ted.arlt's comments on the Routing thread have inspired me to drag out Doaks Confidential Guide to Golf Courses for another read. I have the 1996 edition which is, I believe is the most recent version. I have listed below the great mans ratings on a State by State basis, with a few select comments. Is this still a valid review of most of our top courses?
(Doak 6) "a pretty dull layout"
(5) "sorely handicapped by mediocre finishing par
New South Wales
(7) "one of the most violent golf courses in the world"
"the routing is excellent"
(7) "relatively unheralded course" "not an
indifferent hole on the course"
(6) "the course is underestimated in comparison to others in Sydney"
(5) "the best links golf course in Australia"
(8)"not the best course in Melbourne, but one worth playing
while you are there" one of the most pleasant and
strategically pure courses one could hope to find"
(5)"the Firestone of Australia...a boring golf
(8) "clearly Melbourne's second best course"
(6) "suffers in comparison to some of the other Sandbelt
(0-6) "virtually unplayable a couple of afternoons a
(West 10) (East 6) "Royal Melbourne is the course Augusta
wants to be" "brilliantly routed" "bunkered
to reward bold play"
(7) "short holes are unusually dull" "lacks the
strategic interest of Commonwealth, the variety of Kingston Heath
and the charm of Yarra Yarra"
(6) "many standout holes" "majority of holes slide left to right"
(6) "a pretty good course" "the course could flow
(8) "the two shotters impress most"
(5) "boy am I glad I didn't fly all the way acoss the continent to see this one"
Is this still a fair appraisal of golf in this country? Did Doak get it wrong? Would his list still be the same if he re-did the whole thing now (and of course including all the new course built since 1998)