Course Lists Do-It-Yourself

By Brian HewittMay 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
When it comes to those magazine golf course lists, its all about the wording and the adjectives.
Best. Greatest. Hardest. Favorite.
For me, the courses that belong at the top of the lists depend on the wording of the category.
That is to say the best course in America isnt necessarily the greatest or the hardest or my favorite.
And I want to know if you agree.
The best golf course in America, to me, is Shinnecock Hills. (The Long Island breezes blow every which way).
The greatest golf course in America to me is Augusta National. (History combined with conditioning and great green complexes).
The hardest golf course in America, to me, is Oakmont. (The big bad wolf of American golf says David Fay).
My favorite golf course in America is Shoreacres. (North of Chicago, it is a members course par excellence).
The most overrated golf course in America is The National Golf Links of America. (Heresy, you say. Terrific track, I say. But still overrated).
The most underrated golf course in America is the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. (Sorry Seminole. But Pete Dyes work here is Floridas finest).
Now I want feedback from you the readers on this. Send me an E-mail at
Feel free to choose your own category or categories and then the course that best fits that category, in your opinion. Choose your own adjectives: Prettiest, ugliest, worst, most overpriced..your call. The beauty of this poll is that there are no wrong answers. Its all subjective. (Warning: I might be amused by coarse language, especially if you are creative about it, but I wont re-print it).
If you feel compelled to say something about the course or courses you have chosen to be at the top of your category or categories, please limit your description to 10 words or less. We want to keep this thing wieldy (the opposite of unwieldy). At a future date I will run another column publishing the best of the best of your answers.
I will also post the results for what I believe to be the four key categories: best, hardest, favorite, greatest.
Meanwhile here are a few more of my own course categories and the tracks that are at the top of those categories.
Course Id Most Like To Play And Havent Yet: Pine Valley. (LA North is a close second).
Best Golf Course South Of The Equator: Royal Melbourne (Dr. MacKenzie, I presume).
Best Course at Pinehurst: No. 7 (Rees Jones hit a home run here).
Prettiest Course: Cypress Point. (The water in the breaking waves is unnaturally blue).
Favorite Irish Course: Royal Portrush. (So much competition in this category).
Favorite Scottish Course: The Old Course at St. Andrews. (Nothing in golf like standing on that first tee.)
Funkiest Golf Course: Tobacco Road (In North Carolina. Go play it. Youll see.)
Coolest Golf Course: Merion. (Obviously this one depends on your definition of cool).
Course Ill Change Planes More Than Once To Get To: Pacific Dunes (You CAN get there from here).
Course With Best Drool Factor: Muirfield Village (Those cross cut fairways always look so good on TV).
[Notice Im following the 10-word rule]
Best Miniature Golf Course: Novelty Golf (36 holes in Chicago).
Best College Course: Human Sexuality (Stanford University).
Ooops, back to golf
Best College GOLF Course: Yale University (As Buddy Holly said: Well, boola-boola).
OK, people, knock yourselves out. Knock me out. Send me your categories and your No. 1 picks in those categories. Please, just one pick per category.
Of course, I know you will.
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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.