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Mike_Trenham

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Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2017, 11:24:15 PM »
Curious of the Great 18's put forward here, would you say they generally play uphill or downhill overall?


Off the top of my head, I think more of our Moderns play uphill.


Why do you ask?t


I think there is a natural bias towards downhill holes and they are more photogenic too. I have a bias to uphill holes maybe because there are rarely water hazards near the green.

Proud member of a Doak 3.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2017, 11:02:16 AM »
While I really liked Greywalls [see The Confidential Guide], there's no way on earth I would have thought to nominate #6 as one of its best holes.  It's dramatic, but forbidding and hit-or-miss; and when you miss, the variety on offer for recovery shots is heavily curtailed by the rocky terrain and the woods.  It's a very good solution for getting from A to B over difficult ground, as is the par-4 before it, but that's a lot different than picking it as one of the best par-3's in America.


If your cut-off is really 1960, then the 6th at Crooked Stick and the 6th at The Golf Club, two of Mr. Dye's best holes, are clear omissions.  Also, the best hole at Harvester in Iowa is the par-5 6th.

JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #52 on: January 07, 2017, 11:36:54 AM »
Maybe you didn't want to go back-to-back par 5's but the 2nd hole at Ballyhack is one of the best holes I've seen (modern/classic).  A fantastic risk/reward par 5 that plays differently depending on wind, tee shot placement and pin position and has played differently for me each time I've played it.  A truly spectacular hole.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2017, 12:10:21 PM »
Ahh shucks Tom.  That hole ain't rocky....here is rocky!!  ;D





BCowan

Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2017, 12:18:22 PM »
While I really liked Greywalls [see The Confidential Guide], there's no way on earth I would have thought to nominate #6 as one of its best holes.  It's dramatic, but forbidding and hit-or-miss; and when you miss, the variety on offer for recovery shots is heavily curtailed by the rocky terrain and the woods.  It's a very good solution for getting from A to B over difficult ground, as is the par-4 before it, but that's a lot different than picking it as one of the best par-3's in America.


If your cut-off is really 1960, then the 6th at Crooked Stick and the 6th at The Golf Club, two of Mr. Dye's best holes, are clear omissions.  Also, the best hole at Harvester in Iowa is the par-5 6th.

Tom,

   Where is all the miss on Crooked #6? I've played it twice.  Especially for the weaker golfer?


I'll take my chances at Greywalls, rather hit off rocks then in the bottom of a pond.  Plus I think i can score better at GW with a putter then CS with a putter. Haven't played GW, but it looks slightly easier from a weaker golfers perspective

Jon Cavalier

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2017, 01:05:00 PM »
While I really liked Greywalls [see The Confidential Guide], there's no way on earth I would have thought to nominate #6 as one of its best holes.  It's dramatic, but forbidding and hit-or-miss; and when you miss, the variety on offer for recovery shots is heavily curtailed by the rocky terrain and the woods.  It's a very good solution for getting from A to B over difficult ground, as is the par-4 before it, but that's a lot different than picking it as one of the best par-3's in America.


If your cut-off is really 1960, then the 6th at Crooked Stick and the 6th at The Golf Club, two of Mr. Dye's best holes, are clear omissions.  Also, the best hole at Harvester in Iowa is the par-5 6th.


I haven't played any of those courses. Not sure about Jason or Peter.
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Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #56 on: January 07, 2017, 02:09:32 PM »
Ben:


The hole at Greywalls is maybe 20 feet uphill, if memory serves me correctly.  Maybe not if you climb all the way up to the back tee [but then you'll be out of breath].  I'll stand by my opinion of which is harder, and I've actually played both  ;)

Jason Way

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Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2017, 03:15:27 PM »
I have not played those courses you mention either, Tom.  Peter has played Crooked Stick (I think), but I don't think that the Dye aesthetic is his cup of tea.  We'll see if he chimes in on the matter.  Anyway, thanks for throwing those holes into the mix.  Same to you on the Ballyhack #2 nomination JC.  That is one I very much want to see, and I know that it is a course that Jon loves. 

With regard to the 6th at Greywalls, I can't speak to it specifically, as I have not played it.  But I can say that I do like a dose of adventure golf.  Not 18 holes of it, but a dose.  If you recall an old thread that I started on Sand Hollow and Wolf Creek, I said that I enjoyed the Wolf Creek experience, but I loved Sand Hollow.  If splitting 10 rounds, it would be 10-0 in favor of Sand Hollow for me.  One of the primary reasons for that is that Sand Hollow gives a few doses of adventure golf, while most of the course is strategic.  Without the majority of the course being high quality strategic, the adventure would be overload for me.  Without the dose of adventure, it wouldn't be among my favorites. 

That is the essential reasoning behind my going with Jon's pick with this hole.  I like being asked to hit a do-or-die shot once or twice during a round, and I find that ask to be relatively reasonable from 155 yards (which is the yardage from the middle tee on this hole).  I especially like being asked to hit that shot in a setting where the "die" result includes the possibility of my ball doing something more interesting than splashing in a man-made pond.  Do I want that demand made of me 18 times in a row?  No.  The choice of this hole however, satisfies my desire for that pulse-quickening wow.

Thanks all, for continuing to share your perspectives.  You are adding courses to my to-do list and turning my gears, which is the whole point.
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

BCowan

Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2017, 03:32:01 PM »
There are 2 holes at The Honors course that I like a lot.  The par 5 2nd hole is fantastic IMO.  Pete often replicates this too often in his designs.  He gives you a rope to hang yourself.  He does a great job of rewarding the conservative play at the 2nd hole, while punishing one for missing on what they think is the side to miss.  That is the golfer going for this short par 5 in 2. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 07:06:02 PM by Ben Cowan (Michigan) »

Jason Way

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2017, 07:03:35 PM »
The 7th on our Modern Great 18 is Old Macdonald #7, a par-4. 

Everything about this hole is cool.  From the story of its collaborative creation, to its rippled fairway, to its awkward angles, to the thrilling ascent to its wonderful green site.  This might be my favorite hole on the entire Bandon property.

This hole is also great in that it falls into the first-time-easiest-time category.  Certain shots on certain holes get easier to execute with familiarity.  They are like puzzles to be unlocked.  Other holes, like this one, have shots that I think get harder when the player is fully aware of all of the ways that they can go wrong.  The 2nd hole at Kingsley is like this.  As Ben mentioned in a pervious post, that tee shot is in your head on the first tee.  I have only played OM #7 once.  I had no idea what was on top of that hill.  The caddie pointed, gave me a yardage, and I hit the ball.  When I got up to the green and found my ball on it, I felt a wave of good fortune wash over me as the realization hit that my approach could have bounced or rolled into numerous nasty spots.  Now I know.  When I go back, the information will be noisy in my head as I attempt that approach, making it a much greater challenge.  To me, that is the great fun that some great holes deliver play after play.











Our runners-up Sand Valley, Ballyneal, Desert Forest, Dunes Club, Streamsong Red, Harbor Shores, Old Sandwich, Streamsong Blue, Bandon Dunes
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Jon Cavalier

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Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #60 on: January 07, 2017, 11:22:40 PM »
With regard to the 6th at Greywalls, I can't speak to it specifically, as I have not played it.  But I can say that I do like a dose of adventure golf.  Not 18 holes of it, but a dose.  If you recall an old thread that I started on Sand Hollow and Wolf Creek, I said that I enjoyed the Wolf Creek experience, but I loved Sand Hollow.  If splitting 10 rounds, it would be 10-0 in favor of Sand Hollow for me.  One of the primary reasons for that is that Sand Hollow gives a few doses of adventure golf, while most of the course is strategic.  Without the majority of the course being high quality strategic, the adventure would be overload for me.  Without the dose of adventure, it wouldn't be among my favorites. 

That is the essential reasoning behind my going with Jon's pick with this hole.  I like being asked to hit a do-or-die shot once or twice during a round, and I find that ask to be relatively reasonable from 155 yards (which is the yardage from the middle tee on this hole).  I especially like being asked to hit that shot in a setting where the "die" result includes the possibility of my ball doing something more interesting than splashing in a man-made pond.  Do I want that demand made of me 18 times in a row?  No.  The choice of this hole however, satisfies my desire for that pulse-quickening wow.

Thanks all, for continuing to share your perspectives.  You are adding courses to my to-do list and turning my gears, which is the whole point.


That is exactly why I think the 6th at Greywalls is great, and why I believe the course is much more akin to Sand Hollow (which I also love) and not Wolf Creek (which I enjoyed seeing but wouldn't rush back to) - it's a do or die hole, but the course isn't filled with them, making this hole all the more reasonable and exceptional (in my humble opinion). It's also quite beautiful and memorable, of course.
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Paul Rudovsky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2017, 12:51:58 AM »
OK you kids...two guys from Ft Worth TX by the names of Ben Hogan and Dan Jenkins did a "coffee table" book in the mid 1960's which was summarized in Sports Illustrated in 1965 based on the same question (obviously no modern/classic split).  The result was as follows:


1  Merion                       360yds
2  Scioto                        436
3  Olympic-Lake             220
4  Baltusrol-Lower          183
5  Colonial (TX)              459
6  Seminole                   388
7  Pine Valley                 570
8  Prairie Dunes             424
9  Champions-Jackrabbit 538
10 Winged Foot-West      191
11 Merion                      378
12 Augusta National       155
13 The Dunes (SC)         560
14 Cherry Hills (CO)       460
15 Oakmont                  458
16 Oakland Hills            405
17 Quail Creek (OK)       459
18 Pebble Beach            530


Out 3578 (par 36); In 3596 (par 36); Total 7174 (par 72)


Pretty strong with balata and persimmon.  I am certainly not saying this would be my best 18, but to my knowledge it was the first.  And given it was by Hogan, we might excuse him for violating the "no more than one hole per course" rule invented almost 52 years later.  ;)


The SI editions are Feb 15 and 22, 1965 and the write ups from SI can be found by searching the SI archive vault on the web.


BTW, the first time I played one of these 18 was in 1969 (PB--18),  I got to 17 of 18 with Scioto #2, and completed these 18 with Quail Creek's 17th hole on November 6, 2016.   :) :)

13

Jim Nugent

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2017, 08:56:23 AM »

BTW, the first time I played one of these 18 was in 1969 (PB--18),  I got to 17 of 18 with Scioto #2, and completed these 18 with Quail Creek's 17th hole on November 6, 2016.   :) :)


What did you shoot for the 18, and  how did that compare with your handicap? 

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2017, 11:02:30 AM »

BTW, the first time I played one of these 18 was in 1969 (PB--18),  I got to 17 of 18 with Scioto #2, and completed these 18 with Quail Creek's 17th hole on November 6, 2016.   :) :)



Paul:


I hope you realized when you got to Quail Creek that they have reversed the nines!


I was pretty underwhelmed with that hole, and tried to find out a bit of backstory about how it got selected.  And one version I heard was that the hole Jenkins liked was the present 17th, but when he was ready to go to press they had reversed the nines, and he was kind of stuck with today's 8th because he had to use a 17th hole.


Of those 18 holes on Jenkins' list, there are only eleven that I would even put as potential candidates today.  The stretch from 2-5 is particularly uninspiring.

BCowan

Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2017, 11:06:34 AM »
Tom,

  I think the 2nd at Scioto is strong, maybe not top 18.  One of my favorite driving holes.  The 16th at Oakland is one of the weakest holes IMO.  The 6th, 9th, or especially the 11th would have been the more logical selection. 

Paul Rudovsky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2017, 02:14:31 PM »

BTW, the first time I played one of these 18 was in 1969 (PB--18),  I got to 17 of 18 with Scioto #2, and completed these 18 with Quail Creek's 17th hole on November 6, 2016.   :) :)


What did you shoot for the 18, and  how did that compare with your handicap?


Jim--Have absolutely no idea what I had the first time I played each of the holes (most of the 17 courses I have played more than once...have played Colonial, Scioto, Prairie Dunes, Champions and Quail Ck 1x...most want to play Prairie Dunes again).  And of course between 1969 and 2016 my handicap has varied.  I do remember very clearly the first time i played #13 at The Dunes it was April 1979...it had never been hit in 2 before.  The trick was you has to hit a 3 wood off the tee and lay it up along the lake.  If you hit a long drive (over say 235), the angle of the lakeshore meant you were further from the green than hitting a 3 wood 235.  Put my second in right green side bunker, close but no cigar...did get a par there. 


Paul




« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 02:18:04 PM by Paul Rudovsky »

Paul Rudovsky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2017, 02:34:27 PM »

BTW, the first time I played one of these 18 was in 1969 (PB--18),  I got to 17 of 18 with Scioto #2, and completed these 18 with Quail Creek's 17th hole on November 6, 2016.   :) :)



Paul:


I hope you realized when you got to Quail Creek that they have reversed the nines!


I was pretty underwhelmed with that hole, and tried to find out a bit of backstory about how it got selected.  And one version I heard was that the hole Jenkins liked was the present 17th, but when he was ready to go to press they had reversed the nines, and he was kind of stuck with today's 8th because he had to use a 17th hole.


Of those 18 holes on Jenkins' list, there are only eleven that I would even put as potential candidates today.  The stretch from 2-5 is particularly uninspiring.


Tom--  Very much agree with your overall assessment.  Would point out that first efforts at anything are a tough slog.  And with no internet, much less media (not all bad) doing a top 18 was not an easy task back then.


Regarding Quail (and agree, this hole did not strike me as an inspired choice) was not aware of the switch of the nines, but there is no question today's 17th was the hole in the book/article.  #17 today is a 454 par 4 with a creek across the fairway about 70-90 yards from the green.  #8 today is a 510 yard par 5 with a creek in the right and left rough (may have crossed the fairway in 1965) that is easily 245-255 from the green.  The Jenkins hole was 459 yards with a creek about 80 yards from the green.  The links below are to the SI write up of the back nine (2/22/65 issue) and the course tour from the QC website.  In any case, I played all 18 last October so have finished Jenkins' 18 (for whatever that is worth  :) )


Paul


http://www.si.com/vault/issue/42851/46/2


     http://www.quailcreekgcc.com/Default.aspx?p=dynamicmodule&pageid=395258&ssid=317693&vnf=1
 

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2017, 02:47:15 PM »

Regarding Quail (and agree, this hole did not strike me as an inspired choice) was not aware of the switch of the nines, but there is no question today's 17th was the hole in the book/article.  #17 today is a 454 par 4 with a creek across the fairway about 70-90 yards from the green.  #8 today is a 510 yard par 5 with a creek in the right and left rough (may have crossed the fairway in 1965) that is easily 245-255 from the green.



Paul:


Sorry, I screwed up in how I told that.  I know the hole they used ... there was a board game based on the Great 18 I had when I was maybe 13 or 14.  [My brother and I started designing more interesting holes for it.]  But what I was told was that Jenkins had really liked the other hole, and had to switch to the 17th at the last minute because they reversed the nines.  [Though it does not seem likely that his course would have ended with back to back par-5's.]

Jason Way

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2017, 06:42:20 PM »
The 8th on our Modern Great 18 is Ballyneal #8, a par-5. 

A rumpled fairway that winds past a fairway bunker complex right and another short of the green left runs right into a green that I would put on the wild end of the spectrum that I have seen from Mr. Doak's crew.  The length of the hole goads the player into going for the green in two.  Nasty bunkers, uneven lies, and the green itself amount to the rope with which one can hang oneself.

I arrived at Ballyneal in the evening and went out to play the whiskey loop.  The green back view that I captured in the photo below was my first look at this beautiful hole.  Looking at the photo now, having played the whole course, it strikes me as a visual microcosm of Ballyneal.  This wonderful course is my favorite of the Renaissance portfolio to date.







Our runners-up Bandon Trails, Sand Hills, CommonGround, The Rawls Course, French Creek, Sweetens Cove
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 06:45:01 PM by Jason Way »
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2017, 06:47:33 PM »
While I know this all subjective...


I woulda included #7 at Ballyneal and went with a different #8.  BN 7 is such a unique hole...

Jason Way

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2017, 06:53:36 PM »
While I know this all subjective...

I woulda included #7 at Ballyneal and went with a different #8.  BN 7 is such a unique hole...


Good call.  That was definitely considered. 
"Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject." - David Forgan

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2017, 08:59:18 PM »
That 8th green IS one of the most severe we've ever built.  We tried perhaps too hard to include the upper right hole location, because it looks so awesome up there from the tee and the approach shot -- it fits right under the peak of the big dune in the background.  When it's on the rest of the green, the flag tends to get lost in the back bunker and the dune grasses.


It is really too severe if you hit your approach shot back right and then have to putt down to the rest of the green ... although, you would be pretty stupid to hit it up there under those circumstances, or else you were being way too cute trying to use the slope in the green to funnel back to the hole, and missed long.


I would've gone with Ballyneal #12 myself; I think that's what we did in The Confidential Guide.  But the fairway on #8 is truly stunning and 98% natural, and I love how it narrows down like an hourglass right where the long hitter wants to go ...  unless he is an animal like their former pro, who could carry the cross bunkers from the tee if the hole was not into the wind!

Josh Tarble

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2017, 09:51:55 AM »
While I can't fault any of the stretch for 3-8, I'll offer up a few suggestions that I would have included for each of them:

3rd Hole:
Kiawah Ocean Course.  Maybe my favorite hole on the course, I really like it because while it's a short 4, it's not necessarily drivable short

4th Hole:
Streamsong Blue.  A lot to pick from for SS Blue in my opinion, but this is one of the more unique holes out there
World Woods Pine Barren.  The best hole on the course and one that gets mentioned in any conversation of Fazio's best

5th Hole:
Cuscowilla.  Another short 4, this time drivable. Definitely dictated by the pin position too, even though the green is tiny!

6th Hole:
Whistling Straits.  My favorite hole on the course and the green is really fun/difficult with the cavernous bunker

7th Hole:
Crooked Stick. This hole gets overlooked a bit, but I love the blind green (the line is much farther left than it appears, but right is a shorter shot) and then green is awesome
Desert Forest.  I love this alternate fairway par 5.  Really interesting options here.
Streamsong Red.  Absolutely one of the best par 5s I've played.  I love the inverted bunker and how it influences play.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 04:24:46 PM by Josh Tarble »

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2017, 01:44:13 PM »
8th Hole:
Streamsong Red.  Absolutely one of the best par 5s I've played.  I love the inverted bunker and how it influences play.


That's the 7th.  The 8th is the little par-3.

John Kirk

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: America's Great 18s
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2017, 03:37:56 PM »
Taking the uncoveted 74th reply position...

Regarding the 8th hole at Ballyneal, when I see that the pin is located back right, I recommend laying up to a comfortable wedge distance.  When the back bowl is working properly (meaning when the grasses are dry, tight and cooperative), it's easy to land somewhere in the bowl or on the backstops, and leave yourself a short birdie putt.  So the odd pin position does have strategic consequences.

It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see a woman's head and breasts "buried" under the green.  The hole location between the three mounds is used less often these days, but it is a doozy, so difficult in fact that I sometimes try to play for the front left of the green from under 100 yards.

I just showed my wife a picture of the green, and asked her if this looks like a head and two breasts.  She replied with a smirk.  "No."

A little color commentary from a longtime club member.

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