A few random things about my ratings:
- These are my ratings alone. Every has their own preferences. There will be courses I like that you don't and there will be courses you like that I don't. Play what you like and rate courses how you see fit.
- All courses are compared to each other in the overall scale of ratings. In theory, most courses achieve, or come pretty close to achieving their ultimate quality, or who they're appealing to. In other words, being 'beginner friendly' is not a reason to boost a course's rating. I've played school courses and/or short pitch-n-putt courses that could not be any better due to certain limitations - terrain, available space, skill level its appealing to, etc. In a vacuum, that course is as perfect as its going to get, so in that sense it's a perfect course. Because we don't live in vacuums, that course is going to get compared to every course, which is why perfectly good courses I've played are going to get a lower rating. Conversely, there are certain courses I've played, that if I was rating solely on fun factor (or in a vacuum), it would get a lower rating. Overall though, when compared to all courses, and taking out personal feelings, they've ended up with higher ratings than I think would be merited if it were solely a subjective rating. So, in the end, more challenging courses will usually get rated higher and shorter, easier; more beginner friendly courses will usually get rated lower. Simple as that.
- The biggest factor I use in rating a course is difficulty/overall quality. A course's challenge is really the only thing that goings to make a person want to play a course over and over, or never again. Look at my highest rated courses, they're the most challenging courses I've played. The highest rated courses should challenge even the best of players. Champion-caliber courses are champion caliber courses. Even if they destroy me, I'll recognize quality when I see it. A lower rated course may still be a good, or enjoyable course, it's just not as difficult.
- If I'm stuck between 2 ratings, I'll go with the higher rating.
- I can be overly critical of course flaws, particularly when I see potential for it to be even better. If and when changes are made, I'll adjust my rating accordingly.
- Amenities are nice, but they're a small part of the equation, and can only help a course's rating so much. They may improve or hurt a course's rating by a half if they're really good or bad. In the end, it comes down to the course and how it plays; hence the rating should reflect this.
- I make sure to separate my personal feelings about a course versus the rating I feel it deserves. For example, I love playing Park Circle in North Charleston, SC or Timmons Park in Greenville, SC. They're two of my favorites, but they're neither difficult nor elite caliber. And as such, I reflect that in my ratings.
- As I play and review more courses, I will adjust some of my ratings if I see fit. A course I originally may have thought was really good or unique may not appear so as I have more courses to compare it to.
- As much as I like my hometown courses, I'll be the first to admit when other courses are better.
- There is no "set-in-stone" rule that I abide by. For example, concrete tees are best, but sometimes a dirt tee is better for the course layout - more natural feel, etc.
THESE LISTS ARE NOT LISTED BEST TO WORST. Just random lists.
Favorite "fun-factor" courses. These courses have that special something, that have me hooked no matter what I shoot. These are the courses I'd give a 5.0 for fun factor.
1. Harmon Hills (Fall Branch, TN)
2. High Country (Jefferson, NC)
3. Sugaree (Linville, NC) - RIP
4. Timmons Park (Greenville, SC)
5. Pipeline (Spartanburg, SC)
6. Brackett's Bluff old layout (Davidson, NC) - RIP
7. Neatman Creek (Germantown, NC)
8. IDGC - Steady Ed Headrick Memorial (Appling, GA)
9. Mountain Lake (Pembroke, VA)
10. Fox Chase (Albemarle, NC)
Don't judge a book by its cover. These courses may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, or have other negatives (bad neighborhood, crime, etc), but they're solid courses nonetheless.
1. Renaissance Park (Charlotte, NC) - it's built on a landfill. Enough said
2. Morningside Park (Knoxville, TN)
3. Kiwanis DGC (Staunton, VA)
4. Dillon Park (Sumter, SC)
5. Rankin Lake DGC (Gastonia, NC)
6. Greenwood Park (Greenwood, SC)
7. Sugaw Creek Park (Charlotte, NC)
8. Jim Barnett Park (Winchester, VA)
Best 9-hole courses I've played:
1. Park Circle (Charleston, SC)
2. Steele Creek (Bristol, TN)
3. Royston DGC (Royston, GA)
4. Hagood Mill DGC (Pickens, SC)
5. Eagle Landing (Hanahan, SC) - RIP
6. Mint Hill Park (Mint Hill, NC)
7. Shaw AFB (Sumter, SC)
8. Warriors Run DGC (Pawley's Island, SC)
9. Sherwood Forest (Conway, SC) - the best kid friendly course I've played.
10. Hampton Park Baptist Church (Greenville, SC)
Courses I've played that I wish were closer:
1. IDGC - all three courses (Appling, GA)
2. Harmon Hills (Fall Branch, TN)
3. Sugaree (Linville, NC)
4. Mountain Lake (Pembroke, VA)
5. Timmons Park (Greenville, SC)
6. Idlewild Park (Burlington, KY)
7. New Quarter Park (Williamsburg, VA)
8. Langley Pond (Burnettown, SC)
9. High Country (Jefferson, NC)
10. Pipeline (Spartanburg, SC)
My one-hit wonders (courses I've only played once, but can't wait to play again)
1. Harmon Hills (Fall Branch, TN)
2. IDGC - WR Jackson Memorial (Appling, GA)
3. Mountain Lake DGC (Pembroke, VA)
4. Langley Pond (Burnettown, SC)
5. Idlewild DGC (Burlington, KY)
6. Panther Creek State Park (Morristown, TN)
7. Stoney Hill (Newberry, SC)
8. Grand Central Station (Central, SC)
9. SOAC (Bowman, SC)
10. Rolling Pines (Wilkesboro, NC)
My most underrated courses:
(This could mean they're: 1. out of the way, so they're lightly played; 2. get lost in the shadow of other nearby courses; 3. an average course (in terms of ratings) but are still fun plays.
1. Chester State Park (Chester, SC)
2. Stumpy Creek (Mooresville, NC)
3. Jackson Park (Hendersonville, NC)
4. Goose Landing (Richfield, NC) & City Lake Park (Albemarle, NC)
5. Goyne Park (Chester, VA)
6. Columbia International (Columbia, SC)
7. Garden Grove (Pleasant Garden, NC)
8. Tommy Schumpert Park (Knoxville, TN)
9. Potter's Grove (Seagrove, NC)
10. Shoally Creek (Boiling Springs, SC)
Kilborne #13 - 285 feet
Elon Eager Beaver #13 - 220 feet
Richmond Hill #2 - 219 feet - 6/6/10
Lowell Elementary School #9 - 145 feet - 7/29/10
Elon Park Eager Beaver #17 - 247 feet - 7/4/14
Mars Bluff #3 - 95 feet - 4/1/18
York Preparatory Academy #3 - 97 feet - 7/12/19