Anyway, being a working architect and sensitive to some sensibilities, Andrew didn’t include one of my favourite Doak topics — the “Dumb Blonde Awards,” for courses that are pretty, but lacking substance. That one is simply too much fun, so I’m chiming in here:
1) Fox Harb’r
* Built by Tim Hortons baron Ron Joyce, this is the only course I know where the architect created artificial mounding along a stretch of ground adjacent to the sea. Its 18th hole is truly unfortunate, as there is a great hole running down the coast. Too bad the final hole runs up a hill to the clubhouse and features some of the most flagrant use of railway ties ever seen in golf.
2) Nicklaus North
* Sure are some pretty mountains surrounding this course. Too bad it is flat as a table and the back nine plays through a dense setting of condos.
3) Furry Creek
* Perhaps the worst course with a significant budget in Canada. Set on the side of a hill overlooking the ocean, this is only a course a mountain goat could like — and only a goat who didn’t mind fairways that were graded into hazards.
4) Seguin Valley
* A Muskoka course on a pretty setting. Too bad the holes feel incomplete and there are some massive cart rides from green to tee. A disappointment.
5) Mystic Golf Club
* Located outside of Hamilton, and built on a terrific piece of property. Too bad it sports some horrible holes — including the opening two and the 10th.
6) Glen Arbour
* Set alongside a lake, Glen Arbour used to hold a spot in ScoreGolf’s Top 100. It doesn’t any more and I wonder if it is because people recognized that while it is attractive, there’s not much more to it.
7) The Rock
* Nick Faldo and Brit Stenson took a pretty site, built narrow fairways through dense woods and awful holding ponds all over. Pretty to see — just don’t try playing golf there.
8 Kananaskis (either of them)
* I’ve never understood the love for Kananaskis, other than it is priced right. Once again — flat with contrived elevation changes, the mountains are the big attraction. But you don’t need to spend $60 to look at them.
9) Bear Mountain (first course)
* What can one say when the most interesting hole — a par 3 overlooking Victoria — wasn’t actually noticed by Nicklaus Design? Once again, you need to be a mountain goat to appreciate this course, which is over-shaped — the Megan Fox of golf.
10) Radium Springs
* Another attractive mountain course, but it doesn’t really get interesting until the last couple of holes. Until then it is over-shaped and full of holding ponds.