By Bob Carney
We got lots of mail on Golf Digest's September list of Most Fun Courses, more in fact, than we received on the Augusta decision to admit women. Go figure. One entertaining note came from our old USGA friend Pete Bevacqua--now with CAA Sports--about our list. And he wasn't alone in the course he thinks we missed:
Love the list but feel that Cape Arundel in Kennebunkport, ME is a major omission. A Walter Travis wonder that can play from about 6,000 yards if you tee it from the tips, every hole makes you think even though you have a wedge in your hands for your approach shots on most of the Par 4s. Just ask Phil and Davis, Tom Brady and Jim Nantz or 41 and 43 [photo left]...a wonder for all. And because you're in Maine, it can really be listed under Private or Public because, well, it's Maine and no one cares. And the best wager isn't a $2 Nassau. It's a lobsta roll and lemonade at The Clam Shack just down the road...
Pete BevacquaNew York
Editor in Chief Jerry Tarde replies: "Cape Arundel was on our master list, but didn't quite get the votes. But this won't be the last time we do this ranking, and we'll take your counsel very seriously."
Cape Arundel was on another reader's list as well:I have to say that you missed one of the funnest golf courses in the US: Cape Arundel Golf Club in Kennebunkport, Maine. Not many public courses have Fred Couples' course record broken by Phil Mickelson (61), Presidents playing there, a tee in a graveyard, and a great WalterTravis layout where when the tidal river is high have stripers jumping out of the water!Tom Prokopowicz
Here are some of the other courses that readers nominated for inclusion next time:I noticed a glaring omission in your "Most Fun" list. Rock Creek Cattle Company in Deer Lodge, Montana is the most fun course I have ever played. It was a treat to play from the first hole through the 18th and I couldn't wait to play it again. In addition, I discovered another course that will fall into my top 5 most fun courses while in Canada recently. Sagebrush Golf & Sporting Club is also a blast to play from beginning to end. Is there any more fun than fly fishing while waiting for your pulled pork sandwich to be toasted at the halfway house? You can do that at Sagebrush. My top-10 "Most Fun" courses are:
1. Rock Creek
2. National Golf Links of America
3. The Old Course
4. Old Macdonald
6. Sand Hills
7. Fishers Island
9. Pacific Dunes
10. Cypress Point
Keep up the good work.
Jim FranklinYou guys forgot a fun one: Audubon Park Golf Club in New Orleans. While only a par 62, it's one of the great urban public access courses in the country. I last played there in June with a group of buddies from college. We had the whole range of skill levels - all the way from a 5 handicap to a 60 (if that was possible). Everyone had a good time. The course oozes with New Orleans - what's not fun about that? Between the huge party in the park nearby that gave us a soundtrack for 2 holes, the spanish moss dripping from the trees, the Tulane cart girls, the driveable par 4s, and the clubhouse porch for after round drinks, you can't beat the place. My 60 handicap friend made a birdie on the 15th. I think he's hooked now...James ToalNice to see an article on golf courses that are simply just fun to play. While I've been fortunate to play many of those mentioned and while ranking is a matter of opinion of course, I was wondering how Mike Strantz's Tobacco Road did not make the list. It was nice to see his Caledonia and Monterrey Peninsula tracks both deservedly make the cut but leaving out Tobacco Road is an injustice to any golfer who loves the game - you cannot help but smile and want to immediately tee it up again right after you play it the first time. I recently played Tom Doak's Common Ground and unlike all his other masterpieces, this one should not be on this list or for that matter, bear his name. I found it rather pedestrian given his high standard of design and accomplishments. It was nice to see Ballyneal on that list though as that is a lot of fun too.Jim KeenanNorwalk CTI loved your list and your criteria. But I think you missed a gem in Lake Placid Club (Mountain course) in the Adirondacks. Designed by Alexander Findlay at the turn of the last century and remodeled by Alister MacKenzie in 1931 (yeah, that one) it was a true treat to play with unsurpassed views including the ski jumps on the first tee. While I think it would qualify from the tips, played from the blues or shorter it is a blast and meets all of your requirements.
We played in July and my wife and daughter hadn't played in years due to a traumatic event on course our last time out together. We had a great time and my daughter had her first birdie on a par four - we loved it so much we came back and played it the next day on July 4. I'd love to play this in late September during leaf change season!Bruce SumnerWaterbury CT
That last one is a great suggestion. Hard not to have fun playing golf up near Lake Placid. The Craig Wood course there is another gem.