named top US course
For the first
time since Golf Digest began numeric rankings of America's best
golf courses in 1985, the private club in New Jersey was replaced
at No. 1, with Pebble Beach Golf Links taking the top spot in the
magazine's biennial survey.
``You always want
to be the best at whatever you do,'' Bill Perocchi, chief executive
officer of Pebble Beach Company, said Wednesday. ``One of our goals
is to retain the No. 1 spot and continue to look for ways to improve
the golf course.''
Pine Valley had
held the top spot since 1985, but a new par-3 fifth hole designed
by Jack Nicklaus and a revision in the survey's scoring system helped
boost the famous seaside course on the Monterey Peninsula to the head
of the ranking.
Golf Club was third. The list is available in the magazine's May issue.
Pebble Beach is
a public course, although it's not cheap - $375 including a cart,
reduced to $350 for resort guests.
Pebble Beach has
held four U.S. Open championships, including last year when Tiger
Woods shattered scoring records with his 15-stroke victory. Nicklaus,
who won the U.S. Amateur at Pebble in 1961 and the U.S. Open in 1972,
has called it his favourite course in the world.
``Pine Valley did
nothing wrong to drop from the top spot,'' said Ron Whitten, the architecture
editor at Golf Digest. ``Pebble Beach improved its position in the
conditioning category as it was groomed for last year's U.S. Open,
and it impressed our panelists with its ambiance''
Whitten said the
margin between Pebble Beach and Pine Valley was so small that another
change in position could easily occur when the next list comes out
``We've had a long
run at No. 1, so the course has stood the test of time,'' said Charlie
Rautenbush, head pro at Pine Valley. ``It's a big deal to a lot of
people to say it's the No. 1 course in their neighborhood, but we're
not going to change anything we do.''
Golf Digest's course
evaluation panel is comprised of more than 800 men and women from
every state, professional or low-handicap amateurs who play the courses
at their own expense and judge them on shot values, resistance to
scoring, playability, memorability, aesthetics and conditions.
Bonus points can
be awarded for walkability and tradition.
More than 400 courses
were considered for the list.
Rounding out the
top 10 were Cypress Point; Oakmont; Shinnecock Hills; Merion (East);
Winged Foot (West); Pinehurst No. 2; and Oakland Hills.
Lee Westwood at Pebble Beach during the 2000 US Open. Allsport.
Email this page to a friend | Return
to top of page