I had the pleasure of playing Piping Rock for the first time two weeks ago. I went in with fairly high expectations and they were exceeded. Great routing, great piece of property, great place.
Favorite holes were 3(!), 8(!), 9(!)...and the entire back 9(!!).
8- A great adaptation of the Road hole! Not sure I've played a Road hole green with that much elevation change from the back to the front of the putting green.
9- Perhaps the largest biarritz green I have ever seen (and they only mow the back portion as putting green!)
The back 9 was spectacular. Hard to pick out favorite holes on the back side because they were all so well-presented. A wonderful natural Eden (11th), a funky alps/punchbowl (12th), a terrifying Knoll hole (13th), and then the great holes built over the severe land that comprised 15 and 16. Close it out with a wonderful Short (17th), followed by a great par 5 home hole with the stately clubhouse located majestically behind the 18th green.
As a set of one shot holes (redan, biarritz, eden and short) I would put this set up against any of the Mc/Raynors I have seen.
Hard to understand why C.B. MacDonald would be mad at not having the polo field (practice field) land to use in his routing...not sure which hole he would have given up had he been able to build holes on the polo area.
Our group had a spectacular day at Piping Rock! I will eagerly await a return visit!