They said it. We didn’t.
“They” are Golf magazine’s 88-member Top 100 Courses ranking panel, its editors, course architects, and “other short-course aficionados.”
“It” is the naming of Culver Academies’ R. Stuart Dickson ’47 Golf Course as the third-best nine-hole course in the world, second-best in the United States.
The high ranking appears in the magazine’s first-ever listing of nine-hole courses around the world and is included in the September-October issue. On the magazine’s website, the “expert’s take” on the course said:
“I strongly believe that site selection is the most important factor in golf course architecture, and these nine holes may be one of the world’s best examples. Incredible landforms perfectly utilized by Messrs. Langford, Morreau, and more recently (Bobby) Weed.”
The top 50 listing is for stand-alone, nine-hole courses. Culver’s course follows the Royal Worlington & Newmarket Golf Course in Suffolk, England (University of Cambridge’s home course) and the Witinsville Golf Course in Whitinsville, Massachussetts.
The lead-in article to the Top 50 listing is written by Ran Morrissett, the architecture editor for Golf. Morrissett has played the course twice. The first time in 2006, prior to the restoration of the Langford & Moreau course. He appreciated the course – for what it had been. But, he said at the time, he was not a fan of what it had become after years of neglect.
Ten years later, he played the Langford & Moreau course after it was fully restored to its original form by golf course architect Bobby Weed. He called the golf course one of the best – if not the best – nine-hole courses in the country at the time.
Morrissett is one of several golf writers who have visited the course since its restoration. He wrote about his return trip in 2016 on his blog, Golf Club Atlas.