Golf Digest 2019-2020 public rankings.

mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers Posts: 1,006 ✭✭

New list was released. https://www.golfdigest.com/gallery/americas-100-greatest-public-courses-ranking

Initial thoughts and what stood out. Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes ranked 18 and 27 respectively. Good for them.

Not a lot of change up top.

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Comments

  • GdaneGdane Members Posts: 237 ✭✭

    Greywalls (54) finally cracks the list. Cool to see the course finally get recognition on this list. One of the most memorable golf experiences I've ever had, and a highly recommended trip in combination with Sweetgrass and Timberstone also in the UP of Michigan.

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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,268 ✭✭

    @mci711 said:
    Initial thoughts and what stood out. Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes ranked 18 and 27 respectively. Good for them.

    We played SV and MD last year and enjoyed both courses. IMHO, they are both overrated.
    But, Coore, Crenshaw, and Kidd are this decade's golden boys.

  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers Posts: 1,006 ✭✭

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @mci711 said:
    Initial thoughts and what stood out. Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes ranked 18 and 27 respectively. Good for them.

    We played SV and MD last year and enjoyed both courses. IMHO, they are both overrated.
    But, Coore, Crenshaw, and Kidd are this decade's golden boys.

    You're entitled to that opinion. It isn't a popular one though. I have only heard great things about the courses and the highest of praises.

  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,536 ✭✭

    @mci711 said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @mci711 said:
    Initial thoughts and what stood out. Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes ranked 18 and 27 respectively. Good for them.

    We played SV and MD last year and enjoyed both courses. IMHO, they are both overrated.
    But, Coore, Crenshaw, and Kidd are this decade's golden boys.

    You're entitled to that opinion. It isn't a popular one though. I have only heard great things about the courses and the highest of praises.

    Both can be true. For the large majority of people who play a course like Sand Valley or Mammoth Dunes, it's going to be "THE GREATEST COURSE I EVER PLAYED" because people play relatively few great courses in their portfolio of rounds. It could also be true that at 18 and 27, they are "over rated" but the guy who thought they were the best never played #19 or #28.

  • CheckJVCheckJV Male Model Members Posts: 2,102 ✭✭

    Does someone publish a list of America’s Greatest Public Courses that are not resorts? I scrolled through the top 30 and with few exceptions they are high end resorts. Got me thinking that there must be a non-resort public list published somewhere.

  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,268 ✭✭

    Eight of us had a wonderful Wisconsin golf trip last year. Here is how the group ranked the courses. To be clear, SV and MD are really good courses, but so is The Bull and Blackwolf Run and many others.
    1. Whistling Straits
    2. Erin Hills (a close second)
    T3. Sand Valley
    T3. Blackwolf Run - River
    T3. The Bull
    6. Irish
    7. Mammoth Dunes

  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers Posts: 1,006 ✭✭

    @raynorfan1 said:

    @mci711 said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @mci711 said:
    Initial thoughts and what stood out. Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes ranked 18 and 27 respectively. Good for them.

    We played SV and MD last year and enjoyed both courses. IMHO, they are both overrated.
    But, Coore, Crenshaw, and Kidd are this decade's golden boys.

    You're entitled to that opinion. It isn't a popular one though. I have only heard great things about the courses and the highest of praises.

    Both can be true. For the large majority of people who play a course like Sand Valley or Mammoth Dunes, it's going to be "THE GREATEST COURSE I EVER PLAYED" because people play relatively few great courses in their portfolio of rounds. It could also be true that at 18 and 27, they are "over rated" but the guy who thought they were the best never played #19 or #28.

    I don't disagree with this. It is all very subjective. I've played 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,13,14,16 etc. To me, if I could play any of them every day it would probably be 8 (Bethpage) or 9 (Erin Hills). So to me, they are underrated. I wasn't saying his opinion was wrong, just that it isn't the majority of what I heard.

  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 20,327 ✭✭
    edited May 8, 2019 7:34pm #9

    There are 13 new courses on the list (a record?), so obviously 13 courses have to drop off. How does Spring Creek go from 66 to off the list? It doesn't appear that it closed or went private. That's a huge drop.

    Sentry World dropped 10 spots. 'Pretty big drop.

    Old Waverly dropped 22 spots. Huh?

    Golden Horseshoe moves up 12 spots without a renovation?

    The Wilderness at Fortune Bay drops 15 spots.

    Bulle Rock drops 22 spots.

    The Blue Monster drops 14 spots with no changes since the last list came out.

    Pine Needles drops 11 spots.

    Poppy Hills (-19)

    The Bear (-17)

    French Lick (Ross) (-12)

    I don't expect courses to simply drop 1 spot when new courses moves ahead of them, but double digit changes without significant changes to the course trouble me.

  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,268 ✭✭

    Does anybody have a source for this info in list format?

  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 20,327 ✭✭
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,536 ✭✭

    @Argonne69 said:
    I don't expect courses to simply drop 1 spot when new courses moves ahead of them, but double digit changes without significant changes to the course trouble me.

    The problem is with the overall methodology and compression of scores, which creates a lot of volatility in the middle. The difference between Blackwolf Run (#15) and Streamsong Black (#32) is 1.8 points. From the raters' perspective, these courses in the bottom part of the public distribution aren't all that sought out, so a handful of ballots could easily sway the overall score by enough to knock them out of the rankings altogether.

  • tideridertiderider Members Posts: 1,624 ✭✭

    @Gdane said:
    Greywalls (54) finally cracks the list. Cool to see the course finally get recognition on this list. One of the most memorable golf experiences I've ever had, and a highly recommended trip in combination with Sweetgrass and Timberstone also in the UP of Michigan.

    played greywalls last summer and can't imagine it's not one of the top 100 ... so much fun on one golf course ... almost every hole is a wild ride ...

  • tideridertiderider Members Posts: 1,624 ✭✭

    @raynorfan1 said:

    @mci711 said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @mci711 said:
    Initial thoughts and what stood out. Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes ranked 18 and 27 respectively. Good for them.

    We played SV and MD last year and enjoyed both courses. IMHO, they are both overrated.
    But, Coore, Crenshaw, and Kidd are this decade's golden boys.

    You're entitled to that opinion. It isn't a popular one though. I have only heard great things about the courses and the highest of praises.

    Both can be true. For the large majority of people who play a course like Sand Valley or Mammoth Dunes, it's going to be "THE GREATEST COURSE I EVER PLAYED" because people play relatively few great courses in their portfolio of rounds. It could also be true that at 18 and 27, they are "over rated" but the guy who thought they were the best never played #19 or #28.

    i'd be willing to bet pebble beach is the over-rated one ...

  • BG5BG5 Members Posts: 1,139 ✭✭

    We all just need to remember that rankings are just that....really a bunch of subjective reviews. The fact that Tullymore, The Bear, and the Heather at Boyne Highlands made the top 100 is pretty silly. There are 10 better courses in Michigan than all 3 of those courses. But with that being said everyone has a right to their opinion.

    I just golfed Erin Hills (which I really enjoyed) but I just dont get all the hype and it probably is not in my top 10 courses that I have played. I have read numerous posts where Erin Hills is alot of peoples favorite course and this is coming from guys who have played all the big boys including Bandon.

    To each their own and we just gotta understand that everyone has their own type of stuff they like. Some love pure scenery, or courses on the water. Others love conditions or tough courses.....or who knows what.

    The fact that a guy like roadking says Mammoth Dunes was the worst course they played compared to Sentry world and others is fitting. I like roadking and know the guys plays all over the place but this just shows that we each like different things. He loved Erin Hills as well and I just thought it was ok. I have a feeling that when I play Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes in a few weeks they will likely be the best courses I have ever played but others will say they are overhyped. Its all good and golf is getting so great that its tough to compare 100 different courses......just think how many great courses were left off this list :)

    To each their own and hopefully guys get out and play some of these amazing tracks

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  • CDMCDM Members Posts: 1,727 ✭✭
    edited May 9, 2019 2:13am #16

    Quick review appears I have played about 26 of them....BUT what I am glad to see making the list is #42... Wilderness Club. One of the best courses I have played (public or private) and an amazing setting. Have always been surprised it has never been on the list. Yea its very remote but so worth it.

    Edit: it was originally built to be a private country club but the market crash turned it public

  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers Posts: 1,006 ✭✭

    @BG5 said:
    We all just need to remember that rankings are just that....really a bunch of subjective reviews. The fact that Tullymore, The Bear, and the Heather at Boyne Highlands made the top 100 is pretty silly. There are 10 better courses in Michigan than all 3 of those courses. But with that being said everyone has a right to their opinion.

    I just golfed Erin Hills (which I really enjoyed) but I just dont get all the hype and it probably is not in my top 10 courses that I have played. I have read numerous posts where Erin Hills is alot of peoples favorite course and this is coming from guys who have played all the big boys including Bandon.

    To each their own and we just gotta understand that everyone has their own type of stuff they like. Some love pure scenery, or courses on the water. Others love conditions or tough courses.....or who knows what.

    The fact that a guy like roadking says Mammoth Dunes was the worst course they played compared to Sentry world and others is fitting. I like roadking and know the guys plays all over the place but this just shows that we each like different things. He loved Erin Hills as well and I just thought it was ok. I have a feeling that when I play Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes in a few weeks they will likely be the best courses I have ever played but others will say they are overhyped. Its all good and golf is getting so great that its tough to compare 100 different courses......just think how many great courses were left off this list :)

    To each their own and hopefully guys get out and play some of these amazing tracks

    I agree with this, it is fun to hear other's opinions. I am one of those Erin Hills people as well though!

  • PetethreeputPetethreeput Members Posts: 1,430 ✭✭

    @CDM said:
    Quick review appears I have played about 26 of them....BUT what I am glad to see making the list is #42... Wilderness Club. One of the best courses I have played (public or private) and an amazing setting. Have always been surprised it has never been on the list. Yea its very remote but so worth it.

    Edit: it was originally built to be a private country club but the market crash turned it public

    Completely agree. A person could put together a pretty nice vacation of golf and national parks in MT if driving isn’t an issue. Wilderness has been my favorite public MT course for years, if only they could move Eureka closer to somewhere else.

  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,154 ✭✭

    I feel strongly that people need benchmarks to be able to evaluate courses. You don't want to talk to a guy who has played 2 top 100 courses in his life to get his opinion. Not that he isn't a knowledgeable guy, but he doesn't have a frame of reference for his feedback. Thus I would say people need to have played at least 10-15 top 100 courses to even be able to believe their own thoughts are valid because we all expand our experiences and our top 5 lists continue to change based on this experience. I don't think you need to play all 100, but a significant amount to know what the benchmark references are when you are talking about architecture aspects.

  • bu11dogbu11dog Members Posts: 1,417 ✭✭

    Because I'm in NC, I always tend to look at those courses first.

    Interesting that Tobacco Road (52) was ranked ahead of Pinehurst #8 (64), Pine Needles (79), and Mid Pines (91). Personally, I prefer all 3 of those courses over Tobacco Road.

  • BG5BG5 Members Posts: 1,139 ✭✭

    I have played 25 of the top 100 courses. With that being said there are plenty of other courses that I have played that should be on the list. There are prob 5 that need to be taken off the list as well and this really comes down to the good ole boy club. In many cases its all about who you know. There are obvious courses that need to be on the list but then there are some that will leave you scratching your head

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  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers Posts: 1,006 ✭✭
    edited May 9, 2019 2:31pm #22

    @BG5 said:
    I have played 25 of the top 100 courses. With that being said there are plenty of other courses that I have played that should be on the list. There are prob 5 that need to be taken off the list as well and this really comes down to the good ole boy club. In many cases its all about who you know. There are obvious courses that need to be on the list but then there are some that will leave you scratching your head

    I think Arizona is the most misrepresented and I don't get it. Quintero is the only course listed, and it has a trash layout, maybe a top 5 course in the Scottsdale area. How We-ko-pa or Southern Dunes isn't listed is unbelievable. I'd have We-Ko-Pa Saguaro pushing top 35.

  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 20,327 ✭✭

    @mci711 said:

    @BG5 said:
    I have played 25 of the top 100 courses. With that being said there are plenty of other courses that I have played that should be on the list. There are prob 5 that need to be taken off the list as well and this really comes down to the good ole boy club. In many cases its all about who you know. There are obvious courses that need to be on the list but then there are some that will leave you scratching your head

    I think Arizona is the most misrepresented and I don't get it. Quintero is the only course listed, and it has a trash layout, maybe a top 5 course in the Scottsdale area. How We-ko-pa or Southern Dunes isn't listed is unbelievable. I'd have We-Ko-Pa Saguaro pushing top 35.

    I was thinking the same thing, but looking at the Best in State lists for Arizona, it appears that Quintero has climbed above those other courses. 'Very odd. The golfing masses appear to have fallen in love with Quintero.

  • CDMCDM Members Posts: 1,727 ✭✭
    edited May 9, 2019 3:20pm #24

    @Petethreeput said:

    @CDM said:
    Quick review appears I have played about 26 of them....BUT what I am glad to see making the list is #42... Wilderness Club. One of the best courses I have played (public or private) and an amazing setting. Have always been surprised it has never been on the list. Yea its very remote but so worth it.

    Edit: it was originally built to be a private country club but the market crash turned it public

    Completely agree. A person could put together a pretty nice vacation of golf and national parks in MT if driving isn’t an issue. Wilderness has been my favorite public MT course for years, if only they could move Eureka closer to somewhere else.

    I grew up in Montana and my wife is from Eureka. Driving is just a requirement of living in that state, everything is so expansive. If my wife was not from Eureka I honestly don't know I would have drove that far to play it... feel lucky when we are at her parents place I can go play it. _ Besides not much else to do in Eureka LOL. _

    When we go home I schedule a full day of play. I did 54 holes one time since it stays light out until 10pm in July and they did not charge me for the last 18 holes. During the week (M-W) its about $140 ~ 36 Holes ($85-$55 replay) with cart, I can not think of another course I have played as nice that can beat it for price.

    110% agree you can make an excellent golf trip around Whitefish / Glacier park. Some great tracks and you can take an afternoon and see the park.

  • vallygolfvallygolf Members Posts: 403 ✭✭

    @Argonne69 said:
    There are 13 new courses on the list (a record?), so obviously 13 courses have to drop off. How does Spring Creek go from 66 to off the list? It doesn't appear that it closed or went private. That's a huge drop.

    Sentry World dropped 10 spots. 'Pretty big drop.

    Old Waverly dropped 22 spots. Huh?

    Golden Horseshoe moves up 12 spots without a renovation?

    The Wilderness at Fortune Bay drops 15 spots.

    Bulle Rock drops 22 spots.

    The Blue Monster drops 14 spots with no changes since the last list came out.

    Pine Needles drops 11 spots.

    Poppy Hills (-19)

    The Bear (-17)

    French Lick (Ross) (-12)

    I don't expect courses to simply drop 1 spot when new courses moves ahead of them, but double digit changes without significant changes to the course trouble me.

    I see the concern with a big jump up or down, but I would have more concern if the courses just stayed the same all the time. If it is one persons ranking, then perhaps there would be little to no change. The fact that so many different people are ranking the courses makes such jumps possible (not that I agree with all of them). As older ballots are dropped newer ballots are added which can reflect a much larger cycle than 1 year. A ballot from 2009 when the course was having conditioning issues, or other factors affecting the intent of the architect, could be dropped in favor of a 2018 ballot that is more reflective of current conditions. I would be more concerned if the top 100 was locked in and there was never any movement except for new courses being built. Some courses may not have enough ballots due to purging of old dated ratings, so they may be left off completely, only to reappear once there are sufficient ballots. Often that can explain how an older course can show up in the middle of the rankings. With all of that said, it is still a very flawed but fun system. One of the biggest blind spots which many agree with is the disdain for desert courses. Actually comical that Quintero is rated so high, it is based on vistas and conditioning alone. I can think of many public desert courses that are far superior architecturally and in every other way. I think this list is light on quality desert golf. My opinion only.

  • Bluefan75Bluefan75 Members Posts: 3,870 ✭✭

    @Argonne69 said:
    There are 13 new courses on the list (a record?), so obviously 13 courses have to drop off. How does Spring Creek go from 66 to off the list? It doesn't appear that it closed or went private. That's a huge drop.

    Sentry World dropped 10 spots. 'Pretty big drop.

    Old Waverly dropped 22 spots. Huh?

    Golden Horseshoe moves up 12 spots without a renovation?

    The Wilderness at Fortune Bay drops 15 spots.

    Bulle Rock drops 22 spots.

    The Blue Monster drops 14 spots with no changes since the last list came out.

    Pine Needles drops 11 spots.

    Poppy Hills (-19)

    The Bear (-17)

    French Lick (Ross) (-12)

    I don't expect courses to simply drop 1 spot when new courses moves ahead of them, but double digit changes without significant changes to the course trouble me.

    Don't underestimate the value of comps. I know of one course where the GM told me he comped about 45 raters one year, and the club got into the list. The next time around he didn't comp, and amazingly the course dropped a whole lot.
    The entity sponsoring the rating insists raters do not get comps, but the real story is very different. Wonder if the same might be true here.

  • CDMCDM Members Posts: 1,727 ✭✭

    @bu11dog said:
    Because I'm in NC, I always tend to look at those courses first.

    Interesting that Tobacco Road (52) was ranked ahead of Pinehurst #8 (64), Pine Needles (79), and Mid Pines (91). Personally, I prefer all 3 of those courses over Tobacco Road.

    100% agree with that statement having played them all.

  • SixcatSixcat SWVAMembers Posts: 1,441 ✭✭

    @bu11dog said:
    Because I'm in NC, I always tend to look at those courses first.

    Interesting that Tobacco Road (52) was ranked ahead of Pinehurst #8 (64), Pine Needles (79), and Mid Pines (91). Personally, I prefer all 3 of those courses over Tobacco Road.

    In my opinion, there isn't 90 courses in the US better than Mid Pines let alone, 90 public courses that anyone can play. I agree wholeheartedly, Tobacco Road isn't on the same level as #8, Pine Needles and Mid Pines.

  • DandyDonDandyDon Members Posts: 196 ✭✭

    I have played at least 20 of these courses.....First off, I am continually amazed that Torrey Pines is rated here. If you are a County Resident I understand the value in playing there, but I would play Maderas (also in the greater San Diego area) every day of the week over Torrey. I enjoyed playing Erin Hills, but there is no way it is the number 9 course in the country (not sure if it cracks my top 20). I also agree that the Scottsdale area is underrepresented.

  • vallygolfvallygolf Members Posts: 403 ✭✭

    @Sixcat said:

    @bu11dog said:
    Because I'm in NC, I always tend to look at those courses first.

    Interesting that Tobacco Road (52) was ranked ahead of Pinehurst #8 (64), Pine Needles (79), and Mid Pines (91). Personally, I prefer all 3 of those courses over Tobacco Road.

    In my opinion, there isn't 90 courses in the US better than Mid Pines let alone, 90 public courses that anyone can play. I agree wholeheartedly, Tobacco Road isn't on the same level as #8, Pine Needles and Mid Pines.

    Mid pines is a fine Donald Ross course, and I would never tell you it aint so, but for another perspective on how it could end up at 90 is the fact that on one of my rounds there I had gap wedge or less into 7 of the par 4's. Dictating so many layups on short par 4's is less interesting (even though the greens are penal) than if there is a bit more variety. Also three par threes within 10 yards of each other and longish at that with the addition of a classic super long Ross par 3 hurt variety as well. If it wasnt a name brand architect it probably would struggle to be top 100 in my opinion. I also think that after a round a #2, Dormie, Mid Pines, Pine Needles, #4 and #8 it can become a pine tree lined blah. All spectacular courses, but no doubt this hurts Mid Pines. Tobacco Road on the other hand is like the annoying nephew crying for attention. Because it stands out so much perhaps it is a bit more remembered....(didnt want to use memorable).

  • SixcatSixcat SWVAMembers Posts: 1,441 ✭✭

    @vallygolf said:

    @Sixcat said:

    @bu11dog said:
    Because I'm in NC, I always tend to look at those courses first.

    Interesting that Tobacco Road (52) was ranked ahead of Pinehurst #8 (64), Pine Needles (79), and Mid Pines (91). Personally, I prefer all 3 of those courses over Tobacco Road.

    In my opinion, there isn't 90 courses in the US better than Mid Pines let alone, 90 public courses that anyone can play. I agree wholeheartedly, Tobacco Road isn't on the same level as #8, Pine Needles and Mid Pines.

    Mid pines is a fine Donald Ross course, and I would never tell you it aint so, but for another perspective on how it could end up at 90 is the fact that on one of my rounds there I had gap wedge or less into 7 of the par 4's. Dictating so many layups on short par 4's is less interesting (even though the greens are penal) than if there is a bit more variety. Also three par threes within 10 yards of each other and longish at that with the addition of a classic super long Ross par 3 hurt variety as well. If it wasnt a name brand architect it probably would struggle to be top 100 in my opinion. I also think that after a round a #2, Dormie, Mid Pines, Pine Needles, #4 and #8 it can become a pine tree lined blah. All spectacular courses, but no doubt this hurts Mid Pines. Tobacco Road on the other hand is like the annoying nephew crying for attention. Because it stands out so much perhaps it is a bit more remembered....(didnt want to use memorable).

    I will agree with the last statement! If Tobacco Road would just add the missing windmill and clowns mouth, maybe it would make Golf Digest's Top 10!
    With that said, I completely disagree with everything you said about Mid Pines with the notes exception of the first 7 words.

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