Thursday, September 07, 2000

The “Birdie” Awards: Best of the local links

Area players, courses earn recognition

By John Erardi and Carey Hoffman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As we near the end of the golf season, we announce our awards, course rankings and recommendations.

Top 10 public courses
        John Erardi and Carey Hoffman rated each course's holes using a 1-10 scale, giving equal weight to shot value, aesthetics and condition.

        1. Elks Run

        2. Shaker Run

        3. Lassing Pointe

        4. Fox Run

        5. The Vineyard

        6. Walden Ponds

        7. Glenview

        8. Blue Ash

        9. Grand Oak

        10. Legendary Run


        Best new course: Links at Grand Victoria.

        Best bang for the buck: Sharon Woods.

        Best links-style golf: Legendary Run (front nine).

        Best "country' course, not far from town: Hickory Sticks.

        Most pleasant surprise: Glenview.

        Best public course: Elks Run.

        Best public course for the buck: Lassing Pointe.

        Most diabolical hole: No.9 (Woodlands) at Shaker Run.

        Best course to take in the scenery: Shawnee Lookout.

        Most course for the buck, difficulty: Fox Run.

        Best combination scenery/shot value: Grand Oak (back nine).

        Best combination golf course/learning facility: Mill Course/Meadow Links.

        Most delightful overall experience: Twin Oaks.

        Best hospitality: Miami Whitewater.

        Best big hitters' course: Hoosier Links (Milan, Ind.)

        Best par-3: Vineyard, No.13.

        Best par-4: Legendary Run, No.5.

        Best par-5: Elks Run, No.15.

        Best course in a housing development: Walden Ponds.

        Most consistent course over the years: Blue Ash.

        Best 36-hole track: Weatherwax.

        Most serene golfing experience: Hueston Woods.

        Best owner-designed course: Hickory Woods.

        Best technology: Indian Ridge (Global Positioning System which, on an overhead screen in the cart, specifies distances and hazards).Best new event: Fifth Third Classic at Kings Island.

        Golfer of the Year: Jim Herman

        Best deal: Play all day for $25 and get free golf shoes (metal spikes) at Taylor Glen.

Ten things we'd like to see next year
        • 1. For Lassing Pointe to do away with its “cart-path-only” policy for cart-riders.

        • 2. For all “cart-path-only” courses to loosen up their policy and permit 90-degree crossings of the fairway.

        • 3. For Majestic Springs to move the tee box on No.3 (111 yards from the tips) up to the hillside.

        • 4. A twilight rate at Elks Run so more people can experience this fine course.

        • 5. For the new nine to be completed at Aston Oaks.

        • 6. An emphasis on ecological friendliness the way Lassing Pointe does. • 7. Much success to Shawnee Lookout's offseason plans to reduce the target-golf nature of its double dogleg 15th hole.

        • 8. For the new back nine at Majestic Springs to live up to its potential — a great track with great conditions.

        • 9. For more courses to adopt Indian Ridge's Global Positioning System. • 10. For more courses to adopt the hospitality of Miami Whitewater.


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