Tag Archives: Tom Doak

Turnberry View Purchase Hits a Snag

Our campaign to buy and restore Scotland’s Ailsa Craig got off to a brilliant start with a thousand-dollar pledge from the American lawyer and football coach, John Mullen. I was confident that an even bigger endowment would be coming from the R&A after I received an enthusiastic bordering on chauvinistic email from David Hill, the R&A’s recently-retired championships director. But now Hill seems to be experiencing buyer’s remorse. He writes:

As much as I would love 1.) to be retired and, 2.) be the former director of championships for the R&A, [my] comment was not from THAT David Hill. I don’t want you to get an earful from the distinguished Mr. Hill on your next journey across the pond …. I’m just your average American 12 handicapper of Scottish heritage that has a passion for golf and happens to write a golf diary blog, 1beardedgolfer.

Anybody who has directed a capital campaign or served as auctioneer at a school fundraiser is familiar with this dodge. I didn’t raise my hand! … It’s a forgery! … I have an evil twin!  And now, repackaged for modern times: Somebody hacked my account!

Experience has taught me to handle these little dustups with tact and magnanimity, so I am publicly releasing Mr. Hill from his pledge of half-a-million British pounds, or whatever amount it was that he forgot to specify in his impulsive bestowal. I’m sure that other active R&Aers (if that is not an oxymoron) will promptly make up the difference. Ailsa Craig, after all, is a British rock.*

*Note to self: Check DVR for concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Looking for cheaper thrills? They’ll be here soon in the form of a new edition of Tom Doak’s The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses. Doak’s original book, published 15 years ago and now selling for more than $250 a copy, featured his feverish reviews of the world’s best-known layouts, some of which provoked outrage from established course architects. Now that he is an acclaimed designer in his own right (22nd-ranked Old Macdonald, 48th-ranked Streamsong Blue and four other top-100 tracks), Doak has enlisted three co-authors for his update, which will appear in five volumes, starting with “Great Britain and Ireland.”

To whet our appetites, a recent Doak newsletter offered up several “Best of 2013” lists that seem to endorse the Top 50’s more-scientific ranking. For instance, fifth-ranked Castle Stuart Golf Links placed second and 32nd-ranked Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club placed third on Doak’s “Top Ten Discoveries of 2013,” otherwise described as “Best courses I saw for the first time.” Similarly, Doak reveals himself to being a step behind Garrity when he picks the par-4 third at Castle Stuart and the par-5 fifth on No. 1 Carne’s new Kilmore nine among his “Best Golf Holes Discovered in 2013.”

In fairness to Doak, no lone actor can hope to match the Top 50’s resources. And if you believe that, I’ve got an island in the Firth of Clyde to sell you.

Kilmore Links at Carne

Carne’s Kilmore links: Would a better name be Steroidal Dunes? (Larry Lambrecht)

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week — sorry, 51st-ranked Riviera Country Club — but Links Magazine’s Thomas Dunne has written a compelling review of the above-mentioned Kilmore nine at top-ranked Carne. “It’s a certain kind of golfer who is attracted to big-dunes links courses,” Dunne begins, no doubt thinking of me. “They’re hardy and fun-loving, more accepting of quirky design, and, perhaps, a bit more interested in pulling off heroic shots than strictly adhering to a card-and-pencil mentality.” He goes on to correctly describe Carne as the “Big Daddy” of big-dunes courses and the Kilmore as “an array of memorable holes within the grand and chaotic dunes. My favorite is the mid-length par-four 8th, where the green complex seems to rise from the valley floor like a primitive dagger.”

As the Kilmore beds down into its natural surroundings, it remains to be seen how the club will deploy the new nine. A composite routing in which [the Jim Engh/Ally McIntosh] holes are folded into Hackett’s back nine is one compelling possibility, as this combination would produce one of the most thrilling big-dune experiences in the game. However, Hackett’s front side, while set in more modest terrain (relatively speaking — it’s still Carne!), might out-punch the original back nine purely on the merits of their respective holes. The ideal solution, of course, is simply to play all 27.

Click here for the rest of Dunne’s essay. And click here to book a round at Carne. (Full disclosure: I am an honorary lifetime member, but I receive no commission for referrals.)


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Rating Feherty in my Spare Time

“What do you do when you are not rating courses?” asks a reader from balmy Tucson, Ariz.

Short answer: I’m always rating courses. Behind the wheel with cell phones pressed to both ears, I’m rating. Standing in line for Taylor Swift tickets, I’m rating. Even when I appear to be asleep at my desk, I’m rating. (I dreamt that Tom Doak’s Streamsong Blue would debut at No. 48 — and it did!)

Feherty and Garrity

Formal gigs are de rigueur for Feherty (left) and Garrity. (Photo by Angus Murray)

But if the reader wants to know what I do in my spare time, I don’t know where to begin. I spend hours poring over old scorecards and manuscripts for my Golf Ghost stories. I play cocktail piano for tips at hotels and country clubs. I bait traps for the rodents I hear running behind the walls at Catch Basin, my Kansas City manse.

Currently, I seem to spend the better part of my week in black tie. One night I’m at the Grammys, the next I’m at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Can they hold a Ryder Cup Gala without me? Yes, but only if my SI colleague Alan Shipnuck agrees to fill in.

But rest assured, when I’m schmoozing with Brad “‘Til Death” Garrett at a Las Vegas benefit, my brain is thirty miles up the road at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. Or across town at Steve Wynn’s 51st-ranked Shadow Creek. Or combing the Strip for archeological evidence of a mythological Desert Inn Golf Club.

My paid subscribers deserve my best, and I’m determined to give it to them.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but my profile of top-ranked celebrity interviewer David Feherty has jumped from the pages of GOLF Magazine to the pixels of Golf.com. Here’s some bonus Feherty that didn’t make it into my piece:

On improving at golf: “I have no idea how I got to be any good, because I never really worked that hard. But I worked very hard in my MIND. I practiced by thinking. And imagining. I think that’s a very underrated form of practice. I tell people all the time, don’t work so hard. Make swings in your mind, imagine what it feels like when it’s comfortable. Take comfortable swings and see where the ball goes. And then learn how to aim it. It’s really not that complicated.”

On the trajectory of his playing career: “I always felt I was on the edge of disaster. There would be high points, and then I’d get shit-faced for a month. Then I’d have to go back to work again.”

On religion: “The history of organized religion is nothing but torture, bloodshed, misery and ignorance. Yet people still cling to it; it’s precious to them. The present is precious to me because I know it’s the only thing I’ll ever have.”

On injuries curtailing his golf: “I don’t want to play socially, and I used to make excuses — ‘Oh, my back is killing me’ — but now my left arm is semi-paralyzed. But I’ve got my Troops First Foundation, where I’ve got men with no arms or legs playing golf, and those are the days I play. I say, ‘Oh, my shoulder’s badly separated,’ and some kid will hand me his leg and say, ‘That’s separated.’”

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O’Neal Cracks Sand Save Ranking

“If I had access to a Bomar Brain, I’d do more than rate golf courses,” writes a follower from Deer Antler, Mont. Why don’t you put your technology to better use?”

The reader can’t see me, but I’m smiling indulgently. If he were to tour the basement computer room at our Kansas City headquarters, he’d see that less than half of its vast expanse is devoted to course rating. The white-coated technicians in the southeast corner work around the clock to crack the recipe for the no-longer-available Newly Weds Ice Cream Cake. The cubicled nerds in the center of the floor are trying to hack the Google search algorithm so that Tour Tempo 2: The Short Game and Beyond  will be the default answer to all internet queries. And that windowed office with the shades pulled down? Let’s just say that you’d merely have to touch the doorknob to find yourself surrounded by NSA security types with weapons pointed at your head.

But it was golf that lured me into the scientific community — specifically my ability to rate things associated with the ancient game. My latest project, funded by Golf Channel, is an authoritative ranking of the best golf shots in history, cumulatively and by category — i.e., best putts, best drives, best provisional drives, etc. We’re weeks away from releasing the initial rankings, but I peek at the data from time to time.

Jim O'Neal bunker save

Jim O’Neal knocks it close on No. 4 at Streamsong Blue for one of the Top 50 Sand Saves of all time. (John Garrity)

These, I hasten to add, will be up-to-the-minute shot rankings. Last week, for instance, an American club pro cracked the Top 50 Sand Saves list. Playing in the prestigious Renaissance Cup at central Florida’s Streamsong Resort, Jim O’Neal got up and down from a buried lie beneath the lip of a greenside bunker on the fourth hole of the 48th-ranked Streamsong Blue course, a Tom Doak design.

“It’s probably the best up-and-down of my career,” said O’Neal, who is head professional at the Meadow Club, an Alister MacKenzie course in Fairfax, Calif. (O’Neal is also a former co-owner, with his brother Rupert O’Neal, of Colorado’s 51st-ranked Ballyneal Golf  Club, another Tom Doak design.)

O’Neal added, “It’s amazing that you would be here to photograph my shot. Or that you would even bother, considering that you had just hit your own career-best 3-wood to five feet for birdie.”

Hey, that’s how we operate here at Catch Basin. If our Montana reader wants us to put our technology to better use, he’ll have to show us how.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but Gary Van Sickle, our chief course rater and award-winning PGA Tour correspondent, has filed this remarkable Golf.com feature from the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. It’s about “the biggest hero at the Phoenix Open,” burn victim and scratch golfer Jason Schechterle, and it will blow your mind. Great work, Gary.

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Carne Golfers Enchant New Yorkers

“I understand your persistent cheerleading for Hillcrest/Kansas City,” writes a deep-sea fisherman from St. George, Utah. “Who wouldn’t get behind the only Donald Ross course in Missouri? Your recent endorsement of my neighboring Sand Hollow is also easy to understand, although its cliff’s-edge fairways are a bit too close to the sun for this old sea dog. But you’ve made little mention lately of your second-ranked course, the Carne Golf Links. Have you run out of things to say about Ireland’s most rugged and scenic seaside course?”

The 16th at Carne is more than just a gateway to the infamous par-4 17th. (John Garrity)

The 16th at Carne is more than just a gateway to the infamous par-4 17th. (John Garrity)

Great question, Ahab. In a word, yes. I wrote a long Carne feature for Sports Illustrated Golf Plus back in ’03. Four years later, after a lengthy sabbatical in County Mayo, I spewed a 135,000-word manuscript about Eddie Hackett’s glorious links track, mixing in just enough of my own colorful biography and tangential musings to keep things interesting. That book — Ancestral Links: A Golf Obsession Spanning Generations — has led to an endless cycle of interviews, lectures and appearances at motivational seminars, at which I perform rhetorical cartwheels on behalf of my favorite course.* So yeah, I’ve run out of fresh things to say.

*Carne, I should emphasize, is my favorite course worldwide of all the courses I had no role in designing. I consider myself a co-creator of top-ranked Askernish Old (although I am quick to acknowledge the contributions of Old Tom Morris, Gordon Irvine and Martin Ebert), and so I rarely describe it as my “favorite.”   

Fortunately, I can always dip into the Top 50 in-box for a Carne update. Just the other day, for instance, New Yorker David Brennan submitted a glowing report. “I read your book a few years ago,” Brennan writes, “and thinking of it this summer, I chose to read it again …”

It is a wonderful story, well told. Your portrayal of Belmullet and Carne enticed me to suggest the book to one of my friends who travels annually to our home in Pallaskenry, County Limerick, from where we strike out to play golf with two other friends against a fourball of Irish lads. We have been doing this for about 12 years (we all live in the NY area) and have played much of the southwest of Ireland during those trips. Of late we have played Lahinch, Ballybunion (7) and Doonbeg, regularly losing our annual match with the Irish at Lahinch. Losers — that would be us for all but one year — pay for dinner at Vaughn’s, a fine seafood pub in Liscannor between Lahinch & the Cliffs of Moher.

My wife Deirdre, who does not golf (she rides horses instead), read and loved your book. When one of our regular travelers dropped out of this year’s trip, she suggested that I call Carne to ask if any of the characters from the book would make up our fourth. I called the office, and when I mentioned your book I could sense a smile at the other end of the phone. After explaining that one of our fourball had dropped out, and that the other three had all read the book, I asked if it would be possible to play with any of the people featured in the book, such as Seamus Cafferky or Eamon Mangan, Terry Swinson, Chris Birrane, etc. “John” patiently listened to my inquiry and suggested that I send an email, which I did. Hearing nothing back, I figured they took us for crazy Yanks.

To my delight when we arrived (after losing our match with the Irish the prior day), the lady in the office said that Eamon wanted to say hello. Almost immediately thereafter we met Chris and had a great chat with him. As it turned out, Eamon played 18 holes with us, throughout which he told great Eddie Hackett stories and explained much of the course as we walked. When we spoke of our obsession with No. 17 (long before we saw it), Eamon smiled, shook his head and said “Garrity.” He then asked if, after our round the following day, we’d like a tour of the new 9!

Our first day was quite misty, and though we couldn’t see all the views, we saw what a wonderful course it is. The next day was brilliant sunshine, and the views to Achill Island, the clear blue water on white sandy beaches, and the amazing layout were as you described so well in your book. When we arrived at 17 we each had three balls ready,* but when we had good drives (relative to each of our games) we chose not to risk ruining our fairway lies with a second shot. On the first day, Howard, our best golfer (8 handicap), just missed a birdie putt that, had he sunk it, Eamon said he was going to take Howard up to the office and “call Garrity.” (Your description of Eamon as one who never appears rushed but who accomplishes more in a day than anyone else in a week is perfect.)

*Why three balls? Read Ancestral Links and you’ll understand.

The next afternoon, Eamon met us at 18 and drove us around the new 9 in his Jeep. The new 9 looks amazing. That par 3 is stunning.  We stayed at The Talbot, which was great fun and as good a place as any we have stayed. Next year we hope to be there for the opening of the new 9, and if so perhaps we could meet.

Your book inspired one of the most memorable trips of my life. Carne went well beyond our expectations. Years ago I read Dermot Healy‘s book, Goat Song, and ever since I’ve been fascinated with the descriptions of Belmullet. When I read your book I knew someday I would get there. Ancestral Links made me feel as if I knew everyone. I loved the Eddie Hackett chapters. A fine mix of memoir, history and golf. I loved it. Beyond the golf and the wonderful memories of your mother, father and brother, your fascination and attraction to Ireland is something I share. I love traveling Ireland, reading its history, great fiction writers and playwrights. Playing golf there is just different than anywhere else. My grandparents came here (America) and never returned, so my own discovery of Ireland came through my wife, who spent summers on a family dairy farm in Beale, next to Ballybunion.

I just wanted to thank you for such a treat, introducing us to Carne as told through the story of your family. If you get to New York, please let me know. We’d be delighted to host you for a meal.

I have David’s permission to share his moving report, and I thank him for that. Meanwhile, I’m acting on my own authority to boost Carne’s Cal Sci Algorithm score from 9.75 to 9.77.

The Old Course will be a little less old when renovations are completed. (John Garrity)

The Old Course will be a little less old when renovations are completed. (John Garrity)

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but the St. Andrews Links Trust and the R&A have disclosed that they are making a few renovations to the 16th-ranked Old Course — “renovations” being the word we like to use when we’re caught trying to escape the Road Hole Bunker with the aid of a 200-metric ton front loader. Gadfly blogger and author Geoff Shackelford and Top 50 architect and author Tom Doak (Pacific Dunes, Ballyneal, Cape Kidnappers) are apoplectic over the changes, and the twitterverse has produced myriad versions of the “mustache on the Mona Lisa” trope. GOLF Magazine’s Travelin’ Joe Passov is much less alarmed (“Much ado about nothing”), but GOLF’s Alan Bastable reports that St. Andrews residents are dismayed that construction started with little public notice. The Top 50 will reserve judgement until our course raters have conducted a full site inspection, but here’s what I tweeted when the news broke:

John Garrity @jgarrity2

@michaelwalkerjr Mona Lisa’s mustache was on Da Vinci’s original sketch; sacrificed for condos and water feature.

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Golf Gadfly (Bill Amick) Gets His Due

“You made a joke in SI about Heritage Classic winners looking ‘bad in plaid,’” writes a reader from the Vatican City. “The proper term is ‘tartan,’ but that’s beside the point. You shouldn’t ridicule a garment that symbolizes achievement or high attainment.”

Two sentences, two complaints. Yes, I “joked” about the gaudy blazer using “plaid” instead of “tartan”, but that’s because the rhyme for tartan wouldn’t have gotten past my editors. As for the argument that tartan blazers should command respect, I say, “Only if it’s the Donald Ross tartan worn by members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.”

Bill Amick at ASGCA meeting in Denver

Bill Amick, left, can wear plaid.

The Ross tartan, modeled by former ASGCA president Bill Amick in the adjoining photograph, is a particularly distinguished variant of the Highlanders’ weave. The man wearing it, I might add, is a particularly distinguished member of the ASGCA, inasmuch as he is shown receiving the architects’ Distinguished Service Award in Denver at their 65th annual meeting. Amick, in his 52nd year as a golf architect, is only the fourth pasture-plower to receive the DSA.

Amick is well known to followers of the Top 50. Gut Heckenhof Hotel und Golfresort, in Germany’s Rhein-Sieg National Park, is currently No. 20, while his tasteful redesign of Ross’s Hillcrest Country Club in Kansas City, Mo., is 45th. The second 50 pays tribute to four more Amick courses:  No. 53, Killearn Country Club, Tallahassee, Fla. (longtime venue for PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and LPGA events); No. 68, Sky Meadow Country Club, Nashua, N.H. (deemed the best course in New Hampshire by Golf Digest); No. 89, The Vineyards Country Club (South Course), Naples, Fla. (a former Champions Tour site and Golfweek honoree); and No. 97, Mangrove Bay Golf Course, St. Petersburg, Fla. (a Golf Digest Top-50 public track).

But it is Amick’s contribution to the debate about golf’s future that is his real legacy. For decades he was the lonely gadfly waving the red flag while his peers poured billions of dollars into courses that were too long, too hard, too remote, too exclusive and too expensive to maintain. When Jack Nicklaus proposed a shorter version of golf using his limited-flight “Cayman ball,” only one architect answered the challenge by building an 18-hole course for its use.* That man was Bill Amick.

Eagle Landing Golf Club, Hanahan, S.C. 

German golf course Gut Heckenhof

Amick's Gut Heckenhof is plenty goodenof.

“In these times of a slower economy and lower golfer participation,” Amick told his colleagues in May, “many areas have enough championship courses. However, the game could use more courses that are easier, faster to play, and which have lower fee to encourage and keep new golfers of all ages. Smaller courses will not replace the standard 18-hole par 72 model, but will compliment and supplement those larger courses.”

Those smaller courses, Amick was too polite to suggest, could be built on the fallow land left by bankrupt golf developments.

But I digress. The reader is right, honorific garb should be given a pass by the fashion police. I might even slip on a green jacket, if offered the right incentives.

Top 50 on TV: Nothing this week, but the U.S. Public Links Championships (Golf Channel) for men and women are drawing to a close on Mike Keiser’s 55th-ranked Old Macdonald in Bandon, Ore. Old Macdonald shares the four-course Bandon Dunes Golf Resort with 26th-ranked Pacific Dunes, Tom Doak’s contribution to Keiser’s dream of an American linksland.

Next week, the cameras descend upon No. 7 Castle Stuart Golf Links, the new home of the Barclays Scottish Open. Castle Stuart is the eighth course in the current Top 10 to serve as a venue for elite-level competition and the first course to achieve that recognition on the strength of our Top 50 imprimatur. So we’ll be watching.

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The Secret’s Out: “This Old Course” Returns to SI Golf Plus

It’s no longer a secret. The first installment of This Old Course 2011 has just appeared in the February 21 edition of Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, and the course getting a world-class makeover is [drum roll] …. top-ranked Askernish Old!

“This Old Course,” if you need reminding, is the award-winning, decennial series that gives readers a builder’s-eye view of a complete golf course renovation, from the first member’s complaint that the greens are too bumpy to the last grudgingly-signed check for excavator rental.* The 2001 series focused on Bobby Weed’s total redesign of the University of Florida Golf Course, an original Donald Ross layout. Number 421 in the Top 50 before Weed’s do-over, UF’s course is now ranked 39th — possibly due to SI’s 16 articles on the project (which is roughly double the attention that TIME devoted to last year’s mega-series on Detroit’s urban crisis).**

*Full disclosure: I am the author of the series.

**I was also the author of the 2001 series.

The return of This Old Course has been met with the expected acclaim:

Turf cutting at Askernish Old

The work has begun at top-ranked Askernish Old. (John Garrity)

Is it ten years already? It must be time to have the house repainted.” — SI’s Gary Van Sickle

“The 2001 series was better.” Course designer Bobby Weed

‘“Askernish Old’ is the name used by a number of golf writers to describe the 1891 Old Tom Morris designed golf course on remote South Uist, an island in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides that was quite literally ‘lost in the sands of time’ and rediscovered in 2005. It has since been restored and as far as I know is currently the only course on the island … unlike St. Andrews you will find no ‘Askernish New.’” — Shivas Irons Society president Steve Cohen

There are subtle differences between the two series. The Askernish coverage will be shorter — five articles in all, terminating in late June. The course work is also scaled down. In fact, Old Tom’s ghost course will look pretty much the same in July as it did a month ago, when work started. “We like to cover our tracks,” explains Eric Iverson, the on-site man for Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design. “We try to make it look like we’ve never been there.”

That’s a good philosophy to have, it seems to me, when you’re working on the world’s top course.


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Golfweek Rankings: Worth a Look?

The basement computer room at our Kansas City headquarters is listed as “unlikely” for the rest of November, due to the removal of the south wall by hydraulic engineers. Consequently, I am devoting most of my energies to paperwork, jigsaw puzzles and Rumpole of the Bailey DVDs.

18th Green at Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach: An obvious choice? (John Garrity)

I did take a few minutes this afternoon to review Golfweek’s “Definitive Guide to the Golf Life,” which dropped through the mail slot and landed on the floor with a resounding thud. Also landing with thuds, I’m sorry to say, are the magazine’s top-100 lists of resort and residential golf courses.

Hey, the Florida-based weekly made a valiant effort. The course photographs are attractive, the spine is well-glued, and it’s evident that the editors sent grownups to rate the various resorts and developments. Nevertheless, Golfweek’s procedures are ridiculously subjective, leaving their rankings open to second-guessing.* Their residential list, for example, cites only two courses from my Top 50, Castle Pines and Redlands Mesa, and totally ignores two perennial Top-50 standouts, Hallbrook C.C. and Medicine Hole G.C.. (It is possible, I admit, that Golfweek did not treat the Badlands course as “residential,” due to the lack of housing on its perimeter.) Even more damning: The magazine lists only 11 courses that I have personally played.

*No ranking can call itself “scientific” if it’s operating without a Bomar Brain.

That said, I won’t quibble with Golfweek’s top three — Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club (Tom Fazio, Cashiers, N.C.), Rock Creek Cattle Company (Tom Doak, Deer Lodge, Mont.), and Wade Hampton Club (Tom Fazio, Cashiers, N.C.) — except to say that cattle companies aren’t “golf courses,” per se. I played both Fazio courses with the architect last fall, along with his Bright’s Creek course in Mill Spring, N.C., No. 36 on the Golfweek list. All three of those courses were good enough to hold down the No. 50 spot on my list last year, if only for a week or so, as is another Fazio housesitter, Briggs Ranch of San Antonio, Texas (No. 28 on the Golfweek list).

Bathroom at CordeValle

CordeValle's plumbing is second to none. (John Garrity)

Golfweek’s resort course ranking is easier to defend, since nine of its courses also appear in my Top 50. That includes three of the magazine’s top-four resorts: Pacific Dunes, Pebble Beach, and Whistling Straits.* I can also endorse the high rankings for Pine Needles Country Club (Donald Ross, Southern Pines, N.C.), Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (Michael Strantz, Pawley’s Island, S.C., and CordeValle Resort (Robert Trent Jones, Jr., San Martin, Calif.), three of my personal favorites.

*I expect Golfweek’s second-ranked course, Old MacDonald (Tom Doak & Jim Urbina, Bandon, Ore.), to crack my Top 20 once we scrape the plaster dust and mould off the mainframe.

Coincidentally, I was about to release my own list of best resort courses when water started spilling out from under our basement baseboards. Needless to say, that list is on hold — although I guess you could describe my call to the foundation company as “a last resort.” Here’s a preview:

50. Dry Basement Company, Kansas City, Mo. (Otto Fleck) 8.17

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