Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. He is a regular contributor with Athlon Sports and PGA Magazine. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. His favorite golf destinations are Ireland and New Zealand, along with Michigan and California, where he lives with his wife and two children. Jason rarely touched a golf club until his college days at Eastern Michigan University, but now his passion for the game knows no out of bounds. He got his start writing with the TravelGolf Network in 1999. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

  • 4.0 stars from 5

    Breakers Ocean Golf Club

    "Short AND sweet"

    Don't let the scorecard from the oldest course in Florida fool you. Being so close to the ocean, this fun, sporty little track will get you. If you polled golfers on the first tee what they expect to shoot after seeing the scorecard, I'm guessing their score, on average, would end up three strokes higher than anticipated. The pond water hazards are always lurking, and the fairways super narrow. Any stray driver could end up in the street or an adjacent fairway or behind a palm tree. The best way to end the round is at the Flagler Steakhouse upstairs in the clubhouse. It is, without a doubt, one of the best clubhouse restaurants in golf. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Pasatiempo Golf Club

    "Pure Pasatiempo"

    Playing Pasatiempo overwhelms the senses of even the most hardened golf critic (me). I can think of dozens of courses that I've roasted over the years for these problems: A lack of a quality practice facility. Safety nets protecting homes and roads too close to the course. Fencing within the routing where holes dangerously interact with one another. Parallel holes where stray balls can end up in your fairway. Holes along roads. A hole where the length and difficulty is out of whack with the par on the card. A layout too short by modern standards to hold any prominent event. Pasatiempo has all of these 'issues', and I could care less. The place is so special that it's easy to overlook such minor details. Walking Dr. Alister MacKenzie's home course is simply one of the best days in golf. Each MacKenzie bunker looks like its own work of art. The greens might be the most interesting in the game. Some tough holes I may never solve - no. 1 and no. 11 specifically - but it sure is fun to try. If Pasatiempo isn't on the itinerary of every bucket-list chaser coming to Pebble Beach, then they're not doing the trip right. Thanks, Doc. We owe you a cold one in golf heaven for leaving such a treasure behind. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Berkeley Country Club

    "A name change nods to the past"

    The Mira Vista Golf & Country Club is no more. The private club located on a wildly rolling site in the Berkeley Hills is once again the Berkeley Country Club, its original name when it hosted the 1929 Berkeley Open won by Horton Smith (the first Masters winner). The downhill holes are simply spectacular with views stretching for miles past the port of Oakland and into the San Francisco Bay. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride - flying downhill one minute and then trudging painfully uphill the next. Because of these climbs, the course plays much longer than the card indicates. A 2011 renovation by Forrest Richardson solved one major routing issue (a par 3 over a road) and generally spruced things up. If you get a chance to play it, do it. Not only is it considered one of the Bay Area's hidden gems, but the members have earned a reputation as a friendly lot, something I can attest to after the hospitality at a fall media day event. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Trump National Doral Miami - Red Tiger

    "The second-best course at Trump Doral"

    I've played all the courses at Doral multiple times - even the old Great White course. The Red Tiger gets the nod as the second-best course at Doral. It's not really that close in my opinion, although I haven't played the Golden Palm and Silver Fox since Gil Hanse did some renovation work for Trump. The signs of hurricane damage are almost gone. Workers were chopping down loose branches and doing some cleanup work during my round. For the most part, the conditioning was excellent given how wet fall has been in south Florida. Being a shorter course loaded with water, the Red Tiger requires restraint off the tee. The key to scoring is accurate approaches over deep bunkers to elevated greens - not my strong suit. All in all, this is one of America's best courses under 6,500 yards, no small feat considering there are thousands of quality courses in that genre. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Biltmore Golf Course

    "Going old school at The Biltmore"

    After staying two nights in the iconic Miami Biltmore Hotel next door, I couldn't wait to tackle this equally historic Donald Ross course. Mother Nature had other plans. I was only able to get through 12 holes before the rains that have plagued South Florida came pouring down again. This was only the northern tip of a tropical storm, not the hurricane winds from Irma that ripped down hundreds of trees and branches on the course earlier this fall. The piles of debris I could see lining several fairways also line many of the streets in the surrounding neighborhoods. The entire region is still making a comeback. All in all, conditions were good. The greens putted tricky tough. The holes I did play were very much a treat. I hope to come back. By then, a new Jim McLean golf school will be operating out of the expansive practice facilities, adding another exciting chapter to this legendary golf resort. It opens Jan. 1. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Trump National Doral Miami - Blue Monster

    "Good times on a major championship test"

    My third time was the charm. I didn't have fun the first two times playing the Blue Monster (in 1999 and 2011) because I simply got my butt kicked. It's that hard. My ground game is no match for its never-ending onslaught of bunkers and water. But this time I knew what to expect, where to bail out and how to manage my game. The one time I tried to be heroic, I paid for it with a lost ball off the 18th tee. I'm totally impressed with how Gil Hanse re-energized an aging course. Making par where Rory McIlroy threw his iron into the lake on no. 8 and trying to drive the spectacular new 16th hole were memorable moments. The resort has really improved thanks to the millions spent by Trump. Don't be surprised if we see the course on TV hosting another top tournament in the future. The legacy of the Blue Monster should live on. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Breakers Rees Jones Course

    "Everybody loves Breakers West"

    I tend to be stingy in giving out five stars, but the Jones course earned it for a variety of reasons - pure conditions, a great collection of par 3s, some heroic but fair shot-making required, strong hole variety, a private-club vibe (for a resort course) and lastly, the element of surprise. Who knew it would be this good? Few resort courses located so far away from the hotel (20 minutes) would actually be worth the trip. This one is. For a fairly flat course in a gated community - the MO in south Florida - it overwhelms its regional competition. more »