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Brian Cenci

Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« on: January 25, 2008, 05:51:45 PM »
With the new 2008 update on the Courses by Country of Holston Hills up, it brings to mind a recent thought I had after playing the course again earlier this year....is Holston Hills Ross' best course?  The Ross courses I've played isn't extensive but I've played: Pinehurst No. 2, Oakland Hills, Inverness, Pine Needles, Franklin Hills, Mid Pines, Muskegon, Southern Pines, Pinehurst No. 4 to name a few.  In my opinion Holston tops them all.  What do others think?

-Brian

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 06:25:07 PM »
Brian:

Glad to hear Holston Hills is looking good.  The club has been all over the map in the past year about where to go from here, which is baffling to me; they don't really need to do anything to that place right now.

Even so, ranking it ahead of Pinehurst No. 2 and Oakland Hills is pretty tough to see.

David Neveux

Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 06:53:26 PM »
Happy to see Brian still has golf on his mind despite the fact that he is posting from Florence, Italy!!  I would know because I'm typing this post from the internet connection in his room ( the wirless is out again).  I too would agree that Holston as well as Franklin Hills are two courses that could stand up to any of the courses he mentioned.  It seems like a very fine line in coming to a desicion as to which is the best.  Is it merely personal preference?  Overall experience?  (i.e. having a caddy at Pinehurst No. 2 made you feel like you were playing the course in a major tournament)  I will turn now to the expert?

Tom,

What exactly makes Oakland Hills and Pinehurst No. 2 better than Holston Hills?  Does it have to do with nature of the men and women producing the ratings on the top-100 lists?  Or are there certain subtleties which archeticturally seperate those courses?  
Which Ross course is your personal favorite, if you have one?

What do you mean when you say "the club has been all over the map about where to go from here?"

The course looked great, and played great when we were there.  I wish someone could tell me how to play the second hole there!!  Cheers,

David Neveux

michael_j_fay

Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 07:12:02 PM »
Brian:

Holston Hills is way up there on the Ross list. Certainly it deserves a good deal of acclaim.

I have played all of those you have listed and around 230 others. It is impossible for me to say which one is best and tough for anyone to say until they see Seminole, Linville, Sedgefield, Charlotte, Plainfield, Gulph Mills, Aronimink, Wannamoisett, Misquamicut, Salem, Essex County, Longmeadow, The Orchards, Youngstown, Acacia, The Broadmoor in Indy, Beverly, Minikahda, White Bear Yacht Club, etc. The truth is I am not certain I have named the best.

My favorite Ross course is the one I am playing today, but might be replaced by the one I am playing tommorrow (theoretically).

I see I have left out the Ross courses in Rochester, NY and one of my personal favorites Teugega in Rome NY.

If I was told I could only play Holston Hills the rest of my life, I would not be all that unhappy.

Pete Garvey

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2008, 12:13:33 PM »
Brian:

In my opinion, Seminole ranks very high.  With that said, I agree with Mr. Fay and think the best Ross course is the one I'm currently playing.  The one I play the most, Idle Hour, is pretty special too!

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 04:48:28 PM »
Curious about the bunker renovation/restoration based upon the photographs in the new review.  Frumpiness has been HH's salvation over the last several decades and I'm not sure I like seeing the ol gal all dolled up.  

My fondness for HH goes well beyond the marvelous golf course as I misspent several hours of my youth at sorrority and fraternity proms in the ballroom drinking Busch and shagging (Myrtle Beach - not U.K. context) to Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, The Tams and Doug Clark And The Hot Nuts.  

Perhaps a revisit is in order.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 04:50:27 PM by Michael_Hendren »
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

J_ Crisham

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 07:58:13 PM »
Does anyone know if there are any other high quality courses in the HH area that would justify a trip from Chicago?

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 09:31:55 PM »
The profile of Holston Hills is wonderful, especially Ryan Blair's comment at the end of the profile:
"The club is now moving in the direction of just becoming a golf club, while at  the same time working to better preserve the course.  Many trees still need to be removed. For the short term my staff will be working  on making the course play more like a traditional classic course should, Hard and Fast.  Turn off the irrigation, stop putting out the fertilizers, mow out some chipping areas, and return the fairways to their traditional shape. I am ready to return this course to its classic links tradition."

 I will be heading down there from Louisville in a few weeks, weather permitting.  This time of the year firm & fast isn't likely, but if the course is half as good as it sounds, I'll be happy.

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 09:43:08 PM »
Brian:

In my opinion, Seminole ranks very high.  With that said, I agree with Mr. Fay and think the best Ross course is the one I'm currently playing.  The one I play the most, Idle Hour, is pretty special too!

Did Idle Hour have some restoration work done over the last few years?  What was the scope of it?

Gerry B

Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 03:56:19 AM »
have not played HH but hard to imagine that it is better than one of my faves -Seminole

JWinick

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 08:01:32 AM »
My partner and I own a dozen or so student properties in Knoxville, so I get down to the Knoxville area quite frequently.   Holston Hills is not considered at all to be "the club" in town.  In fact, I'm not sure it's even in the top tier.   For real golfers, it is the best.  But, it it is in the wrong side of Knoxville (east side).   One of my bankers told me they are actively looking for members, but it was 45-minutes away from where he lives on the west side.  

As for other courses, there is another Ross course Cherokee Hills in town.  I am planning a work/golf trip in May so I will report back on the golf courses down there.

michael_j_fay

Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2008, 09:23:01 AM »
Cherokee is a lovely little golf course recently restored by Ron Prichard. I have not seen the work as yet. The property is tiny so addition of length must have been difficult. It has a number of very good holes.

Idle Hour is wonderful. Prichard redid the course two or three years ago and really brought back the Ross tone and feel.

Idle Hour is interesting from the point of view that the paintings on the walls of the clubhouse are not of golf or golfers rather of thouroughbred horses.

Brian Cenci

Re:Holston Hills...Ross' best?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008, 05:34:57 PM »
Brian:

Glad to hear Holston Hills is looking good.  The club has been all over the map in the past year about where to go from here, which is baffling to me; they don't really need to do anything to that place right now.

Even so, ranking it ahead of Pinehurst No. 2 and Oakland Hills is pretty tough to see.


Tom,
     I recently posted a topic regarding Oakland Hills and I think from that post and other discussions regarding Oakland Hills you would be in the minority in thinking it is one of Ross' best work.  I still don't understand why it is consistently ranked so high on everyone's list.

-Brian

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