All our course raters, both paid and unpaid, report to Top 50 V.P. and Director of Course Rating, Gary Van Sickle. He massages the raw data and forwards it to the basement computer room here at Catch Basin. A few of our raters, however, are so specialized in their knowledge that Gary encourages them to bypass the Cal Sci guys and submit their rankings directly to me. That explains the email and bulky attachment that arrived yesterday:
To: Gary Van Sickle. From: The Coraldesk of Aquaman, Lord of Atlantis. Date: Benday, Germcember 9, 2012
Aquaman was quivered when he failed to get a response from you earlier. So he surmised that his half-man/half-walrus manservant emailed the following piece to the wrong address. So, here it is again for your puny human enjoyment:
Atlantis, Under the Sea—It is obvious from John Garrity’s absurdly biased course rankings that he wouldn’t know a mashie from a porcupine or a dog-leg left from a unitard (that’s the offspring from a unicorn and a minotaur—duh). It has become increasingly difficult to read Garrity’s rankings, which are embarrassingly biased toward courses played by you annoying air-breathers, while you continue to ignore the world’s greatest underwater courses here on our fabulous Continent of Atlantis.
Oh, that’s right. You can’t breathe water like I can. That Kevin Costner guy tried once in a really bad movie. If only he’d spent more time underwater in that film, he might have had a winner. Still, I know a lot of people wish he’d take a dirt nap and stop being so insufferable based on so little.
But I digress. Since Garrity isn’t going to go anywhere near Atlantis for golf because of his picayune whining—“But I’d drown!”—I have decided to help his sorry website (which is drier than those things you airbreathers call cracked wheat bread) by providing you with a list of the Six Best Courses in Atlantis. (We call ‘em The Deep Six.) Just for the suspense factor, I’ll start at No. 6 and count down. I believe one of your air-breathing gods does something similar—David Letterman.
No. 6, Nautilus Golf Club. This is a stellar and demanding 1,424-fathom layout that winds back and forth through scenic kelp fields. Which means you can stop and have a snack at your leisure. Thus, no beverage & snack sub service is provided by the club. The signature hole, obviously, is the 96-fathom par-3 13th hole, which drops practically straight down into a dormant volcanic dome. My son, Aqualad, once aced it with a 7-iron, having shrewdly played the typical left-to-right underseas current just right. It hit the pin, hung on the lip and dropped just before a deadly manta ray stung Aqualad’s caddie, killing him instantly. I’ll never forget the look of satisfaction on Aqualad’s face. It was his first hole in one!
No. 5, The Links at Mariana Trench. I’m sure that I, Aquaman, Lord of Atlantis, don’t have to tell you what a tough track this is. It’s 6.8 miles down, kind of near a dirt clod you air-breathers call Guam. Because of the depth, well, the ball just doesn’t carry well. You will wear out your fairway woods here. It’s longer than a thing that’s the opposite of short. (Ha-ha—another of our favorite Atlantan sayings. One more: Ha.) The finishing hole, one nasty par 5, plays through the Challenger Deep, a slot between two mountains at the Trench’s southern end. It makes Pebble Beach’s 18th hole look like a piece of snot from a blue whale. It really does.
No. 4, Atlantis Country Club. Well, I don’t think I need to even mention the obvious attributes of the most famous course in Atlantis. I’m sure you all remember the time King Neptune made an obsquidian on the 14th, the hardest par-7 on the planet. (What? You don’t know that an obsquidian is a hole played in 5 under par? Why do I waste my time with you air-breathing clodhoppers?) Neptune holed an eel-wood for a deuce en route to winning the Oceanic Masters in ’97, duh. Most famous shot ever, double duh.
No. 3, The Neptunia Club. This is the favorite course of my daughter, Aquabitch. Sure, it’s on the short side and is only a par 68, but there’s no debating the beauty of the coral reef formations that you land-clods haven’t yet destroyed. Also, it’s well-lit by phosphorescent plankton. What, you’ve never heard of that? Well, I’m not telling you where this place is. Plus, there’s always a sense of excitement as it plays through a popular white shark breeding ground. No biggie, since my telepathic powers enable me to control all of the finny minions. Which is why I never have to pay for a caddie. It’s good to be Lord of Atlantis.
No. 2, Oceania Golf Links. The Big O is a brute. Small greens, lots of foliage, and lots of current. As we say down here, If there’s nae current, there’s nae gawlf. Most of the back nine plays into the prevailing current, so it’s a real bitch, no relation to my daughter. No course in Atlantis has tougher greens to read or faster greens to putt on, either. You may as well try to putt on a squirming dolphin. I have, and trust me, it’s just not as much fun as you thought it would be. Par is a good score at The Big O. The 17th is the signature hole. It’s a double seahorse-leg par 5 with trouble everywhere, including the Wreck of the Mary Deare left of the green (but not really in play unless you really yank one) and assorted and dreaded coral traps. Man, you go in those and you’re just taking a drop unless you’ve got a death wish—which, if you’re an air-breather, I, Aquaman, Lord of Atlantis, encourage.
No. 1, The Jules Verne Club. No surprise here. It’s the most exclusive club in Atlantis and the toughest course to get on. You’ve gotta know somebody who knows somebody who eats whale bait. The course is iconic, having hosted the Atlantis Open in the tournament’s early years. Most people already know every hole from watching those old telecasts, so it’s a thrill beyond sonic pings if they’re afforded a rare chance to play. You can shoot 30 on the back nine, which is spectacular, or you can shoot 51. It’s the most exciting layout in Atlantis, although part of it is due to those discarded underwater mines from WWII. The 18th is arguably the greatest hole here. From an elevated tee, you cross a bottomless trench that probably goes directly to the earth’s core. (We think. We don’t know since nobody has ever made it back, but it was probably an old shortcut through the planet left by alien spaceships). You don’t clear that with your drive, you’re re-teeing, lemme tell you. From there, your second shot is a long carry over a cavern (where Magellan’s bones are stored—but that’s another story!) and an adjacent trench that features submarine wreckage from The Thresher. There’s no good place to miss this elevated green, which is surrounded by poisonous sponge fields (bet you didn’t know about that, either, you clod-breathers!), a jelly-fish bunker (hah!) and a false front that hides the entrance to the cave that holds the button we can push to create a tsunami anywhere in the world we want. I don’t want to brag, but I birdied the 18th last time I played there, taking 250 golden pazoosas off Aqualad, who still has no short game even though I tell him to practice. I won two presses and a Hawaiian carryover. I would’ve bought Aqualad an adult beverage after the round, but he forgot to bring a splacket to wear over his mer-tail, as club rules state, so we weren’t allowed in the men’s grill-cave.
Well, there you have it. As you can plainly see, John Garrity’s Top 50 is irrelevant when compared to The Deep Six. We play real golf here in Atlantis, Garrity, not patty-cake air-breathing glop-along. Your so-called Top 50 list? It’s just a silly fantasy. May the kelp be with you.
All the best—
Aquaman, Lord of Atlantis.
Despite his prickly and provocative outbursts, Aquaman has proven to be one of our most reliable raters. (He’s cheap, too. He works for sand dollars and the occasional package of Mrs. Paul’s Crunchy Fish Sticks.) He was way off-base, though, in thinking that we didn’t receive his original email. We were simply waiting for our underwater photogs to return to port with their catch of course photos.
Unfortunately, we’re still waiting. Look for a photo gallery in the near future.
Top 50 on TV: Speaking of underwater, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is underway on the 34th-ranked Plantation Course (home of the Garrity Bunker) at Maui’s Kapalua Resort. Forty-mile-an-hour winds and heavy rain washed out Friday’s first round, but today’s forecast of 40-mph winds and heavy rain should be perfect for 36-holes of catchup golf. (The top-7 guys in the World Ranking passed on Kapalua. They must be kicking themselves right now.)