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Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, we met and became friends playing on the Brother Rice High School golf team. After school, our passion and skill level continued to grow as we saw more courses and learned more of the nuances of the game. Over time, we familiarized ourselves with different theories on golf course design, making it easier to distinguish the good from the bad and notice the little things that can make a good course great (or a mediocre course unenjoyable). Eventually we found ourselves having conversations about the subtleties of course design, discussing what we liked and what could have been better. It wasn't always just the course, either - amenities, history, and the charm of the place add to the overall experience and are as much a part of a course as the fairways and greens. These conversations led to developing a rating system that would take in to account all of the most important factors of one's experience at a golf course.

2 Play the Tips started as a small project, just two guys playing some golf from the tips. Exciting and positive input on our reviews made us realize that we could offer more, so we decided to take the site to the next level. Keep coming back for more - we'll be constantly updating and adding new, fun and interactive features for our users. We hope that you enjoy coming with us on our journey and that our site inspires you to get out there and start playing some new courses that you otherwise may have never played.

Thanks for reading, and remember to tip it out!

-Dave & Jason

Its always nice to see different top 100 rankings in Golf Digest and Golf Magazine, but for the most part, readers are left wondering how certain courses were place ahead of others. Our scale averages seven different categories on a 1-10 point system. A course will earn a 10 if it leaves nothing to be desired in a given category. A 1 will only be given to a course if it completely failed to meet a standard of decency in a category. The average of the following categories produces the total ranking of the golf course.

-Shot Playability- Does the course allow (but not demand) the golfer to hit every shot in his or her bag; draws, fades, high, low, and even on the ground?

-Short Game Playability- How good are the green complexes? Is the golfer given a true test of his or her short game? Can the golfer play a variety of shots around the greens? Is the golfer tested with the putter as well?

-Fairness- Is the course laid out in front of the golfer or is it tricked out? For example, a bunker that looks like it's 200 from the tee but its really 260 or 270? That's good design - don't blame the course when you hit it in a bunker when you could have just looked at the yardage book. On the other hand, if you hit a drive right down the middle and it funnels and rolls off in to a fairway bunker? Not good. If you hit good shots all day you should be rewarded. If you aren't, then the course won't be rewarded with a good fairness rating.

-Experience- Experience is the "everything else" rating. The actual golf course does not play in to this category at all. This includes things like the ride to the course, bag drop, staff, clubhouse, setting, practice facilities, bar, food, locker room, showers etc.

-Aura- Aura is a measure of how special the course feels. Factors that play in to this rating can be anything from the history of the golf course to having been selected to be a future major championship site. Any accolades will help boost a course's aura.

-Oh My God Factor- Fairly self explanatory... How many times does the course force your jaw to drop? If you find yourself walking up to greens or stepping on to tees and telling your buddy, "you have to bring the camera up here," this rating will be high. Factors include anything from scenery to bunker depth to length of the golf course.

-Design- How well was the golf course designed? Does it have a variety of good golf holes? Are there throw away holes? Does the course architect force you to think about what shots would work best? Is playing the course fun?

**Ass Kick Factor -This ranking is separate from the other categories in order to not favor courses that are overly tough (either on your score or on your calves). Ass kick factor measures just how much the golf course will beat you up by the end of your round, either by making a 5 handicap shoot 93 or by making you walk 9 miles from the first tee to the 18th green.

Total Rank

9.71Cypress Point Club
9.50Seminole Golf Club
9.11Riviera Country Club
9.07Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
9.00Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
8.84Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
8.67The Concession Golf Club
8.64Butler National Golf Club
8.64Forest Dunes Golf Club
8.57The Dunes Club
8.57Shoreacres
8.50Lost Dunes Golf Club
8.46TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
8.45Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
8.43Inverness Club
8.42Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
8.32East Lake Golf Club
8.29Bethpage State Park (Black)
8.25Rustic Canyon Golf Course
7.93The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
7.86Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
7.79Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
7.67Erin Hills Golf Course
7.64Holston Hills Country Club
7.56Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
7.53The Beverly Country Club
7.53The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
7.36Sandpiper Golf Course
7.36Bob O'Link Golf Club
7.36Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
7.21The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
7.01The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
6.81World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
6.79Rich Harvest Farms


Shot Playability

10.00Seminole Golf Club
10.00Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
10.00Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
10.00Shoreacres
10.00Lost Dunes Golf Club
9.50The Concession Golf Club
9.25Riviera Country Club
9.25Rustic Canyon Golf Course
9.00Cypress Point Club
9.00Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
9.00Inverness Club
9.00Butler National Golf Club
9.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
9.00Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
9.00The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
8.50TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
8.50Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
8.25Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
8.00The Dunes Club
7.70The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
7.50Holston Hills Country Club
7.50East Lake Golf Club
7.00Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
7.00Bob O'Link Golf Club
7.00Forest Dunes Golf Club
7.00The Beverly Country Club
7.00Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
6.50Sandpiper Golf Course
6.50Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
6.50The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
6.50World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
6.50Erin Hills Golf Course
6.00Rich Harvest Farms
6.00The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach


Short Game Playability

10.00Cypress Point Club
10.00Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
10.00The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
10.00Rustic Canyon Golf Course
10.00Lost Dunes Golf Club
10.00Holston Hills Country Club
10.00Seminole Golf Club
10.00Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
9.50The Concession Golf Club
9.50Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
9.00The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
9.00Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
9.00Forest Dunes Golf Club
8.80Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
8.75Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
8.75Riviera Country Club
8.70The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
8.50Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
8.50Sandpiper Golf Course
8.50Inverness Club
8.30East Lake Golf Club
8.20TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
8.00Rich Harvest Farms
8.00Shoreacres
8.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
7.70Erin Hills Golf Course
7.70The Beverly Country Club
7.50Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
7.50Butler National Golf Club
7.00Bob O'Link Golf Club
7.00The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
7.00Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
7.00The Dunes Club
7.00World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)


Fairness

10.00Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
9.00Cypress Point Club
9.00The Beverly Country Club
8.00Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
8.00Seminole Golf Club
8.00Butler National Golf Club
8.00The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
8.00Forest Dunes Golf Club
7.50The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
7.50Bob O'Link Golf Club
7.50Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
7.50Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
7.50Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
7.50East Lake Golf Club
7.00Erin Hills Golf Course
7.00Riviera Country Club
7.00Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
7.00Holston Hills Country Club
7.00The Dunes Club
6.50TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
6.50Rustic Canyon Golf Course
6.50Shoreacres
6.00World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
6.00Sandpiper Golf Course
6.00Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
6.00Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
6.00Inverness Club
6.00The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
5.50Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
5.20The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
5.00Lost Dunes Golf Club
4.50The Concession Golf Club
4.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
4.00Rich Harvest Farms


Experience

10.00Cypress Point Club
10.00Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
10.00Lost Dunes Golf Club
10.00The Dunes Club
10.00Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
10.00The Concession Golf Club
10.00Forest Dunes Golf Club
10.00East Lake Golf Club
10.00Rich Harvest Farms
10.00Butler National Golf Club
10.00Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
10.00Seminole Golf Club
10.00TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
9.80Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
9.50Erin Hills Golf Course
9.25Riviera Country Club
9.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
9.00The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
9.00The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
8.50Bob O'Link Golf Club
8.50Shoreacres
8.00Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
8.00Inverness Club
8.00Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
7.75Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
7.00Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
7.00Holston Hills Country Club
7.00Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
7.00The Beverly Country Club
6.70World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
6.00Sandpiper Golf Course
5.65Rustic Canyon Golf Course
4.50The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
3.50The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)


Aura

10.00Cypress Point Club
10.00Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
10.00The Concession Golf Club
10.00The Dunes Club
10.00Inverness Club
10.00TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
10.00Riviera Country Club
10.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
10.00Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
10.00Seminole Golf Club
9.50Shoreacres
9.50East Lake Golf Club
8.60Rustic Canyon Golf Course
8.50Forest Dunes Golf Club
8.50Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
8.00The Beverly Country Club
8.00The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
8.00Sandpiper Golf Course
8.00Bob O'Link Golf Club
8.00The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
8.00Erin Hills Golf Course
8.00The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
8.00Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
8.00Rich Harvest Farms
8.00Butler National Golf Club
7.50Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
7.50Lost Dunes Golf Club
7.20Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
7.00Holston Hills Country Club
7.00Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
7.00World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
6.25Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
6.25Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
4.00The Dunes Golf Club at Seville


OMG Factor

10.00Cypress Point Club
10.00Sandpiper Golf Course
10.00Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
10.00Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
9.75Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
9.75Riviera Country Club
9.00The Concession Golf Club
9.00Rustic Canyon Golf Course
9.00Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
9.00Inverness Club
9.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
8.90Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
8.80Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
8.50Seminole Golf Club
8.50The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
8.00Lost Dunes Golf Club
8.00Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
8.00The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
8.00TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
8.00The Dunes Club
8.00Erin Hills Golf Course
8.00Butler National Golf Club
8.00Rich Harvest Farms
8.00Forest Dunes Golf Club
7.75Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
7.70Shoreacres
7.50East Lake Golf Club
7.00Holston Hills Country Club
7.00World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
7.00The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
7.00The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
6.00Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
6.00Bob O'Link Golf Club
6.00The Beverly Country Club


Design

10.00Cypress Point Club
10.00The Dunes Club
10.00Forest Dunes Golf Club
10.00The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
10.00Butler National Golf Club
10.00Seminole Golf Club
9.80Shoreacres
9.75Riviera Country Club
9.00Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
9.00Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
9.00Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
9.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
9.00Lost Dunes Golf Club
8.75Rustic Canyon Golf Course
8.70The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
8.50Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
8.50Inverness Club
8.20The Concession Golf Club
8.00Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
8.00The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
8.00TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
8.00East Lake Golf Club
8.00The Beverly Country Club
8.00Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
8.00Holston Hills Country Club
7.95Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
7.70Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
7.50Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
7.50Bob O'Link Golf Club
7.50World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
7.00Erin Hills Golf Course
6.50Sandpiper Golf Course
6.00The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
3.50Rich Harvest Farms


Ass-Kick Factor

10.00Erin Hills Golf Course
9.75The Concession Golf Club
9.75Jupiter Hills Club (Hills)
9.50Rich Harvest Farms
9.00Inverness Club
9.00Lost Dunes Golf Club
9.00Bethpage State Park (Black)
8.50Butler National Golf Club
8.50TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)
8.00Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
8.00The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort
8.00The Dunes Club
8.00The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
7.50Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
7.50The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links)
7.50Sandpiper Golf Course
7.50East Lake Golf Club
7.50Riviera Country Club
7.00World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)
7.00Seminole Golf Club
7.00Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Toomey-Flynn)
7.00Bob O'Link Golf Club
7.00Rustic Canyon Golf Course
7.00Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
7.00Forest Dunes Golf Club
7.00Cypress Point Club
7.00Shoreacres
7.00Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
6.70Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course)
6.50The Beverly Country Club
6.50Holston Hills Country Club
6.00Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
6.00The Dunes Golf Club at Seville
5.00Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)


Jason's Favorites

Best drive to the course - Forest Dunes Golf Club
Best clubhouse - Forest Dunes Golf Club
Best locker room - Forest Dunes Golf Club
Best food item - Redamak's double cheeseburger (Golf Club at Harbor Shores)
Best 19th Hole - Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
Best Staff - Erin Hills Golf Course
Best practice facility - The Beverly Country Club
Best greens - Forest Dunes Golf Club

Best 3 Hole Stretch - 633 yard Par 5 11th, 431 yard Par 4 12th, and 240 yard Par 3 13th at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
Most Scenic Hole - 633 yard Par 5 11th at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
Most Scenic Course - Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club

Best Par 3 - 151 yard 16th at the Donald Ross Course at French Lick
Best Par 3 over 200 - 229 yard 17th The Beverly Country Club
Best Par 3 under 200 - 185 yard 14th at Shoreacres

Best Par 4 - 373 yard 13th at Forest Dunes Golf Club
Best Par 4 over 450 - 452 yard 10th at the Shoreacres
Best Par 4 under 350 - 302 yard 17th at Forest Dunes Golf Club

Best Par 5 - 571 yard 18th at Forest Dunes Golf Club
Best Par 5 over 600 - 614 yard 14th at Erin Hills Golf Course
Best Par 5 under 600 - 571 yard 18th at Forest Dunes Golf Club

Best Hole - 373 yard Par 4 13th at Forest Dunes Golf Club; 439 yard Par 4 6th at The Links Course at Lawsonia
Best Opening Hole - 422 yard Par 4 at The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
Best Closing Hole - 494 yard Par 4 at Cog Hill #4: Dubsdread

Most Difficult Course - Erin Hills Golf Course
Most Difficult Greens - The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
Most Difficult Hole - 481 yard Par 4 10th at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club; 481 yard Par 4 8th at Erin Hills Golf Course


Dave's Favorites

Best drive to the course - Cypress Point Club
Best clubhouse - Forest Dunes Golf Club
Best locker room - Cypress Point Club
Best food item - Redamak's double cheeseburger (Golf Club at Harbor Shores)
Best 19th Hole - Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
Best Staff - Erin Hills Golf Course
Best practice facility - The Beverly Country Club
Best greens - Forest Dunes Golf Club

Best 3 Hole Stretch - 135 yard Par 3 15th, 233 yard Par 3 16th, and 386 yard Par 4 17th at Cypress Point Club
Most Scenic Hole - 233 yard Par 3 16th at Cypress Point Club
Most Scenic Course - Cypress Point Club

Best Par 3 - 135 yard 15th at Cypress Point Club
Best Par 3 over 200 - 233 yard 16th at Cypress Point Club
Best Par 3 under 200 - 135 yard 15th at Cypress Point Club

Best Par 4 - 373 yard 13th at Forest Dunes Golf Club
Best Par 4 over 450 - 481 yard 17th at Erin Hills Golf Course
Best Par 4 under 350 - 289 yard 9th at Cypress Point Club

Best Par 5 - 633 yard 11th at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
Best Par 5 over 600 - 633 yard 11th at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club
Best Par 5 under 600 - 521 6th at Cypress Point Club

Best Hole - 386 yard Par 4 17th at Cypress Point Club
Best Opening Hole - 615 yard Par 5 1st at Erin Hills Golf Course
Best Closing Hole - 494 yard Par 4 at Cog Hill #4: Dubsdread

Most Difficult Course - Erin Hills Golf Course
Most Difficult Greens - The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
Most Difficult Hole - 481 yard Par 4 10th at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club

Seaside links

These courses have rolling terrain, very few if any inland lakes, they are sandy in their soil composition and they are usually wind swept. Last but not least, they border a major body of water.

Examples: Arcadia Bluffs, Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes


Inland links

Rolling terrain, sandy soil, and wind swept land with few or no inland lakes or ponds. No bordering body of water

Examples: Sand Hills, Shinnecock Hills, Lawsonia (Links)


Prairie land course

Sort of poses as a links style course with its fescue / native grasses but this vegetation is often too penal to play out of. This course can have inland lakes ponds and the soil can be less sandy

Examples: Prairie Dunes, The Harvester


Parkland links

A parkland style course that allows for the ball to be played along the contours of the land

Examples: The Donald Ross Course at French Lick, Augusta National


Parkland

Playing these courses feels like a walk in the park, with tall trees and lush green grasses.

Examples: The Beverly Country Club, Bethpage State Park (Black)


Desert

This course is built in a desert setting and has expansive sandy waste areas and vegetation native to dry climate located off many of the fairways.

Examples: TPC Scottsdale, Whisper Rock