Panelist: Masa Nishijima, Japan
Bio: Sixth person to have completed play on the entire Golf Magazine Top 100 Courses in the World list, Masa began serving as a courseranking panelist in 1991. He has written for a variety of Japanese golf publications since 1989 and has served as a design consultant for several courses in Asia. He is also author of the award-winning book, Analysis of a Golf Course, which was released in Japan in 2005.
"This lay-of-the-land course from Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore is a very good test, full of classic concepts. The green complexes are very interesting and include great contouring, and the bunker shaping by Jeff Bradley is excellent. I call him Mr. Sand Man. The scale is just right and fairway angles from the tee boxes are well done."
Panelist: Beth Daniel, Florida
Bio: LPGA Tour Hall-of-Famer with 33 victories, including the 1990 LPGA Championship. Played for the U.S. in a record-tying eight Solheim Cups.
"Cypress Point gives you the best of everything a course can give. The design is great and so is the variety. You get tree-lined holes, sand dunes and magnificent ocean views all in one golf course. I can't think of any other course like it."
Panelist: Laurence Lambrecht, Rhode Island
Bio: One of the world's most highly regarded golf photographers, perhaps best known for his depictions of the Irish coastal courses. Has published his own book, Emerald Gems, and contributed to numerous other awardwinning books and magazines.
"It plays like a links, hard and fast, with sandhills, fescues and a different wind every day. I liked the old-style walkability and the interesting green sites. It's not overshaped it's as if [architect Tom] Doak found the holes, rather than designed them. It reminds me of a Scottish or Irish course in the high plains of the Colorado desert."
Panelist: Tom Crow, Australia
Bio: Founder of Cobra Golf and former Australian Amateur champion. He created the "Baffler" utility wood, and he holds the amateur course record at Royal Melbourne West, a 63.
"To me, the Composite Course stands by itself, but both the East and the West are excellent strategic courses on their own. The West is the better known, but the East enjoys the same rolling Victorian terrain, and Alex Russell (who designed the East) literally worked for Alister MacKenzie when they built the West. Together, they prowled and plotted the four paddocks that would eventually yield both courses, so he knew what MacKenzie wanted."
Panelist: Peter Oosterhuis, North Carolina
Bio: An announcer for CBS since 1998 and a regular on The Golf Channel. Played on six European Ryder Cup teams from 1971 to 1981, where he recorded a record-tying six singles victories, including wins over Arnold Palmer and Johnny Miller. He won the Canadian Open in 1981, and was twice a runner-up in the British Open (1974, 1982).
"With Nanea, you have to start with the unbelievable setting on the western slope of the Big Island (Hawaii). It's a huge course from the back tees and reading the greens is a challenge, because they're built on the side of a mountain. There are no homes and the views of the ocean are awesome. The feel of the place is unique. You feel like it's just you and the golf and nothing else."
Panelist: Tom Doak, Michigan
Bio: Has designed (along with his Renaissance Golf Design Inc. team) more than two dozen courses, five of which rank among Golf Magazine's Top 100 Courses in the World or U.S. Also an accomplished author,with three books and countless magazine articles to his credit.
"No golf architect would have the guts to build a 6,000-yard course today, but Harry Colt did, and Swinley Forest might be his best work. There is just a single par 5 and it is a great one but by throwing out the normal quota, Colt was able to include six strong two-shotters, more than many championship courses can claim. The result is the Audrey Hepburn of golf courses charming, petite, beautiful and the envy of all."
Panelist: Terry Jastrow, California
Bio: Medalist at the 1966 USGA Junior Amateur in a field that included Lanny Wadkins, Tom Kite and Andy North. Best known, however, as one of the finest sports-television producers and directors.A winner of seven Emmy Awards, Jastrow has been the executive producer, producer and/or director of 68 major championships.
"Sunningdale presents itself as a joyful walk in the English countryside where one encounters 18 unique and sporty holes that challenge every aspect of your game.For good measure, its younger adjoining brother, the New Course, is an excellent course as well. I would submit that no club offers such an enchanting golfing combo as does Sunningdale."