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John Conley,I think ratings could be improved in how they are presented. Just give us the numbers and forget about totaling them up and telling who is #1. If course A gets more "tradition" points than course B but fewer "conditioning" points than course B and course C gets gets more "shot value" points then either A or B just show us that! Let the public debate who's number whatever on the list of 100 courses provided to them. This way no one gets their noses out of joint and there would be 10 times more locker room conversations which would add to the buzz and probably add to the popularity of rankings, especially among people like myself who don't really care one way or the other if ratings are published.
I do, however, disagree with part of what you said in that I feel it should be harder for a course to go backwards than forwards. It should be much harder for a course ranked #57 to fall off the list than for a new one to show up in that position. ...But when a course goes more than 43 spots backwards (remember no one knows if Hollywood is now at #101 or #300), that is much harder to explain. I do realize that a course with only a few votes can move significantly, but a change like Hollywood tells me there is wide variation in the opinions of the panelists voting on it.