New York’s Pound Ridge Golf Club was one of The Mobile Golfer’s most “controversial” Top 50 selections (Photo by Jim Krajicek)
Talking GolfGetaways Podcast

Talking GolfGetaways 31: Defending the “Top 50 Courses You Can Play” List


Human beings have inherent needs — food, water, companionship. And the need to make lists. Lists of all kinds. Movies. Songs. Restaurants. Television shows. Sports teams. Vacation spots.

And, of course, Favorite Golf Courses.

In the spirit of year-end lists heading into 2017, GolfGetaways Course Ratings Editor Eric N. Hart put together his personal list of favorite Top 50 Golf Courses You Can Play in America — and as with most lists, he had his share of detractors (highlighted by a Twitter thread questioning his inclusion of Pete Dye’s Pound Ridge Golf Club) along with readers and social-media followers who agreed with and applauded many of his selections.

So we thought it only fitting that “Talking GolfGetaways” give Eric a chance to defend and discuss the thought process and criteria that went into creating the detailed list — and why “fun” should be the most important element of any rankings system, personal or otherwise.

In a conversation originally planned to merely examine some of Eric’s “out of the box” Top 50 favorite golf courses, co-hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch ended up diving much deeper into the very makeup of “best lists” and factors that often do (and should) have an impact on rankings lists — judging courses by yardages more akin to what the majority of average golfers should reasonably play, evaluating the overall experience rather than primarily course architecture (as the upcoming Golf Course Ratings System, debuting in mid-2017, is designed to do) and understanding that no golf course rater can realistically assess the maintenance and conditioning of a course based on a single visit.

Along the way, Eric makes his case for myriad courses, from New York’s Bethpage Black to The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Wisconsin to Nevada’s Cascata and Wolf Creek. At the same time, he admits that he’s actively searching for golf courses that will leave a mark on his psyche — and create memories through inspiration and wow factor. “I tend to complain far more about the bland and the typical,” he says when discussing the all-too-large category of extremely average golf course design.

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“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch Laurance & Darin Bunch” is sponsored by and can be found on and across the Golf News Net platform. “Talking GolfGetaways” is also available on audioBoom and iTunes. New episodes post daily, five days per week (for the most part), and listeners can use #TalkingGolfGetaways to join the golf-travel conversation on social media and let us know why our favorite courses are downright silly.

About the author



The GolfGetaways crew of Darin Bunch and Mitch Lauarance have decades of golf travels and adventures to share, which they do here at GolfTripX, on their "Talking GolfGetaways" podcast.

“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch Laurance & Darin Bunch” can be found on and across the Golf News Net digital platform, including iTunes Podcasts, audioBoom and Stitcher. New episodes post semi-regularly (for the most part, except when we’re traveling or golfing or generally having other kinds of fun). “Talking GolfGetaways” is also available on audioBoom, iTunes and Stitcher.

Follow us on Twitter @GetawaysGolf and @MitchLaurance, and use #TalkingGolfGetaways and #2HaggisBags to hit us with your favorite golf-travel stories and recommendations — you just might make it onto a future episode of “Talking GolfGetaways.”