Tag Archives: golf resorts

Links Mag Ranking of Golf Resorts Lacks a Certain Precision

“Have you seen the Fall issue of LINKS?” asks a reader from Arrow Rock, Mo. “They’ve got a Top 25 list of the world’s best golf resorts, and their list is alphabetical. What do you think of that?”

Cordevalle golf

California’s Cordevalle Resort will need more than roses and an RTJ Jr. golf course to climb in the Links Magazine ranking. (John Garrity)

Here’s what I think of that: It’s dumb. You can’t have a top-25 list with a 26-letter alphabet. That’s unfair to Zoute, Belgium, home of the Harry S. Colt-designed Royal Zoute Golf Club, and even more unfair to China’s Zhuhai Golden Gulf Golf Club, which features 27 holes designed by Colin Montgomerie. It would have been better for Links to use the 18-letter Hawaiian alphabet — especially since their list includes two Four Seasons Resorts (Hualalai and Lanai at Manele Bay), the Ritz Carlton Kapalua Resort and the St. Regis Princeville Resort.

Actually, closer examination reveals that their alphabetical list is simply a presentation device, not an actual ranking. And they’ve left themselves plenty of wiggle room by playing around with the resort names. The Resort at Pelican Hill rightly follows Pebble Beach and Pinehurst on the Links list, but had they shortened the name of the luxe Newport Beach, Calif., hideaway to “Pelican Hill,” it would have overtaken Pinehurst, alphabetically speaking.

Despite its obvious shortcomings, I sent the Links resort rankings downstairs to Owen Upshot, our director of opposition research. Owen worked on it for a couple of days and came up with a true alphabetical ranking of the resorts, based solely on the hard data supplied in Brian McCallen’s supporting article. Here are the results:

1. The letter “F” (Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge; Fancourt South; Four Seasons Resort Hualalai; Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay; Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita) 5.00

2. The letter “R” (Resort at Pelican Hill; Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain; Ritz-Carlton Kapalua) 4.00

3. The letter “B” (Bandon Dunes Golf Resort; The Boulders Resort; The Broadmoor) 3.00

T4. The letter “G” (The Greenbriar; The Gleneagles Hotel) 2.00

T4 The letter “I” (Inn at Palmetto Bluff; International Casa de Campo) 2.00

T4. The letter “P” (Pebble Beach Resorts; Pinehurst Resort) 2.00

T4. The letter “S” (Sea Island Resort; St. Regis Princeville) 2.00

T8. The letters “A,” “K,” “L,” “O,” “T,” and “W” (The American Club Resort; Kiawah Island Golf Resort; The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs; One & Only Palmilla; Turnberry Resort; Wynn Las Vegas) 1.00

That leaves 13 letters on the outside looking in. (Are you reading this, Mauna Lani? Are you planting another rank of rose bushes, Cordevalle? Are you happy, Homestead?) Or if they aren’t looking in, they must at least be considering name changes. How about The Fabulous Nemacolin Woodlands Resort? Or The Renowned Eseeola Lodge at Linville Golf Club.

Meanwhile, The Top 50’s inaugural ranking of golf resorts is in development here at Catch Basin. I can’t give you a date for its release — there’s been an unexpected glitch in the Bomar Brain’s addition software — but I promise you this: There will be no alphabetical ranking or similar cop-out. Our ranking will be precise to the fourth decimal point.

Hillcrest No. 2

Missouri’s only Donald Ross course brightens up every fall. (John Garrity)

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but congratulations to 42nd-ranked Hillcrest Country Club on last week’s member/guest tournament. The celebrity-laden field included former NFL Pro-Bowl receiver Carlos Carson and our own Atlantic Coast Ratings Coordinator, Dave Henson. Seeing Hillcrest’s rising and plunging fairways for the first time, the perspicacious Henson said, “I can see why they call it Hillcrest.”

That’s why we pay him the big bucks.

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True Enough: It’s CordeValle’s Week

“If you work for the Top 50, shouldn’t you be able to count to 50?”

That snipe, from a cowled friar in Hayward, Calif., points out that the Top 50 on TV addendum to my last post reads “Nothing this week” — when, in fact, the Frys.com Open is being held at the CordeValle Resort Golf CLub, No. 49.

“Furthermore,” the monk mutters, “some nimrod hasn’t been taught how to use the SHIFT key on his Remington. Not to get on his case, but ‘upper’ is for the first letter of proper nouns, and ‘lower’ is for the alphabetical rug rats that follow.”

CordeValle Golf

CordeValle: Top-10 resort, Top-50 golf course. (John Garrity)

I could pen an extended rebuttal to Monastery Man’s snide, albeit artfully-phrased, “gotcha.” But that’s not how we do things at the Top 50. CordeValle is, indeed, No. 49. That’s a rung above the 50th-ranking the northern-California resort achieved back in June, when SI senior writer Gary Van Sickle and I played it on our way to flights from San Jose International Airport.

By the end of a three-birdie round at CordeValle, I was a confirmed 49er. The turfed expanse of the RTJ Jr. tournament track wanders through a valley dominated by  exquisite, oak-dappled foothills, providing a golden backdrop for this week’s Golf Channel cameras. The clubhouse and hotel are shaded by ancient sycamores and swathed in trellised roses. If wine-country ambiance is your cup of tea, CordeValle can’t be beat. Or rather, it can be beat by only seven other golf resorts. (CordeValle is No. 8 on my World Golf Resorts list, which will appear here in November.*)

*Contingent upon completion of certain infrastructure projects at our Kansas City headquarters.

As for the charge by our Thomas Merton wannabe that we can’t type, I will patiently explain that CordeValle — pronounced “COR-de-vol” — is spelled with a capital V. (See my privately-published monograph, “What’s with the E in FedEx?”) The documentation for the L in “CLub” seems to have been misplaced, but I’ve got someone looking into it.

There is no listing for Hayward, by the way, in Michelin’s Guide to North American Monasteries.

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