18 Days of Adams County Dunes

12/01/2017 0 comments
I started a Instagram tour of Adams County Dunes, my vision for a third course at Sand Valley. Follow along here...

18 Days of Adams County Dunes (my vision for the third course @sandvalleygolf) takes us to the par 5 2nd hole, which I affectionately just call “The Hill”. A large hill simply needs to be dealt with on the tee shot. Staying short and on the far right side of the fairway provides an open view to the landing area if you’re playing it as a three shot hole. Attacking the hill on the drive but coming up short will leave an awkward blind shot. And drives that land into the side of the hill will bound left and leave a worse angle for the second shot. The approach rides the top of a small ridge and will require a confident stroke to reach in two. The elevated green is inspired a bit by the 4th green at Ballyneal. Looking forward to having friends try and tackle The Hill this afternoon. #ValleyNizzle #Crump2.0 #WinterGolf
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18 Days of Adams County Dunes takes us to the 3rd hole, an elegant 406-437 yard par 4. Hitting from an elevated tee just a few steps from the 2nd green into an open prairie, the first 250 yards or so is relatively tame. It’s get pretty wild from there though. This is one hole where you definitely want to play backwards from the green. The left half of the green is well protected by two fronting bunkers. Therefore you’ll want to hit your drive down the right side of the fairway, lengthening the hole but opening up the angle. However there’s a right-centerline bunker that needs to be negotiated. Blasting over it brings the wilder fairway contours and a natural depression into play, potentially masking the view of the approach. The green is one of my favorites on the course, with a natural ridge that runs lengthwise and sits right against one of the natural open sandy areas on the site. There’s plenty of room to bail out right and still make par without challenging the bunkers. #SandValley3 #ValleyNizzle #Crump2.0 #JimCantDunkButCanHeBuildGolfCourses

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18 Days of Adams County Dunes, my vision for a third course @sandvalleygolf, continues with the 12th, a long par 4 that plays back out into the open prairie shared by the 3rd. A natural sand scrape eats into the left side of the fairway and dictates the strategy on the hole. I like this hole because it offers different options with no obvious winner. Blasting down the left brings the sandy area into play. Staying short provides the best angle into the green but it’s a blind shot. Hitting a long drive into neck introduces some wild fairway contours. Staying short and right offers a level lie but brings the cross bunker into play and leaves a longer approach. Blasting way down the right side leaves a poor angle into the shallow green. Oh yeah...the green has some wild and interesting contours, particularly in the back third. Hopefully this is one that vexes golfers for years. #SV3

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On the 14th day of 18 Days of Adams County Dunes, your true love gives to you this 560-Yard Par 5, which plays adjacent to the 13th and 14th holes of the original @sandvalleygolf course. An aggressive play with stay down the left side the entire way, navigating some centerline bunkers and shortening the hole. A large bunker masks the green and narrows the entrance to the only the left (when they cleared this land when building the Sand Valley course, they were nice enough to carve out the dramatic sand areas the sit in front of this greensite.) If you’re not playing through the neck in two, you can play safe down the right and hang back on the second leaving a flat lie with a full short iron into the green. Hitting close to the cross bunker leaves a half wedge from a downhill lie to a green the slopes away to the back. #GoodLuckWithThat #SV3

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18 Days of Adams County Dunes concludes with the long uphill par 4 18th. A centerline bunker provides some challenge to the tee shot. The preferred line will hug the corner of the dogleg to shorten the hole and provide a good angle into the green. There’s ton of room to blast over the bunkers but it lengthens the hole and leaves a worse angle on the approach. Plenty of room to bail out right of the green and still make par. Just don’t miss left, as the green is perched right along a ridgeline with a steep drop off. I hope you enjoyed the tour! While we’re here it’s probably worth noting my prerequisite and demands if I’m actually going to be considered for the job. 1) Minimum Salary: $0 (make a $100k donation to @wgaesf instead). 2) I get the course one day a year in June to do a @hundredholehike event. 3) a @sandvalleygolf founding membership would be nice, but optional 4) four @nyescream sandwiches per day during construction. Who’s with me? #SV3

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Adams County Dunes

10/25/2017 0 comments
Welcome to Adams County Dunes, my proposed routing for the third course at Sand Valley. I've posted some earlier iterations of the routing on this blog in the past, and over the last year have continued to hone it. I've spent quite a few days walking the property and getting a feel for the land. I truly believe the land at Sand Valley, particularly in this corner south of the original Coore & Crenshaw course has the potential to yield one of the great golf courses in the country. I don't honestly think I'll get picked to build the course, but hopefully this helps you see the potential for the site and raise the bar for whomever does get picked.

Attached below is the routing map and some early visualization shots. I'll add more holes and fly-by's as we go along.

1st Hole

5th Hole

7th Hole

8th Hole

10th Hole

13th Hole

17th Hole

18th Hole

Golf Digest 2017-18 Rankings: Inside the Numbers

1/08/2017 0 comments
One last post on the latest Golf Digest top 100/200 rankings. In the past, I've looked at each category's contribution to a given course's total score as an psuedo-look at its DNA. With seven different categories, there are different ways to make the list. Some get by on Shot Values; others on Resistance to Scoring or Conditioning. Some are consistently strong across all categories (Colorado Golf Club's DNA is the closest to Golf Digest's formula).

The first set of images looks at the highest and lowest relative scores (category score / total score) for each of the seven category. Then the next set of images look at the difference between category shares for some of the categories with the least amount of correlation. Assessing which set of 15 courses you'd prefer to play provides an indication of how your personal category weights might differ from Golf Digest's. Seeing courses pop up that you like might lead you to find other courses that fit your personal tastes. 

Golf Digest 2017-18 Rankings - Food for Thought: What if they just ranked courses by Shot Values?

1/06/2017 0 comments

Golf Digest published its latest list of "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses". There wasn't a lot of movement in the rankings from last time, but Pine Valley muscled its way back into the top spot ahead of Augusta National.

Most of the criticism of the Golf Digest rankings are that it rewards well-conditioned, difficult courses. Some of this may be due to the nature of its 1,100 person ratings panel, who tend to be better players. More than likely, it's a function of its formula for defining greatness along some fixed weights (2x for Shot Values, and 1x each for Resistance to Scoring, Design Variety, Memorability, Aesthetics, Conditioning and Ambience. You can see the specific definitions here:

Shot Values is defined as "How well do the holes pose a variety of risks and rewards and equally test length, accuracy and finesse?". As noted, it's worth twice as much as the other categories so is obviously viewed as the most important characteristic. But what if it were the only category for ranking golf courses? Could Shot Values alone produce a better list, in your opinion? Since Shot Values is difficult to define and even more difficult to quantify, might it be akin to a raters overall view of the course quality anyways (the correlation between Shot Values and all of the other categories combined is 93.5%)?

The list below shows that a Shot Values only approach would bring Hazeltine National, Harbour Town, Pasatiempo, Streamsong Red, Chambers Bay, Galloway National, The Course at Yale (up from 177 to 90!), Colorado Golf Club, Cal Club and Shoal Creek into the top 100 at the expense of Monterey Peninsula Shore, Laurel Valley, Flint Hills National, Hudson National, The Course at Black Rock, The Preserve, Double Eagle, Mayacama, Diamond Creek and The Quarry at La Quinta (down from 83 to 144).

It's not perfect, but it seems to be heading in the right direction. Perhaps Design Variety and Memorability or Ambience need to play a small role as well. But here's the Shot Value-only list as food for thought. More to come as we dig deeper into the numbers.

Update: this Google Sheets tool allows you to set your own category weights and produce a customized top 100/200 list.

Golf Digest RankShot Value RankCourseSV Score
11Pine Valley8.9142
22Augusta National8.7013
43Shinnecock Hills8.6473
65Merion East8.4932
36Cypress Point8.4265
107Winged Foot8.3128
79Pebble Beach8.2659
910Sand Hills8.2595
1511Muirfield Village8.1499
1213Crystal Downs8.1372
1714Oakland Hills - South8.1108
2015Oak Hill - East8.1025
1116Fishers Island Club8.1020
3817Bethpage Black8.0853
3019Pinehurst - No 28.0590
1620The Country Club8.0561
2921Prairie Dunes8.0543
2123The Ocean Course8.0427
1924Friars Head8.0426
2325LACC - North8.0305
3526Southern Hills8.0252
2227Whistling Straits - Straits8.0129
1828Pacific Dunes7.9932
3129Olympic Club - Lake7.9927
2530Wade Hampton7.9257
4831Medinah - No 37.9115
3432The Golf Club7.9009
3233The Honors Course7.8971
5834Oak Tree7.8774
4536Butler National7.8503
2837Gozzer Ranch7.8439
4338Victoria National7.8333
4439Erin Hills7.8299
3941Baltusrol - Lower7.8256
2642Shadow Creek7.8253
4943Spyglass Hill7.8201
3744San Francisco7.8124
6045Pete Dye7.8091
5146TPC Sawgrass - Players7.8058
4047Pikewood National7.7849
2748The Alotian Club7.7624
8949Inverness Club7.7609
3651Bandon Dunes7.7463
5652Old Sandwich7.7411
4653Garden City7.7376
7954Olympia Fields7.7358
4256Castle Pines7.7249
5957Dallas National7.7170
6260Winged Foot - East7.7079
6162Baltusrol - Upper7.6989
5564Whispering Pines7.6897
7566Congressional - Blue7.6786
4768Old MacDonald7.6607
6470Somerset Hills7.6541
8271Boston GC7.6441
7672Quaker Ridge7.6420
9473Crooked Stick7.6390
10774Hazeltine National7.6375
12775Harbour Town7.6307
8777Yeamans Hall7.6105
7078Bandon Trails7.6076
7379Cherry Hills7.5943
6981Spring Hill7.5718
10284Streamsong (Red)7.5605
9185Essex Country Club7.5597
8086Valley Club of Montecito7.5573
12987Chambers Bay7.5535
9288Blackwolf Run - River7.5515
11789Galloway National7.5400
17790The Course at Yale7.5353
10091Eagle Point7.5352
11192Colorado Golf Club7.5352
11093Cal Club7.5324
10694Shoal Creek7.5309
6797Kittansett Club7.5205
9698Calusa Pines7.5161
8899Rich Harvest7.5156
68100Arcadia Bluffs7.5137
65101MPCC - Shore7.5124
95102Laurel Valley7.5115
97108Flint Hills National7.4969
85112Hudson National7.4893
84113Black Rock7.4872
93123The Preserve7.4410
86126Double Eagle7.4398
90137Diamond Creek7.3913
83144Quarry at La Quinta7.3689
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