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John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Given the latest top 100 world list by Golf Magazine I've got to nominate Joe Passov. Wow, the guy knows what he is doing...but I may be biased.


Keeping with the theme: What makes a great critic? By my nomination, it can't have to to with getting the ball in the hole...in the fewest strokes that is.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 12:31:47 AM »
The list is the result of adding up a bunch of other people's ballots.  It has zero to do with whether the guy administrating the list is a good critic or not.


Personally, I generally trust Joe's opinions of courses, though they are not that remarkable ... I can't think of very many courses he has gone out on a limb to recommend.  He did steer me to Audubon Park a couple of years ago when I was looking to find a worthwhile course in Louisiana to write about.


At the same time, I don't think he has done a good job of protecting the integrity of the rankings process.  Maybe that's the fault of the guys above him on the totem pole, but if he really felt strongly about it, he would do something.  There are still a half-dozen courses on the list that got there by spending $$$ to curry favor, which is one of the worst open secrets in golf ... just yesterday, I got a note from a panelist who rationalized "As much as having to do the 'David Smith Trail' frustrated me I would probably never have visited Cascais or Jeju Island if it were not for those shenanigans."   To just accept it and pretend those courses are deserving is pretty weak.


Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 12:49:49 AM »
Oh, and thinking about the correct answer to your question ...


I will go with Dave Hill.  His comments about Hazeltine National in 1970 were hilarious, and dead on, spurring some of us of a certain age to question authority in similar ways  ;)

Mike Nuzzo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 01:06:44 AM »
My opinion of a great critic comes from the movie Ratatouille.


It is the new and different that is always most vulnerable to market research - Malcolm Gladwell


...when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the (deserving) new - Anton Ego
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil, Dr. Childs, & Tiger.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 01:13:05 AM »
Well, since all of gca is (or so I'm told) "subjective", the value/success of a golf architectural critic has nothing to do with whether he's right or wrong about any given course or any list of the such courses; instead, it has everything to do with whether or not he has something interesting to say, and can say it in an engaging/entertaining way.
That's why Wind and Darwin were so good, and remain unmatched; one laboured over every word he wrote, the other seemed to toss of little gems with ease, but in both cases, what they themselves created (essays) were of as much intrinsic worth as what the architects had created (golf courses) -- and often offered more quality and charm.
I can't think of a single gca critic today whose work is of value simply because of that work itself (the writing), and not based on what he/she is writing about (the golf course).
Joe P seems like a decent fellow, but I can't remember him ever writing a fact/opinion/idea that surprised me even a little bit, or that was delightfully off-kilter, or strikingly original. And that seems to apply to every professional critic I've come across.   
Sometimes, on the 'amateur side', JK can come close -- at least for a line or two (before tending to gild the lily)
Peter 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 01:22:26 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Mike Sweeney

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 06:33:22 AM »
Just from personal view, Tom Doak's Confidential Guide was a first of its kind for me. I loved my first read of it way back when. I am glad he gave Dave Hill some credit above.


Tom was one of the few who turned his writing into commercial success (yes, I know some of his courses are NLE) as an architect. That does not happen often or by accident. He is/was a marketing pioneer for the business of golf course architecture. He won't like that statement and will try to deflect, but he really was a "Thought Leader" before there was such a thing.


I would argue that Ran's silence on the courses that he plays and does not speak about is also a unique "critique style" that supports his wonderful reviews.


Yes, I am a GCA homer as "we have to stick together". :)
"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If weve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. Were no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us."

Dr. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 08:00:27 AM »
Matt Ginella!? ;D

David Davis

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 08:39:08 AM »
Just from personal view, Tom Doak's Confidential Guide was a first of its kind for me. I loved my first read of it way back when. I am glad he gave Dave Hill some credit above.


Tom was one of the few who turned his writing into commercial success (yes, I know some of his courses are NLE) as an architect. That does not happen often or by accident. He is/was a marketing pioneer for the business of golf course architecture. He won't like that statement and will try to deflect, but he really was a "Thought Leader" before there was such a thing.


I would argue that Ran's silence on the courses that he plays and does not speak about is also a unique "critique style" that supports his wonderful reviews.


Yes, I am a GCA homer as "we have to stick together". :)


I would agree this would have to be:


1. Tom
2. Masa
3. Ran
4. Darius


Clearing given the new confidential guides I might not be the only one to think so. Just a guess. Funny enough they seem to have hugely differing opinions on many things.
Sharing the greatest experiences in golf.

IG: @top100golftraveler
www.lockharttravelclub.com

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 09:04:36 AM »



I would agree this would have to be:


1. Tom
2. Masa
3. Ran
4. Darius


Funny enough they seem to have hugely differing opinions on many things.


And therein lies the appeal of the new edition.





John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 09:08:29 AM »
Joe, Brad and Ron all own the the lists that appear in their respective magazines. The simple task of hiring and dismissing raters molds the final product. A few years ago Brad Klein even went so far to disqualify a Doak because of poor conditioning. I'm not so naive to think every magazine seeking a profit and credibility doesn't makes similar adjustments.


That being said, the work Brad Klein has done at GolfWeek stands on its own...clearly establishing him as one of the greatest of all time.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 09:43:07 AM »
I have to admit I thought of Brad and not Ron when you asked the question.  Ron has been neutered by having to defend so many Top 100 and Best New votes whether he agrees with them or not, to the point where you can't tell if he feels strongly about a course or not.  He has scrupulously avoided putting his thumb on Golf Digest's scale, to a fault.


Brad is a much more activist leader, I think.


Joe doesn't own the list, he inherited it.  He owns Nine Bridges and Ayodhya Links, for whatever that's worth.

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 09:47:00 AM »
Perhaps this is the best place to ask:  Did Shulzie give himself that nickname because T-Bone was taken?

Bogey
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 09:48:31 AM »
Tom,


While you occupy such a large portion of the Golf Magazine list I have to question your motives for punching down at courses you don't believe belong. Or even how they got there.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 10:14:01 AM »
Tom,


While you occupy such a large portion of the Golf Magazine list I have to question your motives for punching down at courses you don't believe belong. Or even how they got there.


John:


I've got opinions about the great courses of the world, just like everyone else on this board.  "Punching down" has zero to do with it, it's the "how they got there" part I've been talking about.  The other threads about the new ranking have quotes from three or four panelists like this one:


All that said, IMHO, the GM List is the "best" of the main magazine lists. Most would agree on 80% of the courses (albeit debate the order). The other 20% are interesting to discuss. Its the 5 or 6 outliers (code for stinkers) that I just roll my eyes at nowadays.



How someone can say that a list has lots of credibility while at the same time openly talking about how certain courses on the list are there because of "business factors" is beyond me.  For me, it's impossible to take any satisfaction out of the results since they are so clearly tainted.  I don't particularly care about Ayodhya or Nine Bridges or that course in Portugal ... maybe there are some panelists who truly like them.  I've avoided going to see any of them because I fear my opinion would be seen as biased, so it's better not to have one.  The courses themselves are just symptoms of the disease.

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 10:22:23 AM »
I will not be party to a rater bashing exercise.

Steve Lapper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2017, 10:34:16 AM »
Tom,


   If you are alluding to my statement that "the business tar that taints our list is apparent," you should go on to note my last sentence quotes "this list does a far better job than any other periodical of representing what is truly important in golf architecture...fun and excellence."


  Tons of credibility.....maybe?, maybe not?.....far from perfect for sure., and far from me to decide. I do agree with you that certain influences should be removed and stringently-codified to prevent reoccurrence, but that hardly renders the remaining 95-97 spots invalid.


 Is The Confidential Guide also pure and void of any past business interests?...maybe?, maybe not?. It may well be argued that one or two of your own collaborators and their votes may not have been as virtuous and pure as you'd like to believe. I think the mere arbitrary nature of asking humans to assign a qualitative value to any subjective opinion is inherently flawed.


  Ultimately, it is the collective comparison of all of the different rating vehicles and systems that yield the most interesting results.


 
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."--John Kenneth Galbraith

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2017, 10:51:52 AM »
I will not be party to a rater bashing exercise.


 ;D ;D


Eric Smith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2017, 11:12:41 AM »

"Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time?"

Dante!

Peter Pallotta

Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2017, 11:57:48 AM »
They should put out a Top 100 list with only 50 courses on it.
If a course is deemed part of the tiniest fraction of the world's 50,000+ courses, it must be a truly great golf course.
Maybe there aren't actually 100 truly great courses in the world.
Peter

Btw, Ran, Tom, Masa and Darius have "hugely differing" opinions on many things? Really? If so, hugely and different must not mean what I think they mean...

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2017, 12:51:54 PM »
In terms of immediate impact on a classic course, Lon Hinkle deserves a mention.


Ira

David Davis

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2017, 02:12:04 PM »

Btw, Ran, Tom, Masa and Darius have "hugely differing" opinions on many things? Really? If so, hugely and different must not mean what I think they mean...


Peter,


I didn't actually say golf courses did I?


 ;D
Sharing the greatest experiences in golf.

IG: @top100golftraveler
www.lockharttravelclub.com

Bill Shamleffer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2017, 11:07:17 AM »
Charles Price


Go back to Golfer-at-Large, and read his essays that involve golf courses and golf architecture.


I wish someone would gather his columns from Golf Magazine and Golf Digest and put together a collection.
Could something like this be done as an e-book?
It probably is a no-go due to the lack of ROI, but it would be the best golf book of the decade.

The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.  Damon Runyon

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2017, 12:23:17 PM »
I will not be party to a rater bashing exercise.


Now that is funny, well played.


-----


All I know is it seems like Geoff is on Golf Channel all the time...
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

cary lichtenstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2017, 07:18:37 PM »
Every honest unedited opinion is important
Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Who is the most successful golf architectural critic of all time...
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2017, 02:11:11 AM »
...
That being said, the work Brad Klein has done at GolfWeek stands on its own...clearly establishing him as one of the greatest of all time.
::)
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

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