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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: MCirba on May 26, 2022, 09:07:51 AM

Title: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: MCirba on May 26, 2022, 09:07:51 AM

Perhaps some frank discussion will ensue.. ;)
https://golfweek.usatoday.com/lists/best-classic-golf-courses-top-200/ (https://golfweek.usatoday.com/lists/best-classic-golf-courses-top-200/)
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Mike Worth on May 26, 2022, 09:29:14 AM
My comment is the same as what I posted about the top 100 Modern ó which is to question how courses in the bottom 1/4 make the list.


Iím certain Iíll get a phone call or a text message on this, but I was a member at Atlantic City last year. Itís a fine course, I wouldíve rejoined this year except for some family circumstances.


But Iím not sure how AC is good enough to make any list. Is the primary factor the number of ratings (i.e. rater plays). 


Same goes for Leatherstocking, which I played almost 20 years agoóa fine course but how does it end up on a national ranking?


I get the feeling at looking at courses ranked 151-200 that many are like I feel about AC and Leatherstocking.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: corey miller on May 26, 2022, 10:37:09 AM



I have a different take than Mike.  I have the "bottom" 170-180 on the list as almost interchangeable with the differences being in maintenance: playability (lack of needless high rough), mowing lines, tree work.


One only need to look at the "fun factor" and the perceptions of "greatness" in Westchester County NY. 
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Mike_Trenham on May 26, 2022, 10:38:43 AM
Itís shocking how little movement there is year to year when .34 points separate 125 and 150.  It would seem that a few submissions could create greater volatility.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Jeff Schley on May 26, 2022, 10:49:04 AM
Think the following are too lowToo highMaybe a question is are there any Mackenzie or Raynor courses that AREN'T ranked?
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 26, 2022, 11:18:34 AM
Hotchkiss for one.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: J_ Crisham on May 26, 2022, 12:09:44 PM
Think the following are too low
  • Valley Club of Montecito - 36
  • Olympia Fields - 65 (Also the South course at 153 is low)
  • Meadow Club -100
Too high
  • Skokie 97 - not a fan of the course
  • Philly Cricket Club - 38 that is putting it ahead of some very good places
  • Also Culver Academies is 9 holes and in the top 100.
Maybe a question is are there any Mackenzie or Raynor courses that AREN'T ranked?
Jeff,
  I agree with you regarding The Valley Club- its in my top 25. Very special place. Curious where  you think OFCC North should be? The 2 par 5's are pretty unremarkable. The par 3's are good but not great. Par 4's are very good collectively. Greens are also good but don't blow you away.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Paul OConnor on May 26, 2022, 12:57:33 PM
"Curious where  you think OFCC North should be?"   Jack, it should be above Bev.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: J_ Crisham on May 26, 2022, 01:29:28 PM
"Curious where  you think OFCC North should be?"   Jack, it should be above Bev.
Paul,   
 Great to hear from you! Please explain why you feel OFCC is superior to Bev.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: PCCraig on May 26, 2022, 02:42:04 PM
"Curious where  you think OFCC North should be?"   Jack, it should be above Bev.
Paul,   
 Great to hear from you! Please explain why you feel OFCC is superior to Bev.


All I know is that when that new Tiger Woods course gets built on Jackson Park it'll be higher than both OFCC and Beverly!!!!  ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: J_ Crisham on May 26, 2022, 03:33:23 PM
"Curious where  you think OFCC North should be?"   Jack, it should be above Bev.
Paul,   
 Great to hear from you! Please explain why you feel OFCC is superior to Bev.


All I know is that when that new Tiger Woods course gets built on Jackson Park it'll be higher than both OFCC and Beverly!!!!  ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
The positive impact on the area will be priceless. Crime rates will go down and economic prosperity will rule the day. It could be the highlight of Lori Lightfoot's career.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: PCCraig on May 26, 2022, 05:20:13 PM
"Curious where  you think OFCC North should be?"   Jack, it should be above Bev.
Paul,   
 Great to hear from you! Please explain why you feel OFCC is superior to Bev.


All I know is that when that new Tiger Woods course gets built on Jackson Park it'll be higher than both OFCC and Beverly!!!!  ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
The positive impact on the area will be priceless. Crime rates will go down and economic prosperity will rule the day. It could be the highlight of Lori Lightfoot's career.


The Golfweek Rater Journal on the course practically writes itself!!  ;D
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 26, 2022, 05:27:45 PM
Landscape and tree management could be an issue for the flyover raters.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Daryl David on May 26, 2022, 07:15:41 PM

ďIt could be the highlight of Lori Lightfoot's careerĒ


Thatís a low bar.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: J_ Crisham on May 26, 2022, 09:50:13 PM
"Curious where  you think OFCC North should be?"   Jack, it should be above Bev.
Paul,   
 Great to hear from you! Please explain why you feel OFCC is superior to Bev.


All I know is that when that new Tiger Woods course gets built on Jackson Park it'll be higher than both OFCC and Beverly!!!!  ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
The positive impact on the area will be priceless. Crime rates will go down and economic prosperity will rule the day. It could be the highlight of Lori Lightfoot's career.


The Golfweek Rater Journal on the course practically writes itself!!  ;D
[/quote
Pat, Hopefully my sarcasm wasnít too mean spirited. If this boondoggle ever gets to shovel in the ground status I will be shocked. Illinois, Cook County , and the city of Chicago are flat broke . So many greater priorities than a championship golf course in an area that already has an adequate affordable park district course. Letís start with hiring more police officers and getting violent crimes under control.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Joe_Tucholski on May 26, 2022, 10:02:27 PM
Looking it over all I know is I'd be quite happy to regularly play any of the 200 courses on the list.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Kyle Harris on May 27, 2022, 12:15:40 PM
Iím glad it gets recognized as a great golf course but Country Club of Orlando is still not a Donald Ross and Tom Bendelow is being robbed of credit for good work. Still and again.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Mike_Trenham on May 27, 2022, 03:01:28 PM
Iím glad it gets recognized as a great golf course but Country Club of Orlando is still not a Donald Ross and Tom Bendelow is being robbed of credit for good work. Still and again.


Also Toomey continues to get credit on many of Flynnís designs.

Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Jeff Schley on May 27, 2022, 03:23:58 PM
Another omission, no Indian Creek CC?  Even in the top 200 from that era?  Only need 25 votes in last 10 years it appears.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Tim Martin on May 27, 2022, 03:27:38 PM
Another omission, no Indian Creek CC?  Even in the top 200 from that era?  Only need 25 votes in last 10 years it appears.


Jeff-Itís not easy to access.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Anthony Fowler on May 27, 2022, 04:38:19 PM
As a course rater and as someone who does quantitative data analysis for a living, I'm pleasantly surprised that the Golfweek rankings are as sensible as they are. One concern is that very few raters have played all the top courses, and everyone has a different scale, so you'd think there would be a lot of noise (even if every rater does a good job rating the courses on their own personal scale). Another concern is that the average course rater is not nearly as knowledgeable about golf architecture as the average poster on GCA. I was just at a rater retreat with some fellow GCAers, and we were all marveling at the fact that the people we were with (many of whom didn't seem to know much or care much about golf architecture) were able to produce the mostly sensible rankings that we're talking about now.


One explanation is that there is probably some amount of herding. If you don't know much about golf architecture, but you know that other raters regard a course highly, you'll probably give it a high rating. So as long as there are enough knowledgeable people contributing to the early ratings a course receives, it's likely to end up in more-or-less in the right place.


Another explanation is that the leaders of the ranking organizations probably exercise some control over the rankings. I would imagine that if you give a rating that's way out of line with everyone else, you'll get a phone call, and if you do this enough, you'll find yourself off the panel.


This is not to say that reasonable people can't quibble with the rankings. This is an inherently subjective exercise. I can certainly point to a few courses that I think are somewhat overrated (e.g., I suspect there's a major championship bias that causes courses like Olympia North, Medinah No. 3, and even The Country Club to get rated a little higher than they would otherwise be if they hadn't been on television). But I think most GCAers would have a hard time finding a course on this list that they could convincingly argue is 50 places away from where it should be. And that's a remarkable achievement given the inherent subjectivity of this enterprise, the sheer amount of noise involved in this process, and the fact that the courses are often separated by razor-thin margins.





Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Anthony Fowler on May 27, 2022, 04:46:28 PM
My comment is the same as what I posted about the top 100 Modern ó which is to question how courses in the bottom 1/4 make the list.


Iím certain Iíll get a phone call or a text message on this, but I was a member at Atlantic City last year. Itís a fine course, I wouldíve rejoined this year except for some family circumstances.


But Iím not sure how AC is good enough to make any list. Is the primary factor the number of ratings (i.e. rater plays). 


Same goes for Leatherstocking, which I played almost 20 years agoóa fine course but how does it end up on a national ranking?


I get the feeling at looking at courses ranked 151-200 that many are like I feel about AC and Leatherstocking.


Surely your position isn't that all the courses in the 76-100 range don't deserve their place in the top 100, right? Some courses have to end up in that part of the list, even if they're along a little better than the 101-125 courses. Perhaps you're just pointing out that the difference between #85 and #115 is pretty small and subjective, so maybe we shouldn't make such a big deal out of "top 100" per se. That's fair. I give Golfweek some credit for publishing the top 200 along with the average ratings. That way, great courses like Biltmore Forest, Meadowbrook, Charleston, etc. can get some of the credit that they deserve, and we can see just how small the differences are between different places on the list.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Anthony Fowler on May 27, 2022, 05:04:28 PM
Itís shocking how little movement there is year to year when .34 points separate 125 and 150.  It would seem that a few submissions could create greater volatility.


This is a good point, although upon reflection, it makes sense. Consider Longmeadow, which is tied for 150 and has an average rating of 6.7. Suppose it has 50 ratings (I don't know the exact number, but a lot of these courses are in that vicinity). Suppose a new rater plays Longmeadow, thinks it's the greatest course on the planet, and gives it a 10. That would bring its average score up to 6.76, and now Longmeadow is 138 instead of 150.


Furthermore, as much as I like Longmeadow, nobody is going to give it a 10. If a rater did give it such a rating, they would probably get a call from someone at Golfweek asking them to explain their thinking, and they probably couldn't justify such a score. So, fortunately, these courses have enough ratings that one crazy rating isn't going to affect their position much, and you would hope there are safeguards against crazy ratings.


Someone might really love Longmeadow and give it an 8, meaning they personally think it should be in the top 25. That's obviously a really high rating for Longmeadow, but I can imagine one reasonable person who feels that way. Even in this somewhat unlikely scenario, Longmeadow's average score goes up to ~6.725, and it's ranking goes from 150 to 145. So it would take more than a few outlier ratings to meaningfully shift the relative positioning of these courses.


On the flip side, consider Wilshire, which is currently tied for 124. Suppose it also has 50 ratings, and suppose a new rater comes along and gives it a 0. Its average rating goes from 6.87 to ~6.734, and its ranking goes from T124 to 144. In principle, it's easier for one crazy rating to pull a course down than it is to pull it up, but even then, one rater can't move the #125 course very far. And no reasonable person would rate Wilshire a 0. Suppose they really didn't like Wilshire for some reason and were in a really bad mood, maybe they would give it a 4, which would bring its score down to 6.81 and its ranking down to 131.


So if there's enough agreement between the raters and enough raters who have played each course, the rankings won't be very volatile, even if the margins separating courses are small.



Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: mike_malone on May 27, 2022, 06:20:07 PM
I suggest two alphabetical listsóó9 and 8 and 7 and 6. This would allow some courses above 200 to make the list.


 


I think there are only a few truly outstanding courses which are quite similar in their excellence. There is no need to rank the top 25+/- courses.


The rest of the courses are very close in quality and my suggestion eliminates the idea that number 70 is much better than 135.


The first group would be Outstanding and the second group Very Good.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Ira Fishman on May 27, 2022, 06:39:47 PM
Rankings are a fun diversion because people tend to think in terms of best of lists. But to put it in perspective, there are approximately 15,000 courses in the US. Taking the Golfweek Classic and Modern together, the 400 represent 2.5% or so of the courses. Then take the fact that there is less than a 1 point difference among the second 100 in the Classic list (I didnít check the spread on the Modern list), and we really are talking about angels dancing on the head of a pin. Yes, a fun diversion, but only thatÖunless you are the owner of a publc/resort course competing for clients in which case you probably tear your hear out about the flaws in the rankings systems.


Ira
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Jeff Schley on May 28, 2022, 03:32:17 AM
Another omission, no Indian Creek CC?  Even in the top 200 from that era?  Only need 25 votes in last 10 years it appears.


Jeff-Itís not easy to access.
Very true, although a 10 year runway I would think raters would be able to figure it out. However, I guess we can assume lack or ratings is the reason.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: jeffwarne on May 28, 2022, 10:01:44 AM
Augusta CC, in its umpteenth renovation in my lifetime , rated 70 spots ahead of Palmetto?
I happen to have grown up at ACC and am a member at both so no dog in the fight but....



I do hope the current renovation at ACC is successful enough to improve the course enough to justify its current somewhat lofty rating.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Sean_A on May 28, 2022, 10:54:37 AM
Augusta CC, in its umpteenth renovation in the last 40 years, rated 70 spots ahead of Palmetto?
I happen to have grown up at both and am a member at both so no dog in the fight but....



Credibility of Golfweek just left the building. Perhaps they are fans of zoysia?


I do hope the current renovation at ACC is successful enough to improve the course enough to justify its current rating.

Why does Palmetto lag so far back?

Ciao
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: MCirba on May 28, 2022, 02:39:33 PM
jeffwarne,


Who is doing the latest updating of Augusta Country Club?   I haven't played there but a good friend moved to Aiken recently so it's likely I will before too long.   


Agree that Palmetto is undervalued.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: jeffwarne on May 28, 2022, 03:33:56 PM
jeffwarne,


Who is doing the latest updating of Augusta Country Club?   I haven't played there but a good friend moved to Aiken recently so it's likely I will before too long.   


Agree that Palmetto is undervalued.


Mike,
Tripp Davis is doing the work.
Greens changing to bermuda from bent, very close in surrounds changed back to bermuda from zoyzia.(they went zoyzia fairways a few years back)
greens appear in general to be getting smaller, which I'm not opposed to.
Greenside bunkers being redone as well.


I don't think Palmetto is undervalued in general-just in this one ranking list.
There is no reason ACC couldn't be in similar prominence(elsewhere) with the right TLC.
Still one of my favorite courses.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: MCirba on May 28, 2022, 06:25:46 PM
Thanks, Jeff.


Yep, agreed undervalued on the GW list.


If all goes well playing Ocala next Saturday.  I know you're a fan.   Is Palatka as good?  I may try to squeeze that in, as well.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Kyle Harris on May 28, 2022, 07:48:19 PM
Thanks, Jeff.


Yep, agreed undervalued on the GW list.


If all goes well playing Ocala next Saturday.  I know you're a fan.   Is Palatka as good?  I may try to squeeze that in, as well.


All will go well. Iíd join you at Palatka, as well. Never been.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: mike_malone on May 29, 2022, 07:21:26 PM
XM radio is playing the top 76 concertos. No way Rodrigoís is #19!!!!
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Rees Milikin on May 29, 2022, 09:42:33 PM
Thanks, Jeff.


Yep, agreed undervalued on the GW list.


If all goes well playing Ocala next Saturday.  I know you're a fan.   Is Palatka as good?  I may try to squeeze that in, as well.


Both are good and since moving away from FL there are only a handful of courses I really miss playing, and Palatka is one of them. To me it's the Aiken Golf Club of Florida, about the only way I can describe it.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Mike Sweeney on May 30, 2022, 06:02:36 PM
Post removed.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Sean_A on May 31, 2022, 01:12:30 AM
A few things

Ordinal ranking doesn't make sense. Get a data guy to determine the natural breaks in the list and group courses. Ordinal ranking implies the math determines the number 1 course and it ain't so.

List courses that would have made the list by the scores if not for whatever internal reason the course wasn't considered.

Allow raters to fiddle the criteria. One of the biggest problems with set point criteria is sometimes some elements of a design are more important than 10 or whatever points. Allow the rater to assign point value to the criteria. This is one of my main frustrations as a rater. For instance, I may think the terrain or the greens are more than important than X and would rather focus attention on what is important about a design rather than what is less important.

Ciao
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Anthony Fowler on May 31, 2022, 11:10:03 AM
Ordinal ranking doesn't make sense. Get a data guy to determine the natural breaks in the list and group courses. Ordinal ranking implies the math determines the number 1 course and it ain't so.
Sean, I see your point here, but I would push back in a few ways. (1) If they did this, everyone would complain and ask them to show the rankings within the groups.  (2) There might not be natural breaks. Wherever you decided to try to draw those lines, there would be courses that are just on either side of the threshold. So isn't it better to provide more information, not less, to the readers. (3) Golfweek provides the average rating, so readers can see how far apart the courses are. In some cases, they can see that the differences between different parts of the list are negligible, and in other cases, they can see where there are meaningful differences in the average rating.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Anthony Fowler on May 31, 2022, 11:18:35 AM
Allow raters to fiddle the criteria. One of the biggest problems with set point criteria is sometimes some elements of a design are more important than 10 or whatever points. Allow the rater to assign point value to the criteria. This is one of my main frustrations as a rater. For instance, I may think the terrain or the greens are more than important than X and would rather focus attention on what is important about a design rather than what is less important.
Golfweek asks raters to provide ratings on a number of different factors, but they also ask for an overall rating. The overall rating need not be an algorithmic combination of the factor-specific ratings. So each rater is free to weigh the different factors however they would like (or incorporate other things not explicitly listed by Golfweek). The overall rating is the only thing that influences these rankings that we're talking about, so in a way, Golfweek is already taking your suggestion here.

I agree that it would be a big mistake for the magazine to specify the factors and the weight of each factor. This appears to be what Golf Digest does (golfdigest.com/story/how-our-panel-ranks-the-courses). They specify seven different factors and they weigh them all equally. Three of those factors are challenge, aesthetics, and conditioning, so it's not surprising that their rankings differ significantly from those of their competitors.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Mike Hendren on June 04, 2022, 02:53:42 PM
Did I somehow miss Idle Hour?


Who says tinkering doesnít pay - Holston Hills and Beverly have essentially swapped 50 spots.

Mike
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: John Kavanaugh on June 04, 2022, 03:18:32 PM
Idle Hour what? Is it ranked? Please no. In all fairness I only remember one god awful
hole and getting killed at the track soon after.
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: Mike Hendren on June 04, 2022, 03:46:12 PM
Barney, sorry about the pony amnesia. Idle Hour is a broad shouldered course with numerous examples of Rossí stern two shotters.  Rock solid with no disco.  Surprised you didnít like it  the way you love to golf your ball.


BTW Iím hurt that you havenít acknowledged that Iím using my last name here.  Retirement will do that for you.


All the best bud.


Mike
Title: Re: Golfweek Best Classic
Post by: John Kavanaugh on June 04, 2022, 03:55:17 PM
Iíve forgiven active raters for not using their full names. Upon reflection, I wouldnít either.


I donít remember why I disliked Idle Hour as much as I did. Iím sure that if I had been representing someone besides myself my feelings would have been closer to that of my peers.