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Secret Rater Rater: Analysis of the 100 Best Courses in GOLF 2022-23 in the US Ranking

Secret Rater Rater: Analysis of the 100 Best Courses in GOLF 2022-23 in the US Ranking

Sand Hills is one of three Nebraska courses to make the menu.

Getty Images

The course’s top 100 GOLF panelists are among the most respected and most well-traveled residents of the game. They are also keen to share their opinions. In this GOLF.com series, we will reveal their pure views on all questions related to the course. Check out the latest golf game Top 100 US CoursesAnd the Top 100 courses in the worldAnd the Top 100 courses you can playAnd the The best municipal courses in the USAnd the Top 100 Short Courses. meet everyone Top 100 members here.

GOLF recently revealed its latest ranking, the 100 Best Courses in the US. Which directions are you pointing to? Any big surprises?

John Cavalier (member of the panel since 2020; played 97 of the top 100): The trend of high-quality restorations is jumping out at me. Merion, Los Angeles Country Club North, Winged Foot West, Oakland Hills, The Country Club, Southern Hills, Congressional, Inverness, Sleepy Hollow, Oak Hill East, Old Town Club, The Creek, Bel Air, Scioto, Ridgewood, Aronimink Great work has been done to restore, rebuild or restore its character.

Chick Wagner (committee member since 2008; played 81 of the top 100): The most influential trend of architects and their renovation/restoration projects was their desire to search through old photographs and archives and the realization that the original plans of the ancient architects were fantastic. They kept it simple and didn’t move much dirt, allowing Mother Nature to provide the natural drainage these properties already have.

Thomas Brown (member of the committee since 2015; played 95 of the top 100): Victories for diversity, natural locations and terrain. Drop in lost balls, pavement. Fescue herb comes and goes. Some of the notable courses on the list have ditched invasive weed control, but the new CapRock Ranch added to the Top 100 is a good example of successfully maintaining bouncy fairways. At the top of the Top 100 list, the debate over subsurface vault liners continues, at least among those who live deep in the weeds. Love quick greens? Maybe not. I’ve found mixed results on some historic golf course renovations, the greens of which were not designed with modern speeds in mind. Three notable golf courses will change before the next top 100 spots are published. Personal tastes vary in design aesthetics, but advances in lawn science compete with the complex green variety and the number of slot locations available to play.

Will Davenport (member of the committee since 2021; 45 of the top 100 played): I think the resto is completely covered already, but it’s an exciting shift in the world of golf from remodeling, refurbishment, etc., to restoration. Loyalty to the original vision, photos, and course plans is a wonderful acknowledgment of the timeless works of eras past. However, this does not mean that new buildings cannot quickly be among the great courses – as evidenced by the meteoric rise of the Sand Hills. On a related note, are we seeing the start of Midwest golf taking off? Sand Hills, Prairie, Southern Hills, CapRock, and others seem to be getting more and more prominent.

Of the courses you watched for the first time this year, which ones made the biggest impression and why?

Knight: The restored Congress made the biggest impression. I admit I didn’t really enjoy the blue congressional cycle, but now that I’ve seen Andrew Green’s renovation, I think it’s cool, and a lot of fun played it.

brouwn: Valentine, Neb. The properties at CapRock Ranch (No. 59) and The Prairie Club, Dunes (No. 94) are separated just a few miles down the Snake River Valley. Different styles in design and routing options, but the land in this part of northwest Nebraska is exceptional. Dick Youngscape started this trend in the Sand Hills nearly 30 years ago. We have three picks from Nebraska on our Top 100 list and we’ll definitely see more in the future.

Are there any courses that you think deserve to be in the top 100 that haven’t?

Knight: Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Wissahickon Stadium is a favorite in his hometown and a place I think deserves a top 100 recognition. Keith Foster’s restoration is fantastic.

brouwn: Whispering Pines, Forest Highlands (Canyon), and The Loop at Forest Dunes are the ones I would put in the glaring omission category, but your mileage may vary. Chambers Bay is another golf course that I think is worth including, but the bounce in the fairways was absent from the summer tournament. It will be interesting to see where Yale landed after the Hanse/Wagner restoration was completed with its expanded maintenance budget. It should also be noted that the new golf courses that opened at the end of the summer did not meet the evaluation deadline.

Davenport: In line with the above, I would say that Wissahickon and Chambers are at the top of the sorely missed list. However, some of the other notable characters include the charming duo Mid-Pines & Pine Needles, as well as Lancaster & Rolling Green’s Philly Flynn twins. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mountain Lake, Florida’s Poet Raynor, as well as the Colorado Golf Club, an underappreciated modern gem, in my humble opinion.

CapRock Ranch first appeared in a rave review.

Brian Orr Photography

What new course or renewal are you most looking forward to next year?

Knight: CapRock Ranch is at the top of my list for 2023. It’s one of the few courses on this year’s list that I haven’t seen yet, and the idea of ​​Hanse’s design in the sandy hills of Nebraska that runs along Caprock’s rapids in the Snake River is pretty exciting. In the pictures, the course looks exciting and exciting, and the comments I’ve heard from those who have ventured out to play it have been glowing.

Wagner: Indian Creek Renovation by Andrew Green. Finally looking forward to my trip to Cabot Links and Highland Links now that all Covid travel restrictions in Canada have been lifted. The new Sand Valley and Lido visit trip should be the most anticipated trip for any golf enthusiast.

brouwn: Point Hardy Golf Club in Cabot St. Lucia. From the Department of Life Not Fair, Bill Core and Ben Crenshaw continue to choose from a few select spots in golf. Ben Kwan Dewar’s growing empire is heading south to the Caribbean, and Mike Keizer of Dream Golf has already listed the superlatives from his site visit. Early images of clifftop par-3 holes 16 and 17 look fit to compete against well-known California par-3 holes in the best category.

Davenport: Without a doubt (though I’m biased), working at Yale is the most exciting. The course has long been neglected at the hands of a paltry budget and understaffing, so even if it’s only for a few fleeting seasons, let’s hope the course at Yale will return to its former glory, with some of the most dramatic and wide-ranging greens in the world. Of secondary interest, McArthur’s new course promises to scare the top 100 list off once it’s finished, and I expect it to be great.

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