A golf course rankings alternative from the Big Mags: Western Golf Alliance's "Where You Can Rip It" list
While sniffing around the west coast of the internet this afternoon, I stumbled across a lesser-known golf course rankings system: the “Where you can Rip It” rankings of the Western Golf Alliance. Their club shield features crossing drivers and a beer mug overflowing with foam.
Click here for their 2010 edition.
I’m always curious to look at golf course rankings, whether it’s from big magazines from industry panels to Joe Blogger, because a golf course can be rated so many different ways. Founded in 2002, the WGA humbly proclaims they are “clearly the premier golf organization of the world.”
And who are we to disagree?
At WGA, they’ve sorted out Top 10s in nine western destinations, from Portland to Las Vegas and Arizona. I like the idea of rating courses by destination because it’s so hard to compare courses from different environments for many reasons. Not only is the terrain and climate so much different, but especially because “value” is such a relative term. $100 in Phoenix may be a bargain course compared to Mississippi, which better make you the best course in town by far. Considering these rankings come from members of the association and not writers or industry types, chances are value plays a bigger part in their rankings than larger magazines who consider the architecture and setting more.
Having played so many Sierra-Nevada golf courses earlier this summer, I took particular notice of the WGA’s Top 10 in that region. First off, I must make it to DarkHorse Golf Club sometime, a course outside of Sacramento, if it’s good enough to pass Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood G.C.
But I must proclaim lunacy with their idea that Plumas Pines should be ranked higher than its Graeagle neighbor Whitehawk Ranch. Whitehawk Ranch is an easy pick for a Top 5 course I’ve played all year, while Plumas Pines has some seriously funky holes, some of which are a tight squeeze around little vacation homes that are just begging to be hit (though residents seem all too used to it and were very friendly with our group as we quite regularly fished balls out of backyards, so maybe that scored points).
But in any case, I’ve never seen a rankings I didn’t like looking at, so kudos to the WGA for posting such a list.
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