Sunday, September 28, 2008

Texas Clubs Dominate "Best Players" Rankings

The Golf Digest Index is an annual edition devoted to the finer things. You know: Lots of articles about cigars, cognacs and BMWs. This year's issue included a ranking of "The 50 Clubs with the Best Players." The ranking is the publication's attempt to determine the country clubs across America with the highest-quality golfing membership.

Or rather, the highest-quality of high-quality golfers. To be considered for the list, private clubs submitted the handicap indices of their 10 best amateur golfers, only four of whom could be college-age. Golf Digest Index averaged those 10 handicaps, then ranked the clubs accordingly.

And Texas dominated. Eight of the Top 20 clubs in the rankings, including No. 1, are Texas clubs. Those eight are listed below, along with the blurb that GDI included in its rankings:

1. Dallas Athletic Club
Mesquite - +2.53 index
Twenty-six scratch or better golfers inhabit this club, which features two Jack Nicklaus courses and hosted the 1963 PGA Championship and the 1997 Mid-Amateur.

4. Hollytree Country Club
Tyler - +2.44
Former club champs Reggie Howell and Jacky Lee are among the low 10 at this Robert von Hagge/Bruce Devlin layout. Howell was the 2007 Tyler City champ.

8. The Woodlands Country Club
The Woodlands - +2.02
Juan Salcedo recently paired with his son to win the state father-son title, and several members play in national mid-am tournaments. Kirk Noyes has the lowest index at plus-4.3.

9. Champions Golf Club
Houston - +2.01
Founded by Jackie Burke Jr. and Jimmy Demaret in 1958, the club requires a handicap of 14 or lower. Judd McGlohn and Jeff Ingram won the 2007 Champions Cup Invitational - the first win by two members.

10. La Paloma Golf Club
Amarillo - +1.98
Members Kent Neal and Casey Weiss waved the club's flag by winning the Ron Clark tournament and the men's city match play in 2007.

13. Royal Oaks Country Club
Dallas - +1.85
The club's top-10 players include eight-time club champion Chuck Palmer and Georgia Tech junior Paul Haley, winner of the 2006 Texas State Amateur.

17. Odessa Country Club
Odessa - +1.56
The club's original Old Course dates to 1939. Its best golfers are Gary Varnadore and Will Kinnaird, who played for Lubbock Christian.

20. Abilene Country Club
Abilene - +1.51
Current club champ Mike Cotter contributes to the club average, along with mid-ams Ryan Heller and Conway Jordan.


  1. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Kirk Noyes chops like a Ginsu knife. A plus 4 handicap? Riiggghhttttt....

  2. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Final scores with relation to par from the Carlton Woods Invitational, played May 15 at the par-72, 7,154-yard The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas

    22. Kirk Noyes 83-76-75--234 + 18

  3. Anonymous3:05 PM

    2006 Greater Houston City Amateur Championship
    Memorial Park Golf Course
    Friday, September 22, 2006
    Par 70, 7144 yards

    Kirk Noyes, The Woodlands, 40-42--82

  4. Anonymous3:09 PM

    2007 Champions Golf Club - MGA Season Ending Championship - Tournament Scores

    T38 Kirk Noyes 81 79 160


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