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David Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nice Article on Cabot St.Lucia project
« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2023, 03:14:05 AM »

i am probably coming across as very naive here Tom but I'll give it a go.

What if courses couldn't enter the list until after a year of opening? Or maybe new courses need a higher threshold of raters? That would get away from the worries about hand-picking the early ones.

My other idea is even more naive. If someone has any financial interest in a course's success then maybe you shouldn't get to vote on it? As a developer, tournament host, magazine publisher - anyone. And I'm not just talking about GOLF magaine here, I mean them all. Not so sure about members, but they don't really need to if enough other raters have played there.


And then how about architects and shapers? I could be really radical and suggest they don't get to vote on courses built in their professional careers. That's probably too far, as we may lose some of the best raters and often they are harder on their own work than others.

This may purely be about optics but I think optics do count for something.

And finally maybe it would be nice if someone invented a list that didn't have individual position but just brackets. No need to respond on that idea anyone!




Yes, that was an excellent attempt at na´vetÚ.  I doubt they have any interest in doing any of the things you suggest.  Panelists are asked to list any conflict of interest they have for any course they vote on, but I don't believe those votes are often discounted.


As to architects and shapers voting, they are generally some of the very best-traveled people on the panel, and I used to think our egos sort of held each other in check . . . for example, David Kidd sees some of my courses and I see some of his, and I doubt those are the highest votes those courses get.  But there is also a lot of professional respect there.  I don't think we are manipulative about it, I think we vote the way we honestly feel about the work, but I understand why someone who doesn't care about the topic would of course say that's a conflict.


The actual rule that a course had to be seen by 10 panelists to be ranked was written by me, when GOLF started ranking the courses this way in 1983.  We only had about 75 panelists at the time, and the panel was full of people from around the golf business, most of whom who were not nearly as well traveled as you'd imagine.  [There were fewer than ten panelists who had seen more of the courses on the original ballot than I had . . . and I was only 22!]  Many of the golf business people only went to tournament venues, so even places like Prairie Dunes struggled to get ten votes.  But we also didn't have any fanboys or promoters on the panel, so I thought we could trust the votes we did get.  [Who was I to judge?  They were all pretty well respected.]  Honestly the most visible conflict of interest I saw back then was that certain tournaments paid appearance fees to have Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman show up, and they happened to like those courses a lot, which is why Huntingdale [for one] was ranked back in the day.


It was also me who suggested putting a handful of guys on the panel who were willing to travel far and wide to help us get some of the lesser-seen courses up to ten votes . . . a contingent that has come to be a much higher percentage of the panel today.  I realized it was going to be a problem the night I was traveling with one of them in Japan, and he took personal credit for "putting" certain courses "on the list".


By the same token, if you raise the quorum of votes needed, that's just going to have a remote course like Cape Wickham whinging that they can't get enough people to King Island, or, alternatively, surreptitiously paying for them to come.  I don't think that is happening much right now -- one such promoter was weeded out -- but these rankings are extremely important to developers and paying for a few individuals to come visit would be a rounding error in their promotional budgets.  Be careful what you wish for.


More importantly, the magazines want to scoop each other.  GOLF DIGEST used to have a waiting period for new courses to make their list; I am pretty sure they dropped the waiting period because the GOLF rankings kept scooping them, and those courses credited the GOLF Magazine ranking in all of their paid advertising.


Thanks Tom.


In this day of clicks there is even more of a desire for an early rankings - both from the magazines and courses. I guess we will see over the next period whether there is a greater turnover in new courses entering and exiting the list as a result of the rush to judgement.




Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nice Article on Cabot St.Lucia project
« Reply #51 on: November 01, 2023, 04:58:05 PM »
Foulpointe?
 :)
Atb

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Nice Article on Cabot St.Lucia project
« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2023, 10:34:43 AM »


I guess we will see over the next period whether there is a greater turnover in new courses entering and exiting the list as a result of the rush to judgement.


Well, the last part of this thread [and two others] are about one course getting turned over and out!  It's not a new phenomenon, it's been happening for 20+ years.  Bandon Dunes is down to 94th now!

Ben Cowan-Dewar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nice Article on Cabot St.Lucia project
« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2023, 12:52:03 AM »
Point Hardy opened in June, I was lucky enough to cut the ribbon with Bill Coore, something I had never done before.

24 hours later, I was walking with Tom in the Highlands of Scotland.

I am very fortunate to work on projects in great locations with extremely talented people. It is genuinely a blessing to get to do so, I say this as a guy who was sketching holes at age 10!

Mike taught me that if you do your job properly, that the courses will stand the test of time.

That is our sole focus, and the rest will take care of itself.

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