Alan Shipnuck's Favourite Golf Courses

Next up in our ‘favourite courses’ series is Alan Shipnuck.

Shipnuck is the leading long-form writer in the game today. He was a twenty year old intern when he wrote his first cover story for Sports Illustrated and has twice been the recipient of an award from the Golf Writers Association of America. He breaks more exclusives than anyone in the world of golf and is not one to shy away from controversy. His golf.com podcasts, especially his Major wraps with Michael Bamberger, are among the very best in the business. He is currently taking on the whole of European Twitter in the build-up to the Ryder Cup.

If you are looking to explore his work further, may I direct you to this article on Masters winner Patrick Reed, this masterpiece on Pat Perez and this tour de force on the tragic death of Wayne Westner - all penned in the last couple of years. Nobody does it better.

 On the range at Muirfield with the great Alan Shipnuck

On the range at Muirfield with the great Alan Shipnuck

Shipnuck has seen many of the world’s best golf courses. His Scottish road trip, chronicled in this article, is a must read for those planning a similar adventure. I met Alan on the range at Muirfield during that trip and battled the 30mph wind in the group behind him. Safe to say his elegance with the pen wasn’t matched with his irons on that occasion!

So here are Alan Shipnuck’s favourite 10 courses with some links if you want to delve a little deeper with these courses. You will see there is a nautical theme!

1. CRUDEN BAY
A nonstop thrill ride of fun, quirky holes up, down, and across wild terrain.
Golf Club Atlas, Cruden Bay Website

2. PEBBLE BEACH GOLF LINKS
Demands more heroic shots than any other course and offers the most majestic view in golf.
UK Golf Guy Review, Monterey Herald History, Youtube - Tiger Wood 2000

3. NORTH BERWICK (WEST LINKS)
The quintessence of Scottish golf, with so many unexpected twists and turns and some truly iconic holes.
UK Golf Guy review, Scottish Golf History, Planet Golf

4. CYPRESS POINT
The first ten holes are peak MacKenzie in terms of bunkering and green complexes, while 11-17 is quite simply the best golf on the planet.
Graylyn Loomis, Golf Digest, Playing the Top 100

5. ST ANDREWS - THE OLD COURSE
The most fascinating and charming course we have, and there’s nothing like those greens.
UK Golf Guy Review

6. MACRIHANISH GOLF CLUB
It begins with the best opening hole in the world and then just keeps on coming, with one great hole after another through heaving dunes.
Macrihanish Golf Club, Golf Empire

7. NATIONAL GOLF LINKS OF AMERICA
The template of C.B. Macdonald’s and Seth Raynor’s skill, weaved into the ideal terrain.
UK Golf Guy Review, NGLA website, 1968 Sports Illustrated Article

8. LAHINCH GOLF CLUB
It has the kind of unforgettable holes that compels a man to cross an ocean.
UK Golf Guy Review, Graylyn Loomis

9. MONTEREY PENINSULA COUNTRY CLUB (THE SHORE)
As elegant and beautiful as a painting, loaded with risk-reward shots that stir the soul.
MPCC site, Golf Course Gurus,

10. CASTLE STUART GOLF LINKS
A stunning new design that feels like it’s been there forever.
UK Golf Guy Review, Top100GolfCourses.com

A big thanks to Alan for taking the time to put this list together. I love his selection - dramatic courses by the sea which don’t go for spectacle at the expense of quality.

Tomorrow’s favourite courses come from Pat Goss, Director of Golf & Player Development at Northwestern University, coach to Luke Donald, and another man who has played many of the world’s great courses.