A Few Rambling Golf Digest Ranking Thoughts...

  • I know I say this every time, but it's very hard to get past Medinah No. 3 as the 11th best course in America, ahead of Sand Hills, National Golf Links, Fishers Island, and Pinehurst. You can find more subtly, character and nuance in one hole than Medinah has in all 18. There's a reason Medinah has constantly been under construction (and surely will be again someday soon.)
  • The GolfClubAtlas gang is perplexed by Riviera's drop to No. 61, from 47th in 2005 and somewhere in the mid-20s in 2003. Apparently they've forgotten that a certain architect has treated George Thomas's masterful design like a Rottweiler treats a fire hydrant? Is this really that difficult to understand?

  • San Francisco Golf Club drops six spots after a restrained, first-class restoration by Tom Doak and crew? Depressing.


  • Of the courses leaving the list (box left), Crooked Stick is the only surprise. More stunning is the continued exclusion of Baltimore Country Club (Five Farms) and Eastward Ho!  Resistance to Scoring has to be killing those two.
  • Speaking of the most ridiculous of all architectural evaluation categories, check out the bottom ten of 2007's top 100 in resistance to scoring: Laurel Valley, Kittansett, Estancia, Camargo, Maidstone, Milwaukee, Sage Valley, Sanctuary, Shoreacres, and Valley Club. Four of those courses would rate in the all-time most fun (they're in bold, in case there was any doubt). I'd consider each a model for ideal design. They're walkable, fun, quirky, enjoyable for all and filled with just enough nuance to keep a good player honest.
  • Ron Whitten writes: "In just the past two years, a number of former 100 Greatest courses have undergone major remodeling programs, including Atlanta Athletic Club, Bel-Air, Bellerive, Jupiter Hills, Oak Tree and Stanwich (Golf Digest's Best New Remodel of 2006). All that these courses need now are the minimum 40 panelist evaluations to qualify for reconsideration on the 100 Greatest."  Bel-Air undergoing major remodeling the last two years? Try the last forty!  

  • Ron Whitten writes: "The lesson for contenders and pretenders: If you're not improving, you're probably not moving. Not onto America's 100 Greatest, at least."  Now, I'm all for the restoration movement and blowing up dogs like Bellerive, but is constant improvement a message that needs to be sent?  Thoughts?