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    Scratch Players 1998 Course Ranking - NorCal/Tahoe/Reno region top 60


  1. Cypress Point Club  (Monterey Peninsula)
  2. Pebble Beach GL  (Monterey Peninsula)
  3. Olympic Club - Lake  (NW Daly City / SW SF)
  4. San Francisco GC  (southwest SF)
  5. Spyglass Hill GC  (Monterey Peninsula)
  6. Pasatiempo GC  (north Santa Cruz)
  7. Lahontan GC  (south Truckee)
  8. Edgewood Tahoe GC  (southshore)
  9. Lake Merced G&CC  (north Daly City)
  10. Stanford University GC  (SW of Palo Alto)
  11. Montreux G&CC  (between Reno & Mt. Rose)
  12. Whitehawk Ranch GC  (SE of Graeagle)  '01 SPC
  13. Meadow Club  (Fairfax)
  14. California GC  (South San Francisco)
  15. Stevinson Ranch GC  (south of Turlock)  '03 SPC
  16. Bayonet  (Seaside)  '04 & '05 SPC
  17. Ruby Hill GC  (southeast Pleasanton)
  18. Monterey Peninsula CC  - Dunes
  19. Olympic Club - Ocean  (northwest Daly City)
  20. Sonoma GC  (northwest Sonoma)
  21. Diablo Grande - Legend  (west Paterson)  '02 SPC
  22. Ridge  (north Auburn)  '00 SPC
  23. Monterey Peninsula CC - Shore
  24. Saddle Creek GC  (SW Copperopolis)
  25. Serrano CC  (El Dorado Hills)
  26. Spanish Bay GL  (Monterey Peninsula)
  27. Poppy Hills  (Monterey Peninsula)
  28. San Joan Oaks  (SW Hollister)
  29. Wente Vineyards  (SE Livermore)
  30. Del Rio CC - original 18  (north Modesto)
  31. Fall River Valley G&CC  (NE of Redding)
  32. Silverado CC - North  (northeast of Napa)
  33. Twelve Bridges  (north of Rocklin)
  34. Half Moon Bay GL - Ocean
  35. Half Moon Bay GL - Links
  36. Genoa Lakes GC  (NE of South Tahoe)
  37. Rancho Murieta CC - North  (SE of Sacramento)
  38. Fort Washington G&CC  (north Fresno)
  39. Granite Bay GC  (east of Roseville)
  40. Sharon Heights G&CC  (west Menlo Park)
  41. Red Hawk  (northeast of Reno)
  42. San Joaquin CC  (northwest Fresno)
  43. Sierra Nevada GC  (NE of South Tahoe)
  44. Hunter Ranch GC  (east of Paso Robles)
  45. Cinnabar Hills GC  (southeast of San Jose)
  46. Diablo Grande - Ranch  (west of Paterson)
  47. Baywood G&CC  (east Arcata)
  48. Silverado CC - South  (northeast Napa)
  49. Hiddenbrook CC  (northeast Vallejo)
  50. Sunnyside CC  (southeast Fresno)
  51. Presideo GC  (north San Francisco)
  52. Sea Ranch GC  (hwy 1, west of Sonoma Co.)
  53. Fountaingrove CC  (NE Santa Rosa)
  54. Silver Creek Valley CC  (SE San Jose)
  55. Dayton Valley CC  (NE of Carson City)
  56. Green Valley CC  (west of Fairfield)
  57. Incline Village GC  (northshore Tahoe)
  58. Tahoe Donner GC  (northwest Truckee)
  59. Poppy Ridge GC  (east Livermore)
  60. Peninsula G&CC  (west San Mateo)
  61. 60t.  Green Hills CC  (west Millbrea)

The most comprehensive ranking of golf courses in Northern California and Northern Nevada ever undertaken was completed in the later half of 1998.  The ranking encompasses every golf course, public or private, that was playable by non-members prior to 11/98.


NCPGA affiliated professionals and top amateur players within Northern California and Northern Nevada submitted 196 course ranking ballots on which they were asked to rank courses on a

"4 to 10" scale for courses they had personally played at least 18 holes from the championship tees.  The rating scale description

was stipulated as follows:

10 - world class/ultimate

9 - outstanding/national stature

8 - excellent/great

7 - very good

6 - good
5 - OK

4 - marginal


Ballot respondents were limited to "scratch players" (tournament based handicap indexes under 4 or golf professionals).  As a group, these golfers have the most current experience playing a variety of golf courses and primarily play from the tees designed to provide the best test of golfing skills as envisioned by the designer.


The criteria for ranking the courses was challenge quality (design, test, difficulty, decision skills, array of shot skills demanded, risk/reward) from the champion tees - 60 to 75% of score and condition, topography, enjoyment, ambiance - 25 to 40%.  In order to qualify for inclusion in the "Top 60", a minimum of 12 scores were required for each course with no less than 10 of these scores coming from players not affiliated with that course; the high and low score for each course was eliminated.


While other notable national golf course ranking publications include the top courses affiliated with the NCGA, this ranking includes the many new courses that opened for play in 1998, older courses that have been significantly renovated in 1998 as well as the other golf courses that have existed "below the radar screen" of these other rankings.


There are a number of notable observations based on the final "Top 60" ranking. The top 6 courses rank in virtually the same order as they appear in the national rankings.  Lahontan (near Truckee), designed by Tom Weiskopf, is the highest ranked new course and is ranked just behind the nationally ranked Alister MacKensie designed Pasatiempo (north Santa Cruz).  Edgewood remains the top ranked course in Northern Nevada.  The highest ranked course previously not ranked is the Rees Jones renovated Lake Merced in Daly City.  Nicklaus has arrived on the Northern California/Reno landscape in a big way with three of his designs making the top 21 (another 3 Nicklaus courses are scheduled to open in 1999).  The Ocean course at The Olympic Club is being significantly renovated by Weiskopf for fall '99 re-opening.  Every course appearing on Golf Digest's "top state" ranking list (13 in Northern California and 3 in Northern Nevada) made this top 60 list.  However, there are significant differences.  The designer with the most courses in the top 70 is RT Jones II.  Ted Robinson and the RM Graves company are significantly represented with John Harbottle as the "up and coming" golf course architect.


The sponsor of this golf course ranking is the Scratch Players Group; a non-profit organization which was recently formed by top amateur players from California and Nevada to pursue the interests of scratch players.


courses in green are permanently or currently accessible to the public

(as of 11/98)

                132 of the 196 Players Who Participated in this Ranking


Lou Alvarez - Auburn, '92 - '96 NCGA Cup teams - R
Dave Anderson - Head Pro @ Quail Lodge
Dan Arroyo - Berkeley, All-Pac 10 @ Cal, current NCGA top player
Mike Ash - Head Pro @ Rancho Solano
Larry Babica - Head Pro @ Sequoia Woods, NCPGA Cup teams
Andy Barnes - Stockton, Hon Mention All-American @ Arizona
Van Batchelder - Head Pro @ Whitehawk Ranch - L
Mike Baty - Stockton, long-time scratch am, past NCGA top player
Jay Berkowitz - Redding, Team Captain & varsity starter @ Cal
Bob Blomberg - Alameda, several NCGA Cup teams
Andy Blossom - Stockton, long-time tournament player, former pro
Tom Braun - Head Pro @ Brookside from San Jose
Mark Brenneman - Director of Golf @ Spyglass Hill
Jeff Burda - Modesto, '84, '88 & '97 NCGA Cup teams
Rick Burgess - Head Pro @ Colusa
George Buzzini - Head Pro @ Jack Tone
Don Chelemedos - Head Pro @ Stanford

                  Honorable Mention - next 10 alphabetically      

Brookside CC  (northwest Stockton)
Chardonnay GC - Shakespeare  (south Napa)
Diablo CC  (northeast of Danville)
Kings CC  (north Hanford)
Oakhurst CC  (Clayton)
Peach Tree G&CC  (southeast Marysville)
Rancho Murieta CC - South  (southeast of Sacramento)
San Luis Obispo G&CC
Teal Bend GC  (northwest of Sacramento Airport)
Whitney Oaks GC  (northwest Rocklin)



Jon Christensen - Head Pro @ King City

Jerry Chirpich - San Luis Obispo, '98 NCGA Senior Cup team

Kenny Collins - Head Pro @ Belmont
Byron Cone - Head Pro @ Fountaingrove
Bill Corbett - Mill Valley, scratch am, 82 CGA North-South team
Kevin Cullen - Head Pro @ The Villages - L

Dick Dallagiacomo - Anderson, '97 & '98 NCGA Senior Cup teams
Cliff Davis - Suisun, '97 & '98 NCGA Senior Player of the Year
Richard Davison - pro @ Sonoma, tournament scratch player 
Steve Desimone - Orinda, Head Golf Coach @ UC Berkeley
Dennis Donohue - Roseville, mini-tour player 
Larry Edwards - Placerville, past NCGA Senior "top player"
Alan Ehnes - Head Pro @ Fort Washington
Fred Elliott - Head Pro @ Wildcreek - L
John Enright - Montara, '76 & '97 NCGA Cup teams
Jim Evans - Menlo, long-time scratch player, NCGA "top player"
Paul Fakundiny - Head Pro @ Rancho Murieta, '97 NCPGA Cup - R
Sean Farren - Head Pro @ Lahontan, from Pennsylvania - L
Randy Fox - Head Pro @ Genoa Lakes
Dave Fowler - Class A Pro @ Buchanan Fields, '92 NCPGA Cup
Greg French - Director of Golf @ The Ridge - R
Bill Giffen - Stockton, senior scratch player, NCGA Board of Director
Mark Gilmartin - Reno, '86 Nev St Am Champ, '98 NNGA top points
Tom Goodman - Head Pro @ Plumas Pines
Ray Graziani - Head Pro @ Chardonnay - L
Steve Gutilla - Fresno, long-time scratch player, former pro
Randy Haag - San Francisco, 13 NCGA Cup teams
Robert Hamilton - Valley Hi & Cal varsity, '98 NCGA top 25 points
Ken Helwig - San Jose, current NCGA "top player"
Mark Heptig - Head Pro @ Rossmoor
Jim Hosley - Head Pro @ Baywood
Scott Hoyt - Dir of Golf @ Cinnabar Hills, '88, '92 NCPGA Cups
Jon Hughes - Head Pro @ Castlewood
John Hughes - Director of Golf @ Incline Village - L
Scott Humphrey - Head Pro @ Green Tree
Hal Ingram - Head Pro @ Castle Oaks, '78 NCPGA Cup team
Brian Inkster - Head Pro @ Los Altos
Chris Johnson - Rancho Cordova, '97 & '98 NCGA Cup teams - R
Jay Johnston - San Francisco GC, long-time scratch amateur 
Gus Jones - Head Pro @ Lightning W Ranch
Tyler Jones - Head Pro @ Poppy Hills
Randy Kahn - Director of Golf @ Moraga
Dennis Kalkowski - Head Pro @ Bodega Harbour
George Kelly - Merced, co-designer of Stevinson Ranch
Bob Klein - Head Pro @ Graeagle, many NCPGA Cup teams - L
Joel Kribel - Pleasanton, Walker Cup teams, '97 US AM Finalist
Al Krueger - Head Pro @ Round Hill, many NCPGA Cup teams

Mark Landry - Head Pro @ Tahoe City - L
Ed Leinenkugel - Head Pro @ Merced
Bruce Lewis - Head Pro @ San Juan Oaks
Greg Loosigian - Fresno, long-time tournament scratch amateur
Ralph Lotspeich - Head Pro @ Polvadero
Al Luna - Head Pro @ Bayonet / Blackhorse from Texas
John MacGregor - Sacramento, long-time tourney player, now senior
Glen Mahler - Head Pro @ Del Rio
Paul Martin - Head Pro @ Edgewood
Mike Mattingly - Head Pro @ Butte Creek
Tony McBroom - Stockton, long-time am, current NCGA "top player"
Jay McDaniel - Class "A" Pro @ Lake Merced
Pat McDonald - Roseville, '94 & '98 NCGA Cup teams - R
Jim McMurtrey - Danville, 4 NCGA Senior Am & 3 St Sen Am Champs


Steve Menchinella - Head Pro @ Sunnyside, '79 & '80 NCPGA Cup
Ted Mills - class A Pro from Modesto
Kris Moe - Teaching Pro @ Sonoma, '83 St Am Champ, was on Nike tour
Rene Mondine - Sacto, Sac St Head Golf Coach, '98 NCGA Senior Cup - R
Moon Mullins - Head Pro @ Half Moon Bay, 3 NCPGA Senior Cup teams
Dave Nelson - Reno, long-time amateur, 2-time NNGA Am Champ
Bob Niger - El Dorado Hills, long-time amateur, '95, '96, '98 NCGA Cup teams
Conrad Nilmeier - Fresno, long-time scratch amateur from Stanford
Bob Olds - Brentwood, '96 NCGA Sen PoY, '94-'98 NCGA Senior Cups
Jim O'Neal - Head Pro @ Palo Alto Hills
Jim Ono - San Jose, 5 NCGA Senior Cup teams
Danny Paniccia - Fresno @ Fresno state, current NCGA "top player"
Mike Paniccia - Head Pro @ San Joaquin
Daryl Parenteau - Head Pro @ Eureka
Mike Paul - Head Pro @ Santa Clara, '95, '96, '97 NCPGA Cup teams - L
John Peck - Alamo, long-time scratch amateur from UCLA - R
Bob Peterson - Head Pro @ Auburn Valley
Joey Pickavance - Head Pro @ Montreux - L
Steve Plescia - Head Pro @ Morro Bay
Joe Priddy - Director of Golf @ Bayonet / Blackhorse
Dallan Ragland - Fresno, long-time scratch am, '96 NCGA Sen Cup
Andy Raugust - Turlock, golf course architect
Randy Ramirez - Twelve Bridges, long-time scratch player & was pro
Jack Rosol - San Jose, former scratch, asso. Editor for Golf Today - L
Mike Rubio - Genoa, '80 NCGA Amateur Champ, now pro
Steve Schroeder - Palo Alto, long-time scratch, '82 CGA North-South - R
Doug Scrivner - Head Pro @ Copper River
Carl Selkirk - Chico, '93 NCGA Cup, past NCGA Board of Directors - R
Greg Senestraro - Head Pro @ Redwood Empire
Randy Shannon - Director of Golf @ Sierra Nevada
Butch Sheehan - Pro @ Wildcreek, '74 & '75 Nev St Am Champ - L
Steve Sheehan - Reno, '97 Nev St Am Champ, '98 US Mid-Am Medalist
Gary Shemano - San Francisco, '78 NCGA Cup Team, prior French Am Chp
Mark Sherman - Head Pro @ Green Valley, '91, '93, '98 NCPGA Cup
Stuart Smith - Granite Bay, long-time tournament scratch player
Steve Snyder - Head Pro @ Meadow, '91 & '98 NCPGA Cup teams
Fred Solomon - long-time scratch amateur, '81 CGA North-South team - R
Rod Souza - Stockton, '94 thru '98 NCGA Cup Teams, '94 NCGA Am Champ.
Randy Tickner - Dir of Golf @ Stevinson Ranch
John Theilade - Director of Golf @ Fountaingrove & Presidio
Rob Thompson - Merced, long-time scratch amateur & top senior
Walt Thompson - Head Pro @ Antelope Greens
Bruce Towle - Head Pro @ Tahoe Donner - L
Nick Ushijima - Stockton, '92, '93, '94, '95 NCGA Cup teams
Gary Vanier - Pleasant Hill, '82 St Am, '74 NorCal Open, many NCGA Cups
Scott Watson - Sacto & UC Davis, '97 & '98 NCGA PoY - R
Ken Webb - Turlock, long-time tournament scratch amateur
Paul Wilcox - Head Pro @ Diablo, '92, '96 NCPGA Cups, '97 NCPGA President
Jeff Wilson - Suisun, was on Nike Tour, '80, '84 NCGA Cup teams
Jim Wilson - Chico, '98 NCGA Cup, 9-year tour pro, '87 PGA tour - R
Norby Wilson - Head Pro @ Forest Meadows
Dong Yi - Alameda, All-Pac 10 @ Cal, 97 NCGA Cup, NCGA top player
Bob Young - Head Pro @ Elkhorn
Steve Zavodnick - Los Gatos, Golf Mag World Top 100 rating com - L
Bruce Zulaica - Richmond, '83 NCGA "Player of the Year", now pro

   L - ballots that included a score for Lahontan. 

5 other non-Lahontan afiliated scratch players also submitted ballots w/ Lahontan scores

   R - ballots that included a score for The Ridge