118 Custodians of the Game

Below is a list of 118 courses where the game, as I enjoy it, is celebrated. Why 118? That is because there have been 118 U.S. Opens – and this list represents an entirely different brand of golf. When you walk off the 18th (or 9th!) green, you should feel invigorated rather than exhausted, and the allure of returning to the 1st tee should be strong. Harry Vardon’s words, ‘Don’t play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty,’ springs to mind. Elation beats frustration and these courses remain immensely enjoyable throughout all stages of life: from childhood, where one discovers the magic of the game; through the hubris of youth, where one aspires to become its master; through adulthood, where one seeks recreation and refuge from worldly demands; and through the later stages of life, where one may age gracefully while still enjoying this inscrutable game.

These are courses where you aren’t meant to hunt for balls in tall grass with your head down (sorry Prairie Dunes). They must be walkable (sorry Kapalua Plantation). The focus is on the kind of features that are fun and engaging to play on a regular (even daily) basis (sorry Carnoustie). As a consequence, width, playing angles and strategy are paramount. This is the time-tested recipe for pleasurable golf among all classes of golfer. Courses that struggle to reach 40 yards in fairway width are absent (sorry Portrush); so too are courses with poor mow lines that preclude balls from running into bunkers (sorry Bethpage Black). Courses that fare the best on this list combine design attributes for the thinking golfer with features that connect man to nature. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, courses to have influenced the direction of architecture are prized as well. The opportunity to play artful recovery shots is crucial; an abundance of water hazards invites exclusion (sorry Muirfield Village). A club with no tee times is to be savored, but so too is feeling of being in the mix with fellow golfers at a bustling resort.

If the architecture of an eighteen hole course isn’t interesting at 6,200 yards, there is no chance it will be more interesting at 7,400 yards. Distance and toughness are far less meaningful measures of a design’s worth than the simple test of how badly one wishes to play the course on a regular basis. Forget about how the holes photograph and ask yourself after the round: are you worn out or energized? If the latter, then the course should have a real hope of earning a place on this list. How has our original game, featuring a quick and enjoyable stroll outdoors, with engaging puzzles to solve, taken a back seat to the unimportant values of sheer length and difficulty? How did the discussion become so messed up? Stimulating a desire to play again and again is the invaluable attribute in golf architecture. There has been much handwringing of late about the decline of the game and what should be done to reverse this presumed decline. The fact is most courses are mediocre at best, bordering on awful. We need to celebrate the places that make you itch to play. That seems an unaddressed topic to date, until now.

Since GolfClubAtlas went live in 1999, how we view the game has changed. Long form writing is dwindling on a popular basis; Herbert Warren Wind, Pat Ward-Thomas and Charlie Price are no longer here to remind us how the joy of the written word can bring a golf course to life. Instead, splashy photos of sprawling bunkers blitz the senses on social media. Courses continue to increase in size and, therefore, in maintenance expense and time required to play. This is a dangerous trend, as both time and money remain the great threats to any leisure activity, especially golf. A course with hundreds of bunkers along a lake can be spectacular to the eye, but if you as a golfer only want to wrangle with it once year, is that design to be lauded as much as one you wish to play all the time? To date, the emphasis on such courses among the various rankings has been a resounding, and unfortunate, YES. That is a mistake, as it encourages developers to build more of the same. Not only is this ill-considered formula destructive to pace of play, it foists on the architect the prerequisite to build easy-to-photograph features that often have nothing to do with good golf. We as a community of golfers need to move the conversation away from the spectacular, but superficial, and reorient the game back to features rooted in nature, subtle (and challenging to photograph) though they may be.

This list of 118 Custodians of the Game is a counterpoint that celebrates those courses and clubs that embrace the simple virtues of the game. Upwards of a dozen household name courses are absent. Why? Because they promote the more cumbersome, Americanized version of the game. Perhaps over-eager employees rush to assist in snatching your clubs out of your boot or “professional” caddies exist in place of youthful club carriers and are mandatory a majority of the time. The more people not playing the game involved, the less pure and more expensive the pursuit. Policies that make golf more elaborate do not perpetuate a humble version of game; rather, clubs risk becoming enthralled by the trappings of the game more than the game itself. Only clubs that whole-heartedly embrace a walking culture are on this list, and those that allow the option to carry your bag over your shoulder or take a trolley typically fare better than those that mandate a caddie until mid-afternoon. Clubs around well-heeled cities like London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Melbourne set the standard in this respect and many American clubs would do well to reflect on why they have tedious policies in place that are absent in the game’s leading cities.

This list will be ‘updated’ every June, after the completion of each U.S. Open. And yes, next year there will be 119 courses. This inaugural 2018 effort is merely a starting point on a journey. Several courses like Toronto GC, Trinity Forest and the Himalayan Golf Course seem likely to be future additions, should I ever be fortunate to get there. Plus, there is always another Sean Arble English country gem lurking. The course designer is not included as this list concerns more than just architecture. Nonetheless, a quick count shows that Doak leads the way, followed by Colt and Ross. Many of the courses have been profiled on GolfClubAtlas and the club name eventually will be linked to the profile.

The ‘purpose’ of this compilation mirrors the purpose of the web site: to foster discussion. As much as anything, I hope this endeavor returns the conversation to courses (new and old) and clubs that embrace the time-honored traditions of the sport: a walking game that’s quick to play with natures puzzles to solve. To the extent that you value fun and engaging golf, you aren’t alone. Golf is a game – go have fun, which you will, should you find yourself at one of these 118 Custodians of the Game.

Ran Morrissett

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118 CUSTODIANS OF THE GAME
Course Country Comments
1 ROYAL MELBOURNE (West) Australia 1 Nicklaus was spot on when he called it ‘a great member’s course’, and the furor the comment set off shows how far we have progressed over the past few decades. Perhaps the most faultlessly constructed course ever, thanks to the 5 years they took while using a horse drawn plough and scoop.
2 NATIONAL GOLF LINKS OF AMERICA USA 1 The purest translation of golf from the United Kingdom to North America.
3 BARNBOUGLE DUNES Australia 2 A joyful expression that embodies all of architecture’s finest design elements.
4 ST. ANDREWS (Old) Scotland 1 The standardization of revetted bunkers accommodates the crush of play at the expense of a variety. Nonetheless, the course epitomizes the flawless transition from fairway to green better than any other design, which makes it the gold standard for players of all ages. And its front to back greens help keep technology at bay.
5 SAND HILLS USA 2 The start in earnest of the minimalist movement, whereby man had every type of heavy machinery at his disposal but decided not to use it.
6 ROYAL COUNTY DOWN N Ireland 1 Rules of architecture are meant to be broken.
7 PRESTWICK Scotland 2 The best playing experience in Scotland is augmented by a superlative range of two-shotters, from Sea Headrig to Narrows. Its impact on architecture is immense.
8 BALLYBUNION (Old) Ireland 1 Green complexes as wonderful as 6, 8 and 9 elevate the course into the stratosphere.
9 ROCK CREEK USA 3 The allure of the American West collides with top drawer architecture.
10 THE COUNTRY CLUB (Clyde/Squirel) USA 4 This old fashion throw-back is epitomized by small greens and cross hazards, both of which make the golfer wonder what went wrong in modern architecture.
11 NORTH BERWICK (West) Scotland 3 The sheer variety of obstacles, hazards and greens makes other courses look deadly dull.
12 ROYAL ST. GEORGE’S England 1 Sandwich represents the first of the immense courses, occupying a huge swath of land where groups are devoured within the landscape, and is still the best.
13 LOS ANGELES (North) USA 5 Rivals Brookline for America’s best urban, parkland course.
14 CAPE KIDNAPPERS New Zealand 1 The clifftop setting captures the imagination but it is the strength of the interior holes that make the course a world-beater.
15 FISHERS ISLAND USA 6 Before property prices exploded, one of the Kings of Routing was given the opportunity to showcase his talent along a jagged island’s perimeter. He didn’t mess up either.
16 ROYAL DORNOCH Scotland 4 Not having been here since 1981, it is the course I am most keen to re-visit.
17 SUNNINGDALE (Old) England 2 As hard as it is to build a great course, it is harder to build a great club. Sunningdale stands alone with the dogs of its members better behaved than members elsewhere.
18 CABOT LINKS Canada 1 Sacrilege not to have one of Thompson’s Big Five as the best in the country, and I am biased, but after 40 rounds, Rod Whitman’s work, especially in the area 3 to 30 yards short of so many greens, is supreme, as amplified by the fescue fairways.
19 RIVIERA USA 7 As beneficial for an architect and shaper to study as any course in the world.
20 RYE England 3 The President’s Putter, golf’s finest annual occurrence, highlights the joys of golf being an outdoor pursuit.
21 BALLYNEAL USA 8 The best course you can join if your family wasn’t on the Mayflower.
22 GARDEN CITY USA 9 The sandy loam soil allowed the architects the privilege of building greens glued to the ground and points out the stark monotony of built-up green pads at courses confined to heavier soil.
23 LAHINCH Ireland 2 If the tumultuous landscape doesn’t inspire affection, nothing will and tennis should become a consideration.
24 YEAMANS HALL USA 10 Raynor’s 18 greatest putting surfaces meld with southern hospitality and well-placed fairway bunkers to render a strategic marvel. The non-golf areas are some of the best presented in the game.
25 SWINLEY FOREST England 4 England’s version of Swinley Forest.
26 PINEHURST No.2 USA 11 This course wouldn’t have appeared 2 years ago, as a cart or caddie was mandatory the majority of the time. Common sense has prevailed and now walkers better understand one of architecture’s best kept secrets: Pinehurst No. 2 is hugely underrated from tee to green. Very rare for a modern US Open host site to make this list but that is the flexibility of short grass.
27 ARDFIN Scotland 5 A 36-hole day might well show this 6,800 yard course as being the most handsome on the list (when sun pops out) as well as the hardest (when the Inner Hebridean winds kick up).
28 SOMERSET HILLS USA 12 America’s version of Swinley Forest.
29 CASTLE STUART Scotland 6 A strategic masterpiece, with something to be accomplished, shot after shot after shot in a sumptuous setting.
30 BANDON TRAILS USA 13 The golf is of such a quality that you couldn’t care less that the ocean isn’t a frequent backdrop.
31 BANFF SPRINGS Canada 2 The golfer alternates between being impressed by four majestic elements: the immediacy of the Canadian Rockies, the Bow River, the castle-like hotel and Thompson’s architecture. Impossible to want more!
32 PACIFIC DUNES USA 14 Doak not only has as many courses listed as any architect, five are front loaded in the top thirty-five.
33 NOTTS England 5 There are plenty of charming 6,500 yard courses on this list; this one’s just as charming but also 10% longer.
34 ROYAL NORTH DEVON England 6 Naturalists rejoice; Too bad this course isn’t on television every April as the game would win. The golf is as vital today as a century ago, so it isn’t a museum though the clubhouse is.
35 MAIDSTONE USA 15 The routing meanders through a variety of environments with the net result being the golfer is asked an uncommon number of interesting questions.
36 ROYAL WORLINGTON & NEWMARKET England 7 Set across modest land, the design highlights the lack of thought that curses 99% of subsequent world-wide designs.
37 ST. ENODOC (Church) England 8 The most rambunctious landscape isn’t always reserved for Ireland.
38 CABOT CLIFFS Canada 3 Unless you like cliff top holes, or ones through the dunes, or inland ones with hills and forests as backdrops, then this course isn’t for you. The scorecard reads 6 one shotters, 6 two shotters, and 6 three shotters but that is subject to change on a daily basis with the winds off the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Free form golf at its best.
39 CALIFORNIA GC OF SAN FRANCISCO USA 16 When I spoke to a friend in New Jersey about the criteria for this list, he said,’ You mean the Cal Club model?’ The below-the-ground work is as attractive as what’s above ground and when you throw in the wind, this firm and fast-running fescue course feels like the Melbourne Sandbelt relocated to Northern California.
40 KINGSTON HEATH Australia 3 The Merion of the southern hemisphere, with so much going so right on a small parcel.
41 CRYSTAL DOWNS USA 17 For all its well chronicled attributes, what gets lost in the shuffle is just how pure a Mackenzie/Maxwell design this remains.
42 PEBBLE BEACH USA 18 There are 2,124 holes on this list and Pebble owns the worst (the 12th), the most overrated (the 17th), the worst set of bunkers (those right of the 13th fairway) and the most magic stretch, holes 4-10.
43 ROYAL LIVERPOOL England 9 History and the ability to test the best matters. So does being able to walk a course when you turn 60 and 70 years old. The cunning golfer can shine here.
44 SOUTHERN HILLS USA 19 Perhaps the greatest family country club in America doesn’t get its proper recognition, as it is only seen on television in the inopportune times of June or August.
45 ASKERNISH Scotland 7 The game of golf is meant to be simple yet inspiring and this couse embodies those attributes as well as any. A re-affirming experience.
46 WHITE BEAR YACHT CLUB USA 20 Durban garnered great fan fare for decades because of its one-off fairway undulations; WBYC offers the same but without the tree issue and superior greens. William Watson is one of golf architecture’s unsung heroes.
47 MUIRFIELD Scotland 8 Not one of the 20 best raw links properties but one of the 20 best links courses worldwide, courtesy of the architecture, especially the greenside bunkering. Holes 13 and 17 are design marvels.
48 JASPER PARK Canada 4 George Thomas described in 1929 why you should love this course. 4 Canadian courses – all open to the public – make the top 50.
49 NARUO Japan 1 Nobody builds courses with medium size greens anymore which makes this course all the more appealing.
50 THE COUNTRY CLUB, OH USA 21 When I first played this Flynn gem in 2009, I remember thinking that I would never trust any list where this course didn’t feature prominently; celebrating this kind of architecture drove the creation of this list.
51 ROYAL LYTHAM & ST. ANNES England 10 Thought provoking golf is always beautiful, even if the setting isn’t necessarily so. If you like golf, you love here.
52 CULVER ACADEMIES USA 22 Once slated for eighteen holes, this nine holer highlights how good a nine holer can be when only the best land is used.
53 ROYAL CINQUE PORTS England 11 No idea why this course doesn’t get more recognition; its green contours as a set are more than the equal to Macrihanish and it doesn’t end with a whimper either.
54 PORTMARNOCK Ireland 3 The appreciation of this course has muted in recent years as bigger scale courses with spashy bunkers emerged – and it is only a matter of time before people realize the folly in that. Some of the game’s great green sites (e.g. the 5th, 8th, 12th, and 15th) are found here.
55 HAAGSCHE Netherlands 1 Admittedly you need to be fit like a Dutchman to play 36 holes in a day over its heaving dunes, but its distinctive features warrant it to be considered Europe’s best.
56 MORAINE USA 23 The course once again properly reflects its name.
57 NEW SOUTH WALES Australia 4 There are better collections of 18 holes but for exhiliration, few courses can compete, and for variety, I have never seen four par 4s in a row as diverse as 13-16.
58 YALE USA 24 A stupdendous design over rocky terrain, held back from being even higher by university politics and a union.
59 CHANTILLY (ORIGINAL) France 1 Tom Simpson delivers the kind of thoughtful design that The Architectural Side of Golf implied that he would. Cross bunkers and the use of the ravine near the clubhouse elevate this to Paris’s best and highlight for the umpteenth time how wise the contributors were to the 1977 World Atlas of Golf.
60 CAPE BRETON HIGHLANDS Canada 5 Like Adrfin, this is one of the game’s great walks, even if it takes a while. Some of the game’s finest fairway contours are found here, and overshadow some exceptional green contours like those at the 2nd and 18th.
61 ROYAL WEST NORFOLK England 12 Many people who read this web site have golf art adorning their walls of holes from the turn-of-the-20th century. Such paintings convey a certain rawness that connects us to the roots of the game. Brancaster still does, in a celebration of natural golf.
62 HIRONO Japan 2 The Prestwick of the East, nothing has changed for two generations of players, including, unfortunately, the tree growth. No telling how high this will rise when the restoration is complete.
63 INVERNESS USA 25 The common denominator of the world’s greats is a sterling collection of par 4s – and this course competes in that area like few others. Andrew Green’s recent work that expunged several non-Golden Age elements insured its inclusion on this list.
64 SLEEPY HOLLOW USA 26 Who said parkland golf can’t dazzle?
65 SUNNINGDALE (New) England 13 The Old moves to and fro from the clubhouse in a more appealing manner, which makes sense as it was built first; otherwise, The New stacks up hole for hole with its older sister.
66 EASTWARD HO! USA 27 New York and California benefited the most from the Golden Age but tiny Massachuetts joins Ohio and Pennsylvania to round out the top 5 golf states in the country.
67 WEST SUSSEX England 14 Another reason why England is the best country in the world for golf.
68 ST. GEORGE’S Canada 6 Very few – as in none – clay courses feature this kind of land movement, which proves the perfect canvas for Thompson’s theatrics.
69 ESSEX COUNTY, MA USA 28 Few courses can compete with this early Ross for variety, from a driver par-3, to a 600 yarder, to a hole up a mountain, to some stunning New England topography, to a couple of flat holes, it is all here.
70 ROYAL PORTHCAWL Wales 1 Beauty and great architecture are always a powerful combination. A rousing start and the elevated views to the water from all parts on the course are fully appreciated during approaching weather.
71 WOKING England 15 Golf’s great think tank at the turn-of-the-20th century still flummoxes golfers in a most appealing manner to this day.
72 CASA DE CAMPO Dominican Republic 1 In an unrepeatable career that spans six (!) decades, Dye comes up with his personal favorite. Its low profile features lend the course a timeless quality. Hard to believe it will celebrate its 50th anniversary before too long.
73 DE PAN Netherlands 2 A much easier walk than the Haagsche, the Colt architecture is sound but throw in holes on each side that engage large dunes and you have the epitome of the ideal course to play on a weekly basis.
74 BRORA Scotland 9 When people dream of playing golf in Scotland, this is what they are thinking of, even if they don’t know it.
75 OLD TOWN USA 29 Opened in 1939, Maxwell’s design brought a close to the Golden Age of Architecture with an exclamation mark.
76 ST ANDREWS BEACH Australia 5 The strength and personality of the holes on this public course impel the golfer forward, supplying this young course with an ethos that its ownership never has.
77 KIRTLAND USA 30 Its back nine is the inland equivalent to County Down’s front nine, with every hole crammed full of great golf and natural wonder.
78 GLENEAGLES (Kings) Scotland 10 So what if it isn’t long enough to tax professionals anymore?! That’s an equipment issue, not a design flaw and a five handicapper would rather find himself here in the ‘Riviera of the Highlands’ than most anywhere else.
79 MYOPIA HUNT USA 31 The glorious Hanse restoration has proven just how exceptional the Leeds design is. Arguably America’s first world-class course, the narrowness that plagued the set-up in recent decades is now a thing of the past.
80 PARAPARAUMU BEACH New Zealand 2 The best example of the Kiwi golf culture, where the expense of the game is within reach of all over this special, crumpled land. One of the warmest welcomes in the game.
81 WYKAGYL USA 32 New York’s version of Somerset Hills.
82 GULLANE No. 1 Scotland 11 In the battle between North Berwick and Muirfield, somehow this East Lothian gem gets overlooked in a miscarriage of justice.
83 LAWSONIA LINKS USA 33 Not the longest or hardest course in Wisconsin, ‘just’ the most fun.
84 STREAMSONG (Blue) USA 34 Width returned to course design in the mid 1990s, ultimately becoming the rage 20 years later. Somewhere along the line, architects forgot how to make wide fairways hold strategic interest off the tee. Not here, good drivers delight in the advantages they can seek off most tees.
85 CAPILANO Canada 7 A cheery start with the first six holes played downhill gives way to even better golf as the architect transports the golfer back uphill without the golfer ever realizing it. Its four hole closing stretch cements it as one the best courses on the west coast of North America.
86 SILLOTH ON SOLWAY England 16 Some greens are in dells, some on high, some are narrow strips and it all adds up to England’s least seen and appreciated gem some 20 miles from the border of Scotland.
87 MILWAUKEE USA 35 Everything you want in a parkland setting: topography, a winding river, and Alison’s magic.
88 DISMAL RIVER (RED COURSE) USA 36 If there is such a thing as an underappreciated Doak course, this is it. Much is made of the back nine, to the detriment of a wonderful group of half-par holes (4, 8 and 9) on the front.
89 EL SALER Spain 1 Javier Arana’s effortless masterpiece joins Pete Dye’s Casa de Campo as the only two courses built from 1950 to 1990 to feature on this list.
90 PALMETTO USA 37 There is nothing about the names Leeds or MacKenzie that scares the purist.
91 WOODHALL SPA (Hotchkin) England 17 Twosomes routinely cruise around the course in under 3 hours, despite it being one of the world’s more intelligently bunkered courses.
92 CAPE ARUNDEL USA 38 Nobody built greens like Walter Travis, and these are his best set. The course doesn’t need to measure more than its 5900 yards to be a standout, but it does need to be flawlessly presented. Thanks to a wonderful green keeper and head professional combination, it is.
93 ST GEORGE’S HILL England 18 Its most famous hole (the downhill one shot 8th) might not be one of the top five holes on the course, as there are a slew of superlative two-shotters headlined by the drivable 4th and the impossible 10th.
94 WOLF POINT USA 39 A testimony to how great architecture (Mike Nuzzo) and Green Keeping (Don Mahaffey) can dovetail together to provide a thrilling experience over mundane land. Very much a case study for how modern architetcure should proceed.
95 HUNTERCOMBE England 19 Its 19 bunkers add an important element that Royal Ashdown Forest lacks.
96 THE JOCKEY CLUB Argentina 1 Most flat courses lack interest at the greens; most courses aren’t designed by Alister MacKenzie.
97 WHISTLING ROCK South Korea 1 If you are into design, where does your interest stop? Is it just at golf course architecture? Or is it at art? Or is it building architecture? This place has it all.
98 HIDDEN CREEK USA 40 A design so good, you could be forgiven for thinking it is in England. It is the rare course built in America in the past thirty years where you insist on playing 36 holes each day you are there.
99 FRASERBURGH Scotland 12 Peter Thomson’s high regard for Braid as an architect is duly noted by this being the 4th Braid course to make the list. The club has less fascination with long grass than Cruden Bay down the road.
100 ALWOODLEY England 20 MacKenzie became adored because of the bold and exciting features with which he imbued his designs, from Pasatiempo to Royal Melbourne. This early work is more demure – and all the better for it as it compliments the gorgeous heathland setting.
101 RUSTIC CANYON USA 41 Gil Hanse and Geoff Shackelford combined to create the best course built in California since their hero George Thomas passed away in 1932.
102 SAINT-GERMAIN France 2 Europe’s version of Merion. The presentation of Colt’s work is so pure that the course still ranks among the very best inland courses for a hickory match. That also means it is a great place to learn the game, as well as grow old. Even for Colt, the set of par 3s are a stand out.
103 SAINT LOUIS USA 42 Some lists favor geographic dispersion but if that was the point, Mid Ocean would be listed here versus Saint Louis Country Club – and that would be a mistake.
104 MORFONTAINE (Valliere) France 3 Only the two altered holes keep this 9 holer from being higher, though it is still more engaging to play than the Main Course.
105 FRENCH LICK (ROSS) USA 43 Ross at his untethered best, this course has hosted plenty of regional events and required no asinine tampering like tree planting or narrowing of fairways to do so.
106 PROUTS NECK USA 44 A shabby chic Maine coastal gem that again highlights a willingness by New Englanders to keep the sport clutter free.
107 HAMBURGER Germany 1 Much more is made of MacKenzie’s exotic travels to the southern hemisphere than Colt’s ventures to Europe and North America but remember: MacKenzie joined Colt’s firm, not the other way around.
108 NEWPORT USA 45 The variety found within its bunkers in terms of size, depth, placement and configuration shows how wanting most designs are in this regard. The fact that the clubhuse doesn’t have a kitchen shows what is important.
109 WALTON HEATH England  21 There are plenty of courses with heather but for a true heathland experience, no place does open and expansive better than here.
110 ROARING GAP USA 46 Ross didn’t build a punchbowl green complex in Pinehurst but he did here, which gives you a hint of how much fun this mountain top retreat is to play.
111 THE ISLAND Ireland 4 The opposite of Cabot Cliffs in that the first eight holes are par 4s, though the variety is such that you are blissfully unaware. Then, you play the second nine where the best holes are, including one of the game’s finest 6-hole finishes.
112 OLD MACDONALD USA 47 When a non-architect dominates a list like Mike Kesier does this one, you know that the game has strayed a bit far from its simple roots at times and that it was lucky to find a friend like him.
113 CEDAR RAPIDS USA 48 Ross’s only course in the state was rejuvenated by one of North America’s most intelligent, cost-effective restorations and the result has you walking the 80 yards from the 18th green back to the 1st tee.
114 PENNARD Wales 2 This is the last place where I played 56 (!) holes in a day as its unconventional features warrant constant experimentation.
115 TACONIC USA 49 This quintessential New England course features greens with such character that it can hold at bay today’s college player who drives it 100 yards longer than his predecessor did when the course opened. It acts as a breeding ground for people to learn the simple pleasure of carrying their bag that then sticks with them for life. This is the fourth (!) Hanse restoration on the list and would have been the fifth if course #119 (St George’s on Long Island) had been included.
116 PEDREÑA Spain 2 This sub-6,400 yard course has one reaching for every club in the bag. By the end of the round, the player is convinced that courses over 6,500 yards are nothing but bloated, expensive wastes of time and money.
117 HUNTINGDON VALLEY USA 50 This Flynn design stands out around greater Philadelphia for fostering original thoughts on agronomy and course presentation.
118 GEORGE WRIGHT USA 51 What a story! This municipal course has come all the way back thanks to a Green Keeper and City that cared. The one shotters are among Ross’s best set and the two shotters aren’t far behind.
Country Count
ARGENTINA 1
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1
GERMANY 1
NORTHERN IRELAND 1
SOUTH KOREA 1
SPAIN 2
JAPAN 2
NETHERLANDS 2
NEW ZEALAND 2
WALES 2
FRANCE 3
IRELAND 4
AUSTRALIA 5
CANADA 7
SCOTLAND 12
ENGLAND 21
USA 51
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