Our friend Jay Morse from Forelinksters has just finished his quest to find out which U.S. golf courses are vastly overrated.
Thanks to all of you for participating in the survey of the most overrated public golf course in the US. The results, from 1749 responses from the members of Forelinksters, the Golf Channel message boards, as well as Golfweek and Golf, were somewhat surprising, here’s the tally, then we’ll have a few comments:
The Most Overrated Public Golf Course in the United States
- Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach, CA
- Doral’s Blue Monster, Miami, FL
- Trump LA, Los Angeles, CA
- PGA West Stadium, Palm Desert, CA
- TPC Scottsdale, AZ
- TPC Sawgrass Stadium, Ponte Vedre, FL
- Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst, NC
- Whistling Straits, Kohler, WI
- Shadow Creek, Las Vegas
- Harding Park, San Francisco, CA
- Cog Hill, Lemont, IL
- Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain, Tucson
- Bay Hill, Orlando, FL
- Bethpage Black, NY
- Kapalua Plantation, Hawai
- Redstone, Houston
- Harbour Town, Hilton Head
- Torrey Pines, CA
- TPC Four Seasons, Dallas
- Bandon Dunes, Oregon
Having played or read reviews all of the courses, I tend to agree with the results, at least as it relates to value for the experience. Pebble has half-dozen holes that are just spectacular unlike anywhere in the world, but the rest of the course you could be at a golf resort anywhere. It’s been given so much hype over the years, and the $475 greens fees adds to its aura, but when you play it you feel a bit robbed.
Coincidentally, it’s also the course most mentioned as on every golfer’s “bucket list” to play. The next grouping, the “branded” courses, i.e. Blue Monster, PGA, TPC, Trump…any time there’s a brand associated with anything, it will cost you more, and you expect more. While #’s 2-6 all have some great features and holes, IMHO “overrated” is in their middle name.
To me Pinehurst doesn’t belong in the top 20 overrated courses, it’s a true classic course by one of the masters of golf course architecture, Donald Ross, and offers a timeless challenge in spite of the technological improvements to clubs and balls. It is currently undergoing renovation by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, which will likely seal its position for years to come.
Whistling Straits and Shadow Creek are both architecturally contrived golf courses where the budget to create them was non-existent, and the price tag to play equally over the top. The balance 10-20 fall into the category of expensive to play, major PGA Tour Stops, all of which have redeeming qualities, resort-like conditions and facilities, but there’s plenty of reasonably priced alternatives in each area. Bandon Crossings near the Bandon Dunes resort is a good alternative. Pacific Grove near Pebble Beach; Crandon Park near Miami; or the Los Verdes Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes are all examples you can find the hidden gems of golf courses at Forelinksters.
Here’s the link to Jay’s article at Forelinksters: link