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xrayvizhen

Should a Golf Course Be on a "Best Of" List if It Can't Be Played?

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 I’ve often had the thought if the average golfer doesn’t have the connections to get a tee time at any one of the courses on a “Best Of” list, and the list I’m thinking about at the moment is the Top 100 list just recently released by Golf Magazine, should it even be on the list?

Pine Valley (#1) is the perfect example. I don’t know anyone who’s a member at Pine Valley so I doubt I’ll ever have the opportunity to play it so from my perspective Pine Valley doesn’t exist in my universe. At the other end of the spectrum are Pebble Beach and the Old Course at St. Andrews. Both are accessible to anyone who has the long range planning skills, the wherewithal to travel there and the ability to pay the green fees. They definitely belong and both are on my bucket list.

Maybe I’m just imagining it, but the members of Pine Valley are probably very happy and proud that their golf course is perennially listed as the best golf course in the world but would be very, very upset if it were left off. (Or maybe they don't care either way.) But shouldn’t any golf course that is so elitist, one that makes membership so difficult and discourages non-members who are not visiting professionals from even thinking about playing there, be on anyone’s top 100? I'm only singling out Pine Valley as an example. There are many other such courses on the list.

I’m all for a top 100 list of golf courses anyone can play.               

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Well, this will be a short topic.

5 minutes ago, xrayvizhen said:

I’m all for a top 100 list of golf courses anyone can play.         

These lists exist. Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, and GolfWeek have these lists. Here they are.

players.jpg?w=640

Welcome to Golfweek’s annual Best. Each spring, we publish the three lists that are the foundation of our course-ratings program: Golfweek’s Best 2019: Top 200 Classic Courses, Golfweek’s Best 2019…
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Golf Magazine’s guide to the finest public-access golf courses in America is an essential resource for every traveling golfer. From all-star resorts to magnificent munis, the Top 100 You Can...

 

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And even with the lists that @iacas linked in, many are simply unattainable for people with limited financial resources.  We each have limits on what we can spend, or on what we are willing to spend.  You could conceivably develop lists of the Best Course with greens fees under $100, or $400, or Courses that don't require a hotel stay to book in advance, or any number of other distinguishing criteria.  I have no problem with lists of golf course that are based solely on the quality of the golf course, but I'm fine with all of the other lists too.  After all, what function do these lists serve besides stirring up discussion?

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

And even with the lists that @iacas linked in, many are simply unattainable for people with limited financial resources.  We each have limits on what we can spend, or on what we are willing to spend.  You could conceivably develop lists of the Best Course with greens fees under $100, or $400, or Courses that don't require a hotel stay to book in advance, or any number of other distinguishing criteria.  I have no problem with lists of golf course that are based solely on the quality of the golf course, but I'm fine with all of the other lists too.  After all, what function do these lists serve besides stirring up discussion?

And Best Courses You Can Sneak on at the Third Hole, Play 12 and not get caught! 

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I have always wondered about how some courses make the list.

Barely a year old, Ohoopee was seen by enough panelists and scored high enough to hit the current rank at No. 98.

Perhaps in the fine print there is an explanation of "seen by enough." I wonder if 5 of the panelists put the course on their list and thus it made #98.  If that were the case, I am disappointed.

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8 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

I have always wondered about how some courses make the list.

Barely a year old, Ohoopee was seen by enough panelists and scored high enough to hit the current rank at No. 98.

Perhaps in the fine print there is an explanation of "seen by enough." I wonder if 5 of the panelists put the course on their list and thus it made #98.  If that were the case, I am disappointed.

I doubt it was just five, but basically, I think it works like this:

  • Raters are asked to put courses in buckets. For example "top three," "top ten," "25-50", etc.
  • The courses get points for these rankings.
  • Both the number of ratings and the average of those ratings are considered. For example, an out-of-the-way course like Tara Iti might be tough for many people to see quickly, so its average ranking might be considered more so than a course like… Oak Hill, which has been around for a long time and which many people have seen and ranked.
  • The final ranking is assembled.

For all you know Ohoopee was in the top 25 of six members, which was just high enough for it to sneak on at 98, and it may move up and up and up the list over the coming years as more raters are able to see the course.

This is an educated guess, though, and I'll seek verification and will get back to you with the response(s) I get if they shed new light on what I've written.

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3 hours ago, boogielicious said:

And Best Courses You Can Sneak on at the Third Hole, Play 12 and not get caught! 

I'm with you on that!  Though, as a kid, I perfected the technique of sneaking onto elite country clubs via the first tee.  And playing 18 if not caught earlier.  In fact, I just read, the Algonquin Country Club in St. Louis is the most expensive to join and for its annual fees in the U.S.  I played there for free with only a few glances over my shoulder.  Twice!

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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Yep! Just have to act like you belong there! However, I have seldom had the temerity to pretend that I'm something I'm not. Like a cool, studly ladies man!

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