Tag Archives: Michael Bamberger

Wallasey Links Lives Up to Its Data

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND — Ben Crane is a five-time winner on the PGA Tour. He’s also a keen judge of golf courses, which is why I fumbled to get my log book open when Ben started gushing about 38th-ranked Wallasey Golf Club. “Does it get any better than this?” he asked on the fourth tee, which rides a dune high above a fairway that follows the shoreline south along the Irish Sea.

Ben Crane at Wallasey GC

“Does it get any better than this?” Ben Crane on the 4th tee at Wallasey GC. (John Garrity)

“This is as good as it gets, isn’t it?” He spread his arms like Moses. “I mean, are you telling me there’s something better than this?”

This was yesterday evening, at the end of a long, sunny day that saw the recent FedEx St. Jude Classic winner fail by a whisker to get into the Open Championship as a first alternate. Many of his peers were still on the course at 51st-ranked Royal Liverpool, a few miles down the coast. “I’d love to have gotten in,” he said, “but I wasn’t going home without playing some links golf.”

For a complete and more nuanced account of gallant Ben’s visit, I give you this by my playing partner and SI colleague, Michael Bamberger. Read it at your leisure, and then come back for my obligatory take on the Wallasey links.

Stock, Crane and Bamberger

A walk on the wild side at Wallasey links with (l to r) caddie Joel Stock, PGA Tour pro Ben Crane and SI senior writer Michael Bamberger. (John Garrity)

Ah, good to have you back. I’ll start by answering Ben’s question: Yes, it does get better than Wallasey. After all, there are 37 higher-ranked courses in the Top 50. But that’s the data talking, and I, like Ben, am suspicious of data, even when it’s cranked out by an instrument as dependable as the Bomar Brain. To be honest, I’ve been uneasy about Wallasey’s high ranking ever since it debuted at No. 48 a few years ago. I pestered my staff with questions: “What can you tell me about the place? Why did you waive the deduction for no drinking fountains? How long should a tick bite remain inflamed before I call a doctor?”

Beyond the raw numbers, all they could tell me was that Wallasey was the home club of Dr. Frank Stableford, the man who invented the Stableford Rules for golf scoring. Well, hoop dee dooI’ve invented more than a dozen scoring protocols, none of which require me to record every stroke I take on a hole.

That said, I found Wallasey to be enchanting. With its big shaggy dunes and glorious sea views, it’s a close cousin to top-ranked Askernish and Carne, my two favorite courses. Furthermore, it is quirky. One fairway crosses directly in front of another tee. There’s a 90-degree dogleg-right par-4 that skirts a grove of trees — trees on a links? — and climbs a steep hill to a blind green. There’s a long par-4 that requires a blind approach shot of around 200 yards into a natural amphitheater that was probably popular with the Druids. Quirky links, to my way of thinking, are the best kind.

Don’t ask me to choose between homely Royal Liverpool and fetching Wallasey, because I’ll take Wallasey every time. And so will Bamberger, who’s right back out there this afternoon with his pal Mike Donald, runner-up to Hale Irwin at the 1990 U.S. Open. “The course is an absolute delight,” Michael B. writes in his Crane piece. He singles out the fifth — “a par 3 that played about 160 yards into the wind off the Irish sea, from an elevated tee” — as “a gem.”

We’ll have to wait for Mike Donald’s take. But if he gives it a thumbs up, Wallasey could ascend a rung or two before I reach Ireland.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but the Open Championship continues at 51st-ranked Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a curious, small-dunes links with knee-high mole-cricket runs delineating arbitrary out-of-bounds boundaries. It’s no Wallasey, but it possesses an undeniable 19th-century charm. We have advised the R&A that it be kept in the Open rota — only, perhaps, on a less-frequent basis.*

*We provided our recommendation on a pro bono basis and have not yet heard back from the R&A.

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Van Sickle Ties Swing Guru En Route to Second Shivas Invitational Title

A reader in Texas wants to know if the Top 50 blog has morphed into a stable of tournament golfers. “You hardly ever write up a new golf course or devote more than a few lines to a classic layout,” he writes, “but every time I pick up the paper I read about some Top 50 staffer winning the Masters or something. What are you doing in your underground complex at Catch Basin — cloning tour players?”

Philadelphia Cricket Club

The former U.S. Open venue doubles as an outdoor wedding chapel. (John Garrity)

The reader exaggerates. No one on our payroll has yet managed to win a major, and I can’t think of anyone at our Kansas City headquarters who could beat Tiger Woods straight up. But I can see how a Texan might overestimate our tournament success, given the near-constant media drumbeat for our best players.

Just this past weekend, for instance, career-amateur Gary Van Sickle won the 24th Shivas Invitational on the 50th-ranked St. Martin’s Course at Philadelphia Cricket Club. Van Sickle, our executive vice-president and chief course rater, shot a first-and-final-round 69 on the surviving nine at St. Martin’s, a two-time U.S. Open venue, matching former PGA Tour player and $300-per-hour swing coach Dewey Arnette.* It was Van Sickle’s second Shivas title in as many tries, and it won him another brass plate on the hard-to-ship Shivas Trophy.

*Tournament chairman Michael Bamberger ruled that Arnette was “co-champion” on a technicality — the technicality being that he shot the same score as Van Sickle.

Van Sickle’s latest win (along with my own top-20 finish at the Shivas) caps a string of Top 50 playing triumphs, including a couple of high-dollar victories (West Penn Open, Frank Fuhrer Invitational) and a tournament-best 66 at the New England Open by our social-networking coordinator, Mike Van Sickle, who has already qualified for the second stage of PGA Tour Q-School.

Nevertheless, the Top 50 rates courses, not players. Philly Cricket has two other tracks — the 37th-ranked Wissahickon Course, designed by A.W. Tillinghast (currently being renovated by Keith Foster and Dan Meersman) and the upstart Militia Hill Course, designed by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry — but it’s the Chestnut Hill track, behind the PCC’s cricket pitch and sprawling red-brick clubhouse, that hosted the 1907 and 1910 Opens, won by Alec Ross and Alex Smith, respectively. (Ross’s brother Donald designed an eye-opening seven courses in the current Top 50, including Royal Dornoch, Seminole and Hillcrest.) And here’s a great bit of trivia from Sal Johnson’s book, The Official U.S. Open Almanac:

Entering the 13th hole of the final round [in 1907], A.W. Tillinghast was the low amateur in the field. At that moment, however, , he was overcome by the heat, forcing him to withdraw …. Tillinghast, of course, went on to become one of America’s finest course designers. Some of his famous courses, like Baltusrol and Winged Foot [plus Bethpage Black and Swope Memorial] have been tapped by the USGA as sites for its championships.

“Philadelphia Cricket Club,” Johnson points out in his 1910 notes, “was the first host club to allow the professionals into the clubhouse and to give them locker room privileges.”

These days, the top pros tend not to congregate in the Chestnut Hill shower room. But it’s not because they’re not welcome; it’s more a case of the St. Martin’s layout no longer being U.S. Open compliant, in that nine holes have gone missing. The Shivas Invitational turned this into a virtue by formatting the competition as two nine-hole rounds, the first played from the forward tees to front hole locations with a maximum of four clubs, none longer than 39.5 inches. (The winner of this first lap was Simon & Schuster editor Jofi Ferrari-Adler, who shot a stunning four-under-par 31 with a 3-iron as his biggest stick.) The second nine, played from the back tees to back hole locations, was a conventional 14-club competition.

The playing conditions, it must be said, were superb, it being one of those rare autumn days when shirtsleeve temperatures and abundant sunshine amplify the glory of fall foliage at its colorful peak. The greens were slick and maddeningly-hard to read, corrupting the scorecards of a celebrity-laden field that included Top 50 course-designer Gil Hanse (fifth-ranked Castle Stuart and the incipient Olympics Course in Rio de Janeiro); head professionals Scott Nye (18th-ranked Merion GC, site of the most-recent U.S. Open) and Graeme Lennie (33rd-ranked Balcomie Links); and award-winning actor Richard Kind (Spin City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Good Wife).*

*Unable to perform due to injury — but diligent in their roles as cart-companions and spectators — were Drama-Desk- and Obie-award-winning actor David Morse (Treme, The Negotiator, John Adams) and legendary links writer and author James W. Finegan (Emerald Fairways and Foam-Flecked Seas).

Tournament play concluded on the ninth green at 4:58 p.m.. At five, a wedding ceremony began between the green and the starter’s shed. That’s so Philadelphia.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but the PGA Tour continues it’s inaugural head-start season with the McGladrey Classic on the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga. At 7,055 yards, the par-70 layout has a robust 141 slope rating and a designer line that starts with Harry Colt and C.H. Alison (original nine), runs through Joe Lee (Marshside nine) and culminates with Tom Fazio, who directed a 1999 revision. The Seaside Course, aping Merion, uses red wicker baskets instead of hole flags, the difference being that Seaside is public and Merion not so much.

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Disgruntled Reader Tees Off: “Fraud!”

“You were giving me golf-course recommendations for a trip between Mobile and Pensacola,” writes a pissed-off reader from Argentina, “and you suggested Hilton Head Island, 525 miles from my destination. If that wasn’t bad enough, you didn’t finish your post. I was so frustrated that I left my clubs at home, spent my days in America at the beach, and lost all my savings at Gulf Coast casinos. I’m telling my friends in Rosario that the Top 50 is a big, fat fraud, and they should go back to Travelin’ Joe Passov if they want honest golf-travel advice.”

Chechessee Creek

Chechessee Creek’s par 3s are plenty challenging, even for course raters. (John Garrity)

Wow.

My first impulse is to remind this overheated reader that I told him that golf itineraries were Travelin’ Joe’s specialty, not mine. (My exact words: “The Top 50 does not recommend golf courses; it ranks them.”) My second impulse is to ask Mr. Rosario for an apology. I went out of my way to help him out, but I don’t feel much love from his “big, fat fraud” crack. I talked to my close friend, Vijay Singh, and he thought I should consult a lawyer — his lawyer, to be precise — regarding defamation and libel issues. I’m not ready to take that step, but Rosey should consider the fact that the Top 50 has never lost a court fight.*

*Ft. Meade City Mobile Home Park Golf Course v Garrity was settled amicably, and I have never violated the restraining order. 

My third impulse is to withhold the final recommendation for our gaucho’s Gulf Coast golf tour, but that would be a disservice to my Top 50 subscribers. So, for their sake, Roseman, not yours, I’m recommending the 51st-ranked Chechessee Creek Club in Okatie, S.C. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Chechessee Creek is probably the finest example of swamp sorcery this side of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

The minimalist philosophy is at work here, although I prefer the term “understated.” There are no waterfalls, no tabletop tees, no fairway-bunker complexes that rival the Sahara. It’s simply a challenging, well-constructed golf course that just happens to be situated in a backwoods setting where the plunky notes of Dueling Banjos filter through the pines.

“Chechessee Creek Club is a throwback to the times when golf was simpler,” writes a blogger who calls himself Golf Club Atlas’. “The absence of artificial mounding harkens to the Golden Age of course design when dirt wasn’t pushed around just for the sake of ‘framing’ holes.”

Michael Bamberger

Blurbmaster Bamberger was deeply moved by the Creek. (John Garrity)

Obviously, some dirt is necessarily pushed around in the playing of golf. My foursome of clod connoisseurs included Top 50 v.p. Gary Van Sickle, southeast ratings chief Dave Henson, and Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Bamberger, who moonlights as blurb superintendent for the Top 50 book division. (Full disclosure: Caddies were compulsory, so we actually paid something for our rounds. The Golf Writers Association is weighing whether we should be suspended for the infraction.)

Anyway, we scored Chechessee Creek as follows: Van Sickle, 4½ stars. Henson, 8 out of 10. Bamberger, “a rollicking trek through the Faulknerian recesses of the marginal South … shade-dappled, mossy … It’s magical!” Garrity, 11.94.

Your loss, Rosey. I hope you enjoyed the beach.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but we added to our already-stuffed trophy case when our founder and CEO, John Garrity, won the amateur long-drive contest at last week’s Time Warner Cable Long Drive Championship Pro-Am at 50th-ranked Eagle Bend Golf Club in Lawrence, Ks. His winning drive, had anyone bothered to measure it, would have been well over 250 yards.

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Gulf Coast Golf Trip of a Lifetime

“I was about to submit a query to Travelin’ Joe Passov,” begins an e-mail from Rosario, Argentina, “when it occurred to me that you know more about golf courses than anybody in the world. What courses do you recommend for a budget-conscious tourist driving from Mobile, Ala. to Pensacola, Fla.?”

Michael Bamberger

Michael Bamberger attacks a sucker pin at Palmetto Dunes’ RTJ Oceanfront Course. (John Garrity)

Normally I would hit the delete key — or better yet, forward the query to Travelin‘ Joe, just to rile him up. The Top 50 does not recommend golf courses; it ranks them. Sometimes, as with Askernish or Carne, we both rank and recommend a course, but only under exceptional circumstances and with the understanding that we can play there for free. To do otherwise would compromise our integrity.

This time, because I’m feeling generous, I’ll waive established policy and create a golf itinerary for our thrifty Argentinian.

Let’s start with the fact that Mobile to Pensacola is a journey of roughly 60 miles. Assuming that one has a week to kill and that one’s rental car can achieve speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, I’d start with a round at sixth-ranked Augusta National Golf Club, site of last week’s Masters. But if that is not feasible — either because our impecunious friend doesn’t know a member or because, as happens to be the case, the club has closed for the summer — I can enthusiastically recommend 50th-ranked and almost-as-good Orangeburg Country Club of Orangeburg, S.C.

I played Orangeburg last Monday with Top 50 executive vice president Gary Van Sickle and Global Golf Post correspondent Ron Green Jr. and found the Ellis Maples/Richard Mandell layout to be in tip-top shape. The very-green greens were deceptively slick, and the waste areas were pristine, thanks to a pinecone-picking program that is the envy of the South. Best of all, our threesome played 18 holes in less than three hours — slightly better than the average pace of play at the 2004 South Carolina Four Ball Championship, hosted by the OCC.*

*Orangeburg is a private club, so you may have difficulty securing a tee time. The guest green fee is apparently negotiable; we paid nothing.

Since our route has taken us a bit north and well east of Pensacola, it only makes sense to drive 114 miles further to catch a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean from Hilton Head Island, S.C. The golf choices here are extensive, topped by the 36 holes at 51st-ranked Palmetto Hall Plantation Club, home club of Dave Henson, our Southeast Region Ratings Coordinator; but we think our penny-pinching Rosarian will get the most bang for his buck* on the 51st-ranked Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course at the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, voted “2003 Golf Course of the Year” by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association.

*The April green fee with cart and taxes is $170.33, but our sunburned traveler can play after 2 p.m. for $105.53. (We paid nothing.) He might also consider the Arthur Hills and George Fazio courses at less than a hundred bucks each, leaving him enough for dinner at the acclaimed Hilton Head Diner

Palmetto Dunes flag

The winds at Palmetto Dunes are maintained at 12 mph or less, except for tournament play. (John Garrity)

Van Sickle and I played the RTJ course last Tuesday with Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Bamberger, and we found it to be a fair, fun test with a seafront appeal that puts it in the top rank of American resort courses. “The par-4 seventh was my favorite hole,” said Bamberger, extolling the wood-bulkhead-enhanced grandeur of the lakefront fairway. “I could hit that tee shot over and over again.” Van Sickle swooned over the beachside green complex on the par-5 tenth, which blends white-sand bunkers and tuft-topped palms to unique effect. “I’d like to play this in bad weather,” said Van Sickle, mildly put off by the sunny, 75-degree conditions.

Hilton Head is 525 miles from Pensacola, so our weary traveler will want to bunk overnight at the Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa, which is a mere drive-and-a-pitch from RTJ’s eighteenth green. I could use a little rest myself, so I’ll complete my Gulf Coast recommendations next time.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but the RBC Heritage is being played 525 miles from Pensacola on Pete Dye’s 52nd-ranked Harbour Town Golf Links. It’s the course with the lighthouse.

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Top 50 Transparency Praised by Founder

A reader from Stone Harbor, N.J., asks if we conduct our course ratings in secrecy. “Do you travel under aliases? Do you inform a course’s staff that you are evaluating their facility and plan to publish an assessment that could be damaging to their reputations and bottom line? Do you go about your business whistling with a smile* while actually twisting your knife in the backs of honest businessmen who are merely trying to provide fun and recreation?”

* This is anatomically impossible, unless you whistle through your teeth; but we do try to project a certain cheeriness.

The e-mail is signed “Diogenes,” so I assume the writer is Greek. And before I address the substance of his letter, I’d just like to say how sorry I am about his country’s sovereign debt crisis and for the shocking deterioration of the 7th-ranked Parthenon and other public buildings. Things look bleak, I know, but a century or so of austerity should square the Greeks’ accounts and get them back out on the golf course.

Anyway, Di asked about “secrecy.” My answer is a flat “No.” We don’t sneak onto golf courses in Zorro masks and capes, and we don’t hide our clipboards and cameras in gym bags. To the contrary, the arrival of a Top 50 rater tends to be a civic happening replete with bunting, ceremony and intemperate drinking. It’s the democratic nature of the Top 50, in fact, that makes it so much fun. What other course-rating system has gallery members draw lots for a chance to evaluate the par-3s? Who but the Top 50 would let the head pro appeal for a better score in return for logoed caps and golf balls?

Besides, if we snuck in and out of venues, would we get so much publicity? Not to be immodest, but my recent rating trip to England got almost as much media attention as the Open Championship at 186th-ranked Royal Lytham & St. Annes. First it was Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck, who took participatory journalism to a new level by following me around 17th-ranked Royal Birkdale dressed in my clothes. (“If you can learn about someone by walking in their shoes,” he said afterwards, “it has to be even better to walk around in their baggy polo shirts and Dockers.”) Shipnuck’s reverential report can be seen here.

Michael Bamberger

SI’s Michael Bamberger followed our Top 50 rater at St. Annes Old Links. (John Garrity)

Also following me at Birkdale was Michael Bamberger, author of To the Linksland and inventor of the E-Club. In appreciation, I let him rate the 200-yard fourth hole, where each of us missed an ace by a matter of inches. (“Challenging to the extreme,” he concluded, “but brilliant!”) Bamberger then popped up a couple of evenings later as I rated St. Annes Old Links (49). He wrote about it for Golf.com, as did Golf Digest’s Cameron Morfit, whose astute critique of St. Annes can be read here.

To sum up, the Top 50 — far from being secretive — is the most transparent of all the leading course-rating systems. Diogenes may not accept that, but I infer that he’s bitter about some perceived slight or life-destroying tort that he associates with golf course critics. That’s unfortunate, but it has nothing to do with us.

Unless, that is, he is referring to our sister company, America’s Worst Golf Courses (LLC).  Our AWGC raters do conceal their identities, and they usually prevaricate when asked why they are dipping test strips into the ball washers or taking core samples from the greens. “When things get hairy,” I tell them, “it’s best to lie.”

Different company, of course.

Glen Echo's 14th hole

Would Glen Echo’s “Dewdrop” par 3 present a challenge to modern Olympians? (John Garrity)

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but the London Olympics reminds us that golf returns to the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the summer of 2016. That should focus attention on 51st-ranked Glen Echo Country Club of St. Louis, Mo., which was an Olympic venue in conjunction with the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. I played Glen Echo some weeks ago and found it to be in tip-top shape and fully capable of hosting the Olympics again, should the Gil Hanse-designed Rio course be thwarted by local politicians. (Glen Echo still has a commuter line running alongside its first hole, so transportation will be a snap.)

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Clearing Up ‘Dwarf Course’ Comment

A reader from Daytona Beach, Fla., gets right to the point: “You don’t know what a ‘dwarf course’ is? What a fool some folks are!”

The reader refers to golf architect Bill Amick’s remark, in my last post, that he was off to West Africa to build a dwarf course at an eco lodge. Or maybe it was an eco course at a dwarf lodge. But the reader, now that I look more closely, is Bill Amick. So I’ll let him explain the term.

I coined that label, dwarf course, because of my mother. She was a wonderful woman and I loved her very much, but she was short. For some reason, she was never fond of me calling her a dwarf. Hey, she should have known that life, like golf, is not always fair. For instance, she could not have become a member of the Augusta National Golf Club. Though that was not because of her limited vertical stature.

Having cleared that up, Bill comments on the rankings:

I was extremely pleased that Ridgewood Golf Club [formerly Chestuee Golf & Country Club] made it into your latest top 20. And I’m proud that, after looking it up, I know it by its current name. It has always been a rule of mine that a golf course architect should at least know the names of the courses he or she has designed. Not knowing would be almost as bad as the over-the-hill touring pro who, having put his signature on a course, had to be pointed in the direction of the first tee for the ceremonial opening round.

And I find Grand Reserve a welcome addition to your aqua-range list. I can’t think of a better use for treated sewer water.

Turning to the new, Bill drops a tidbit or two about his detour through Scotland:

As you know, I made it up to The Trump in Aberdeen [No. 51] to share the ceremonies with my friend Martin Hawtree. And here’s what really burned me. As my taxi was delivering me down the entrance road, The Donald was leaving in his long black limo. He did not wait for me at the clubhouse nor even wave as we passed on the road. I guess some Americans are just rude.

I did get a tour of His course by the Hawtree team, so my visit was not a complete bummer. I was impressed by it all, and in a later message I’ll attach what I write for ByDesign with my impressions of the course.

When I got to Ghana, I’m happy to say, there was no rude American passing me in his long black limo as I entered the property. But I did think of my dear, late mother. Have I ever mentioned that she was not a particularly tall person?

Shipnuck and Bamberger Putting

Shipnuck putts and Bamberger tends the flag on a course not unlike Royal Birkdale. (John Garrity)

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but on Wednesday afternoon I joined my Sports Illustrated colleagues, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger, for a lovely round at 17th-ranked Royal Birkdale Golf Club. We were playing hooky from our British Open assignments, but Alan made it kosher by writing a broadly-comical yet deeply-moving GOLF.com column about our round. (Deeply moving when he describes me as a “premier ball striker”; broadly comical when he pegs Michael as a “crafty” links player.)

About which Amick, in a follow-up e-mail, complained, “All you golf writers ever seem to do is play great courses. And now we have to read about it?”

No, but I’m sure Bill will want to read this legend that was on the wall of the first Royal Birkdale clubhouse:

“As the earth is not meant to be carted away The divots you cut in the course of your play Should be neatly replaced by your caddie or you, With their roots to the earth and their blades to the blue”

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Van Sickle Caps Best Season with Philly Cricket Club Triumph

The Presidents Cup at 51st-ranked Royal Melbourne seems to be occupying the middle-of-the-fairway media. I can think of no other reason for the relatively-short shelf life of Gary Van Sickle’s recent triumph at the 21st Annual Shivas Invitational. Van Sickle, the Top 50‘s chief course rater, withstood 40-degree temperatures, gale-force winds and a donut breakfast to shoot 78 on the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s 37th-ranked Wissahickon course.

A score of 78 may not sound impressive, but par was about 80 on a day that reminded neighbors in nearby Valley Forge of the winter of 1777-78, which sent the handicaps of General Washington and his 12,000-man Continental Army soaring. Finishing a stroke behind Van Sickle were Mike Donald, remembered for his 19-hole playoff loss to Hale Irwin in the 1990 U.S. Open, and 15-year PGA Tour veteran Bill Britton.

Van Sickle, upon presentation of the Shivas Trophy by tournament chairman Michael Bamberger, said, “You’ll have to ship it to me. There’s no way I can take this on my flight back to Pittsburgh.”

Also in the field were Sirius Satellite Radio host Peter Kessler, R.E.M. bass player and songwriter Mike Mills, and Top 50 founder and chief executive John Garrity, all of whom finished in the top 18.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but Alister MacKenzie’s Royal Melbourne composite course was in the Top 50 for an uninterrupted span of 252 months before dropping off the list this past July. Asked why the famous sandbelt course had been demoted, Van Sickle said, “No, really, I have to catch that plane.”

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