Focusing the Lens to Play


 Picture posted by Justin Mandon

I have read time and time again about the best golf places in America and some capture my attention while others seem to be very nice but not a place I would go out of my to want to play. Now don’t get me wrong I am not a well-traveled player at all, however, I have considered how I would rank a golf course, although I must admit I do find the Doak scale amusing and would adopt some of the evaluations.  Just in case you are not familiar with that scale here is the run down:

  • 0. “A course so contrived and unnatural that it may poison your mind, one I cannot recommend under any circumstances. Reserved for courses that wasted ridiculous sums of money in their construction, and probably shouldn’t have been built in the first place.”
  • 1. “A very basic golf course, with clear architectural malpractice and/or poor maintenance. Avoid even if you’re desperate for a game.”
  • 2. “A mediocre golf course with little or no architectural interest, but nothing really horrible. As my friend Dave Richards summed up: ‘Play it in a scramble, and drink a lot of beer.'”
  • 3. “About the level of the average golf course in the world. (Since I don’t go out of my way to see average courses, my scale is deliberately skewed to split hairs among the good, the better and the best.)”
  • 4. “A modestly interesting course, with a couple of distinctive holes among the 18, or at least some scenic interest and decent golf. Also reserved for some very good courses that are much too short and narrow to provide sufficient challenge for accomplished golfers.”
  • 5. “Well above the average golf course, but the middle of my scale. A good course to choose if you’re in the vicinity and looking for a game, but don’t spend another day away from home to see it unless your home is in Alaska.”
  • 6. “A very good course, definitely worth a game if you’re in town, but not necessarily worth a special trip to see. It shouldn’t disappoint you.”
  • 7. “An excellent course, worth checking out if you get anywhere within 100 miles. You can expect to find soundly designed, interesting holes, good course conditioning and a pretty setting, if not necessarily anything unique to the world of golf.”
  • 8. “One of the very best courses in its region (although there are more 8s in some places and none in others), and worth a special trip to see. Could have some drawbacks, but these will clearly be spelled out, and it will make up for them with something really special in addition to the generally excellent layout.”
  • 9. “An outstanding course—certainly one of the best in the world—with no weaknesses in regard to condition, length or poor holes. You should see this course sometime in your life.”
  • 10. “Nearly perfect; if you skipped even one hole, you would miss something worth seeing. If you haven’t seen all the courses in this category, you don’t know how good golf architecture can get. Call your travel agent—immediately.”

The way I view it, a golf course ranking should be more inclusive such as how friendly are the other players to how well-stocked is the traveling snack cart. It’s those soft touch areas that I seem to notice a lot more, possibly because I am happiest when I do not lose all of golf balls at one course.

Patty Berg www.lpga.comAs I focus my lens on where I play I am coming at it from a weekend warrior point of view since I am not trying to be the next Patty Berg and do not plan on entering tournaments anytime soon. I just like to get out and enjoy the challenge of swinging the golf club and doing my best to hit a great shot. For me, a great shot is actually having a solid connection with the ball which ends up in a position for me to hit it again. Sound like you too? Maybe we have more in common after all.

Here is my weekend warrior ranking scale:

  • 0. – Course personal matches the green – stiff and not easy to relate to. They are not very female friendly and don’t plan on changing. What do you mean I have to wait until the men are done?
  • 1. – Hey at least they have some female items in the golf store, you know I just have to play with my favorite colored golf balls (Ball Couture).
  • 2. – Cart service is great, now how about coming around a little more often I forgot to bring my liquids. Now where are those rest stops again?
  • 3. – Finally something interesting to look at other than rolling hill after hill after hill. Thankfully I have a golf cart.
  • 4. – I think I will visit again sometime soon. I like the people and the place if only it wasn’t so crowded all the time.
  • 5. – Now we are talking, great course, great food, and they have no problem catering to my needs.

Another year has begun and I am ready to discover more courses and to make new friends along the way. I don’t mind trying new golf courses after all I may need to revise my ranking list. Happy golfing!