My Five: To Play

I always enjoy the Top 100 course rankings.  Largely it’s the same top ten every year, they just move up or down a few spots here and there.  What intrigues me most is that the focus is on the golf itself, not necessarily the whole experience (club, food, caddies, cart girls, etc.).

Everyone has their bucket list of courses, as I do.  But when thinking about it strictly from a golf experience, my list is a little different.  When I think about strictly playing golf, I’m speaking only about the experience on the 18 holes.  All 18 holes, not just the iconic holes that show up in golf calendars or on the cover of magazines.

Here are my five:

Riviera (Pacific Palisades, CA) – I’ve always loved this course.  Very old school, and dependent on strategy.  Very few flat areas, and a lot of bunkers, most second shots are aimed at a strangely angled green.  Probably go light on the Transfusions, as this round would be a head-scratcher.

Ohooppee Match Club (Cobbtown, GA) – Relatively new to the scene, it’s a visual masterpiece.  I have a few friends who have played down there, and every single one of them smiles when talking about the course.  It’s won all the prestigious awards, but what is most intriguing to me is that it focuses on my favorite way to play: Match format.  I’m all in.

Chambers Bay (University Place, WA) – Built on an old sand and rock quarry, this RTJ Jr. design is mesmerizing.  While it feels like a ‘hit it and pray’ type of course, strategy and ball placement are key.  The golf up in the Pacific Northwest is absolutely on my bucket list, and Chambers Bay is at the top.

Maidstone (East Hampton, NY) – there is so much good golf on Long Island, but Maidstone has always intrigued me.  Being a traditionalist, I like false fronts, being more concerned with ball placement and yardage vs. nuking drives.  Take into account the breeze and the dramatic ocean views, I’m sure I’d lose a few balls here.

Peachtree (Atlanta, GA) – Some say this is a better golf experience than its cousin in Augusta.  I haven’t played either, but I’d love to find out.  Nestled in North Buckhead, playing Peachtree is as much a badge of honor as it is a challenging course.  And being in my home town makes it that much more special.

What are your five?



  1. AJS
    03/03/2021 / 7:52 AM

    In no particular order:

    Crystal Downs Country Club — Frankfort, MI
    Seminole Golf Club — Juno Beach, FL
    Shinnecock Hills — Southampton, NY
    Augusta National — Augusta, GA
    Royal Portrush — Northern Ireland

  2. WCD
    03/03/2021 / 7:59 AM

    St. Andrews
    Pine Valley

  3. Wes
    03/03/2021 / 8:57 AM

    Fishers Island
    Bandon Dunes
    Pikewood National

    If Sweetens Cove isn’t on your list it needs to be

    • RBC
      03/04/2021 / 9:05 AM

      Highly recommend Pikewood. Stay on property if you can and soak it all up. You’ll likely have the entire place to yourself.

  4. Trip3
    03/03/2021 / 9:02 AM

    Pine Valley
    Junto Club

  5. CDS
    03/03/2021 / 9:12 AM

    Sand Hills
    Friars Head
    Tara Iti
    Pine V

  6. TCW
    03/03/2021 / 9:21 AM

    The Farm – Dalton, GA
    Wade Hampton – Cashiers, NC
    TPC Sawgrass
    Pebble Beach
    Sea Island

  7. PKL
    03/03/2021 / 9:27 AM

    Cabot Links
    Fishers Island
    Sand Hills

  8. Poor Man
    03/03/2021 / 9:32 AM

    Tara Iti
    Three Jack

  9. JSP
    03/03/2021 / 9:55 AM

    North Berwick
    Cruden Bay

  10. RLC
    03/03/2021 / 11:19 AM

    Royal Melbourne
    St Andrews
    Fishers Island
    Banff Springs

  11. JDL
    03/03/2021 / 4:37 PM

    The Old Course
    Sheep Ranch (All of Bandon, really)

  12. CCE
    03/03/2021 / 5:42 PM

    Once I can consistently break 90:
    Pinehurst No. 2
    Oak Hill
    Olympia Fields

  13. Alec
    03/04/2021 / 12:38 AM

    Chicago Golf
    Pine Valley

  14. Chuck
    03/05/2021 / 1:29 PM

    Love you have chambers in the mix – or what couple of us call the valley of death (probably from being in poor physical shape, it can be a hard walk 🙂 – the pro’s there also put on terrific clinics that are VERY reasonable – its alot less $$ if you are a Tacoma (pierce county) resident too as its a muni.

    • Fritz
      03/06/2021 / 9:37 AM

      Agree, Chambers looks amazing. Never understood all of the hate during the US Open. Also really enjoy the Seminole and Bandon mentions above as well. I’ll add that although Pebble does take some criticism from a course design/layout standpoint, the views are breathtaking.

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