The golf magazines have rated the best courses since the 1960’s, but to my knowledge this was the only time when one asked its panelists to rate all of the best golf holes in America, to try and produce a definitive list. We limited the list to no more than two selections from any particular course, so a healthy bit of the intrigue was which would be chosen as the two best holes at Pine Valley, Pebble Beach, or Augusta National.
To rate the golf holes, I put together a panel of 70 people including at least one well-traveled golfer from nearly every state, compiled a list of nearly 1000 holes nominated by one of them, and then asked the whole panel to rate each of the holes they’d played — rating the holes based on the average score from the panelists who’d played them. It was a lot of data entry, but the list included a decent sampling of golf holes that weren’t known nationally at that time — the 5th at Bethpage Black [before it was restored], the 8th at Crystal Downs, the 12th at Indian Creek, the 4th and 9th at Myopia, and the 7th at Palmetto. GOLF Magazine gave out plaques to the courses, and I still see them in the ground occasionally when I go and play somewhere cool.