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Friday, August 6, 2010

How Do You Rank A Golf Course You Have Played?

Of late Myrtle Beach area golf courses have fared quite well in various “Best of…” categories. The awards are well deserved. How rankings are done varies by publication, but people that know what they’re doing do all.
 

I have never been provided the opportunity to rank courses for major golf publications. I do have the opportunity to annually author more than 25 course reviews for web sites and regional publications.

My system of review is simple and begins with always being able to find something good about every golf course. From that point there are four basic criteria that contribute to a course’s character.

  1. Hospitality: Simply stated there’s no reason for visiting golfers to ever be treated poorly. A good experience with the bag drop, pro shop and starter gets you started in the right frame of mind. Bad experiences upon arrival have the opposite impact on your day.
  2. Playability: At the risk of oversimplification playability simply means that you’ll shoot a favorable score regardless of your index or ability. Forced carries, extended dog legs, and in play hazards are not the primary character of the course.
  3. Challenge: Not every golf course falls into the “challenge” category, but each needs to have some holes that do. Big drop offs between the No. 1 and No. 3 handicap holes does not a challenging golf course make.
  4. Beauty: A golf course that’s appealing to the eye ranks high in my book. I’m from the school that believes a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at work. Next time you’re first in the hole and holding the flag, look back down the fairway and enjoy the moment. 

One caution is in order. If you start thinking too much about the four points above, you’ll lose concentration and your game will suffer. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

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