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Philip Caccamise

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2023, 01:43:28 PM »
Wailua Muni, Kauai. Maybe the most underrated muni in the country, especially when comparing value to the local options. A superb routing, good conditions, 2x USGA Public Links host.


And chickens.






Ira Fishman

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2023, 02:46:49 PM »
Langston Golf in DC.

Rich Thomas

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2023, 04:16:43 PM »
There were a lot of stories around Memorial Park from the older guys when we were starting to rebuild the golf course.  Dave Marr practically grew up on the grounds, and rumor has it his ashes were spread there.  Memorial was the place for money games back in that era . . . all of the Texas players knew it well.  Even until just before he died, Doug Sanders was hanging around the practice tee, giving lessons.  Unfortunately, most of those who knew them are going to join them in the beyond, and there aren't many guys around who remember that generation anymore.


But I hope you don't just stick to the courses of architectural interest.  So many of us in the golf business grew up on a muni or we never would have had access to the game.  Everyone thinks Ben Crenshaw was a country-club kid from CC of Austin, but he grew up walking distance from Lions Muni, which he is now trying to save from redevelopment by the University which he attended.


Mr. Doak,


As you suggest, I don't plan on sticking with architecturally significant courses. Lions Muni is a course that I wanted to look at as well. I was not aware of the Ben Crenshaw connection. There is a great wealth of knowledge on this site and that is why I reached out. My heart and soul belong to those unknown munis and while I do enjoy playing a top ranked course, I am perfectly content playing a less maintained no name course. That's where we find the beating heartbeat of American golf in my opinion.


Rich


ps...If you need a 40 year old paid intern to go around the country playing courses so you can make updates for the next edition of your Confidential Guide, just let me know. Consider this my official application. ;)

Doug Spets

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2023, 04:39:26 PM »
Rich -
I played Gibson Woods as a high schooler in the same time period as Monmouth's major champion.  He was a freshman when I was a senior and he whipped everybody.


I grew up playing Baker Park in Kewanee Illinois.  City owned and operated.  Built in the 1920ís.  Front nine is called the flats.  Back nine is the hills.  When itís in good shape itís tons of fun.  17th hole is a tight drivable par 4.  The 15th is a 210 yard par 3. The tee and green are at the top of hills that are used as sled and toboggan runs during the winter.  So itís a wild cart ride. Greens have been restored to previous sizes and the people running the joint really seem to know what theyíre doing.


I live in Augusta now and the Augusta Municipal Golf Course, known to locals as the Patch, has some interesting holes and a couple of greens that are just a sand wedge distance to the Daniel Field Airport runways.

Rich Thomas

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2023, 05:44:58 PM »
Rich -
I played Gibson Woods as a high schooler in the same time period as Monmouth's major champion.  He was a freshman when I was a senior and he whipped everybody.


I grew up playing Baker Park in Kewanee Illinois.  City owned and operated.  Built in the 1920ís.  Front nine is called the flats.  Back nine is the hills.  When itís in good shape itís tons of fun.  17th hole is a tight drivable par 4.  The 15th is a 210 yard par 3. The tee and green are at the top of hills that are used as sled and toboggan runs during the winter.  So itís a wild cart ride. Greens have been restored to previous sizes and the people running the joint really seem to know what theyíre doing.


I live in Augusta now and the Augusta Municipal Golf Course, known to locals as the Patch, has some interesting holes and a couple of greens that are just a sand wedge distance to the Daniel Field Airport runways.


Doug,


What a small world. You probably know Mel Blasi as well. He was my college coach at Western Illinois. I always thought Baker Park was a decent little course. Back then, I didn't know much outside of a 60 mile radius. It's been quite some time since I have been there though



SL_Solow

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2023, 06:49:37 PM »
Interesting timing on this issue.  Putting aside the efforts by the National Links Trust in DC, several other Munis have undertaken restoration efforts.  The USGA has created a working group to support Munis both in fighting efforts to retake property for alternative uses and to assist in efforts to improve the facilities.  More to come on the working group.

Michael Whitaker

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2023, 07:18:37 PM »
There are not a lot of munis in South Carolina, but the Charleston Muni is quite a fantastic story. It has been remodeled into a great course that rivals the best in the area. It has its issues due to budgets, but the course is now a ďmust playĒ in the Charleston areaÖ and, that says a lot!
"Solving the paradox of proportionality is the heart of golf architecture."  - Tom Doak (11/20/05)

Steve Lang

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2023, 09:10:05 PM »
 8)  Rich,


I'd nominate Ottawa Park in Toledo, OH, which dates to 1899 with SP Jermain the proponent and a little earlier with the Dutch farmers who cut the first holes out of the woods...  SP was major mover and shaker of the USGA and got the first US PubLinks Championship there in 1922...    when he wasn't busy at Inverness. 8)


My home course from 1960... great history
« Last Edit: March 12, 2023, 11:01:34 AM by Steve Lang »
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

Cal Carlisle

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2023, 09:44:09 PM »
When I think of "muni" I think of Kahuku Golf Course on Oahu. I've golfed with many locals and many of them wrinkle their nose and say "You drove all the way up there to play that place?!?!?"


But every so often you get paired up with someone and mention Kahuku and their eyes light up. They give you that look like "Oh damn, this haole knows about our secret spot!"


A nine hole, wind swept, sand based, playground that will set you back $30 for each 9. You aren't there for a monostand of turf, roomy locker room, or state-of-the-art practice facility. If you want that you can go next door to Turtle Bay.


It is the definition of a muni and it's the most fun you'll have in Hawai'i for $30.


IMG_20220208_175546_967 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

20220208_084030 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

20220208_084807 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

20220208_085810 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

20220208_091348 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

20220208_095426 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

20220208_085040 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

20220208_083229 by Calvin Carlisle, on Flickr

DFarron

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2023, 10:34:19 PM »
Rackham, originally designed by Donald Ross, in the Detroit suburb of Huntington Woods



Rackham Ben Davis memorabila in club house




Rackham Ben Davis memorabila in cub house



How cool! My dad bought my first set of clubs from
Ben and finagled a free lesson from Benís assistant Tommy Horton who was a heck of a player.


Great memories !

Chris Hughes

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The American Muni
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2023, 11:20:00 PM »
The Long Beach County courses are truly exceptional in what they offer to all golfers ("average" or otherwise) at a fair price.  In order, Big Rec, Eldo and Skylinks are all a ton of fun and collectively representative of the bedrock/'heartbeat" of what makes "golf" great!  Nearby Los Verdes Golf Course is probably better than the LBC courses -- be sure to tee off early!!


In my own (limited) experience the only real "municipal" option that trumps the LBC and LV courses is the New York State parks & rec system, of which the crown jewel is obviously the Bethpage State Park courses.  As a close friend is wont to say...."oh my"...


In addition, the New York City courses like Vannie, Pelham/Split Rock, Dyker, Clearview & La Tourette can really be terrific if you hit them on the right day & time.


Lastly, from a personal perspective, I'd mention Harding Park where I've had wonderful experiences and made lasting friends... 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2023, 11:40:13 PM by Chris Hughes »

mike_beene

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2023, 11:34:39 PM »
In the crowd for the PGA at Cedar Crest was a teenager named Byron Nelson.

Mark Kiely

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2023, 10:13:33 AM »
If you follow up on Chris's post above, that should be Long Beach City courses, not county. (They're in L.A. County.) Coincidentally, yesterday I played Skylinks for the first time in about 30 years.
My golf course photo albums on Flickr: https://goo.gl/dWPF9z

Greg Hohman

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2023, 12:06:33 PM »
Chris, you have initiated texting with friends about a road trip north from San Diego.


The Hawaii munis! :D  Some dayÖ


San Diego area munis: Balboa in SD and, a bit north, Oceanside. Balboa has been a DG topic. I canít say much about Oceanside after one play several weeks ago. I liked the price, the quirky routing, the beauty of the adjoining hills (Camp Pendleton is on the other side of those hills). A regular said the place had improved recently: extraneous turf removed, money better spent on greens, etc.

Oh, and the place beginning with the letter T.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2023, 12:54:35 PM by Greg Hohman »
newmonumentsgc.com

Mark Kiely

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2023, 12:40:26 PM »
San Diego area munis: Balboa in SD and, a bit north, Vista in Vista.


Do you mean Oceanside in Oceanside?
My golf course photo albums on Flickr: https://goo.gl/dWPF9z

Greg Hohman

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2023, 12:52:27 PM »
Yes, Mark, thank you; correction made.
newmonumentsgc.com

Jason Topp

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2023, 02:59:46 PM »
I have not watched this presentation but will.  Waveland in Des Moines, IA  https://youtu.be/TWbz2ADxwC4


I would also look into Keller in St. Paul, MN





MCirba

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2023, 03:35:53 PM »
You could do worse than include Franklin Park and George Wright in Boston.   The former is the romantic place where public golf was first played in 1890, even if it wasn't a formalized course until around 1894.   You Can Go Home Again - Northeast Golf Magazine
« Last Edit: February 20, 2023, 03:42:01 PM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Tim Leahy

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2023, 05:49:46 PM »
Chris, you have initiated texting with friends about a road trip north from San Diego.


The Hawaii munis! :D  Some dayÖ


San Diego area munis: Balboa in SD and, a bit north, Oceanside. Balboa has been a DG topic. I canít say much about Oceanside after one play several weeks ago. I liked the price, the quirky routing, the beauty of the adjoining hills (Camp Pendleton is on the other side of those hills). A regular said the place had improved recently: extraneous turf removed, money better spent on greens, etc.

Oh, and the place beginning with the letter T.
Greg, you left off Coronado, probably the best not starting with Torrey. 8)
I love golf, the fightin irish, and beautiful women depending on the season and availability.

Philip Caccamise

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2023, 10:31:17 PM »
Chris, you have initiated texting with friends about a road trip north from San Diego.


The Hawaii munis! :D  Some dayÖ


San Diego area munis: Balboa in SD and, a bit north, Oceanside. Balboa has been a DG topic. I canít say much about Oceanside after one play several weeks ago. I liked the price, the quirky routing, the beauty of the adjoining hills (Camp Pendleton is on the other side of those hills). A regular said the place had improved recently: extraneous turf removed, money better spent on greens, etc.

Oh, and the place beginning with the letter T.
Greg, you left off Coronado, probably the best not starting with Torrey. 8)


+1: Coronado is absolutely the best not starting with Torrey. One of the best walks in America.


Further up the coast, San Clemente Muni is also one of my favorite places to play.

Tim Gavrich

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2023, 12:20:18 PM »
Miami (Fla.) Springs. That Jackie Robinson was responsible for desegregating the golf course is just one of several fascinating stories I heard when I visited a few years ago.
Senior Writer, GolfPass

Steve_ Shaffer

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2023, 12:28:22 PM »
The Phoenix area has some interesting munis:

Papago Golf Club opened in 1963 and quickly became popular with Phoenix area residents. It hosted the US Amateur Public Links Championship in 1971, the 2009 J Golf Phoenix LPGA International and numerous Phoenix Open Qualifying events.In the early days, it was common to wait in line before opening a la Bethpage,

https://papagogolfclub.com/about-the-course/

Also, Grand Canyon University proudly presents the GCU Golf Course masterfully redesigned by renowned course architect John Fought. Using sublime artistry and expert craftsmanship, Fought transformed the golf course into a golferís dream playground where golf novices and pros alike can enjoy perfecting their game. The same routing was used by Fought transforming a run down muni into a test of golf. It's not a pushover.

https://www.gcugolf.com/course-information/course-history/
« Last Edit: February 23, 2023, 01:41:43 PM by Steve_ Shaffer »
"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone: "We're bigger than US Steel."
Ben Hogan ďThe most important shot in golf is the next oneĒ

Bill Crane

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2023, 01:43:13 PM »
Consider the following Munis from New Jersey all formerly private clubs:

Rock Spring, West Orange, NJ -  Seth Raynor design and former private club - wonderful layout and even has some views of Manhattan skyline.   Now owned by West Orange, NJ.
Rock Spring Golf Club - Play Golf in West Orange, NJ

Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club,  Hopewell, NJ. Tom Winton design from the 1920s.  Now part of the Mercer County park system.   Solid golden age layout with Stony Brook flowing through.   
Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club - Mercer County Golf (golfmercercounty.com)

Hominy Hill, Colts Neck NJ - Solid 1963 Robert Trent Jones design formerly a private course owned by the Henry D Mercer (shipping magnate) family. Now part of the Monmouth County park system.
Monmouth County Park System Golf Hominy Hill Course
Monmouth County Park System: Celebrating 60: Hominy Hill Golf Course

These are all really solid courses available to the public in three different regions of the state.

NJ  ~  LOOK before you laugh !!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2023, 01:49:07 PM by Bill Crane »
_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

Max Prokopy

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2023, 03:36:58 PM »
Hello Rich, by now you're possibly inundated but I think my current "home" course might be of interest:


Marine Park is part of New York City's system of muni's.  Marine Park was built on an old garbage dump in what is essentially a swamp (think Secaucus or Meadowlands NJ and you're close).  The fairways used to include lots of crushed glass bottles and tire tread.  Now it's in quite fine condition, especially considering the crowds.


The design is RTJ II and I think includes some good attributes: the playing corridors are super wide to accommodate the number of people.  It's really hard to lose a ball.  Things get more interesting at the greens, bunkers are low-profile, and there is always some wind near Far Rockaway. 


Let me know if you have interest in hearing more. 

Philip Caccamise

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Re: The American Muni
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2023, 04:04:55 PM »
Consider the following Munis from New Jersey all formerly private clubs:

Rock Spring, West Orange, NJ -  Seth Raynor design and former private club - wonderful layout and even has some views of Manhattan skyline.   Now owned by West Orange, NJ.
Rock Spring Golf Club - Play Golf in West Orange, NJ

Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club,  Hopewell, NJ. Tom Winton design from the 1920s.  Now part of the Mercer County park system.   Solid golden age layout with Stony Brook flowing through.   
Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club - Mercer County Golf (golfmercercounty.com)

Hominy Hill, Colts Neck NJ - Solid 1963 Robert Trent Jones design formerly a private course owned by the Henry D Mercer (shipping magnate) family. Now part of the Monmouth County park system.
Monmouth County Park System Golf Hominy Hill Course
Monmouth County Park System: Celebrating 60: Hominy Hill Golf Course

These are all really solid courses available to the public in three different regions of the state.

NJ  ~  LOOK before you laugh !!


Monmouth County Parks system is so good, golf and otherwise.


Also in NJ, Essex County has Francis Byrne and Hendricks Field, both done by Charles Banks in 1926 and 1929 respectively, and Weequahic, the oldest public course in NJ and designed by the George Low. All were in pretty terrible shape 25 years ago but I played Byrne a few years ago and it was much improved. Would highly recommend visiting.


No history because it was just built but Skyway in Jersey City is a great example of what can be done with the worst driving range of all time and a literal dump, a model for urban muni golf.

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