Nobody gets more from less than Tom Doak. The father of modern minimalism has six original designs in GOLF’s ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S. The Cornell grad can also boast of five entries on our World list — part of a résumé 30-plus years in the making. And between designs like Barnbougle Dunes and Cape Kidnappers, there may be no architect in the world with a better-named stable of courses.
But as Doak will attest, greatness doesn’t always garner the necessary votes. Every year, dozens, if not hundreds, of courses remain hidden from the rankings. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are plenty more than 100 beautiful golf courses in the United States (and many more in the world). Often, our favorite gems are the ones that welcome the least praise, or have the smallest cult following.
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It is this love for the unheralded that led Doak to release his ranking of the top 10 overlooked gems in our Top 100 Courses in the U.S. list.
Tom Doak’s 10 overlooked gems in the U.S.
1. Crooked Stick (Carmel, Indiana) — Pete Dye
2. Davenport Country Club (Davenport, Iowa) — C.H. Alison
3. Holston Hills, (Holston Hills, Tenn.) — Donald Ross
4. Northland (Duluth, Minn.) — Donald Ross
5. Pete Dye Golf Club (Clarksburg, W.V.) — Pete Dye
6. Roaring Gap (Roaring Gap, N.C.) — Donald Ross
7. Rolling Green (Springfield, Penn.) — William Flynn
8. Sand Hollow (Hurricane, Utah) — John Fought & Andy Staples
9. Tobacco Road (Tobacco Road, N.C.) — Mike Strantz
10. Whitinsville (Whitinsville, Mass.) — Donald Ross
*11.* Stone Eagle (Palm Desert, Calif.) — (Mine!)