5 Courses for the Rest of Your Life
After playing a truly unbelievable slate in 2018, I’ve been asked many times, “What are your favorite courses?”
Favorite feels too hard and too definitive, so in homage to one of my favorite movies, I’m modifying the question. If I had only five golf courses to play for the rest of my life (removing location/travel as a factor), what would they be. Here’s my list, and I encourage you to share yours in the comments section.
Quivira Golf Club – Unbelievably gorgeous and a lot of fun. Was disqualified because the comfort stations would have me up to 300 pounds if I played there regularly.
Winter Park – If this was a list of courses I admire most or wish were in my neighborhood, Winter Park would be #1. This is everything that municipal golf should be.
Streamsong – If you told me that I had to play Red, Blue, and Black for the rest of my days, I wouldn’t be mad.
Old MacDonald – Lost a coin flip to Pacific Dunes for the fifth spot.
The round of golf I played at Mammoth Dunes this past year may have been the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course. David McLay-Kidd provides so many opportunities to play bold, aggressive shots that you can’t help but have a good time. There’s ample challenge along the way, but also plenty of chances to recover. This choice was never in doubt.
Pinehurst No. 2
The other easy choice on this list was Pinehurst No. 2. This is a course where it feels like immense thought was put into every inch of the design. I love it even more for its contrast with Mammoth Dunes – one course welcomes naked aggression on every shot, one demands constant careful shotmaking.
Spyglass was the first big name course I ever played, and it’s a round I’ll never forget. The course was way over my head at the time (and probably still is), but it has a special place in my heart.
If I only get five courses for the rest of my days, one of them is going to be a short course, and I haven’t found one better than The Sandbox. Over 17 holes, you see virtually every type of green in existence, and Coore and Crenshaw designed it so that you could play the whole course with just a putter.
The fifth spot is always the hardest, but it goes to Pacific Dunes for the beauty, the routing, and all the fun shots that Tom Doak created. Plus, this midwesterner has discovered a love for playing in the wind, so my rotation needed a track that regularly sees serious breeze.