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Courses in Canada with a Cult Following

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  • Courses in Canada with a Cult Following

    A recent Golf Club Atlas thread had me thinking about the prospect of "cult courses" and exactly what that entails. For one, a large following of fans is to be expected. The thread identified courses in the United States such as Sweetens Cove, Winter Park 9, Tobacco Road, and even the upcoming Landmand Golf Club in Nebraska, yet to even be completed, as "cult courses."

    I look at it as this: a cult course would be one with a massive following on social media or in person, where criticism towards these courses could present a mob mentality. I saw someone, who is an architecture enthusiast, once say Sawanee is better than Sweetens Cove for reasons such as Sweetens aggressive, "over the top" shaping which causes drainage issues and Sewanee having a bit more sense of place, only to receive backlash in swarms. I have not played!

    My question to everyone here is this: which courses, if any, have a cult following in Canada?

    There is a maybe a few I can think of, but they are more supported by fans of the golf course and a placement on a top 100 list that have developed a following.

    Additionally, could a cult following be a good thing? I would argue yes, considering it's the engine behind Winter Park's success, or Goat Hill Park. Perhaps places that we, as a community, see as exciting, interesting and a good value should become cult courses? Maybe courses in Canada could push for a better facility of golf courses we enjoy, but lack attention? How about Gleneagles in West Van? Lakeview? Bridgewater? Waterton Lakes?

    Which courses should have a cult following?

  • #2
    I think Cabot Cliffs is starting to get one, regardless of its #1 status. Tons of posts on social media because of its views and surroundings. Its becoming a 'go to' destination for not only Canadians, but from people all over the world.
    Proud member of the Prune Juice Army.

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    • #3
      Cabot is definitely the Canadian course that would be on this list.
      Unfortunately we're behind the trend when it comes to exciting new courses. We have amazing tracks like St. George's that rank in the world top 100. But Cabot really is the only one that fits in the Streamsong, Bandon, Sheep Ranch, Winterpark category.

      I think there's a massive opportunity in Canada to embrace this approach. The municipal courses in Toronto could be JUST LIKE Winterpark. Unfortunately, the vision and support isn't there. Too many people in the city would rather turn it into a frisbee park.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by luv2kruz View Post
        I think Cabot Cliffs is starting to get one, regardless of its #1 status. Tons of posts on social media because of its views and surroundings. Its becoming a 'go to' destination for not only Canadians, but from people all over the world.
        That's what I was thinking too, Canada's Pebble Beach!
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        • #5
          Originally posted by drewharvie View Post
          A recent Golf Club Atlas thread had me thinking about the prospect of "cult courses" and exactly what that entails. For one, a large following of fans is to be expected. The thread identified courses in the United States such as Sweetens Cove, Winter Park 9, Tobacco Road, and even the upcoming Landmand Golf Club in Nebraska, yet to even be completed, as "cult courses."

          I look at it as this: a cult course would be one with a massive following on social media or in person, where criticism towards these courses could present a mob mentality. I saw someone, who is an architecture enthusiast, once say Sawanee is better than Sweetens Cove for reasons such as Sweetens aggressive, "over the top" shaping which causes drainage issues and Sewanee having a bit more sense of place, only to receive backlash in swarms. I have not played!

          My question to everyone here is this: which courses, if any, have a cult following in Canada?

          There is a maybe a few I can think of, but they are more supported by fans of the golf course and a placement on a top 100 list that have developed a following.

          Additionally, could a cult following be a good thing? I would argue yes, considering it's the engine behind Winter Park's success, or Goat Hill Park. Perhaps places that we, as a community, see as exciting, interesting and a good value should become cult courses? Maybe courses in Canada could push for a better facility of golf courses we enjoy, but lack attention? How about Gleneagles in West Van? Lakeview? Bridgewater? Waterton Lakes?

          Which courses should have a cult following?
          I’m not sure I see the use of the word “cult” the same way as you seem to. I copied this definition which is what I think of its more common use:

          “misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.”

          Maybe you are thinking of courses with excessive but not misplaced admiration?

          I will think on it.

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          • #6
            I don't know if I think about this exactly as intended but to me Osprey Valley (TPC) fits the bill. I know it's three courses but the Heath and Hoot have hardcore followings/admirers who simply love the place. The Hoot was underated for years and hardly ever played. Those that discovered it raved. Osprey was rarely busy although it may have the best set of courses in the country, certainly Ontario. I include myself in the following, I played there early and often and loved the place, even when it was mud parking and a trailer.

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            • #7
              I'll throw in the whole predator community. Can't talk even a little smack about them without getting torn down. It's apparently the best golf community this side of the Rhine lol.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bcampb00 View Post

                I’m not sure I see the use of the word “cult” the same way as you seem to. I copied this definition which is what I think of its more common use:

                “misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.”

                Maybe you are thinking of courses with excessive but not misplaced admiration?

                I will think on it.
                I was going with the Oxford definition:

                "a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object."'

                But the "misplaced or excessive admiration" could work as well! Is there any courses, that you've seen that may have an misplaced following?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pudubny View Post
                  I don't know if I think about this exactly as intended but to me Osprey Valley (TPC) fits the bill. I know it's three courses but the Heath and Hoot have hardcore followings/admirers who simply love the place. The Hoot was underated for years and hardly ever played. Those that discovered it raved. Osprey was rarely busy although it may have the best set of courses in the country, certainly Ontario. I include myself in the following, I played there early and often and loved the place, even when it was mud parking and a trailer.
                  I'd agree, I have played Heathlands since day 1 and am definitely a 'follower'. Love the place.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by drewharvie View Post

                    I was going with the Oxford definition:

                    "a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object."'

                    But the "misplaced or excessive admiration" could work as well! Is there any courses, that you've seen that may have an misplaced following?
                    We have a history of holding newer courses in higher esteem than they deserve. Recall earlier versions of the score top 100 lists that had courses like Crowbush, Lake Joe, Angus Glen, etc. very high on the lists when they opened only to fade quickly (and deservedly). I would say those were a case of “misplaced or excessive admiration”.

                    It’s hard to think of many courses in Canada with a following approaching “religious veneration”. We have so few that are worthy. So many courses, many decent, a bunch good and very few anyone would consider “great”.

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                    • #11
                      For Cult following, I think you can include courses people are almost defiant over how good they are when they’re almost . I think Lakeview would fit the absolute following with some questionable holes. Lookout Point would be another as it might have a good hole on the entire property.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JSGolf View Post
                        For Cult following, I think you can include courses people are almost defiant over how good they are when they’re almost . I think Lakeview would fit the absolute following with some questionable holes. Lookout Point would be another as it might have a good hole on the entire property.
                        Lakeview has 12 which is odd but still creates a interesting second shot. Also the landing area on 16 is muddled but otherwise it is solid. It has great bones and with some care could be very good. I think people currently rave that it's a great "muni" which is different than saying it's great in general.

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                        • #13
                          I think the success of places like Sweetens, Goat Hill Par, Winter Park etc (even Tobacco Road) is a product of non traditional media marketing. I think a lot of these places exist throughout the U.S. (without the hype) but getting so much press from the likes of No Laying Up, The Fried Egg, Adventures in Golf and social media in general has really put a spotlight on them. I'm not saying they're unworthy. I wish we had some spots like this around the GTA.

                          Cabot's cult like following is a little different than the other clubs/courses you mentioned. The courses and services are world class, but I don't know if they have the same community vibe as the other ones mentioned. I think Cabot could (especially Links being right in town) but the price tag is a bit out of reach for a lot of people.

                          Flemingdon Park Golf could have a cult like following with a proper reno and the right marketing team behind it.
                          It's not the wand. It's the wizard.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AdiosAmigo View Post
                            I'll throw in the whole predator community. Can't talk even a little smack about them without getting torn down. It's apparently the best golf community this side of the Rhine lol.
                            I lived in Kelowna for 4 years in the later 90's and was a hack golfer at best. Predator Ridge was way out of my league, always heard amazing things. Always played $12 Twilight at Ponderosa.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pudubny View Post

                              Lakeview has 12 which is odd but still creates a interesting second shot. Also the landing area on 16 is muddled but otherwise it is solid. It has great bones and with some care could be very good. I think people currently rave that it's a great "muni" which is different than saying it's great in general.
                              Lakeview is an interesting one, not so much for the layout (which I think is very strong and I always enjoy playing) but for the strong undercurrent of support from its "membership", the regulars, the locals who frequent it en masse. I enjoy overhearing the seemingly omni-present "leagues" comparing post-round scorecards on the patio as I knock a few putts before heading out. Ask anyone of them and I'm willing to bet there's a cult following at Lakeview. Almost like Golf Channel's "Muni" program. Love it.

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