Sunday, December 30, 2018

Top 10 of 2018

They say any day on the golf course is better than a day at work. While that is certainly true, there are a few golf courses I played this year that are heads and shoulders above the rest. Courses that I will remember for a very long time. Check out the list and let me know what courses you played this year in the comments!

10. Lake Merced

Of all the private clubs on this list, Lake Merced was one of the most fun all around experiences and if I lived in San Fran, I would join it in a second. The routing is great, the trees and the bay breezes are great. The membership is great. All the course needs is a little TLC and it would be fantastic. Maybe on day if I get all the money, I will definitely get a national membership here, it is that good.

9. Barton Creek- Coore/Crenshaw

This course was a tale of 2 nines. The front side kinda a straightforward resort course. The back side? Totally tubular! Rolling hills, crazy greens, great second shots, the back nine had it all.

8. Austin Golf Club

The first rule about AGC is that you can't talk about AGC. The second rule of AGC is see the first rule.

7.  Saticoy

Wow, this is the last course I played in 2018 and it was a real gem. A classic course from the golden age, it still holds up to today's tests and will give you all you want a more. I was really blown away by this one.

6. Pacific Dunes

The views are outrageous. The architecture challenging and engaging. It is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the US much less the world. Still though, with the wind up this course is a beast. All that beauty and routing aside, if the wind is up good luck to ya as the design elements make it close to unplayable on some holes. Strong like, not love.

5. Bandon Trails

You feel like you are in a completely different universe when visiting Bandon and playing Trails and that is a good thing. C&C do an excellent job creating a lot of variety out of the pines and the 11th hole remains one of my favorite holes they have designed thus far.

4. Pacific Grove

Quite simply, it lived up to its reputation of the poor man's Pebble Beach. For $40 you can get out there and knock it around on the front side and say what's the big deal but whoa doggie, you turn to that back side, and you get all the coastal Monterey golf you can handle. This is beyond a gem and a must play if you are in the area!

3. San Francisco GC

Holes 1-9 are perhaps the best stretch of nine holes in the US. The routing superbly uses the landscape to amazing effect, they are 9 holes that will challenge and delight any golfer and the clubhouse and locker room almost have a patina halo around them. Sadly, the back 9 just doesn't hold up to the front with a lot of parallel holes but still excellent by any measure. Still that opening 9 is strong enough to vault the club to number 3 in the rankings.

2. Bandon Dunes

The best course at Bandon, one of the best courses I have played, this course has it all. Width for errant drivers, visually stunning holes and fun greens. People may say Pacific is tougher but it isn't better. Bandon is divine.

1. Cal Club

After playing this course you could've knocked me over with a feather. It is like someone went to the best sandbelt courses in Australia took them up and placed them in San Francisco. Olympic has the pedigree, San Francisco GC has the mystery but Cal Club has the golf, best course I played in 2018 by far!

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