Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean)

Johns Island, South Carolina

About Us

Hi, my name is Billy Satterfield I'm a golfaholic. "Hi Billy!" should have been your knee-jerk response to that intro if you've attended Golfaholics Anonymous classes too. If you haven't attended any classes, but need to, my wife hosts them every other Wednesday night after PTA meeting. In Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 steps to recovery program, the first step reads; "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable." Substitute golf in for alcohol, and that pretty much epitomizes my life.

Billy preparing to take on New York's ultimate challenge
Billy at Bethpage Black
Billy at Whistling Straits
Billy entering Whistling Straits

As the self-named Golf Course Gurus, participants on this website love golf; the challenge, the comradery, and the flat out beauty. Golf courses represent some of the most beautiful, well-manicured places on earth. Renowned golf course architect Jim Engh once said, "Golf is the only art form whereby the viewers of the art can not only move within the artwork but also 'compete' against it." We concur. We love the individuality, the challenge, the architecture, the sanctuary, and the beauty - both natural and created.

Billy and RJay were in for a real treat when Jim Engh showed up during their round at Black Rock in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Billy, Jim Engh (course architect), RJay, and the assistant pro at Black Rock's 11th hole
Billy Satterfield and Tom Doak at Snake River Sporting Club
Billy and course architect Tom Doak

One the keys to any successful website is having fresh content. Whether it is new pictures, course reviews, or just a fresh look; the Golf Course Gurus website will frequently feature something new to look at or read. I also relish a good list—golf-related or otherwise. Every medium publishes them, and everyone with an opinion loves them. Top 10 This, Top 50 That, Greatest 100 of All Time, etc., etc. Lists inspire thought, instant debate, strong opinions, and renewed or initial interest. Golf lists are no exception.

THE AUTHOR AND HEAD GOLF COURSE GURU

Billy - Writer and Photographer

I didn't pick up golf until my early 20s but was able to develop a single digit handicap after playing for a few seasons. I play a very high ball flight with my drives getting virtually no roll and my irons land soft. I appreciate all the different styles of golf courses for different reasons and love the diversity that golf offers on its field of play. During the non-golf season I stay active by playing basketball, pickleball, and lifting weights. I also enjoy doing P90X workouts with my wife, Stacy. Beyond those things my life stays plenty busy while Stacy and I try to keep up with our four beautiful daughters and four sons.

Quick Facts:

  • Favorite American Course: Pine Valley
  • Favorite International Course: Old Head Golf Links (Ireland)
  • Favorite Golf Hole: Pebble Beach 8th
  • Favorite Course Designer: Alister MacKenzie
  • Most Overrated Course: Winged Foot (West)
  • Most Underrated Course: Playa Grande Golf & Ocean Club (Dominican Republic)
  • Course I'm dying to visit: Augusta National (GA) - Runners-up include ANGC and the home of the Masters
  • Best Round played: 68 at my home course (Highland), but I'm more proud of my 75 from the tips at Oakland Hills (South)
  • Most Memorable Golf Shot: My hole in one on a par four; a 290 yard 3-wood uphill at Highland's 3rd hole. I've had six aces and two albatrosses.
  • Most Clutch Golf Shot: Draining a 50 foot putt for eagle and to win my Hiskey Cup match on the 18th hole at Snake River Sporting Club.
  • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Alister MacKenzie, C.B. Macdonald, and Tom Doak
  • What's in the Bag: Titleist TSR4 8.5* driver, 13.5* Titleist TSR3 3 wood and 18* 5 wood, Mizuno MP-221 irons 3-PW with Project X 6.5 shafts, Mizuno T22 52* and 56* (copper) wedges, and Odysssey 2-ball putter.
  • Handicap: 5
The fam
Billy's family - Fall 2023
Taking a big swing at the lengthy 10th hole at Rock Creek Cattle Company
Billy at Rock Creek Cattle Company

GOLF COURSE GURUS ASSOCIATE BIOS

I've met very few people that dedicate the same time, energy, or passion for golf that I do; however there are some people that do. They are referenced throughout the site in blogs, reviews, etc. and so I thought it would be nice to put a face with the name.

John - International Rankings Analyst

John, aka "The Doctor," diagnosed his golf addiction shortly after graduating from medical school where he finally had more time to dedicate to treating the disease but so far has only magnified the symptoms. John plays a steady game characterized by straight tee shots down the fairway and almost always avoiding trouble. His schedule at the hospital occassionally grants him a full week off of work which he parlays with some vacation days to take lengthier golf trips including international destinations such as Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and Canada.

Quick Facts:

  • Favorite American Course: Manele (Lanai, Hawaii)
  • Favorite International Course: Old Head Golf Links (Ireland)
  • Favorite Golf Hole: Cabot Cliffs 16th
  • Most Overrated Course: Harbour Town
  • Most Underrated Course: Boot Ranch (Texas)
  • Course I'm dying to visit: Cypress Point
  • Best Round played: 76 at the Quarry Golf Course in San Antonio
  • Most Memorable Golf Shot: Driving the green and making the eagle putt on #14 at Mammoth Dunes
  • Most Clutch Golf Shot: Eagle from 166 yards out on the 1st hole at Valley View Golf Course during the annual Hiskey Cup
  • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Jerome Bettis, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy
  • What's in the Bag: Titleist TSR2 driver, Ping G430 fairway woods, Titleist TSR2 hybrid, Mizuon 225 irons, Mizuno wedges, Odyssey 2 ball putter
  • Handicap: 11
Kiawah Island
John teeing off on the famous 17th hole on Chantilly's Vineuil course
Kananaskis (Mt. Kidd) 5th
John on the 5th hole on the Mt. Kidd course at Kananaskis

Brandon - Ratings Collaborator

If there was a sport to be played growing up, you could count on Brandon being involved. From football to basketball to baseball, Brandon found a way to be successful at all of them and is one of the few Gurus that actually played high school golf. Brandon loves to go back to the tips to tee it up and uses a draw to get around the course. Brandon proved his Guru merit during a 2016 trip to Bandon Dunes where he was undeterred by the crazy winds and rain during that pounded down one afternoon as he maintained a smile all the way to the 18th green. You'd be hard pressed to find a guy that is easier to be around then Brandon and if you challenge him to a 90s music throw-down, be prepared to lose.

Quick Facts:

  • Favorite American Course: Pacific Dunes (Bandon, OR)
  • Favorite International Course: Punta Espada (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Favorite Golf Hole: 4th hole at Pacific Dunes
  • Favorite Course Designer: Tom Doak
  • Most Overrated Course: Torrey Pines (South)
  • Most Underrated Course: Torrey Pines (North)
  • Course I'm dying to visit: Chambers Bay and Gamble Sands
  • Best Round played: 71 at Juniper Hills CC and 72 multiple times at Highland and Riverside in Pocatello; have never broken par on 18 holes
  • Most Memorable Golf Shot: My first and only ace came on hole #3 at Mountain Dell (Lake) GC in SLC, UT at the 2021 Hiskey Cup with 50 of my best friends - Flushed a 9-iron 140 yards that landed about 10 feet past the hole and spun back into the cup. Bought drinks for each of my buddies (fortunately we're all soda drinkers so the tab wasn't too bad). Totally worth it!
  • Most Clutch Golf Shot: 2018 Hiskey Cup at Logan Country Club. Chipped in on the 17th hole off the fringe about 20 feet downhill over a sprinkler head to win the hole and the match.
  • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Tom Brady, Chris Farley, my Dad
  • What's in the Bag: Calloway Paradigm Triple Diamond Driver 10.5*, Titleist 910 3W 15*, Calloway Paradigm 3-hybrid 18*, Ping 525 irons (4-UW), Titleist Vokey wedges (56*, 60*), Odyssey 2-ball mallet putter with Super Stride 5.0 grip.
  • Handicap: 6
Hokulia
Brandon going pinseeking on Pete Dye's famous Teeth of the Dog course (5th hole)
Kohanaiki
Brandon showing no fear going at one of Mexico's signature holes; the 17th at TPC Danzante Bay

DJ - Course Ranking Advisor and Architecture Correspondent

DJ and Billy go way back to DJ's high school years when he was fine tuning his game at the Highland Golf Course. A job transfer took DJ's Dad to the Philippines for DJ's senior year which helped grow his appreciation of international golf. DJ is passionate about golf course architecture, analyzing golf courses, and discussing their merits. He also photographs the golf holes we play so that individual holes can be studied afterwards for their architectural merits. DJ is mid-single digit handicapper that prides himself on hitting lots of fairways off the tee and using good course management to generate low scores.

Quick Facts:

  • Favorite American Course: Pacific Dunes
  • Favorite International Course: Cabot Cliffs; I could play it routinely and not be bored. That course has everything I want in a round of golf!
  • Favorite Golf Hole: Par 3: Seminole #17; I love short Par 3's with a forced carry over trouble. Par 4: Cabot Cliffs #17; the most unique 2 shotter i've ever played. Can be played multiple ways from the same tee. Par 5: Querencia #4; I enjoy a Par 5 where a score of par is not disappointing. As a natural fade hitter, it's fun to start my shot over a canyon and let it drift back into safety.
  • Favorite Course Designer: Coore & Crenshaw. They routinely produce some awesome routings that maximizes the property given.
  • Most Overrated Course: Cabot Links
  • Most Underrated Course: Chambers Bay. Routinely ranked outside Top 100 rankings; yet the property is full of drama and delivers consistent views of the ocean. The back 9 is sneakily amazing.
  • Course I'm dying to visit: Tie between Cypress Point and Pine Valley
  • Best Round played: 2-Man Best Balled a 66 the day after we 2-Man Scrambled a 72 in a tournament. LOL!
  • Most Memorable Golf Shot: I got a hole-in-one at TPC Las Vegas #7 with my Aunt and Uncle present.
  • Most Clutch Golf Shot: In a match play event at Pacific Dunes, I drained a 35 foot birdie putt to force my opponent to make his 7 footer to extend the match. His eventual miss sealed my victory.
  • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Mike Keiser, either Bill Coore or Ben Crenshaw, my Dad and myself.
  • What's in the Bag: Titleist TSR3 Driver, Mavrik 3 Wood, Sim2 Hybrids, Taylormade M5 Irons, K-Sig Wedges, and Scotty Cameron Newport 2
  • Handicap: 5
Querencia
DJ going pinseeking at Querencia is Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Seminole
DJ hitting another fairway at Seminole's closing hole

Rich - U.S. Rankings Advisor

Anyone that has golfed with Rich Shipp would be lying if they said they have seen him miss the fairway more than twice. While that is a bit of an exaggeration, it isn't a huge stretch! Rich is the definition of consistency and his smooth, tempoed swing produces consistant results which keeps his handicap around scratch. Rich's engineering background helps him analyze golf courses and appreciate the architecture that goes into them. While he appreciates all types of golf coures, he really enjoys tracks that demand accuracy and the ability to flight balls on approaches. Rich is an easy going guy that loves the competition and strategy of golf and takes pleasure in 'kindly' kicking your tail in a match!

Quick Facts:

  • Favorite American Course: San Francisco Golf Club
  • Favorite International Course: Cabot Cliffs
  • Favorite Golf Hole: Bandon Dunes 16th
  • Favorite Course Designer: Tom Fazio
  • Most Overrated Course: Oakland Hills Country Club (South)
  • Most Underrated Course: Pasatiempo (CA)
  • Course I'm dying to visit: Private course: Augusta National (GA) - Public course: St. Andrews
  • Best Round played: Have shot -6 six times (3x at Highland in Pocatello, ID, twice at Juniper Hills CC, and once at Cove View in Richfield, UT). Enjoyed shooting 73 at Snake River Sporting Club while playing with Tom Doak in 2015.
  • Most Memorable Golf Shot: Albatross on the par five 7th hole at Cinnabar Hills (Mountain course) in San Jose, CA. The hole measure 503 yards and I holed out from the rough, 191 yards uphill with a 3-iron.
  • Most Clutch Golf Shot: Instead of an individual shot, Rich prefers to list his most clutch golf round....Winning the 2017 Club Championship at Juniper Hills Country Club by shooting a 66 (-5) on the final round to win by 1 shot.
  • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Tony Finau, Jack Nicklaus (in his prime), my wife Annette
  • What's in the Bag: Titleist 915 D2 driver, Titleist 917 F2 3&5 woods, Titleist TS2 3 hybrid, Mizuno MP-225 4-5 irons with SteelFiber i110cw AeroTech shafts, Mizuno MP-221 6-PW irons with SteelFiber i110cw AeroTech shafts, Cleveland RTX-3 wedges, and Odyssey Stroke Lab Seven putter
  • Handicap: 1.1
East Lake
Rich at East Lake's 16th hole
Victoria National
Rich at Victoria National's 16th hole

Dewight - Course Evaluator

Dewight is built like a NFL tight end and is able to combine his strength and hand-eye coordination to deliver a golf game that is envied by most guys his size. With power off the tee and soft hands around the green, Dewight boasts an all around game that can get hot at the right time. He loves to play in tournaments and can often be found in Blackfoot where his hometown course brings the best out in his game.

Quick Facts:

  • Favorite American Course: Pacific Dunes
  • Favorite International Course: Cabot Cliffs
  • Favorite Golf Hole: Pacific Dunes 13th
  • Favorite Course Designer: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw
  • Most Overrated Course: Pinehurst No.2
  • Most Underrated Course: Tot Hill Farm
  • Course I'm dying to visit: Augusta National
  • Best Round played: 69 at Sage Lakes (Idaho Falls)
  • Most Memorable Golf Shot: A hole in one on #6 at Bandon Dunes, with Billy, Rich, and Mike Murphy while playing in the Puffin Cup
  • Most Clutch Golf Shot: Having $33 on the line and dropping a 10 foot, downhill putt, on the par 3, 15th at Juniper Hills Country Club
  • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Let's go with the GOAT's: Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Tom Brady
  • What's in the Bag: Cobra Radspeed 10.5 driver with a Fujirka Shaft. Callaway Maverik 3 wood, Callaway epic hybrids, Callaway Apex Pro Irons, Callaway Mack Daddy wedges, Scotty Cameron Futura putter
  • Handicap: 7
  • Dewight Lee
    Dewight attacking the floating green
    Dewight Lee
    Dewight pinseeking at Cirlcing Raven's 3rd hole

    Spencer - Course Evaluator

    Spencer Ellis is a tennis player that converted to golf and hasn't looked back. His tennis background led Spencer to maintaining a 10-finger grip on the club which is utilized to hit the ball dead straight all day long. There isn't anything flashy about his game, just consistent results. Spencer is well traveled across the country which allows him to see courses in various settings and he also enjoy playing in tournaments when possible. His biggest pet peeve in golf course design is a bunker in the center of the fairway where Spencer is often heard saying, "Why am I being penalized for hitting it down the middle?"

    Quick Facts:

    • Favorite American Course: Shoreacres
    • Favorite International Course: St Andrews Golf Links (Old)
    • Favorite Golf Hole: Shoreacres 13th
    • Favorite Course Designer: Seth Raynor
    • Most Overrated Course: Bandon Dunes
    • Most Underrated Course: Gozzer Ranch
    • Course I'm dying to visit: Pasatiempo
    • Best Round played: 76 at Pebble Beach
    • Most Memorable Golf Shot: Hitting the floating green at Coeur d'Alene Resort; Hole #14
    • Most Clutch Golf Shot: Albatross at Riverside Country Club in Provo, UT enroute to a tournament win
    • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Frank Rolapp, Fred Heath, and Billy Satterfield
    • What's in the Bag: TaylorMade driver, PXG irons, and Vokey wedges
    • Handicap: 8
    Honors Course
    Spencer at the Honors Course's 9th hole
    Atlanta Athletic Club
    Spencer at Atlanta Athletic Club's 4th hole

    Daniel - International Contributor

    Daniel Reid is known for his text book swing and enjoyable, easy going personality. He and his father, professional golfer Mike "Radar" Reid, are both die hard BYU fans where they each played college golf. Daniel stands at 6'2" and generates an impressive combination of power and balance throughout his swing which produces consistent low scores. Struggling with your game? A student of the golf swing, Daniel is happy to offer some insight to get your shots back on track. Daniel has seen various courses across the world travelling with his father and at times acting as his caddie on the Senior PGA Tour.

    Quick Facts:

    • Favorite Course: Cypress Point
    • Favorite Golf Hole: 16th at Cypress Point
    • Favorite Course Designer: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw
    • Most Overrated Course: Torrey Pines (South)
    • Most Underrated Course: Victory Ranch (Park City, UT)
    • Course I'm dying to visit: Augusta National
    • Best Round played: 64 at Riverside CC in Provo, UT and a 64 at Sand Hollow in Hurricane, UT
    • Most Memorable Golf Shot: Tee shot on the 7th hole at Pebble Beach
    • Most Clutch Golf Shot: 230yd hole out with a hybrid for Double-Eagle at Valley View #9. That shot completed a birdie-birdie-birdie-double eagle finish to tie for first.
    • 3 People included in Dream Foursome: Mike Reid (dad), Jordan Spieth, and Tiger Woods
    • What's in the Bag: Taylor Made R15 Driver, Taylor Made R15 3-wood, Titleist 909 hybrid 19*, Titleist AP2's 3-pitch (KBS Tour Stiff shafts), Titleist Vokey Wedges TVD 52* and SM6 56*, and Scotty Cameron Santa Fe putter (18 years)
    • Handicap: +0.3
    Cascata 7th hole
    Daniel taking dead aim at Cascata's 7th hole
    Huntsman Springs 12th hole
    Daniel showing his incredible flexibility at Huntsman Springs 12th hole

    Stacy

    About 10 times a year Billy manages to get his sweet wife Stacy out for a round of golf. She'd love to play more but is quite limited due to the amount of time it takes raising a family of eight kids. Stac has a naturally athletic swing which will help her become a good little golfer once she has more time to dedicate to it. One of the best things about Stac though is her super positive attitude about Bill's golfing addiction and supports him in everything he does.

    Stacy Makai
    Stacy at Makai's driving range (Kauai)
    Bill Stonebrae
    Stac at TPC Stonebrae outside San Francisco

    Rick

    Not a golfer himself, Rick (Bill's brother) is the programming genius that helps make this website possible. Rick earned a Master's Degree in Computer Science from Utah State and specializes in web design. Besides helping with the design of the Golf Course Gurus website, Rick is the mastermind behind my real estate website FindPocatelloHomes.com as well as the popular LDSChurchTemples.com site. In addition to his professional web design skills, Rick cuts a mean rug on the dance floor where he used to compete nationally in ballroom dancing.

    Rick
    Rick . . . the wizard behind the website
    Rick
    Rick, the baddest web designer around

    Follow the Golf Course Gurus to some of the country's top golf destinations

    Golf Course Gurus