Finally getting around to looking at Golfweek’s new state-by-state public course rankings after the publication recently landed in my mailbox.
Let’s start with the Minnesota rankings:
1. Giants Ridge (Quarry)*
2. Wilderness at Fortune Bay*
3. Jewel Golf Club*
4. Meadows at Mystic Lake
6. Deacon’s Lodge*
7. Dacotah Ridge*
8. The Classic at Madden’s*
9. Rush Creek*
10. Legends Club*
*= a course I have played.
This is the point where I have to add the disclaimer that I am a Golfweek course rater and have, with my ballots, played a role in some of these rankings. I generally find the GW rankings to be very solid. Prior to my days as a rater, I fould the GW public rankings to be key in making good course choices when I was on the road.
Apparently there’s a course I need to check out: I have heard mixed reviews of the Meadows at Mystic Lake to be honest. Nobody has said that it is terrible, but some people I know have described it as average. Others have indicated that some of the money on extras could have been spent on the golf course. But I’ve also heard good things. A friend who I believe is a clear thinker said it is really good and that I would like it. These GW rankings also raise my interest. It doesn’t immediately move to the top of the to-do list, but I’ll make an effort to get there before the end of 2011.
The top two are correct: I think a case can be made for both The Quarry and The Wilderness to be named as the best public course in the state. But I think they are the only true contenders. The two courses — which are only about 30 minutes apart — are both very, very good. The greater Biwabik metro area is clearly the best destination for public golf in the state.
How big of a Jewel is it? I have played The Jewel in Lake City, but it has been several years. I also played there shortly after the place opened. And when I say shortly, I mean only days after opening. It is probably time for a return visit five or so years later.
Some non-Minnesota notes:
– Troy Burne is ranked No. 7 in Wisconsin, ahead of Blackwolf Run (Meadows Valley), University Ridge and SentryWorld.
– Was pleased to see The Harvester remain as the top-ranked public course in Iowa. I think it is a wonderful Keith Foster course (with the exception of perhaps one tee shot).
And in case anybody cares, here are the courses on the lists that I have played:
Alabama: 4. Capstone Club; 6. Grand National (Lake); 9. Grand National (Links)
Arizona: 1. We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro); 2. Troon North (Monument); 5. TPC Scottsdale (Stadium); 13. Grayhawk (Raptor); 18. Golf Club of Estrella; 20. Wigwam (Gold).
Florida: 5. Sugarloaf Mountain
Hawaii: 1. Kapaula (Plantation); 8. Wailea (Gold)
Illinois: 1. Cog Hill No. 4; 2. The Glen Club; 8. Pine Meadow; 14. Shepherd’s Crook
Indiana: 3. The Fort; 4. Harrison Hills; 7. Brickyard Crossing; 8. Purgatory; 10. The Trophy Club
Iowa: 1. The Harvester; 5. Tournament Club of Iowa.
Kentucky: 4. Lassing Pointe
Maine: 2. Sugarloaf Mountain; 5. Belgrade Lakes
Michigan: 13. Eagle Eye at Hawk Hollow
Mississippi: 7. The Bridges at Hollywood Casino
New Mexico: 1. Paa-Ko Ridge
North Carolina: 1. Pinehurst No. 2; 2. Pine Needles; 4. Tobacco Road; 5. Mid Pines
Ohio: 5. Shaker Run
Oregon: 7. Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek)
Tennessee: 4. Hermitage
Texas: 12. Texas Star
Wisconsin: 3. Lawsonia (Links); 6. The Bull at Pinehurst Farms; 7. Troy Burne