My top 25 courses, in the World*

*these are my favourites, I’ve played them all excepting Augusta National, which I walked for three days with Chuck Shields (Masters practice rounds).  Alas, there are no Dick Wilson courses because the ones I used to love have all been “improved” beyond repair.  I used to make a pilgrimage to Cog Hill in Chicago at least once a year, no longer recognize it.  I recall years ago when Mark Evershed hit a superb wedge into the 10th,and it ran 30 feet past. “When Wilson built that green all the balls were balata”.  My list, and I’ve hedged my bets by making the courses Tie for 1st, 6th, 11th, 16th and 21st.  Like kissing your sister but conditions can change over night on most courses.

Tie for FIRST:

Royal County Down, Newcastle, Northern Ireland Republic

Cypress Point Golf Club, California

The National, Woodbridge, Ontario

Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia

Royal Dornoch, Scotland

Royal County Down

new bunkers on Pebble Beach, very much in play in 2010 Open

Tied for 6th Place in the Slat’s favourites:

St Georges’ Golf Club, Islington, Ontario

Pine Valley Golf Club, New Jersey

Pebble Beach Links, California

Carnoustie Golf Club, Angus, Scotland     “world’s toughest but fun test”

Shinnecock Hills, Long Island, New York    Carolyn hit the same shot Corey Pavin did to birdie the last

Tied for 11th place

Royal Aberdeen, Scotland       Even Donald Trump likes it and he can’t buy it.

Ballybunion, Ireland       Both courses are great, the Old is special, played it with David Clayton

Banff Springs, Alberta       Prefer the 1970 version but an outstanding course

The OLD COURSE, St Andrews, Scotland    Where all Canadian golfers should retire to

Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland         

Tied for 16th place, 5 more outstanding experiences

Seminole Golf Club, Florida            as close to a Dick Wilson course as possible

Muirfield Club, Gullane, Scotland              great men’s club but women can play

Kiawah Island Ocean Course, South Carolina       best modern course in the USA

Medinah Course #3, Chicago

Riviera Golf Club, La, California

Tied for 21st in the World (this week)

Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, England          the best in a great golfing area in England

Highland Golf Links, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia         well worth the pilgrimage

Turnberry Ailsa, Scotland           the site of many great golf battles and  home of the RAF in WWII

Congressional GC, DC, USA         Carolyn’s favourite

Sunningdale Old, London, England          next to Wentworth

Ancaster Golf Club, Hamilton, Ontario       no longer over looked

Turnberry is open all winter - 10 minutes later it is perfect! sometimes

Highlands Golf Links 15th green

Sunningdale Old Course, 1 to the left, 17 and 18th hole

and that ends my world tour!  all the UK courses are accessable to all (with the right handicap and $$$).

it's the real one, we had to give it back! Roger, Gary and Charles

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Gary Slatter

Venerable Canadian golf pro Gary Slatter discusses his opinions on the state of golf, golf course design and construction, teaching and more, based on a lifetime in the business.

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