Have you ever seen Men’s Health magazine’s segment, “Eat This, Not That?”
It’s advice on choosing the best (or better) options on a given menu and avoiding the worst.
(For example, Burger King’s Ham Omelet Sandwich, with 290 calories, vs. its French Toast Sticks Kids Meal, with 680.)
Today, I’m launching the golf version: Play Here, Not There.
It’s not a perfect parallel, but the general idea is the same: the best golf courses to play on a given “menu” and the often regrettable ones that should be avoided.
For example, if you’re looking for an exotic golf experience on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, I’d advise you to play here: Royal Hawaiian Golf Club; not there: Ko’olau Golf Club.
While you might be tempted to play the more well-known Ko’olau (because of its history as, “the toughest golf course in the USA”) it receives more than 100 inches of rainfall per year, making for what is usually a soggy, cart-path-only affair.
Not only are balls lost to the jungle and ravines, they’re also prone to plugging in the muddy fairways. Indeed, locals say you should figure on losing one ball for every stroke of your handicap.
On the other hand, Royal Hawaiian Golf Club (formerly known as Luana Hills Country Club), is only five miles from Ko’olau, yet it receives 30 fewer inches of rain annually. This makes for markedly better playing conditions. So, this course, too, is a tough, exotic, and scenic test, but unlike Ko’olau, it’s more enjoyable than frustrating.
Here’s another example if you find yourself in New Orleans: play here: TPC Louisiana; not there: English Turn Golf & Country Club.
English Turn is the private but accessible course that previously hosted New Orleans’ annual PGA Tour stop. Unfortunately, seeing the houses of prominent socialites and celebrities such as Emeril Lagasse and Mike Ditka is the most interesting part of this dull and repetitive Jack Nicklaus design.
You’ll likely have a far more enjoyable experience at the current PGA Tour stop, TPC Louisiana, located in a suburb only 25 minutes from the French Quarter. This Pete Dye-design has many memorable holes and, as one would expect at a TPC/PGA Tour venue, the practice facilities are outstanding.
Those are just two examples to kick things off.
Do you have examples of, “play here, not there” that would be helpful to your fellow readers?
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