The Front 9

April 29, 2007 -

I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of 18 favorite courses. To do so, I am going to get things started with a front 9, and you will bring us home on the back 9! Again, this is just my list, but would like for you to join in and tell us, why your favorite course should be included.

  1. Spyglass G.C. Although the lesser know sister course of Pebble Beach, it is my favorite course in the world. The first 5 holes play around the ocean and then you are enveloped in the towering tress that frame each of the last 13 holes. As an interesting footnote, Robert Louis Stevenson, lived on the land that is now Spyglass and it is where he received his inspiration for his all-time classics, Shipwrecked and Treasure Island.
  2. Pebble Beach. Visually, the most majestic, of all American courses.
  3. Royal Melbourne. Tom Watson’s favorite golf course in the world. A true links course, designed by the legendary Alistair MacKenzie, their greens may be the fastest in the world.
  4. St. Andrews. The home of golf.
  5. Castle Pines G.C.. The best in the Rocky Mountains
  6. Pasatiempo G.C. Where the aforementioned, MacKenzie, it was also where he lived. He called the back 9 there, the best 9 he ever designed.
  7. New South Wales G.C. On the cliffs of Sydney, La Perouse, is another brilliant links course.
  8. Pacific Harbor G.C. I have a bias here because it is where I was based in my playing days (is in the Fiji Islands). A Robert Trent Jones Sr. signature design, it was rated consistently rated as a Top 50 golf course in the world in the 80’s. the front 9 there has a rating of 39.5 and may be the hardest 9 holes of golf you will ever play.Robert Trent Jones SR. the Fiji Islands). e it is where I was ou will brinbg us hoime on the back 9!ou are ev
  9. Augusta National. The one and only.

12 thoughts on “The Front 9

  1. shivasirons says:

    SPYGLASS HILL: Without a doubt the hardest course on the West Coast. David Duval (and this inlcudes the years when he was at the top of his game) has NEVER broken par there! Also, each hole is named after a Robert Louis Stevenson character. One word of advice for golfers playing there for the first time; don’t try to hit it out of the ice plant! You could be in there for a month!

  2. Wee Links says:

    I’ll vote for any course that tortures the professionals and brings them to their knees! Sticking to courses that I’ve actually seen/played, I would add Carnoustie (my overall #1), Tralee (I liked it better than Ballybunion, Waterville or the other Irish courses you see on lists), TPC Sawgrass (watching the pros on 17 alone is worth adding this course) Riviera, Bethpage Black and I’m a little partial to Torrey Pines (South)…

    I’ve never seen them up close but I would also select Winged Foot & Pinehurst #2.

  3. Jay says:

    Hi Wee Links and welcome to the Blog! Great blog, BTW; Those are all indeed great candidates; I would vote for Tralee and Riviera, but having never played them, will do so on your behalf. Also, I think that Baltusrol would be worthy of inclusion.

  4. SubSailor says:

    My favorite is Whistling Straights in Wisconsin. Breath taking views of lake Michigan! This is the only course I’ve ever played that you have no idea what’s in store for you until you get there. Many pro’s complained about how hard it was. I’ll be playing it again this July and can’t wait.

  5. golfguru says:

    10. Cypress Point in Carmel, probably the most beautiful combination of sand, surf and grass on the planet.
    11. Old Head on the southwest coast of Ireland. Breath taking fews from every where on the course.
    12. Waterville Golf Links in Ireland, arguably the best 12 finishing holes in the U.K. Fabulous golf course
    13. Los Angeles Country Club North Course, as good as golf gets.
    14. Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California. Hogan’s Alley, nothing else needs to be said.
    15. Olympic Club Lake Course Host to numerous US Opens ans Tour Championships another magnificent course
    16. St Andrews Old Course, the Mecca of golf, the way golf should be played.
    17.Carnoustie, the toughest and fairest golf course I have ever played.
    18.Montebello Country Club The place that started my golf career and where my mentor and the members weened me and supported me all these years.

    Now for a shameless plug. If any of you have contacts to play any of the courses listed or others, please let me know when you would like me to join you for a round.

  6. Jay says:

    Nice blog, Guru. I imagine that you would be safer, walking any of these courses (given your recent cart driving history that may be a mute issue at any facility that you were to go to). That said, how come nobody has mentioned Pinehurst?

  7. Sandy Cable says:

    Not having played long enough to rate some of the aforementioned courses, I can only add to this converation by offering some of the course I have played that I believe are outstanding:

    Edgewood – Lake Tahoe Nevada offers some awesome views of the lake and some interesting challenges including a gigantic pine tree in the middle of a par four fairway which comes into play from all the tees.

    Sandpiper, Santa Barbara CA. The course sits on the edge of the ocean with some outstanding vistas.

    Montreaux, Reno NV Site of the Reno Tahoe open this is both a beautiful mountain course and has major challenges on most of the holes. They don’t call it the “Bear Claw” for nothing.

    Obviously, like all of you I am sure, I look foward to playing many of the courses you have listed. Especially Pebble Beach

  8. admin says:

    Great blog, Sandy. One of the reasons that we created this (the blog) was so that, people could find out exactly about great courses like this (often times great things do not make “best” lists or host major championships). Thank you for helping the blog do exactly what it was meant to do!

  9. mizoh323 says:

    Since our primary vacations are spent on the ski slopes, we have little experience with great golf courses outside of the general area. So playing Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville with its undulating greens and major challenges is treat. Let’s not forget it is also the future host of the 2008 Ryder Cup.

  10. admin says:

    Nice blog, Mizoh. Maybe you should spend less time skiing and more time golfing (we obviously have a bias!). Valhalla is defintely worthy of incluison and people who are in the Kentucky area, or travelling there; should put it on their MUST play list. And the Ryder Cup should be a great sepcatacle there next year.

  11. swackero says:

    Sorry guys the courses that have them all beat are the Bandon Dune courses in Oregon. I’ve played several Irish and Scottish courses but they are far less interesting than the Bandon courses. My only exception would be St. Andrews Kingsbarns which is a terrific course!! Save your money folks and fly to Oregon for a real links experience.

  12. admin says:

    Great blog; and WELCOME; Swackero……although I have not yet had the chance to play Bandon Dunes; everybody that I have ever talked to about it…..raves about it. It is indeed a MUST play and very worthy of being on the front 9.

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