Cary Middlecoff, the champion of the 1951 Colonial National Invitational, once called the host golf course, "the toughest par-70 in the world." Jackie Burke Jr., who finished second that year, said "If you're told to just go out and shoot par on a golf course, Colonial is the last one you'd try it on." Echoed Arnold Palmer, the 1962 champion, "It's not my type of course. It confines me off the tees and there are only two par 5s. I get mad at it and try to cram the ball in the hole. You can't do that at Colonial. You have to romance it, and be content with pars."
Many top courses, however, come ready made with a par of 70, either because there's an extra par-3 or two around or because they're short a par-5. I don't mind the par 70 setup at all. I figure if I bogey them all, I still shoot 88, which sounds a lot better than shooting 90. Colonial, Merion, Pine Valley and Shinnecock Hills are but a few of the top private venues that sport a natural par of 70. Here are some public-access classic tracks where you can bogey them all and still break 90.
Pasatiempo Golf Club, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside Course), St. Simons Island, Ga.
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Pawleys Island, S.C.
The Greenbrier (Old White Course), White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Marquette Golf Club (Greywalls Course), Marquette, Mich.
Wynn Las Vegas Resort, Las Vegas, Nev.
|Joe Passov is the Architecture and Course Ratings Editor of GOLF MAGAZINE. E-mail him your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org|