In what is turning out to be an annual rite—sort of golf’s version of the return of the sparrows to Capistrano—the newest volume of Tom Doak’s Confidential Guide to Golf Courses is now available. Volume 3 rates courses throughout the “Summer Destinations” of the Americas, which means most of the U.S. (save the South, Southwest, and California), as well as Canada. It joins the two existing Confidential Guide volumes—Great Britain and Ireland, and America’s Winter Destinations—with Volume 4 (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) slated for release in 2017 and Volume 5 (Asia, Australia, and New Zealand) in 2018.
Doak—with co-writers Ran Morrissett, Masa Nishijima, and Darius Oliver—offers opinions on 675 courses, which, according to the introduction “makes it the biggest book in our series, and probably the best, judging by the number of 7’s and 8’s and 10’s we’ve passed out.” (All the courses are rated on the “Doak Scale,” which ranges from 0 to 10, unrecommendable to nearly perfect.)
Each volume also includes their “Gourmet Choice,” not necessarily the greatest but “the places that stir our souls, and will reward the visitors with something out of the ordinary.” These are the 18 from the new edition, some of which are sure to surprise you:
Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, Canada
Cabot Links, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada
Crystal Downs, Frankfort, Mich.
Davenport CC, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
Fowler’s Mill, Chesterland, Ohio
Gamble Sands, Brewster, Wash.
Garden City Golf Club, Garden City, N.Y.
Hooper, Walpole, N.H.
Lawsonia (Links), Green Lake, Wisc.
Merion (East), Ardmore, Penn.
Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Mass.
Oakmont, Oakmont, Penn.
Roaring Gap, Roaring Gap, N.C.
Rock Creek Cattle Company, Deer Lodge, Mont.
Sand Hills, Mullen, Neb.
Shinnecock Hills, Southampton, N.Y.
Somerset Hills, Bernardsville, N.J.
The Course at Yale, New Haven, Conn.
To order the new volume, past volumes, and sign up for the volumes to come, go to the website.