A top golf course list of my own

rotogrinders misc rankings2

Golf Digest just released their 2013-14 Course Rankings. So to play all Top 100 Public Courses it would cost you just about $19,771. Hmm, well since I’ve already played Torrey Pines and PGA West, that at least lowers it down to $19,463. Anyone feel like making a charitable donation? I guess while we’re in the spirit of making lists, I might as well make my current ranking of all the courses I’ve played, based on how I can best recall them right now. So here goes…

Rank Course City State
1 Troon North (Pinnacle) Phoenix AZ
2 Phoenician Golf Club Scottsdale AZ
3 Torrey Pines (South) Scottsdale CA
4 PGA West (Stadium) La Quinta CA
5 Paiute (Wolf) Las Vegas NV
6 Riviera Country Club Los Angeles CA
7 Leatherstocking Cooperstown NY
8 Hacienda Golf Club La Habra Heights CA
9 Boulders Golf Club Carefree AZ
10 Troon North (Monument) Scottsdale AZ
11 Southern Dunes Golf Club Maricopa AZ
12 Kierland Golf Club Scottsdale AZ
13 Ocotillo Golf Course Chandler AZ
14 Revere Golf Club (Lexington) Henderson NV
15 Legacy at Lake Lanier Islands Resort Buford GA
16 Westin La Cantera (Palmer) San Antonio TX
17 Canongate at Windermere Golf & Country Club Cumming GA
18 Blackhawk Country Club (Lakes) Danville CA
19 Tahoe Donner Golf Course Truckee CA
20 Park City Golf Course Park City UT
21 Hermitage Golf Course (President’s Reserve) Old Hickory TN
22 San Luis Obispo Golf and Country Club San Luis Obispo CA
23 Talking Stick Golf Club (South) Scottsdale AZ
24 Karsten Golf Course Tempe AZ
25 Blackhawk Country Club (Falls) Danville CA
26 Avila Beach Golf Resort Avila Beach CA
27 Morro Bay Golf Course Morro Bay CA
28 Soldier Hollow Golf Course (Gold) Midway UT
29 Lookout Mountain Golf Club Phoenix AZ
30 Eagle Mountain Golf Club Fountain Hills AZ
31 Rochelle Ranch Golf Course Rawlins WY
32 Dairy Creek Golf Course San Luis Obispo CA
33 Fota Island Golf Club Cork IRE
34 Diablo Country Club Danville CA
35 Whirlwind Chandler AZ
36 Round Hill Country Club Alamo CA
37 Desert Canyon Golf Club Fountain Hills AZ
38 Foothills Golf Club Phoenix AZ
39 Chickasaw Pointe Golf Club Kingston OK
40 North Fulton Golf Course Atlanta GA
 41 Franklin Canyon Golf Course Hercules CA

 

The Pinnacle course at Troon North is still my overall top place to play. Nothing has yet to match its blend of amazing views, quiet atmosphere, helpful staff and unique challenge, though the Phoenician came the closest, almost just for the delicious nachos in the bar alone. I haven’t played Torrey Pines in a few years but the rounds I have been fortunate enough to play on the San Diego coast never disappointed. Las Vegas golfers will have a hard time convincing me Paiute’s Wolf course isn’t the best track in Sin City.

It took me a bit of time to slot in my home courses. Ultimately I put the Lakes in Blackhawk at 18, it is a better course. But I find the Falls to be a lot more fun, especially on the front 9, with a lot of major risk-reward decisions about how big a bite of the corners to cut off from the tee. I also played many times at Round Hill Country Club when I worked there, and I’m sure it would be ranked higher if it weren’t for #7, that terrible par 3 where I made a 9 and missed the golf team in high school. No grudges though. San Luis Obispo Country Club is also a very fun spot, with lots of hills and elevation changes that make club selection more of a science.

I have nothing personally against my courses at the bottom, they just aren’t as good as my others, although I may have rated North Fulton a couple slots higher if their staff knew how to smile.

As for my favorite area to golf, it’s hard to argue with Phoenix. But it might be harder to get out to all of the luxury courses I had the good fortune to play in the last year thanks to my complimentary Troon card, which expired. Nooooooo. The Bay Area is pretty diverse, and any climate with pine trees such as Park City or Tahoe always score points with me. But I can’t think of a better golf spot than the Central Coast. A variety of different courses, such as the always windy Dairy Creek just up the 1 from Cal Poly to the poor man’s Pebble Beach that is Morro Bay Golf Course, snaking along the California coastline. And when the late afternoon fog rolls in, the place is a photographer’s dream. There’s the fun resort track at Avila Beach and of course what I mentioned of SLOCC. And best of all you’re in the world’s greatest town in the best place to live, San Luis Obispo. How can you argue that?

This is only listing the courses I’ve played in the last 5 or 6 years, and I just felt it’d be fun to rank them. It’d also be fun to see what others rate as their most fun places to golf, I’m always up for new ideas. And if you want to sponsor that Top 100 Golf Digest trip… you can write a check out to Graig Mantle today, don’t delay.

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