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Selwyn Herson Played Them All

Selwyn Herson's Best of the Best

When golfers hear about Selwyn Herson's accomplishment—playing the top 100 courses in the world—they almost always ask what his favorites were. He finds it impossible to answer. "There were twenty to twenty-five that I truly loved," he says, "but I can't rank or compare them. They were special to me in different ways." Here, with his commentary, is an alphabetical listing of some of his favorite experiences.

Augusta National (#5, Georgia). "It was a thrill to play the course where I've seen so many great contests on TV. I hit an eight-iron on number twelve but didn't know whether it was going to land on the green, in the water or in a bunker. (It caught the edge of the green.) On the greens it was like putting down your windshield."

Cape Kidnappers (#27 on the 2005 list, New Zealand). "Spectacular scenery. You play holes built out on the fingers of cliffs, looking down at the ocean. Tom Doak has created a monster. It's hard, hard, hard, but afterward you want to go back for more."

Casa de Campo (#34, Dominican Republic). "The ocean holes here are some of the best in the world."

Cruden Bay (#76, Scotland). "I didn't have high expectations, but the unusual holes and the scenery were magnificent."

Cypress Point (#2, California). "Walking in heaven. Six holes in the trees, six holes in the sand dunes, six holes by the sea."

Hirono (#35, Japan). "I liked the course, but for me it was the total Japanese experience that made Hirono so memorable. Everything is so different: the caddies, the two-hour break for lunch after nine holes, the huge staff weeding the grounds by hand."

Merion, East (#14, Pennsylvania). "It forces you all the time to hit the ball closer to trouble to have a better entry angle into the green. All day long you're dealing with temptation."

National Golf Links (#20, New York). "For the layout, the beauty and the lobster-tail lunch."

Pine Valley (#1, New Jersey). "The course seems like it's been there for a million years. Amazing how well the holes fit into the land."

Royal Melbourne, Composite (#8, Australia). "The layout is so subtle, so clever. It's a very challenging place to play."

Sand Hills (#11, Nebraska). "As if you were playing through sand dunes by the sea even though you are in the middle of the country. The course was designed around more than 100 naturally formed bunkers."

Shinnecock Hills (#4, New York). "Hard. Breaks your back. Wears you down."

St. Andrews, Old (#6, Scotland). "I was in awe. The layout, the history, the clubhouse, the town—you can't compare it to anything."

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