January 16, 2015
The folks at Golf Digest magazine just published their newest rankings of the top golf courses in the United States. Some of your personal favorites should be there.
Overseen by longtime golf architecture writer Ron Whitten, a panel played and scored the potential nominees, taking into account criteria such as resistance to scoring, design variety, aesthetics, conditioning, and ambience.
The February 2015 issue announced three lists: the best in each state, the top 200 of all types, and the 100 greatest public courses.
In this column, I will list the courses I have played that made these lists. What I ask my readers to do is to go to the Golf Digest website, pick out the courses you’ve played from the lists, and send the names in to me.
I would like to see how many of these great courses have been played by Cape Region golfers. I will update you in a later column, and thanks for your help!
The Golf Digest best course in Delaware is Wilmington Country Club’s South layout, a 1960 Robert Trent Jones classic. It’s also No. 193 on the Top 200 nationwide, and I have fond memories of playing it a few years ago.
The other courses that I have played include the following: Pebble Beach Golf Links (#7 top 200, #1 top 100 public); Pasatiempo Golf Club (#111 top 200, #21 top 100 public); Dormie Club, (#185 top 200, #43 top 100 public); Dogwood Course, Country Club of North Carolina (#191 top 200); and The Links at Spanish Bay (#198 top 100, #49 top 100 public).
In addition to those listed above, I have also played these layouts among the magazine’s top 100 public courses: Bulle Rock (#45); Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club (#64); Tobacco Road Golf Club (#71); and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (#73).
See which ones you can add from these lists that you’ve played. As for the yet-unplayed remainder, they would make a nice bucket list for the rest of your golfing days.
BYOC Clinic for a good cause
Cape Region golf addict Ann Reed sent in a note about this year’s edition of a promising golf fundraiser Feb. 7 at Delmarva Christian High School, benefiting Sussex County Habitat for Humanity.
A group of local golf professionals are holding an Indoor Winter Golf Clinic. The morning sessions run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and the afternoon sessions take place from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.
Separate teaching stations at the clinic will focus individual instruction on driving, pitching, putting, and other facets of the game. Bring your own clubs, and a bit of cash. The fee for adults is $45, and the fee for children 8-17 is $35.
Children must be accompanied by an adult during the sessions.
A moving experience
Wintertime golf sometimes presents challenges not often seen during the regular season.
For example, it is frequently far more windy in the Cape Region in mid-winter than mid-summer.
On one cold day at the fifteenth hole at Rookery North, I once watched a putted ball head uphill because of the wind, instead of downhill toward the hole.
A recent Ruling of the Day from the USGA reminded golfers about the wind’s effects when on the green. A golfer replaced his ball in front of his ball marker, but the wind shoved his ball from the spot before he had a chance to pick up the marker.
Even though there’s no question where the ball was, because of the unmoved marker, the wind’s effects control the situation.
Wherever the ball stops after the wind gust, that’s where the next putt should be taken.