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Mark Mammel

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2022, 03:03:49 PM »
AS TW muses, quintessence has many applications... so I have a different approach...

tri-Final Jeopardy Answer

1. Pine Valley - though it lacks a rich tournament hosting history, and we have to consider non American inputs, it's a big private, established, audacious, monumental site with hazards and singularity.  There's no course like it and sprouts from the richest early corridor of course design.

2. Augusta National - if its critics re: Mackenzie's bastardization are correct, then it consciously stewarded the template for American parkland design.  If those critics are wrong, then Mac was visionary enough to have seen what it would become.

3. Sawgrass - is anything more wholly representative of an original, influential, bright line American design than this?
Much as I enjoy the posts from quintessential GCAer V. Klemz, I can't see either Pine Valley or Augusta National as quintesential American courses. First, while "private" is historically accurate, I believe a more inclusive experience fits better. For PV and Augusta, unless "quintessential" also means "completely unavailable to virtually everyone and knowable only via photos and writings of the fortunate", they violate what I see as the American ethos here. For Augusta, it epitomizes an unobtainable (and I would say undesirable) and elusive perfection that exists only via massive and regular cash transfusions. As for Sawgrass, I think there is a better alternative- Pebble Beach. It has historic, architectural and championship chops, not to mention incredible beauty. The uniqueness of the coast shouldn't rule it out, just as the Grand Canyon is also quintessentially American in spite of, or perhaps because of it unique beauty and grandeur.

So much golf to play, so little time....


Drew Harvie

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2022, 04:11:13 PM »
Pebble is obviously the quintessential US golf course.

Mike Hendren

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2022, 10:18:08 AM »
In my mind the quintessential course must take into account the average handicap of men (14) and women (27.7) golfers as well as those poorer players who likely don’t maintain a handicap.
Perhaps one should also be able  to age in place. Plenty of senior women at Mid Pines.

Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2022, 07:12:53 PM »
Quintessence: the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.

We've seen since 2014 that the USA is neither a quality nor a class, and that's just speaking politically. Is there a quintessential Scottish course? Irish course? I think that citizens of those places would debate as we do. Onward~

Given that we have our aristocrats and our alley cats, I see no other way to determine this outcome, than by admitting that we are all about classes.

Some would say that Pebble Beach and Pasatiempo are public-access; others would add Pinehurst #2 and Kiawah Island. By the presence of cash registers and iPads, they are indeed public access, but are they accessible to a public that cannot afford them?

VKmetz (does the V stand for Volcanic?) is spot on with his assertion that a great bit of USA golf is private, off limits to the hoi and the paloi. And yet, through spectating, we can access a lot of these private clubs. Through Instagram and YouTube, we can fly over the grounds and see the tee decks, fairest of ways, and putting greens.

A few random thoughts...
  • I'd call Bethpage Red more quintessential than Bethpage Black. The locals pay their bets BEFORE they reach the next tee;
  • I'd call Wildhorse (site unseen by me) the quintessential public course, although Lawsonia Links ain't far behind it (site seen and played by me);
  • I'd call Seminole quintessential, and I'd also call Rock Creek quintessential;
  • I'd call those little courses across Florida, the ones attached to trailer parks, quintessential;
  • I'd call any course or club, with rabidly-enthusiastic regulars or members, quintessential.
And I'd call MidPines quintessential. I love MidPines.
Coming in 2024
~Elmira Country Club
~Soaring Eagles
~Indian Hills
~Maybe some more!!

Ira Fishman

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2022, 09:32:09 AM »
Of the 70 courses on the 147 (now 149) Custodians that are in the US, I count 11 that are open to the public. (Virtually all of those are high end resorts.) I am not sure whether 11 is a high percentage or not in the context of the ideal US course that warrants imitation. Interestingly, Ran dropped Mid Pines off the list; Southern Pines is now on it.


Bruce Katona

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2022, 10:39:46 AM »
Quintessential should mean access by the public in general.  While Pebble Beach does qualify, the price point is somewhat limiting. I'm going to nominate four courses that I feel meet the criteria and why:

1. Twisted Dune - kudos to Archie Struthers for building a place that began as a borrow pit and was flat as a pancake.  Fairways are nice and wide for the average player, the forward tees allow the senior/women player to get around well; you can walk (I always do) and the price point to play is more than fair.

2. Wyncote - Chester County, PA - Fun public access layout that can be walked, great conditioning and price point is adjusted for day/time for tee times.

3. Paramus Golf Couse, Paramus, NJ - This really, truly municipal tract is sandwiched between Bergen Community College and Ridgewood Country Club. Flat, very well drained site that makes walking a breeze.  This is a 3:15 round walking since green to tee separations are minimal.

4. Galloping Hill - Kenilworth, NJ - County owned course that was wonderfully re-done a few years ago. Again a good walk, though a bit hillier than the other 3 above.


Kalen Braley

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2022, 10:51:03 AM »
Ron's definition is both spot on, and adds to the confusion.

Quintessential only means a subject is a perfect example of a 'type of something'.  It doesn't necessarily convey that the something is good just because its quintessential. For example McDonalds is the perfect represntative fast food, but it don't mean I'm eating there.

This thread would have been a lot more effective...and interesting... had it stated "Perhaps the ideal US golf course is..."

Rich Thomas

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2022, 03:52:10 PM »
While I  have yet to play it, (I will in less than 2 weeks) what about Goat Hill Park? A muni that has come back from the brink of extinction, is welcoming to all, and has a fun, relaxed atmosphere?

Craig Sweet

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Re: Perhaps the quintessential US golf course is…
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2022, 04:28:17 PM »
The quintessential US golf course is a mom and pop nine holer, with limited irrigation and maintenance, with cold beer and hot dogs, a low greens fee and a cheap membership fee.... and owners that want nothing more than to grow the game.

I bet 90% of the golfers today grew up on a course like that.


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