Wayne Mills writes, “I just came across your blog after reading your GOLF Magazine piece on Fazio/golf architecture. After reading your take on course ratings (I’m a Golfweek rater), I thought I would endeavor to enlighten you about New England’s great golf courses.”
Wayne goes on to list his personal Top 10 New England courses, and I thank him for that. I’ll even concede that his rankings have merit. But I want to make a couple of points before presenting his choices.
Point 1: Wayne admits that he’s a Golfweek rater — i.e., he is a lavishly-compensated minion working for a rival course-ranking outfit.
Point 2: Wayne has, in all likelihood, visited most of the golf courses in his Top 10. (Familiarity with a venue does not disqualify a course rater, but neither can we ignore the obvious temptation to give high scores to a country club or resort that has fed, clothed, and possibly even bathed the critic.) I, on the other hand, have never even heard of the 9-hole Tatnuck Country Club of Worcester, Mass., which is currently T-53 on my list.
Point 3: Wayne won’t reveal where he lives. (I’m sending the longitudes and latitudes of his Top 10 to my Cal Sci consultant, Charles Eppes, but simple triangulation suggests that Wayne lives in Boston’s elegant Beacon Hill neighborhood, probably on Bowdoin Street. And he drives an Escalade.)
That aside, here are Wayne’s choices for Feast of the East, along with his snarky comments:
1 The Country Club (Not top 50??? Please, the place is a museum and a cathedral.)
2 Newport CC (Ever been?)
3 Kittansett (Oceanfront as good as any.)
4 Wannamoisett (Ross at his best.)
5 The Orchards in W Mass (A classic Ross.)
6 Taconic at Williams College (An unbelievably good golf course in a bucolic setting.)
7 Eastward Ho on Cape Cod (Herbert Fowler’s greatest. Classic golf in a glorious waterfront setting.)
8 Crumpin Fox (Roger Rulewich’s masterpiece.)
9 Country Club of Vermont (A modern classic in the Green Mountains.)
10 Belgrade Lakes (Ten times the course that The Ledges is.)
“And many more,” he writes, before parting with a venomous, “Let me know if you ever get up this way and I’ll show you.” [My emphasis.]
Nice try, Wayne. I’ll visit Boston again when Paul Revere rides out on his horse to say it’s safe.