Wow, I wish I had thought of that. With all the lists in golf, top publics, top private, top US, top world, top classic, top modern and my personal favorite which I have done to death, top Major Venues You Can Play, I am surprised I hadn’t seen this – or thought about it – before.
Jack Nicklaus has designed hundreds of courses, and is still probably the biggest name in golf course design when it comes to selling real estate and garnering public attention, even if critical darlings like Tom Doak and Coore/Crenshaw might carry more cache among architecture fans.
Then again, I don’t think you could do a top 20 Doak or C/C course list, because I doubt either has 20 under their belts.
With Nicklaus you have to really think about it, because there are so many. And after seeing this unique list and the accompanying course descriptions on the LINKS Magazine website, I did just that.
All in all, I agree very much with their top 20. There are only two courses I haven’t played, Bay Creek and Bayside. I would differ on the order, and personally I would put the Kiele Course at Kauai Lagoons at number one, and would have maybe put Reflection Bay, which they have at 11, as number one or two, except it no longer is open, a victim of financial straits, and they did add a bold note to that affect. I would have Cabo del Sol ahead of several higher ranked courses, like Harbor Town, May River, etc, but I don’t want to squabble: of the 18 courses on this list that I have played, there is not one you can go wrong with, except maybe PGA National, and that’s only because it is horrifically overpriced for what it is, which is a pretty good but not great course.
Coming on the footsteps of the horrid Conde Nast Traveler Top 80 world courses list I have been complaining incessantly about, this one is a breath of fresh air.
And it might actually prove useful to someone! Kudos to LINKS Magazine.