Tom, great list. Thanks for posting it. In the past you have been reluctant to "rate" your own courses. In these two lists, you do. Is that a change of heart, or just that your opinions on them are well known? Also, are all the top 25 Doak 10s? Thanks.
I turned 50 today, and the gloves are off. [Just kidding ... or at least I know some people who hope I'm kidding.]
I didn't put numbers on those courses, but if you want to read between the lines, you would notice that the twelve courses I rated as 10's in The Confidential Guide are all in the top 14 on my list of top courses, and that all the courses after that which I have rated publicly were 9's, except North Berwick which was an 8. You may draw your own conclusions from that.
I've always been hesitant to rate my own courses in the top 10 or top 50 or whatever, because I remember seeing the ballots of other architects in the GOLF Magazine poll years ago, and thinking how silly it looked for them to rate two of their own courses in the top ten [or 40 in the top 100
]. I know we are all biased to like our own work, and that most other people wouldn't agree with us. But you know that, too, and this is among friends ... and all four of my own courses that I rated so highly have a fair amount of support from others who have seen them.
As for the favorites list, that one's more personal, and there is nothing really to defend. I don't think Stone Eagle is one of the greatest courses in the world; but, like Pennard or St. Enodoc, it's a spectacular place to go play golf, and I'd happily take anybody I know to play it.