MATT GINELLA’S “TOP 50 YOU CAN PLAY” INCLUDES TWO WACCAMAW TRAIL COURSES

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The Golf Channel’s travel editor Matt Ginella has been revealing his top picks of golf courses you can play in America. This week, he revealed courses 41 – 50 on GolfAdvisor.com. Ranked at #42, True Blue Golf Club joins sister course Caledonia Golf & Fish Club ranked at #14. Both are designs of the late Mike Strantz.

To engage with any ranking, one must first understand the criteria. As Ginella explains, “For my list of the Top 50 Public Courses in the U.S., my criteria starts with fun-factor. “When I putt out on the 18th green, do I immediately want to go back to the first tee?”

“Prestige of a course plays a role in my ranking. There’s a lot to be said for walking the same fairways as the game’s greats. Would you rather play softball at Wrigley Field or Walter Williams Park?”

“I also like variety. And that especially pertains to the par 3s. I’m not a fan of a golf course that has four par 3s that all play the same yardage. I like a drivable par 4 and reachable par 5s. Certainly a variety of scenery helps. As much as I love Bandon Trails, it’s hard to beat the coastal views atBandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes. No one plays Pebble Beach for the inland holes. And yet — spoiler alert — Bethpage Black, Pinehurst No. 2, Pasatiempo and Forest Dunes are all in my top 10.”

“Walkability plays a role in my criteria. Courses that encourage carts, or go as far as making them mandatory, drop down or off my list. Courses that encourage walking and offer caddies move up. Andas I learn more about architecture from architects who take time to devise the property’s ultimate 18, I have a greater appreciation for the routing of a course.”

“Conditioning is a tough one. It’s like assessing a course based on weather. I’m sorry if you played one of these courses on a bad day, or a week after they punched the greens, my list is based on the idea that you’re playing these courses in peak season and in perfect condition.”

To view the other courses included in Mattie G’s “Top 50”, click here.

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