Course Lists Do-It-Yourself
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 email@example.com.
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.
Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.
The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.
Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.
Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.
Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.
Rahm (62) fires career low round
The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:
Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)
What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.
Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.
Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.
Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.
Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.
Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.
Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm
Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder
Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.
"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."
Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.
Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.
"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."
Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn
There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.
Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.
Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.
Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.
The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.