Course Rater Confidential: Everyone raves about Seminole, but what makes it so great?

An aerial view of Seminole Golf Club in Florida.

An aerial view of Seminole Golf Club in Florida, which will host the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins game.

Courtesy Seminole/Jeff Bertch

GOLF’s Top 100 course panelists are among the most respected and well-traveled course evaluators in the game. They’re also keen to share their opinions. In this series, we’ll unlock their unvarnished views on all questions course-related. The goal is not only to entertain you but also to give you a better understanding of how to understand and appreciate golf course architecture. You can see GOLF’s latest Top 100 Courses in the World ranking here, and meet all of our Top 100 panelists here.

Televised golf returns this weekend with the TaylorMade Driving Relief, a two-versus-two charity skins match pitting Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole Golf Club, in South Florida. Yes. That Seminole — private, prestigious, ranked 34th on GOLF Magazine’s list of Top 100 Courses in the World, and a place that most of us have never seen. Tell us, why all the fuss? What makes Seminole so great?

Al Jamieson (Panelist since 2013; has played 60 of the World Top 100): Obviously, its history, privacy and culture greatly enhance a classic Golden Age course. It’s a very enjoyable member’s course while presenting a good test to the very skilled, especially in the wind. One can say the same thing about the Old Course.

Ran Morrissett (Panelist since 1994; has played 97 of the World Top 100): Seminole at 34 on GOLF’s World Top 100 is greatly underrated. A superb routing with only a couple of holes that don’t interact with the two parallel dune lines. Constant change in direction of the holes adds to the playing dilemma. Core golf at its best with wonderful long views across the property.

Joe Andriole (Panelist since 2006; has played 100 of the World Top 100): It’s historic, brilliantly routed and fantastically undramatic.

Steve Lapper (Panelist since 2009, has played 84 of the World Top 100): Seminole is, as others have mentioned, brilliantly routed across two sand ridges with a depression between. Once inside the gates, the course, like the club, is intimate and inviting. No frills, no excess — only pure zen-like golf that appeals to players of any handicap. It is one of the greatest mixes of fun and test found on this side of the pond.

Steve McHugh (Panelist since 2009, has played 71 of the World Top 100): The routing of Seminole is brilliant, utilizing a basically flat piece of land between two sand dune ridges brilliantly. Hole direction and length changes make it a wonderful routing and test in the wind. Very subtle, you learn to appreciate it more and more over time. Donald Ross at his best.

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