cypress trees)
Cypress Point #15 (the sexiest hole in golf, par 3 in an alcove)
Cypress Point #16 (the most famous par three in golf, 200+ carry over water)
Cypress Point #17 (tee off on top of the headlands over water, 2nd shot over trees)
Double Eagle #7 (short par 4 that combines beauty and strategy)
Durban #3 (a par five in a valley surrounded by bush)
Fishers Island #4 ("Punchbowl" that is out of this world!)
Fishers Island #5 ("Biarritz", demanding par three. A "big" little hole)
Forsgate #8 (world-class par five by "Steamshovel Banks", long and hard)
Highlands Links #7 (par five set in a tree lined rolling valley with moguls)
Hirono #14 (a par four so hard that it has its own escalator)
Hirono #15 (par five with three distinctive fairway areas between ravines)
Honors Course #12 (Short Pete Dye par 4 with tree blocking approach, small green)
Inverness #7 (Downhill-Uphill, par 4 with a snaking burn)
Jack's Point #15 (Over a sheep paddock and stone wall, up the hill)
Kawana #15 (par five along the Pacific; as good as any hole at Pebble Beach)
Kingsbarns #6 (spectacular drive-able par four over the gully, down the hill)
Kingsbarns #12 (world class par 5 along the ocean with Pebble Beach views)
Lahinch #6 ("Dell", blind par 3 anyone?)
Los Angeles Country Club #6 (short downhill par four with a tough to hit green)
Los Angeles Country Club #8 (a true three shot par five over the barranca)
Maidstone #8 (ok, so I like blind par threes!)
Maidstone #9 (between the dunes and the ocean, not one weak thing about the hole)
Maidstone #14 (within the dunes, finest one shot hole in the world?)
Merion #1 (pressure from the lunch crowd, great scene)
Merion #11 (the hole Bobby Jones won the grand slam on)
Mid-Ocean #5 ("Cape", impossible to hit the fairway into the wind)
Morfontaine Valliere #3 (short par four with risk, heather and magic)
Morfontaine Valliere #4 (downhill par three in a sea of heather and fern)
Muirfield Village #5 (fantastic five with multiple paths to water fronted green)
Muirfield Village #11 (downhill par five, thread your shots to the tough green)
Myopia Hunt Club #9 (short par 3 over water to a narrow green; well bunkered)
Myopia Hunt Club #18 (what a finishing hole should be, tricky angles and perfectly bunkered)
National Golf Links #3 ("Alps". Better than the original, ring the bell!)
National Golf Links #16 ("Punchbowl", up the hill, into the bowl)
National Golf Links #17 ("Peconic". Play it once before you die!)
Naruo Golf Club #8 (Double dog leg left, sweeping semicircle, Alison gem)
New South Wales #5 (best use of a hill to create blind tee shot, dramatic finish)
North Berwick #15 (the original Redan, magical place)
Pacific Dunes #4 (hard to beat the view on this par four playing along the cliff tops)
Pebble Beach #18 (sometimes the hype is true, certainly true here)
Pine Valley #2 (deceptively narrow fairway, hugh upill second shot, severe green)
Pine Valley #5 (A heroic par three)
Pine Valley #7 (Hell's Half Acre, strong par five)
Pine Valley #10 ("Devil's Ass H---". Avoid the front bunker!)
Plainfield #17 (Now that's a dog-leg right, up the hill, need to think)
Prairie Dunes #8 (uphill all the way, wavy fairways)
Prairie Dunes #12 (Cottonwood tree sentinals force a low shot to a hard green)
Prestwick #1 (we know it's short, but the history and railroad make it ideal)
Prestwick #17 (the original Alps hole, wicked hard par four, par is like birdie)
Riviera #10 (who says a short par 4 can't be challenging?)
Riviera #18 (Challenging, long and a true championship finisher)
Royal Adelaide #3 (drivable par four with a small green in a bowl)
Royal Adelaide #13 (blind tee shot, amphitheatre green across wasteland)
Royal Dornoch #6 (a wee par three with a table top green and penal bunkers)
Royal Dornoch #17 (a par 4 dogleg left extraordinaire. Carry the hill and you are rewarded)
Royal Liverpool #3, previously #1 (O.B. right, no bunkers, 90° dogleg right)
Royal Lytham #8 (a challenging par 4 that has perfected the use of cross bunkering in a visually stunning way)
Royal Melbourne #6 (classic Mackenzie risk-reward par four with elevated green)
Royal Melbourne #10 (short par four up a hill with a gigantic bunker protecting)
Royal St. Georges #4 (world class bunker, wild fairway, severe green)
Royal St. Georges #8 (par 4, super contouring around the green)
Royal St. Georges #14 (par 5, O.B. right, strategic bunkering on approach)
Royal County Down #9 (one of the most scenic par 4s)
Royal Troon #8 ("Postage Stamp", much harder than it looks)
Sand Hills #8 (short par 4 with great risk/reward)
Sand Hills #14 (short 5 with great risk/reward and a severe front/back green)
Sea Island Seaside Course #4 (now that is a dog-leg. So sharp you can cut yourself)
Sebonack #2 (between the Elms, through the sand and up the hill)
Shoreacres #11 (carry the massive ravine on your tee shot and to the green
Shoreacres #12 (another classic rendition of a "Short" Raynor hole)
Somerset Hills #15 ("Happy Valley", the name says it all, great par 4)
Sypglass Hill #2 ("Billy Bones", risk-reward par four with view of Monterey Bay)
St. Andrews Old #17 ("The Road Hole". Par is a great score here)
St. George's Hill #1 (Elevated tee down into a valley, then back up to an elevated green)
St. George's Hill #8 (An epic par 3 as good as any in the world. Plays from one plateau to another with epic Colt bunkering short)
Sunningdale #6 (the best use of cross-bunkering to be found)
Sunningdale #7 (blind, dogleg, elevated green, scenic, near perfection!)
Sunningdale #10 (one of the prettiest courses anywhere, hit down into the valley)
The Country Club #11 ("Himalayas", hit between the rock & canyon on this par 5)
Valderrama #10 (Dogleg around the cork tree with no margin for error)
Whippoorwill Club #6 (downhill par five with humps routed through rocks, horseshoe green)
Whippoorwill Club #14 (par four and half, two ways to the elevated green)
Winged Foot West #10 ("Pulpit", Tillinghast excelled at par 3s)
Winged Foot East #13 ("Cameo", a quintessential Tillinghast hole)
Woodhall Spa #16 (who says short par 4s are easy?)
Yeamans Hall #1 (one of the best and most interesting greens in the world)

Favorite Architects
Charles Blair MacDonald
Willie Park, Jr.
H.S. Colt
Tom Simpson
Seth Raynor
Perry Maxwell
Charles Alison
Alister Mackenzie

Under Rated Courses
National Golf Links of America
Cruden Bay
Sunningdale (Old)
Bandon Dunes
Winged Foot (East)
Royal Liverpool (Hoylake)
Kawana (Fuji)
Double Eagle
St. George's Hill

Over-Rated Courses
Medinah #3
Royal Troon (Old)
Oak Hill (East)
Royal Birkdale
Ocean Forest
Wentworth (West)
East Lake
The European Club
Muirfield (a great course, but should it really be ranked 3rd in the world?)
El Saler
Cherry Hills
Whistling Straits

Courses that Should be on the List
Jack's Point, Queenstown, New Zealand
Myopia Hunt Club, Hamilton, Mass.
North Berwick, Scotland
Old Head, Kinsale, Ireland
Prestwick, Scotland
Sebonack, New York
Whippoorwill Club, Armonk, New York
Chantilly, France
Double Eagle
St. George's Hill
Swinley Forest

Best Opening Holes
St. Enodoc
Spyglass Hill holes 1 through 4
Highlands Links holes 1 through 8
St. George's Hill

Best Finishing Holes

Carnoustie holes 16 through 18
National Golf Links 16 through 18

Worth the trip

The Playboy mansion off the 13th green at Los Angeles Country Club
Monkeys on the course at Durban Country Club
Nude sunbathing on an adjacent beach at El Saler
Outside traction system for clubs and escalators for players add to Naruo's allure
Standing on the first tee at the Old Course at St. Andrews
The 19th century and regal feel of Myopia Hunt Club, especially when the riders are out
Traveling to Tasmania to play Barnbougle Dunes
Visiting the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown and Jack's Point

Best Entry Drives
Augusta National
Cape Kidnappers
Yeamans Hall
Sand Hills
Kauri Cliffs

Best Halfway Houses
Pine Valley
National Golf Links of America

Hardest Walks
Bethpage Black
Highlands Links
New South Wales
Wentworth West

Best Walks - "Wow" moments
Augusta National - Driving down Magnolia Lane
Augusta National - Approach Rae's Creek on the 11th hole
Augusta National - 12th tee to 12th green over Hogan bridge
Augusta National - 13th tee to 13th fairway over Nelson bridge
Cypress Point from 14th green to 15th tee
Cypress Point from 15th green to 16th tee
Barnbougle Dunes from 4th green to 5th tee
Royal County Down, up the 9th fairway
National Golf Links from 16th green to 17th tee
Friar's Head from the 14th green to 15th tee up the "Stairway to Heaven"
St. Andrews across the Swilcan Bridge and up the 18th
Kauri Cliffs from the 7th green to the 8th tee
Jack's Point up the the fifth fairway to the green
Walking over the hill and seeing the 4th Punchbowl green at Fishers Island
12th green to 13th tee half mile walk along the river at Highlands Links
Walking up and over the hill to the first green at St. Enodoc
Lincoln Park, San Francisco, from the 2nd green to the 3rd green with view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Best Rituals
Muirfield's pomp, lunch and alternate shot afternoon Lunch after nine holes
Bath after round, Japanese Golf (Naruo and Hirono)
Sand Hills overnight stay in the middle of nowhere


Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind me saying but you have under clubbed on a few of my personal favorites!
1. Merion (#13)- this golf club while challanging is the best golf experience I have had. The round of golf that requires strategy on every swing is the type of course that a quality golfer longs to play. The short dog leg right 1st hole - 3 wood maybe less to be 135 out - to large fast green in which you have to be under the pin or three putts creept into your pyche. I played a perfect tee shot to 135 and slightly pulled my 9 iron into the bunker and plugged and tripplied the hole - almost ruined my round!
2. Ballybunion (#14) !!!! - the greatest golf experience. I went out as the first group, the mist just lifting and a fresh cuban cigar filling my head with sweet aroma and a slight case of mild nauseu and dizziness. True golf - this is the place I will take my sons to when they are old enough to enjoy the game. Please provide some additional detail on this wonderful place.

These two should be more like #7 - #8

3. Bethpage Black - Merion is tough for the good golfer, Bethpage is Mount Everest for a man in a wheelchair! Tell me more about your experience at Bethpage - great setup but make sure you hire a caddy prior to going to the course. Big mistake! I think it was the 8th hole, uphill par 4 - I hit a solid drive into the wind and rain and cleared the bunker that runs along the fairway by 10 yards. Probably hit the ball 265 yards. I had 220 yards at least - uphill into the wind. I hit a hard 4 iron as good as I could hit it and was just right of the green in shin deep rough - I bogeied the hole! - I think I one-putted.

I liked the blog - if you need help geeting onto any courses let me know - or if you need a fourth let me know.

Anonymous said...

Left off the list is Olympia Fields. While the USGA messed up the setup for the Open, only three players broke par. Olympia Fields is one of the few clubs that has two championship level courses - the famous North Course, and the newly renovated South Course, which many members prefer.

Anonymous said...

Surely you just forgot to mention #8 and #18 at Pebble Beach.

Anonymous said...

Check out Royal Cinque Ports in Deal, Kent next time you are in the south of England. This is one of the forgotten great links of the U.K. Easily good enough to host an Open championship and possibly will in the not too distant future.

Anonymous said...

What about Torrey Pines?? I played just before they closed the course for the open this year. While any other year this may not compete... This year was WORLD CLASS. When they bring the open back... It will be well worth the 300$ it will cost to play. Hit them long and straight my friend.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic site and great writing about trips that most of us only dream about. I just got back from Scotland and agree completely with your assesments of Carnoustie and North Berwick and The Old Course. Also completely agree with your view of Medinah, which I was glad to see that I wasn't crazy. By the way, just for editing purposes, in your list of favorite holes you've played, North Berwick's Redan hole is #15. Outstanding work and thanks for a fantastic site.

Bebes said...

I like what you have done with your blog. Would you like to play Camargo this fall?

Top 100 Golfer said...

Bebes- would love to, send me your email address.

Anonymous said...

Where is Les Bordes?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on several things: San Francisco GC and Sunningdale are the clubs I would most like to be a member at. Secondly, I agree about the In and Out Burger, I went there after playing at Olympic one time, its off that road between John Daly and Highway 1, but when I went back I couldn't find it. Great food though!

Anonymous said...

Hello i dont know if anyone here could help me. My Step dad has been trying to complete the top 100 golf courses and so far he has done 98 of them. I am not very big on golf myself but i believe it is quite a challenge to complete so many as they tend to change quite a lot.

He has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and i know his dream is to play Loch Lomond. I have since found out how difficult it is to play there. I have spoken to macmillan cancer trust and they were advised that the only way he would be able to play there is if a member signed him in.

If anyone could help or give some advise as to anyone who could be contacted i would be eternaly gratefull. My Email address is Monkeykingsp@aol.co.uk.

Any advise at all would be truely appreciated.

Many thanks

Anonymous said...

Re: Top hundred courses.
I'm the Head Greenkeeper at Ganton in Yorkshire, England. If you're ever up this side of the country, I'd be happy to accompany you round the course. Best time of year is late summer, early autumn.

Anonymous said...

it is disgusting that aw tillinghast is not on you're links of architects, he is easily the best ever. also kingsbarns is a joke, anybody can make a nice golf course when you have unlimited land fill at your disposable. i appreciate this site for the pictures, but the writing is trash.

Anonymous said...

where is winged foot west in the best clubhouse list, it is only rivaled by the one at shinnecock hills, and is still better. you also fail to mention how the west course green complexes are the best in the world. the most amazing think about the west course is that it is such an amazing course layed out on such flat and boring landscape. however you fail to mention any of this.

Top 100 Golfer said...

I appreciate the bluster of the last two comments, but clearly he hasn't played many of the great courses, to diss Alister Mackenzie like that when he is clearly the greatest. What can I say, Tillinghast and his courses aren't my favorite. Certainly not Winged Foot. San Francisco and Somerset are a lot better than WF.

xyz said...

You should play Lehigh, Allentown, PA. Flynn's best you haven't played. Consider yourself invited. I'm easy to find ...

Anonymous said...

Winged Foot might not be for everyone. You have to appreciate how the course flows and the fact that the green complexes are the greatest ever conceived by man in order to understand it. From what I gather, this blog appreciates more showy courses. Winged foot is, probably, the best golf club, as it has two courses which could in any year host major championships, and does have the best clubhouse (there is no arguing against that, if you have been there). Also, the atmosphere of club has no pretensions, like some of the other tillinghast courses.

Top 100 Golfer said...

I don't want to disparage Winged Foot because it is a great place.As far as green "complexes" I don't agree that it has the best. I can think of eight courses that have better: Augusta, Pine Valley, Crystal Downs, Pinehurst #2, Cypress Point, Pacific Dunes, Sand Hills and the Old Course are all better. Winged Foot West has difficult greens; but they lack variety, they all basically slope back to front and are very fast. Hard and 'the best' are not the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I left the anonymous comment before. First of all, you have still failed to recognize the fact that the Winged Foot Clubhouse is at the very least one of the top five, and the club has plenty in the "history" department. The club breaths of golf tradition and cherishes its history and accomplishments.

Saying that all the greens on Winged Foot slope back to front is like stating that every hole on Bethpage is a dogleg. Sure, there are a few greens that slope back to front, but the greens on 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11,14,15, and 17 don't. Now, they might on some of the best holes on the course, most notably the 10th, one of my top three or four par 3s, but I can't agree with the generalization that you are making.

Also, the green complexes on Pinehurst 2, Sand Hills, Pacific Dunes, and Crystal Downs are not of the same class as Winged Foot. The course is all about the angles, if you don't notice them, then you miss the point of the club, and could be why you can't see the cleverness of how they work. All the complexes make you hit into bunkers and force you to hit awkward shots that challenge how you play the game. Also, I would argue that Agusta National (Which you have not played) does not have complexes of the same quality, and if you took the beautiful cliffs away from Cypress Point, you would not consider them even in the same league. Considering the land which Winged Foot is on, which is terrible, the course that was produced is one of the greatest ever. Anyone can make a great course out of beautiful sweeping land on a cliff side in California, you have to realize that you can't compare courses like these apples to apples.

Anonymous said...

No Tillinghast despite the fact that he designed Winged Foot West, Winged Foot East, Quacker Ridge, SFCG, Bethpage Black, Medinah #3, Ridegwood, Baltusrol Upper, Baltusrol Lower, and I know that there are some that I am missing.

Marc Lambert said...

Hello from France! I'am having a lot a fun reading your blog and the not always so gracious comments that are coming along! I have been fortunate enough to play about a dozen courses on your list so it's always interesting read a sometimes different point of view. Give me a shout if you ever come back to France, there is some very interesting courses to be played so feel free if you need any help or advice.
All the best for 2K10!
PS: you mentioned a french expression in the above article, one should read "un je ne sais quoi" :-)

Shook said...

in regards to the WF dialogue, I have now been lucky enough to play the west course 5 times and the more I play the more I enjoy it and respect it. After my first round I came away feeling the course punched below its weight, but after playing it several more times I have been able to appreciate it more. The greens complexes defend this course so well. I find it interesting that WF west certainly gets a great deal of criticism from many golfers.

Anonymous said...

When you played Seminole in FL, did you get a chance to playany of the other great courses in the area. The northern Palm Beach area has quite a cluster of super-elite and exclusive clubs within a relatively small area. i.e. Jupiter Hills, the Bear's Club (personal favorite), Macarthur, Trump, Old Marsh, Old Palm, Medalist, etc. Not only is the area (I'm biased...live in Jupiter) a fantastic place to vacation, but there is a ton of very good golf... Even the Champ course at PGA (where the Honda is played), which isn't tough to get on, is a great track.

Anonymous said...

Foulepoint Madagascar!!

No way should it be on your list, top 100!

I play there every week and can confirm they have not dug it up yet but is a little rugged, better than no golf!!

Matt P said...

Best World (and Australian courses)
- Next time you are in Australia you have to play 'The Metropolitan Golf Club' which was the host of the 2001 World Matchplay Championships.
- In mint condition all year round and beautifully designed.
- Rates alongside Kingston Heath and Royal Melbourne as the best courses in the nation.

Ankur said...

Bethpage Black #5 should be on the top golf holes in the world. Downhill risk/reward drive that favors a power fade followed by an uphill mid/long iron that demands a high soft draw into a relatively small but flat green guarded by bunkers. This hole will let you have a comfortable bogey if you play for one but will test all aspects of your game(skill and mental fortitude) if you are in search for par. Tillinghast masterpiece in my opinion.
Btw, I played NGLA today. It blew me away.

Anonymous said...

Other Great Holes:
1. Pebble Beach - 8th &9th & 10th
2. Yale - 1st,4th,9th,10th,13th
3. Fishers Island -5th,9th
4. National Golf Links - 3rd,8th
5. Shinnecock - 3rd,7th,8th,9th,11th,12th,16th,11th,14th,15th
6. Salem -1st,13th,18th
7. Ballybunion - 7th,9th,11th
8. Olympia Fields- 14th
9. Dornoch -3rd-5th,14th

Anonymous said...

You should check out Ballyneal in NE Colorado. Fantastic Doak design in the middle of nowhere. #7 is a great, short par 4.

Fred Nigro said...

Love your blog and very entertaining. Everyone has an opinion and we all love our own golf experiences. My favorite course on the list is Cypress Point although I have not played Pine Valley...yet. Played Sand Hills and while the course is fantastic I found the service, attitude and overall experience appalling. Bally Neal is an excellent and equal option. I like that you love Jack's Point, but you must have missed The Hills on your trip, simply amazing. Best Club to join in the country....Bel-Air Country Club no other club in the world is in the same league. What other club has EVERY major trophy on display in their trophy case...

All good

Declan said...

I enjoyed reading your list. I have played most of the courses you have listed in the UK and Ireland and only a couple in the States.. There are a couple of hidden gems in Ireland designed by probably Ireland's greatest course architect, Eddie Hackett sadly passed away now.. Carne is probably his greatest creation and would stanad alongside most of the courses you've listed.. also, having visited the west coast of Australia i was priviliged to play a beautiful course called Araleun, which i consider a fantastic course..!! Keep playing and writing..!! Declan

Paulie Toronto said...

I'm going to sound like a Canadian chauvanist but The National in Toronto, Hamilton G&C, Crowbush in Prince Edward Island and Capilano all deserve attention.

I also think that Pasatiempo (MacKenzie's favorite) is worthy. 16 there is great!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog! I was a member of a club in Northern California and was lucky enough to know some people. Used to play Spyglass Hill 3 or 4 times a year. Played the Olympic - Lake course just before the Open was played there. Played Pebble and Cyprus (and didn't appreciate how fortunate I was). Didn't even take a camera. Stunningly beautiful, but the first five holes at Spyglass are beyond compare.

yoyodyne said...

Great writeups, and, as I'm sure you know, it's 'Aronimink.'

Anonymous said...

What about Deepdale---- the super rich dont deserve this wonderful golf experience.

Anonymous said...

Check out Rye in East Sussex. Host to the President's Putter every January. The even holes represent the best 9 hole course in the world!

Unknown said...

Just found your site, well done with your amazing feat.
I've played a few of the courses and caddied on others when I caddied on the European Tour a million years ago.
I'm off to play Ellerston later this week.....don't ask, what happens in Singleton....
Share your love of Cruden Bay, and Woodhall Spa is still my favourite inland course, although you don't mention Gleneagles...not the new one, the two older ones.
I keep a car at my inlaws in Balloch, and try to get over every year. Have played little beauties like Boat of Garten, Brora, Tain.....only small but like Cruden, fun!
Can't go without mentioning The Machrie on Islay....I appreciate these are not top 100, but on a fun rating?....

Craig Read

Unknown said...

You are my hero sir, congrats on your achievement. I have tried to play the best post 1936 courses. I believe there is no better 4 hole sequence in the world than the run from 14 to 17 at Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand. I played on a blue sky and windless day, and it was mind blowing. I wish I could post the pics.

Patpott said...

A friend just forwarded your blog link to me because of the Streamsong post. I would like to say that I truly enjoy reading your posts.

I've been fortunate to play each of the Streamsong courses twice as I live within 40 minutes. I've played 4 of the 5 courses at Bandon and I think Doak and Crenshaw/Coore did a great job of bringing that feel out east. If they could have brought the weather, that would have been better.

I also enjoyed going over your posts for your favorites and Augusta National. Reading the names took me back to some of the courses I've played and have me looking forward to playing some more on the list. I've found that while people may disagree with what's on your list of bests that it is very subjective and can be impacted by many influences (i.e. weather, playing partners, and the overall experience). I ding Pebble because I didn't enjoy the pairing. The Island, near Dublin, is one of my favorites because the company was so good. No, it doesn't beat out RCD, Portrush, or BallyB, but I would definitely go back.

Thanks for sharing the blog.

Anonymous said...

I love #6 at Pebble as well. Very unusual hole.

Great blog.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your blog. Did you get a chance to play The Hills in Queenstown. Found it more traditdional than Jack's Point
and an incredible track.