A Quick Nine: Golf course version of March Madness

Cypress Point Club, A Quick Nine
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The Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, Calif., is always recognized as one of the top golf courses in the world. Our PGA.com Facebook friends didn't disagree.
By
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
PGA.com

Series: A Quick Nine

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 9:11 a.m.

March Madness is upon us, folks. You know what that means, right? As soon as the NCAA Tournament ends, Masters week begins!

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. For anyone who loves sports, March is one of the most exciting, most fun months of the year. In the spirit of the tournament, we asked our PGA.com Facebook friends to tell us: If there were a bracket put together for the top golf courses in the world, which courses would be on it and which would emerge as the champion of them all?

Many great courses made the list. We had to narrow it down to nine for this feature -- no easy task. However, based on the answers from our readers, here are the courses that appeared most frequently in the responses. As you'll see, while you could really shuffle these in any order and not many would complain, most would agree there's no denying the overwhelming No. 1.

Remember, if you've been fortunate enough to play any of the fantastic courses listed below (and it's in our database), please click its name to go to the course page and leave a review.

9. Fishers Island Club, Fishers Island, N.Y. Designed by Seth Raynor, this gem routinely pops up on lists of the best courses in the U.S.

Facebook fan quote:

"Fishers Island, sleeper pick." -- John Steinberg

8. Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Ill. Just outside of Chicago, Medinah has played host to three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships. It will also host the Ryder Cup later this year.

Facebook fan quote:

"Medinah." -- Larry Huro

7. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore. The first course at Bandon Dunes only opened in 1999, but it has received worldwide acclaim ever since.

Facebook fan quote:

"Bandon Dunes." -- Nathan Storms

6. Bethpage Black, Bethpage, N.Y. Aside from being a world-class course, the thing about Bethpage that truly stands out to everyone I talk to is the fact that anyone can play it, as our Facebook friend below notes. It's not everyday that you can call for a tee time on a course that's hosted multiple major championships.

Facebook fan quote:

"Bethpage Black... anyone can play it." -- Randy Williams

5. Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif. Four U.S. Opens have been contested at Olympic Club's Lake Course and a fifth will be played there this June.

Facebook fan quote:

"Wow. I am surprised simply because it is super private and the average person cannot play it. That gives Augusta a huge bump. However, I think people are forgetting certain courses like where the U.S. Open is being held this year. I have been fortunate enough to play Olympic Club (Lake) a handful of times and it is without a doubt the best course I have seen in person, walked and played. With that being said, it is not a regular tour stop, but there are so many other fantastic golf courses out there. I might be able to make the Sweet 16 bracket or even an Elite 8. But from there, tough to choose." -- Joe Pike

4. Cypress Point Club, Pebble Beach, Calif. Designed by legendary designer Alister MacKenzie in 1928 (the same man who later designed Augusta National), Cypress Point is always in the top-3 on lists of best golf courses in the world.

Facebook fan quote:

"Is there even a doubt? Cypress Point!" -- Jason Bucci

3. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif. Arguably the most well-known golf course in the world and also one of the most beautiful.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Pebble Beach! Just saying... Hiddenbrooke top 25! Along with Olympic Club and a few other NorCal gems!" -- Paul Anthony Cutteridge

"I have, like most on here, never played these courses. But if Jack says Pebble Beach was the only course he could play if he had to choose one, then so would I." -- John Davis

2. The Old Course at St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland. This is the place where it all started... An absolute must-see for any diehard golfer.

Facebook fan quotes:

"The Old Course." -- Allen Sparvier

"St. Andrews is an amazing place and an awesome experience. I would love to go to Augusta to sample that fantastic place out. I will one day. Both places steeped in history. Walking round St. Andrews the hairs literally stand up on your neck." -- Mark Thompson

1. Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga. Based on the answers we received, this just wasn't a fair fight. Augusta National absolutely dominated the competition and -- in the eyes of our Facebook fans -- would no doubt be the champion of all golf courses.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Augusta National, without question, the champion in this scenario." -- Gary Weed

"Augusta would win it all. Every year! But the Final Four would be Augusta, Pebble Beach, Muirfield Village, and TPC Sawgrass." -- Craig A. Brown

"I gotta go semi-chalk here: Augusta, St. Andrews, Pebble Beach and Oakmont in a slight upset but not really over Pinehurst... of course Augusta wins it all they are the Duke of Golf Courses." -- Steve Medema

"My Final Four would be St. Andrews, Augusta, Pebble Beach, and TPC Sawgrass... with Augusta winning it all." -- Cleveland de Jesus

"I've been to the Masters and literally nothing comes close." -- Jace Magavern

"Augusta edges St. Andrews in the finals, Pebble Beach and Sawgrass round out the Final Four. Torrey Pines is a one seed that gets knocked out early in an upset." -- Seth Kennedy

"A golf course is only as great as the rounds, drama, theatre, and tradition it creates. For that, it absolutely must be Augusta National." -- Brad Patterson Pga

"If there's one course I would like to play for the equivalent of my last supper, it would at Augusta National. End of story." -- Cleveland de Jesus