“Golf doesn't have to be an ordeal. Honestly, when you think back on your most enjoyable rounds, were they on courses that left you bloodied and bruised? No. They were on courses that tested but did not torment you. Challenged but did not chafe you. Made you think but did not make you think about quitting.”
Peter Finch at Golf Digest has come up with a list of fun courses both in the USA and GB & I.
Reading his criteria for fun I’m reminded of an acquaintance who walked off Royal County Down because he found it too tough.
Peter writes, “Length does not equal fun. Sure, a fun course might have a ridiculous set of Tiger Tees stretching to 7,700 yards, but we were looking for courses that good golfers normally play from, say, 6,500 yards. Ideally shorter hitters can choose from at least two tees of 6,000 yards or less. Some of the finalists, in fact, were par-3 or other "short" courses. Not all of them have 18 holes.
Hard is overrated. We're not saying a course has to be easy to make this list. It just won't have a lot of forced carries over wetlands or ravines. It shouldn't have out-of-bounds or water bordering every other hole. At a fun course, even less-experienced players have a good chance of finishing their round with the same ball they used on the first tee.
Walking is more fun than riding. Courses with short distances from greens to the next tees got bonus points.
A welcoming attitude beats a snooty vibe. We wanted to identify clubs that inspire repeat visits, not one-and-done trips.”
Amen to, “A welcoming attitude beats a snooty vibe.”
There’s a couple, make that three, interesting G B & I courses in Peter’s selection and I quite agree.
12. The Machrie G. Links
A sacred place on the utterly remote Isle of Islay that looks like the links that time forgot. Playing here is more than just golf--it's a pilgrimage.
11. Shiskine G. & Tennis Club
The best 12-hole course in the world, on the west side of the Isle of Arran, full of blind shots, odd bounces and vertiginous vistas.
And the third which I’ve yet to play and is a fascinating story
8. Askernish G.C.
Classic links on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. Laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1891, abandoned in the 1920s, then rediscovered and brought back to life in 2008. All natural, no artificial ingredients.
My goodness gracious if Peter thinks the Isle of Islay is “utterly remote” then going to South Uist must feel like a trip to the South Pole.
Quote of the Day
“Great shout by the judging panel on Cruit Island, Donegal - no18 on the GB and Ireland "most fun" list. i cannot recommend this 9-holer highly enough. a magical place.” – Lawrence Donegan commenting at Geoff Shackelford’s blog
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