Friday, 12 December 2014

2014 Year in Review – Part Two – The Courses I Saw

2014 Year in Review – Part Two – The Courses I Saw

13th at Chicago Golf Club

Lots of great golf, but almost no casual golf in between. Highlights were St. Andrew's, Prairie Dunes and Chicago. If you truly understood every aspect of these three courses, you would have the perfect foundation to become a great golf course architect. These courses still inspire me and open up new and exciting alternatives each time I see one of them.

Trump International's 3rd - where the course meets the sea

Scotland – early April

Day One
St. Andrew’s Old – the back nine may be the best in the game
Lundin – only a few holes around the clubhouse were inspiring

Day Two
Elie – brilliant greens surprised me, lots of great golf
Crail – great site ... disappointing architecturally
St. Andrew’s (Eden) – front nine – one of the best set of greens in golf … then the back starts… still a must play while at the Old Course

Day Three
Murcar – so many impressive holes, but far too tight on a windy afternoon
Royal Aberdeen – a three act play: one of the finest nines in golf, the renovations to the middle are really disappointing, but a nice finish at the end was a pleasant surprise

Day Four
Trump International – great site, pretty solid routing, weakness was overdoing it when restraint would have yielded superior results ... worth playing
Fraserburg – plenty of amazing holes mid round worth seeking out, 13th is one of the great gems in the game

Day Five
Castle Stuart – really impressed with how interesting and varied the holes were, largely because of how the routing was assembled
Fortrose and Rosemarkie – interesting site, but not very interesting golf, unless you like pedestrians and cars!

11th at Southern Hills - no place to miss... as usual

ASGCA Meeting - early May

Prairie Dunes (36) – no course blurs the line between nature and golf better than PD, still remains in my personal Top 10 in "all" of golf
Hillcrest – great layout and great set of greens brought a major surprise
Patriot - I've walked 36 at Highlands Links, I’m not sure if this course could be walked
Southern Hills – it’s very well done, but the greatness is largely built around the challenge - it's a  one dimensional course to play except close to the clubhouse
Tulsa CC – just too "Modern" (style rather than new) for my taste

Laval's 16th, inspired by Riviera's 10th

Summer Rounds

Laval (Blue) – twice – still find it fun to play all those running shots around the greens
Cutten Fields – back nine needs more work
Huntington - love the combination of scale, templates and ground game

2nd green at Chicago Golf

Chicago Trip - mid- October

Oak Park – enjoyed it, but found it was lacking ... something
Chicago – one of the most impressive courses I have ever seen because of the scale and aggressive features, one of the best courses I have seen.
Shoreacres – in my opinion grassing changes brought this up another tier

Planned for 2015

This will be a great "playing" year. I've already arranged and paid for my trips to come. I may even join the local Private club this year and try to recapture my old golf game. 

Burnham and Barrow

Southwest England - Spring

Burnham and Barrow
Royal North Devon
St. Enodoc (36) - been on the top of my wish list for years

Royal Cinque Port

Southeast England – Fall Matches

Sunningdale (New)
St. George’s
Royal Cinque Port - want to see those greens

Maple Downs 8th Hole

Openings to Attend

St. George’s

Maple Downs

I plan to play a little more unless I become too busy. I do expect a couple of rounds in Boston this Spring, but no extended trip planned ... yet. If luck comes, I plan to explore the great courses of New Jersey next year. I expect to play more this year....


  1. Glad to see you enjoyed your visit to Chicago Golf Club from the Father of American Golf Architecture - CB Macdonald -

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