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Mike Vegis @ Kiawah

  • Karma: +0/-0
Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« on: June 05, 2003, 07:29:12 AM »
The spring 2003 issue of Mercedes Momentum magazine (the quarterly Mercedes owner magazine) rated the 9 most challenging courses in the U.S.  Here's their choices:

1. Cypress Point
2. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
3. Pinehurst No. 2
4. Shadow Creek
5. Pine Valley
6. Pacific Dunes
7. South Course at Torrey Pines
8 Whistling Straits
9. Pebble Beach

Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

THuckaby2

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2003, 07:35:27 AM »
My thoughts are they could have just taken the highest course rating / slope combinations and it would be a very short article.

Obviously while none of those courses are ever going to be easy to score on, many don't belong in the top 10 toughest list, even one based on subjective opinions.  I believe we'd all agree that without a doubt Cypress and Pacific Dunes don't belong, and I wouldn't put Shadow Creek in there either.  

If we based this on course rating/slope, I'd guess the only one that stays would be your Ocean course (it's gonna be #1 from those tips!).

TH

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »

redanman

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2003, 07:40:27 AM »
That list is all over the place.  

Most challenging to get on, challenging to the budget?

Greatest braging rights?

Lists and gifts by non-golfers to golfers relating to golf are the worst.  Mercedes?  Probably intended as a primer for the nouveau-riche M-B Owners/golfers to sound knowledgeable at cocktail parties.  Just wait for the Lexus list.

But no doubt TOC at Kiawah is brutally challenging.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike Vegis @ Kiawah

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2003, 07:42:37 AM »
My thoughts exactly -- the most challenging to the budget, that's for sure.  I think they just went for the well-known courses that Mercedes owners could afford... :-/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

THuckaby2

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2003, 07:44:44 AM »
Well, yes and no, gentlemen.  Torrey Pines is more for the Saturn-owner like me... and Kiawah isn't that expensive, is it, Mike?

Oh yes, the others will put a hurt on the pocketbook for those for whom such matters.

But the inclusion of Torrey is what dissuaded me from mentioning this before, though the thought had occurred to me!

TH
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

redanman

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2003, 07:48:32 AM »
But.........  the M-B GPS system will NOT direct them to find them all.  Witness one M-B driving executive gentleman two weeks ago in his shiny new E500 who recently went to Pine Valley and his system told him YOU HAVE ARRIVED!!! at the amusement park. :P

Maybe on the next DVD. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

John_Conley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2003, 07:48:45 AM »
Huh?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike Benham

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2003, 07:50:02 AM »
I suspect that they included Torrey because Buick sponsors the toonamint there.

They might even have had a paragraph explaining to the readers what a Buick is ...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"... and I liked the guy ..."

corey miller

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2003, 07:53:44 AM »
Tom H. agreed with your first post.  Does GD do this in regards to "resistence to scoring"?  and if not is their a specific reason?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2003, 08:09:26 AM »

Quote
Lists and gifts by non-golfers to golfers relating to golf are the worst.

Truer words have never been spoken.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

THuckaby2

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2003, 08:09:44 AM »
Corey:

I'll just say that course rating/slope is typically all I need for resistance to scoring... rarely I have seen a course where I'd disagree with the CR/S ratings... so yeah, for that, I truly believe one need not see the course - the raters from the local association have done your work for you!

I believe GD once did it purely on CR/S, but recently has moved to just having us do it subjectively.  I am such a newbie though, I don't really know for sure.  I just know that I'm a unique cat in that I do both types of ratings, so I know very well what goes into CR/S, so I just trust it myself.  Given the issue is resistance to scoring for the scratch from the back tees, all I need is CR from those tees.  S doesn't matter at all.

I also believe resistance to scoring is a valid category to have, btw.  I wouldn't make it too important, but one out of ten categories seems ok to me.

TH
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:06 PM by -1 »

Matt_Ward

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2003, 09:29:17 AM »
Mike:

Assuming there is no "hidden meaning" from such a listing that's produced by Mercedes (can't be so cynical - right?) the definition of challenging needs to be defined. If they are alluding to the sheer demand / intensity of the golfing experience then it's clear a number of the courses listed (while great in many ways) would have to be dropped.

In terms of straight out intensity where the demands are continously highlighted it would be hard to beat The Ocean Course. I might also add you could include Bethpage Black among such a listing because the demands are as intense as you can get. Ditto the West Course at Winged Foot and I would also add The Lake Course at Olympic Club. Ocean Hammock in Palm Coast FL is another that might be considered as well.

One last thing -- I would just hope that people understand that there are courses that can be mega demanding but have much more to them in terms of depth and qualities than just sheer difficulty. The ones I named, I believe, fit that bill.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

THuckaby2

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2003, 09:34:37 AM »
Well said, Matt.  Intense/Challenging with no other redeeming features can't be very fun for anyone. Thankfully there aren't many courses like this, but they do exist, and it's no surprise they aren't held in very high esteem.  Can we say Koolau?  I haven't played that, but I've never heard anyone say they love it, only that it's brutally tough.

Interesting also, each of the courses you mention does have a damn high CR/Slope or both.  I still believe that if one is to judge challenge, that's a great place to start, if not end.

I have no idea what the Mercedes folks were after.  That's not exactly my normal haunting ground...

TH

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

David Wigler

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2003, 09:40:15 AM »
The list is an outright joke.  CPC and Shadow Creek are both absolute joys to play.  Both are true Members courses though.  Neither would even want to claim that they belong on a list of the most challenging courses in the country.  Heck, part of the premise of Shadow Creek was so that guys could shoot very low rounds, determine that it was their lucky day and then go blow a bundle of cash in the casino.  My guess is that the author never played either course or is not a golfer.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
And I took full blame then, and retain such now.  My utter ignorance in not trumpeting a course I have never seen remains inexcusable.
Tom Huckaby 2/24/04

Mike Vegis @ Kiawah

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2003, 09:59:59 AM »
The intro to the article was:

It's really not about what you wear.  Or even the type of equipment you use, despite what Phil Mickelson claims.  It's all about where you go.  You know--the golf courses where just making par would be worth giving up all your worldly possessions.  (Well, maybe not all.)  Here, our list of links that you should play at least once in a lifetime.  (Oh, we forgot to mention one other thing: It's also about who you know, since some of these courses are for members only and their guests.)

As for challenging, shouldn't PGA West be on a "most challenging" list?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

David Wigler

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Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2003, 10:04:49 AM »
Mike,

It sounds like marketing added a sexy title that had nothing to do with the article.  If the list was the "10 US courses that you should try to play once in your life", as the article suggests, then I have no problem with the list although I personally would substitude about 100 courses for Torrey Pines (Starting with Augusta).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
And I took full blame then, and retain such now.  My utter ignorance in not trumpeting a course I have never seen remains inexcusable.
Tom Huckaby 2/24/04

Matt_Ward

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2003, 10:34:16 AM »
Mike:

Including PGA West / Stadium is not a bad addition as well. The key thing to remember is what David mentioned -- there's no way to know for sure who put this list out and to be quite frank -- the issue of "challenge" is a wonderful term but it means so many things to many different people.

If they meant greatest intensity and design linked together than the courses I listed would most certainly be prime candidates. I just don't want the courses I named to be thought of as only being tough or unrelenting -- they can be no doubt about that but they do feature design elements that take them above and beyond just being difficult.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2003, 11:32:04 AM »
David Wigler,

I would agree on CPC and Shadow Creek, but I wouldn't put them in the pushover catergory.

Shadow Creek has more than its share of waterways, and
CPC does have the wind, land and a little water too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2003, 11:41:42 AM »

Quote
It's really not about what you wear.  Or even the type of equipment you use, despite what Phil Mickelson claims.  It's all about where you go.  You know--the golf courses where just making par would be worth giving up all your worldly possessions.  (Well, maybe not all.)  Here, our list of links that you should play at least once in a lifetime.  (Oh, we forgot to mention one other thing: It's also about who you know, since some of these courses are for members only and their guests.)

That's some of the most sickening prose I've ever seen -- and I've seen plenty of sickening prose, let me tell you!

Reminds me of the pukeworthy "Special Advertising Section" garbage that litters so many modern magazines.

Stick a "Mr. Yuk" sticker on it, won't you? Thank you.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

David Wigler

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2003, 12:27:47 PM »
Pat,

I do not think that CPC and Shadow Creek are pushovers (Actually I do find Shadow to be a fairly easy course to score well on).    On the other hand, if you took the median of the 1,200 courses that GW considers for for their top 100's, I would guess that CPC and Shadow would fall into the bottom half.  In GD's top 100, Shadow ranks 65th in resistance to scoring and CPC about 10 spots higher.  Neither is close to monsters like Medinah, Bethpage, Shinnecock, Oakland Hills or Oakmont (Which were left off the list).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
And I took full blame then, and retain such now.  My utter ignorance in not trumpeting a course I have never seen remains inexcusable.
Tom Huckaby 2/24/04

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2003, 01:31:47 PM »
David, You were writing as I was thinking.  While I don't thinkCPC or Shadow Creek are pushovers they certainly are not in the class of the courses you mentioned, or Quaker Ridge,  WFoot West, or Crystal Downs.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Andy_Lipschultz

Re: Nine Most Challenging Courses in the U.S.
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2003, 04:00:05 PM »
Fellas. This is beyond lame. You're discussing a Mercedes promotion!

Mike, I assume you work in the marketing side of things for the course, hence the posting of the topic. Don't get me wrong, I work in the same area.

Come this November I'll be posting assorted topics about the most accommodating courses for The Cat in The Hat; What Golfer Most Resembles the Cat; Mike Myers Seen Golfing at Rustic Canyon.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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