Category: Other Places

Mad About Mid-Pines

Mad About Mid-Pines

Trying to describe the essentials of good golf course routing calls to mind Justice Potter Stewart’s old brief about classifying porn — I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it. Bad golf course routings can be spotted miles away but truly great ones can be sublime. You often don’t realize they’re…

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Goin’ Back to The Farm

Goin’ Back to The Farm

Golf courses built on sloping terrain usually feature distinct sections or acts, as the land transitions from high to low ground and back. Depending on the topography and architecture, some holes may fit better on the ground and offer highlights other areas can’t match. But the key on such sites is to unify all of it and make…

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The Standard Club: Atlanta’s Overlooked Standard of Excellence

The Standard Club: Atlanta’s Overlooked Standard of Excellence

Debates regarding the best golf in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia typically revolve around tier 2 and 3 courses, as general consensus exists about the clubs there that are truly elite. Not so Atlanta. Once past Peachtree Golf Club, widely considered no. 1 by knowledgable players and panels (including me), the conversation about what’s good in Atlanta quickly devolves…

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Masterpiece Theater–TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course

Masterpiece Theater–TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course

A favorite debate among golf architecture students and historians is about what courses constitute the most influential in the evolution of golf design. Most groupings would include St. Andrews, National Golf Links of America, Pine Valley, Augusta National, and Sand Hills. The PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is often cited as another construction and cultural landmark. For better or worse (depending to…

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A Rocky Ride at Tot Hill Farm

A Rocky Ride at Tot Hill Farm

Hopefully people playing Tot Hill Farm outside of Raleigh know what they’re getting into. If they do, the disguised and oddly shaped fairways won’t bother them, nor will all the rocks and boulders, nor will the curiously oblong putting surfaces that melt like American cheese over the hilly landscapes. If they don’t, then this stuff will drive them mad.…

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Nicklaus, Palmer and Player, Oh My! Champions Retreat

Nicklaus, Palmer and Player, Oh My! Champions Retreat

Most golfers relish the chance to play courses from name brand designers. But among a small sector of architectural traditionalists (you may call them snobs), choosing between the designs of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player is like a wincing version of the game “Would You Rather.” At Champions Retreat, a private club near Augusta, Georgia, the matter is no cocktail party…

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How Elite is Cascades?

How Elite is Cascades?

One of the first impressions I had playing The Cascades in the Allegheny Mountains of western Virginia was to think how this kind of course would never be built today. Actually that thought came to me around the 5th hole, a big par-5 that traverses a sidehill fairway and then rises blindly over a shoulder of the same hillside.…

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