My philosophy of Course Ratings: Sorry, I don't have an objective course review strategy. I play 'em and wing it.
My background is in parks and recreation, so I tend to have a better handle on public courses and how they fit into an overall park design. I'm nit-picky on conflicts with other park uses and play-ability (flow) as opposed to someone who is just evaluating the shots.
I'm not a very good golfer so things like the challenge level of a top-tier course isn't really my strong suit. I can look at things like variety of shot types, variety of distances, etc., but I'm not really sure for example if a hole is a par 4 or a par 5. Like I said, I just take my perception and wing it.
As a result, I really don't review courses I consider to be a "3" or over after I play them once. Better courses I like to play 3-4 times in a variety of weather to get a better feel for the design.
Personal DGC Top 10
1. Ozark Mountain-Vichy, MO
2. Harmony Bends-Columbia, MO
3. The Canyons-Dellwood, IL
4. Foundation Park-Centralia, IL
5. Hanna Hills- Laquey, MO
6. Waterworks-Kansas City, MO
7. Rogers Lakewood- Valparaiso, IN
8. Highland Park-Joliet, IL
9. Spencer-Davis (Ozark Mountain)-Vichy, MO
10. Sioux Passage-St. Louis, MO