Golf Magazine Top 100 Question, Vol. 2

Looking at the architect credits next to the current Golf Magazine Top 100 lists, it's surprising how many of the listings are inaccurate or missing key original design contributions.

It'd be nice if, say, William Flynn got some credit for his extensive to shape Merion into the course we know today.

Same for Press Maxwell, who did 9 holes at Prairie Dunes. How about a little something, you know, for the effort? The Prairie Dunes listing simply says "Maxwell, 1935-56" (meaning dad, Perry, who did the first nine holes that opened in 1937). Perry died in 1952, five years before the second nine opened in 1957.

Mike Clayton is not included in the credits for the newly opened Barnbougle Dunes. (Actually, it's listed as Barnbougle, which definitely is not its full name.)  That's like listing Sand for Sand Hills.sandhills18 low.jpg

Then there are the incorrect years. (Torrey Pines, Bell, 1926? Try William F. Bell, 1957). Hey, they were related.

And one of these days, some magazine will get the Riviera opening year right (1927) or that L.A. Country Club-North was Fowler in 1921, Thomas/Bell 1928.

Why isn't Fazio listed at Augusta National (along with about 40 other people)? Or what about the parade of stars that have been through Bel-Air and Quaker Ridge? Only Trent Jones is listed next to Tillinghast for Quaker Ridge.

Again, no big deal except to the courses themselves or whoever it is that put the listing together (the magazine doesn't say).

Yet if either Rees Jones or Robert Trent Jones did restorative or non-restorative work at your course, they are likely listed. (Well, except Baltusrol Lower, where Rees is mysteriously left off, but he is included on the Upper listing!)

If an architect mangled a classic badly enough, he gets credit. Ex: Fazio at Oak Hill and Inverness even though no one likes his additions.

But then folks who do restoration work are only mentioned a handful of times for no apparent reason other than someone thought to include them (Doak at Yeaman's Hall, Silva at Baltimore CC). Why not Doak at Valley Club or San Francisco, or Silva at Seminole, or Hanse at Plainfield, or Coore/Crenshaw at Riviera, etc...

18greenbethblack low.jpg Meanwhile Rees Jones is listed at Bethpage and The Country Club, which were sold to us as restorations (or were they?). Robert Trent Jones is listed at say, Olympic Club, while original contributors Willie Watson and Max Behr are not included. And Trent pops up at Baltusrol, Congressional, Interlachen, Oak Hill and Oakland Hills, but not Augusta National where he added a pivotal hole?

Not only is the listing inconsistent and confusing, there is a troublesome aspect to it as well. It could (or maybe already has) sent the message to architects that the only way to get your name on a ranking list is to make changes.

Just restoration? That won't get you listed. Changes? There's always hope.

Most of the courses on this list do not need to be changed. Restoring a few features? Sure. Major changes, no way.

After all, they're the best courses in the world. Right?