So this was sitting in my mailbox this morning when I arrived home. I had seen some chatter about the latest version of the Golfweek modern, classic and state rankings, but hadn’t really investigated all that much. I figured that I’d get a hard copy version and I could check it out then.
I actually just looked and the Top 100 lists are not yet online. I will post links when they become available.
[Disclosure goes here: I am one of the several hundred members nationally of Golfweek’s raters panel. I have played and rated many, but not all, of the Minnesota courses/clubs mentioned.]
In terms of the Top 100 lists, not a whole lot has changed for Minnesota clubs. The Top 100 Classic list (for courses built prior to 1960) still features four clubs from the state. The Modern list (for courses built after 1960) still features Spring Hill and Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Here’s a quick look:
– Interlachen remains the highest rated classic course in the state at No. 52. The Edina club didn’t move from a year ago.
– White Bear Yacht Club slipped five spots from a year ago, moving from No. 61 to 66.
– The Minikahda Club also dropped five spots, moving from No. 72 to No. 77.
– Northland Country Club in Duluth was the only Minnesota classic course to move up. The great Ross course overlooking Lake Superior moved up seven places, from No. 93 to No. 86. I talked about my love of Northland in my end of ’11 blog post here.
The top 50 of the Classic list doesn’t really feature much movement, it’s courses moving a spot or two in one direction or another. Several clubs made big jumps in the second half of the top 100 including Sleepy Hollow (up 28 spots to No. 57), St. Louis Country Club (up 13 spots to No. 60), Charlotte Country Club (up 23 spots to No. 63), Old Town Club (up 20 spots to No. 70) and Skokie Country Club (up 19 spots to No. 79).
If you want to play a course on the Top 100 Classic list, it’s pretty easy. You get in your car and drive to Green Lake, Wis. There you can tee it up on No. 55 Lawsonia (Links). The most expensive walking rate for 2012 is $90 on the weekends. You can play during the week during the high season for $59 and at twilight for $30. That’s awfully good for a course that ranks ahead of WBYC, Minikahda and Northland.
– Spring Hill dropped 11 spots from No. 59 to No. 70.
– Hazeltine National Golf Club moved down three spots from No. 83 to No. 86, not really a major move.
Even before I became a rater, I found the state-by-state public course list to be a great reference. It’s a great starting point when you are traveling and looking for a place to play. Here’s the updated Minnesota list:
1. Wilderness at Fortune Bay
2. Giants Ridge (Quarry)
3. Deacon’s Lodge
4. The Jewel
6. Dacotah Ridge
7. Meadows at Mystic Lake
8. The Classic at Madden’s
9. Rush Creek
10. Preserve at Grand View
My take: I have played nine of the 10 (the Meadows at Mystic Lake being the only one I haven’t played) I think the courses are the right ones and I think that the No. 1 and 2 courses are correct. But I don’t love No. 3.
I like The Wilderness more than the Quarry because it is more playable for more people and it is more fun. I don’t dislike the Quarry, but there are a couple of holes where I don’t feel like golfers have a lot of options. If this was my list alone, I would put The Classic at No. 3. I think it is the best course in the Brainerd area. To me, Deacon’s has too many forced carries and, as a result, isn’t as much fun.
As a FYI, Troy Burne is No. 8 on a tough Wisconsin list that includes one major championship venue (Whistling Straits) and a future US Open site (Erin Hills). An argument could be made that Troy Burne is better than No. 7 University Ridge, but I haven’t seen it. I can’t see Troy Burne moving up any higher.
What are your thoughts? Are there any other public courses that are worthy of being in the Minnesota top 10? Chaska Town Course perhaps? Can Keller move into the top 10 after the redesign?
What have I played on this list? There are a lot of people who actively seek out top 100 courses. I’m interested, but it isn’t always my priority. Here are my results:
Classic: No. 11 Pinehurst (2); No. 52 Interlachen; No. 55 Lawsonia Links; No. 71 NCR South; No. 74 Medinah (3); No. 77 Minikahda; No. 79 Skokie; No. 86 Northland; No. 94 Rolling Green.
Modern: No. 12 Muirfield Village; No. 58 Paa-Ko Ridge; No. 63 Kapaula Plantation; No. 70 Spring Hill; No. 86 Hazeltine; No. 90 Valhalla; No. 94 Briggs Ranch; No. 97 We-Ko-Pa.
I’m not going to go into full detail on the state list, but I played at least one ranked public course in 20 of the states.