Following on my list of “Dumb Blondes,” and the “Best 11 Courses Designed in the Last Decade,” here is my list of the most overrated courses in Canada. Don’t get me wrong — many of these are excellent courses, well worth playing repeatedly. Only in a couple of instances would I suggest you simply skip them. However, based on ScoreGolf’s Top 100 from last summer, I would say there are the courses that receive more accolades than is their due:
* National GC of Canada: It has been #1 in Canada for the last couple of Score ratings, but I can’t help but think this overly-difficult course is simply about a half-dozen spots too high in the rankings. Sure it is difficult, but several holes border on awkward (the bunker-tree hazard on the left of #4 is overdone, and the reworked 10th and 16th are not nearly as strong as the original George Fazio work).
* Royal Montreal (Blue Course): Rees Jones (or whatever associate he sent to do the work) took a decent Dick Wilson course and reworked it into a one-dimensional slog of raised, tiered greens and deep bunkers. One word: dull.
* Muskoka Bay: I often wonder if I’m missing something with Muskoka Bay considering how much love it gets from others. To me there are several holes that don’t work as well as they should and the bunkering is bland. Don’t get me wrong — this is a much better course than Royal Montreal’s Blue. It just could have been so much more.
* Links at Crowbush Cove: This Thomas McBroom course has some great ocean holes, without doubt. However, the inland holes are on dull land and are instantly forgettable. I’d say this is Canada’s version of Spyglass Hill, the grossly over-rated RTJ course in California.
Crowbush Cove — a few greats among a group of average holes.
* Devil’s Pulpit: I kind of like the Pulpit, despite all of its whacky greens and modern indulgences. However, I can’t help but think the course screams, “This is what modern golf looked like in the early 1990s with a budget that was unnecessarily large.”
* Rocky Crest: Another course that I’ve never quite understood why it is so universally lauded. Yes, it has a couple of terrific holes, but it also has some dogs — see #1 and #10.
* Taboo: Yes, Taboo is hard. It is also easy to forget many of the holes as you drive away from the property.
* Kananaskis(either course): Great vistas. Too bad the golf is dull, plodding and mainly flat. I guess it is priced right, which is certainly in its favor.
* Georgian Bay Club: Wide fairways in great condition. There are some strong holes — like the par 3 third — but the close of the front nine is bland, and it doesn’t pick up until well into the closing holes. Good, but not great.
* Fox Harb’r: With its seaside site, Fox Harb’r should have been a remarkable achievement. Instead it is an average golf course on one of the best sites in Canada.
Next up: The 10 courses in Canada I need to see again.