Wednesday, September 3, 2008

'The Top 100 You Can Play' Rankings

Personally, I find no better pleasure in playing a new golf course and seeing what exactly it has to offer. From municipal goat track to gem of the West coast, each golf course has at least one golf hole you'll remember, if not for the layout, for your score or great shot.

GOLF Magazine came out with their top-100 courses you and I can actually play without a member or Senate badge, and I decided to give my take on the courses I've played on the list (I promise you, it isn't a lot).

#21 - Troon North Golf Club, Pinnacle Course - A course I actually used to work at, combing the Troon oath to great conditions and customer service with a perfect layout near Pinnacle Peak (pictured) is tough to beat. Although they changed the nines around to better combine the newer Pinnacle course with the older and more traditional Monument, the closing stretch of 15, 16, 17 and 18 leaves for some fun and beauty. The price has always been high for my taste, but if you have the dough, it's work forking over.

#32 - Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, Azaleas Course - If you don't mind getting to Philadelphia, Mississippi, the Dancing Rabbit courses are truly one of a kind. Literally a wedge from the Pearl River Resort and Casino, Dancing Rabbit has a motto "getting lost in the woods is the whole point." If you're looking to take a guys trip that is a little off the beaten path from the regular Las Vegas or Myrtle Beach scene, this is the place to go. Also, the price is right and the casino is solid.

#35 - We Ko Pa, Cholla Course - The first of two great, and distinctive courses in the middle of the desert, the Cholla Course is, in my opinion, desert golf at its finest. While it still has a couple of giveaway holes on the back (14 and 15), the course as a whole might be worth the the steep price of admission (nearly $210 during peak season). If you're doing a Scottsdale trip, the Cholla course is a must play.

#44 - We Ko Pa, Saguaro Course - In my opinion, a bit high for the newly introduced Saguaro course. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed this as a walkers course, but maybe not the best idea in a place that can peak 120 degrees. It is playable from the desert as they've cleared out a lot of the shrubbery, but it just isn't what you'd expect after first seeing the Cholla. That said, the 9th is a fun, short par-3 worthy of a closest to the hole competition and the 10th is a drivable par-4 for the big hitters.

#45 - Troon North Golf Club, Monument Course - All they did was this was give the two worse nines of the two 18-holes courses to the Monument, which is really like saying you won $200 on a lottery ticket instead of $205. The back nine (old front of Pinnacle) is one of the best nines ever to wager some cash on. Two par-5s, a risk-reward par-4 and some tricky par-3s make for a lot of up and downs to your final round. They also did a great job of changing the 17th to a par-4, nearly a joke of a hole to play as a par-5 (downhill and only 495-yards from the tips).

#51 - Wolf Creek Golf Club - As you may have seen, I wrote a review of Wolf Creek just a few weeks ago. It is tougher than Avon Barksdale, never a break from the grind and has a drive thru beer barn. Can you beat that?

#86 - Barefoot Resort, Love Course - There is no debating of the beauty and prestige of the Barefoot Resort, with courses designed by Davis Love III, Greg Norman, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. The Love is the top ranked course in Myrtle Beach, which is about all you need to know in a land with more than 100 courses. The 5th will give just about any golfer the shakes off the team, as water stretches all the way down the right side of this 463-yard beast.

#87 - Grayhawk Golf Club, Talon Course - Pretty incredible that the Talon gets the nod when the PGA Tour hosted a tournament on the Raptor just last year. Never one of my favorites, you will always have an interesting time playing the island green 17th, coined Devil's Drink, even if it is barely a wedge for most players. Way too costly for my taste, especially with all the good golf around north Scottsdale.

There you have it. Not a lot of courses, but a few I have played and enjoyed for the most part. Have you played any on the list?


Todd said...

During college I worked at Reynolds Plantation National Course in Georgia. I played there, Great Waters, and Cuscowilla. They were all great courses, I liked the National the best probably just b/c I worked there but it was a lot of fun. Cuscowilla was probably the hardest, very long and had a links golf feel to it. That was about 8-10 yrs ago that I played those courses though. Man, I miss the days of playing free golf.

John said...

I got on Atlantic City CC after it went public (thank you, Harrah's) and what a fantastic course that is. More typical of New Jersey golf than I might have hoped - i.e. flat flat FLAT - but still a great experience.

I MAY get on Pine Valley for the Crump Cup this month. Not exactly playing it, but I figure just seeing the course will be the highlight of my sad golf career. Of course my father actually got to play it once, the bastard.

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