> Golf Course Architecture

Hillcrest CC in Los Angeles

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David Ober:

--- Quote from: Robert_Ball on November 04, 2005, 10:41:13 AM ---David,

I've played Hillcrest several times over the past 15 yrs and always find it enjoyable and in great condition.  I'd probably give it a 4 on the Doak scale.

--- End quote ---

I've heard about this "Doak scale" now a couple times. Can somebody please enlighten me? Are there other scales than the Doak scale? Is this scale considered the scale by members here?

Brian Noser:
David,  The Doak scale is from Tom Doaks book. It is his scale on ranking courses.  I have not read the book but(it is hard to get and expensive if you can find it) many refer to it on this site. I do not understand it, but i have not read the book.

Nice summary of the Doak scale....

--- Quote from: Tom Huckaby on December 13, 2004, 02:47:06 PM ---Here's the concise version of the Doak scale, as sent to me once by somebody here when I asked... the numbers get thrown around so much it is good to keep this on hand... especially when haging out with GW raters, for whom everything is a "solid" this or "bulletproof" that...  ;)

0= poisonous
1= very basic
2= not offensive but offers very little.
3= average golf course.
4= above average but nothing to distinguish itself
5= well above average, likely to have several distinctive holes.  But not worth a special trip.
6= very good course, would be one of the best courses in any area.  Play if reasonably closeby.
7= excellent and no obvious weaknesses, eventhough it might not offer anything unique.  Play within 100 miles.
8= a course of distinction, worth travelling substantial distances to.
9= a world great, may have one or two weaker holes, but a slew of world great holes too.
10= perfect, don't even miss one hole

--- End quote ---

David Ober:
Wow. If people think that Hillcrest is a 3 or 4 on the Doak scale, then I'm at the wrong place. I have played almost 150 golf courses in my life and Hillcrest was highly enjoyable. In fact, I enjoyed it every bit as much as Pinehurst #2 when I played it.

Now before you go railing on me for that comment, please understand that I played the course in its absolute best shape with the rough up 4 - 6 inches and the greens running at a true 11.5 and beyond pure. At the 2004 SCGA Amateur, only one player broke par for four rounds. I found the course fair, gorgeous, and in near-perfect shape.

I'm sure that many will think that the rough being 4 - 6 inches actually detracts from the course, I can assure you that at a course like Hillcrest, it ADDED to the course due to Hillcrest's short(ish) length.

In short, Hillcrest is anything but an "average" golf course in my mind. A few holes that stand out:

The par 3 second with its uphill tee shot to a kidney-shaped green that slopes gently away on the back half.

The diabolical short 3rd hole that requires a very precise tee shot and then a careful approach to a tough green.

The fantastic uphill par 5 4th that requires two EXCELLENT shots just to put yourself in shape for an uphill wedge shot that is very difficult to club properly.

The wonderful, short (316 yard) par 4 7th, with its tough tee shot and equally tough approach -- especially to a front left pin since there's a bit of a false front there to protect against any wedge shot with too much spin.

The beautiful par 3 16th, one of the toughest short par 3's I've ever played due to the swirling wind and the intimidation factor of a green surrounded by pristine white sand bunkers.

The short dogleg left par 4 17th, with its tricky, elevated tee shot to a fairway guarded by a bunker on the right, followed by a tough uphill wedge shot.

And finally, the beautiful 18th. I would prefer there to be some type of trouble on the tee shot, but the approach is tough enough as it is. The huge building looming in the background makes it difficult to judge the proper distance for the shot, and anything short will roll 30 to 50 yards downhill into a deep hollow that is short of the green.

Like I said, if this course is a 3 or 4 on most scales of members here, then I certainly will rate golf courses differently than most of you. How anyone could rate Hillcrest a 3 (average golf course), or even 4 (above average, but nothing to distinguish itself - emphasis mine) is beyond me. I play average golf courses all the time, and in my mind, Hillcrest is not one of them.

Will I love Rustic Canyon when I play it? I'm absolutely certain that I will. However, that won't take away from the fact that I think Hillcrest is easily a 6 on the Doak scale -- USGA greens and all. ;-)

Gene -

No, the Bobby Jones films were done at Max Behr's Lakeside. It was a course that both Mack and Jones thought was one of the best around at the time.



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