Nationally-known golf writer and Golf Channel contributor Geoff Shackelford used his recent piece entitled “Golf Magazine Names True Spec Its Best Fitter, Neglects To Mention Key Fact” to insinuate that Valley of the Eagles in Elyria didn’t deserve its 2018 Best Renovation Award from Golf Magazine either.
In rightly taking the Golf Magazine/Golf.com ownership group 8am Golf to task for not disclosing that they also own the True Spec fitting company when awarding them “Top Clubfitter in North America“, Shackleford paints the Valley of the Eagles award with the same broad brush as another example.
And overall, to Howard Milstein’s credit, there were no signs he gave the Nicklaus Designs firm any favoritism in the latest Golf Magazine Top 100, restoring luster to the most credible of all rankings (there was, however this painful Nicklaus Design puff piece quietly posted in January and a very random best renovation award last year. Nicklaus Designs is another Milstein outpost).
That Valley of the Eagles renovation award at least received a disclosure of the 8am/Golf/Milstein ties.
So to help Shackleford understand that he might be off-base in his claims regarding the transformation at Valley of the Eagles, I felt compelled to leave a comment on the story:
Geoff, have you visited or played Valley of the Eagles in Elyria, OH? We reviewed it on our regional golf website at https://neohgolf.com/course-review-valley-of-the-eagles/.
You may think the Best Renovation award “random” because the course is not located in a big city. But I was born in Elyria and have played both the prior Spring Valley Golf Club and the new Valley of the Eagles. The reno work is so good it’s hard to believe it’s the same golf course…
Feel the same? More comments posted to his story might sway him — and reader opinion…
By the way, Windmill Golf Center in Macedonia made that same Top 50 Clubfitters list in February’s Golf Magazine that Shackleford highlights. Could WGC have earned the top spot if it wasn’t for the “undue ownership interest influence” the writer points out? Just asking…
(Full disclosure, Windmill Golf Center is a sponsor of Northeast Ohio Golf and Valley of the Eagles is a Course Member. Neither entity knew about this story in advance of posting.)