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What Would Your Home Course Rate on the Doak Scale?

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I'm rating my home course, Shuksan, a 7.1.  Well-maintained and manicured.  Lots of interesting topography.  Greens roll true.  Friendly pro shop.  Several beautiful views of snow-capped Mount Baker.  Ponds and creeks meandering through the holes.  No houses interfering with the natural views.  And the cart girls are all 10's.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Well you're awfully close to the "course you should definitely see if you're within 100 miles." From a quick look at GCA, your opinion seems to be your own only. 🙂

The 100 mile qualification is one we don't fit into for sure.  But we are also very unique, good conditions, and tough.  Some people call us a "hidden gem" near Seattle, while others don't like it.

2 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

I'm rating my home course, Shuksan, a 7.1.  Well-maintained and manicured.  Lots of interesting topography.  Greens roll true.  Friendly pro shop.  Several beautiful views of snow-capped Mount Baker.  Ponds and creeks meandering through the holes.  No houses interfering with the natural views.  And the cart girls are all 10's.

I'd put Shuksan at a 6-6.5 with Eaglemont.  Loomis, I'd say is the 7 in our area.

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3 minutes ago, phillyk said:

The 100 mile qualification is one we don't fit into for sure.  But we are also very unique, good conditions, and tough.  Some people call us a "hidden gem" near Seattle, while others don't like it.

I'd put Shuksan at a 6-6.5 with Eaglemont.  Loomis, I'd say is the 7 in our area.

And Semiahmoo, designed by Arnold Palmer, is now a 1.5.  Too damn many houses lining the fairways... I feel like I'm playing golf in someone's backyard.  But Loomis Trail is cool.

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Friendly pro shop staff is completely irrelevant. It’s all about the architecture.

I don't think Doak rates the cart girls either.  I just threw in a few extras.  And their wine is well-priced.

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3 hours ago, David in FL said:

The subjectivity is also dependent on the experiences of the person rating the course.  
 

If someone has never played truly top tier courses (or absolute dog tracks for that matter), they’re likely to consider the relative extremes with which they are familiar as closer to either side of the scale than they actually are.

Agreed. Doak actually acknowledges this in his book series. He states something along the lines of if his “4” is our “6” then we just need to take that into consideration when reading the books. 

3 hours ago, iacas said:

I probably slightly under-rated my home courses. Bump them all up 0.5 points.

I looked yours up after you had posted the first time and thought I would rate them a little higher than you originally did. Impossible for me to know though without playing them. 

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The muni courses that I play would range anywhere from 1-3. 

A couple of them have some interesting holes, but the course maintenance is never going to good enough for more than a three.

I'd rank my "home" courses at Kittyhawk a straight 2. 

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Kind of depressing IMO.  I was happy with the two muni's I frequent but looking at this rating scale they are "3" at best so maybe I shouldn't be so satisfied.  The other two courses in my "rota" are likely a "4-5" and a "6" so that's not too bad.

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More on Doak's scale.  Thinking it over, it's really two scales--6-10 are a way to rate the world's top courses.  1-5 is a way to rate the rest of the world.  3 is average, 1 is awful, 5 is really good, 4's would be 5's except for some drawback, and 2's are either 3's in lousy shape or 1's with some TLC.  It seems to me that most of this crowd ought to be able to find an accessible 4 or 5.  Depending on where you live.

Two further observations--yes, the scale is subjective, but any course that the USGA uses for qualifying or regional events probably rates as a 5 (unless it's in the top half of the scale).  And, the scale doesn't address what to do with a course that has the bones to be a 6-10, but is the victim of hard times or poor maintenance.  The Fallen Angel problem is a conundrum, and, unless Doak has blotted out the memory of Apache Stronghold, he's aware of it.

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1 hour ago, DwightC said:

More on Doak's scale.  Thinking it over, it's really two scales--6-10 are a way to rate the world's top courses.  1-5 is a way to rate the rest of the world.  3 is average, 1 is awful, 5 is really good, 4's would be 5's except for some drawback, and 2's are either 3's in lousy shape or 1's with some TLC.  It seems to me that most of this crowd ought to be able to find an accessible 4 or 5.  Depending on where you live.

Two further observations--yes, the scale is subjective, but any course that the USGA uses for qualifying or regional events probably rates as a 5 (unless it's in the top half of the scale).  And, the scale doesn't address what to do with a course that has the bones to be a 6-10, but is the victim of hard times or poor maintenance.  The Fallen Angel problem is a conundrum, and, unless Doak has blotted out the memory of Apache Stronghold, he's aware of it.

The scale is obviously skewed to split hairs between really good golf courses, and really he focuses on what makes golf courses different. So a 3 just isn't really different than any other course out there in the world. The closer to 10 a course gets the more special or unique in a good way a course becomes. 

Yeah, I agree that the bottom of the scale is much more common to find, and the vast majority of golfers have access to some 4's and 5's. (unless your in Alaska as Doak Jokes).

Doak states that conditioning never adds to a Doak score on his scale, but can remove a point (maybe more?) if the course falls on bad times. I heard Apache Stronghold got really bad there for a while on conditioning...and knowing Doak gave it a 6 still he may not follow his own advice all the time haha!

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I guess my home course Elizabeth Manor  would fall in the range of 4-4.5. It is a straight forward old city parkland style course that devoid of trickery but has well guarded greens with very healthy bunkering. Variety of holes is good and a fun set of finishing holes. The best thing is it offers options for all level of players to score. The greens are usually in great shape rolling true between 7-9 so does not break hearts of high handicappers. The Eastern Virginia Amateur gets played here every year so it has some pedigree and flex muscle when it wants to.

On the flip side it is not visually appealing and meanders through a city neighborhood. 

I feel like cost of play should figure in the assessment as an addendum to the criteria, even if it muddies up the scale a bit. From that perspective, cost to quality of play ratio would probably have me rating my course as a 5.5.

Edited by GolfLug

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25 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

I feel like cost of play should figure in the assessment as an addendum to the criteria, even if it muddies up the scale a bit. From that perspective, cost to quality of play ratio would probably have me rating my course as a 5.5.

That's the big key here. Don't think Doak cares much about what something costs.

My old Kittyhawk would skyrocket from a 2 to a solid 3.5 if cost was considered.

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9 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

That's the big key here. Don't think Doak cares much about what something costs.

My old Kittyhawk would skyrocket from a 2 to a solid 3.5 if cost was considered.

Well, I figured you gotta let the girl next door play to her strength if you are gonna put her on a scale featuring supermodels..😊

Edited by GolfLug

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Whitemarsh Valley CC outside of Philly. George Thomas design, 1908. PGA Tour event from 1963-80. Every great player from Harry Vardon to Jack Nicklaus has played in competition there. Twenty years ago I would have given it no more than a 3. It was neglected, had shrinking greens, bad bunkering and way too many trees that were planted 50-60 years ago. But an ongoing reclamation project over the last ten years has lifted it to a 7, some would argue 7.5. The Philly area has a lot of great golf courses and Whitemarsh is back to being one of them. Right around the corner is Philadelphia Cricket Club, whose Wissahickon course is a solid 8, but Whitemarsh is very close on the scale, IMO, and much more accessible. 

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Just read the scale and think one of the clubs i’m a new member of would be 8 - maybe 9.  The other my home course a 6.  The higher one has recently been restored somewhat by Tom Doak so I assume he’d like it. 

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4 hours ago, HarrogateHacker said:

Just read the scale and think one of the clubs i’m a new member of would be 8 - maybe 9.  The other my home course a 6.  The higher one has recently been restored somewhat by Tom Doak so I assume he’d like it. 

What course? 8s and 9s are pretty rare.

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4 hours ago, iacas said:

What course? 8s and 9s are pretty rare.

Hi, it’s the Hotchkin at Woodhall spa, world golf have recently ranked it at 54 in the world.  I love it, so am a bit biased, but given I’ve joined as a member and it’s +100miles from where I live, it’s defo worth an 8 (in my ratings anyway) it’s v subjective though.  Doak has been making changes to the course over the last few years  

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