Proper Golf

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Looking back at the future

Ron Whitten, Golf Digest czar of architecture, came out with this list ranking the 25 most in demand architects of the time... 1998

Shall we analyze the list from 12 years ago.

1. Mike Stranz - Good choice. If you haven't played a Mike Stranz course you are missing out on a golf experience you are guaranteed to remember. Mike's career was cut very short, losing a battle to cancer. Aside from a remodel in Monterey, CA, all his work is in the mid-atlantic/south east US.

2. Art Hills - Has made a very successful career in golf course design. I have never played any of his work, but if you made this list today,

3. Pete Dye - I'm a little surprised Mr. Dye isn't higher. Dye has plenty of top 10 courses, let alone top 100's on the GD list. Sawgrass, Kiawah, and Hilton Head had all be around for years.

4. Jack - Certainly one of the most sought after architects, Jack has more courses and has made more money in this business than anyone.

5. Fazio - A household name of golf course design. Tom Fazio is the best of the big earth movers around. Consults for Pine Valley and Augusta National.

12. Doak - Would appear at either #1 or #2 if this list was made today.

13. RTJ jf - Figured he would be higher.

16. Rick Smith - Swing coach for Phil Mickleson.. very hard to believe he belongs on this list.

17. Coore and Crenshaw - Holders of the #1 modern golf course in the US. Would appear at either #1 or #2 on this list today.

Never heard of: #19, 24, and 25

The Golfmeisters todays top 5:

1-2. Doak and Coore/Crenshaw - Leaders of minimalism, both learned under Pete Dye.

3. Gil Hanse

4. Jack

5. Rees - Mostly because of the acclaim from his renovation projects as "Open Dr"

This list was taken from Geoffry Cornish's book "18 Stakes on a Sunday Afternoon" in which he compiles many quotes from people involved in golf course architecture.

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