Bridging The Divide Between Panelists and a Ranking

JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA--Armed with call waiting for over a year now, the task of fending off public relations gurus has been made easier. 

But then I realized what I was missing: an all-expense paid trip to visit South Korea's The Club at Nine Bridges.

After turning down two offers (one in person, one when I picked the phone up by accident), I decided to say yes because if nothing else, I've always wanted to see Jeju Island in the summer monsoon season. So here I am, blogging to you live from Jeju, safely off the coast of South Korea and well out of reach of projectiles controlled by Kim Jong iI (well, I'm not really here and they're not really out of Jong il's reach).

Making the 21-hour flight just a bit longer was news I read in the September Golf Magazine (not linkable yet). While trying to set my new speed record for fastest ever flip-through of a Golf Magazine instruction section, I stopped to read that The Club at Nine Bridges cracked the latest installment of the once credible Golf Magazine "Top 100 Courses in the World."

Nine Bridges's 95th spot in the World 2005 ranking comes after a relentless PR firm based in Los Angeles spent years suggesting to writers and panelists that they should come visit this Ron Fream masterpiece. Imagine the coincidence! And you'd think one of the panelists was the former founder of a well known club company who served as the honorary chair of an event at Nine Bridges, all the while asking other panelists to visit. Or some such thing!

But you see, anyone who has played masterworks like Carmel Mountain Ranch or Desert Falls knows that Fream is a misunderstood genius. And in the case of Nine Bridges, it takes a special talent to create something out of just $100 million. (Though I bet Fream had much less than $100 million to work with since some of the money had to pay for panelists and writers to visit the course! People, come on, priorities!) 

The piece de resistance came when reading in the magazine that none other than Chi Chi Rodriguez--keen observer of all things cultural--described Nine Bridges as the Taj Mahal of golf.

Now that says it all, don't you think?