Might as Well Dream Big
They say if you say something out loud you are more likely to follow through with it. If so, hopefully sharing our journey with you to play all of the top 100 courses in the UK & Ireland will help us realize our dream. Note to make the journey even more challenging, we've decided to play the entire top 100 based on three different lists.
We'll share our perspective on each top 100 course (along with some we believe deserve to be included) to help you decide and perhaps motivate you on where to play next. As we aren't qualified to base our evaluations using any sort of Pritchard scale, our approach will be a lot more simple. We'll copy the approach of a certain tire manufacturer who ended up publishing a pretty popular guide book.
The Tire Brothers Approach Redux
Our criteria is the course: good, worth a detour, or worth a special trip - but given we're now in the age of commercial aviation award a maximum of 5-stars for a course worthy of a really, really special trip and 4-stars for one worth a really special trip. (e.g. 5-stars equals worth an international flight; 4-stars equals worth a domestic flight) The rest will follow the tire brothers' vision, but to avoid ambiguity we'll designate 1-star for a course worthy of a 2-hour drive and tack on an hour per star up to the original 3-stars. (Despite a once promising career in go-karting, Big doesn't handle sitting in a car particularly well so be forewarned we're going to be pretty stingy awarding stars.)
Our determination will be based on the overall enjoyment each course provides. Courses set in stunning landscapes with so many memorable holes it's hard to determine a signature one will fare well. We'll also pay close attention to how well the course is maintained (realizing it's somewhat unfair given we'll be visiting courses at different points in time). Courses where it was hard to remember any particular hole afterwards will fare less well. We'll take note of the history of particular courses, but not penalize recent new comers. We won't be overly concerned about shot value or how fast (or slow) greens are running on the stimp meter. Hopefully our approach (and the pain involved for each star) will provide a clearer perspective vs. one involving four decimal points of accuracy.
Training Aid Reviews Too
Along the way, we'll also share our thoughts on some training aids that hopefully make us better golfers - mindful that no frills training approaches can certainly trump more elaborate ones and are a heck of a lot easier on the wallet. Due to the vast inventory already accumulated, we'll provide a longer perspective (at least for the first dozen or so reviews) of some aids we have been using for 12+ months which still spark joy.