Zac Blair's Favourite Golf Courses

zac blair

I’m delighted to introduce Zac Blair’s 10 favourite courses. Zac is one of the go-to players on the PGA Tour for anyone who wants to discuss golf course architecture. He has a real curiosity about what makes a great golf course and spends a lot of time experiencing courses not on the Tour. Zac can often be found on Twitter asking for advice on other great courses to see during the week of a tournament. He will also give his honest opinion of a course - a refreshing change in a world when media training and corporate blandness is so often the norm.

However, Zac is not content with just playing the best courses in the world, he wants to design one too. He has a bold vision to create a homage to the golden age of golf architecture at his planned Buck Club in Utah.

NATIONAL GOLF LINKS OF AMERICA
It’s just the funnest course in the world that I’ve ever played. Anyone can go out and have a great time, you could play with a 15 handicap, 8 handicap, scratch player and professional and everyone’s going to have a good time.
UK Golf Guy Review, NGLA website, 1968 Sports Illustrated Article

ST ANDREWS - THE OLD COURSE
...because of the transition from hole to hole and the strategy involved.
UK Golf Guy Review

KAHUKU
It’s basically the roots of the game. It’s not in amazing shape but it is literally just pure golf.
Golf.com article, Kahuku website

PINE VALLEY
...
because it’s the best collection of holes on 1 actual course (non composite).
Golf Digest Flyover, Golf Club Atlas

CHICAGO GOLF CLUB
In my opinion Chicago has the best set of greens of anywhere I have ever played. It also has some great template holes.
Fried Egg, Chicagology

FISHERS ISLAND
Fishers has some of the best par 4s (3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 12) in the world in a beautiful setting that’s remained pretty intact. Is has amazing use of the land, and it’s also pretty amazing that there are only 1 or 2 fairway bunkers on the course. Raynor let the wind be a factor.

LA COUNTRY CLUB
LACC was my first real look at what a real golf course was with great topography, and awesome routing and great variety.
LA Country Club, Golf World Walker Cup Preview

SOMERSET HILLS
A place that is just extremely fun. Not the most difficult by any means but you could play it every day and be just fine!
Links Magazine, Geekedongolf

ROYAL MELBOURNE
The composite could probably rival Pine Valley for the best collection of holes. It has everything from scale, width, great variety to awesome one shot holes and still plays the way it was meant to play.
No Laying Up Tourist Sauce, Shackleford Golf Channel Analysis

SAN FRANCISCO GOLF CLUB
A great every day course. The green complexes are some of the best I’ve played - proper width, tons of options and you immediately want to go back to the first tee. I would love to see it firm and fast. That stretch from 10 - 15 is all world (I’m shocked when I hear people say the course is just OK). I really think San Francisco is in the conversation of places I’d want to play if I could only choose one course forever.
Fried Egg, Links Magazine

These were Zac’s Top 10 but he really wanted to add something about the one that just missed out!

10a - CYPRESS POINT
It’s an extremely sporty course that gives you a ton of holes to to score on - if you do the right things and stay in position. As soon as you’re out of position though the course becomes quite difficult. 15 - 17 get most of the spotlight but the other holes are as every bit as good... yes even 18!
Graylyn Loomis, Golf Digest, Playing the Top 100

Thanks a lot to Zac for sharing his list. I suspect there are not many PGA Tour players who would respond to an unsolicited Twitter DM within a minute and put the thought and time into doing this. Hugely appreciated and good luck with the Buck Club!

I have some more Favourite Courses lists coming up this week including another PGA Tour player, one of the world’s very top course designers and an ex Ryder Cup Captain!