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Readers rank Alotian as Arkansas' best golf course.

ARKANSAS BUSINESS READERS agree with Golf Digest: The Alotian Club is a smash.

How many of the 328 readers who ranked Alotian among their 10 favorite courses in the state have actually played the ultra-exclusive course west of Little Rock is anyone's guess. Still, 121 of them ranked Warren Stephens' playground as their top choice, and another 134 ranked it No. 2.

The readers' choice poll attracted 712 entries, down dramatically from the 1,100 entries last year. And what was missing from the entries was just as dramatic: There seemed to be no organized effort to promote the nine courses in Hot Springs Village.

Last year, HSV courses sucked up eight of the top 10 places in the reader poll; this year, only one--Diamante Country Club--was in the top 10, and only one more, Isabella, was in the top 15. Last year, Isabella was the No. 1 course among Arkansas Business readers. Diamante has been a reader favorite since it opened in 1995.

Still, the nine Hot Springs Village courses were well represented with a combined total of 4,285 points.

Readers were invited to submit their votes on the top 11 golf courses in the state. First-place votes were awarded 11 points, second-place votes counted for 10 points and so on. Alotian, which opened to its elite membership in the fall of 2004, received 3,171 points, followed by the Founders Course at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock with 2,787 points and Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock with 2,654 points.

Chenal's other course, Bear Den, was No. 6 with readers.

Sixty-two different courses received at least one first-place vote, while another 34 courses showed up on at least one reader's list of favorites. Alotian received by far the most first-place votes; second was Hardscrabble Country Club at Fort Smith, and third was Pleasant Valley.

Golf Digest named Alotian the best new golf course in the country in 2005. And this month, the magazine put Diamante at No. 38 on its list of America's 50 Toughest Golf Courses. No other Arkansas course was on that list, which the editors described as "courses that grab you by the collar on the first tee, slap you around for five hours, then reluctantly agree to let you limp your sorry carcass back into the clubhouse for resuscitation."

BY GWEN MORITZ

gmoritz@abpg.com
ARKANSAS GOLF COURSES

Readers' Choice

 Course Points

1 The Alotian Club, Little Rock 3,171
2 Chenal Country Club-Founders Course, Little Rock 2,787
3 Pleasant Valley Country Club, Little Rock 2,654
4 Hardscrabble Country Club, Fort Smith 2,141
5 Chamberlyne Country Club, Danville 1,486
6 Chenal Country Club-Bear Den, Little Rock 1,467
7 Pinnacle Country Club, Rogers 1,430
8 Hot Springs Village-Diamante 1,350
9 Hot Springs Country Club-Arlington 1,037
10 Big Creek Golf Club, Mountain Home 1,020
11 Belvedere Golf Resort, Hot Springs 955
12 Mountain Ranch Golf Club, Fairfield Bay 908
13 Country Club of Little Rock 825
14 Hot Springs Village-Isabella 814
15 Hot Springs Country Club-Majestic 775

Hot Springs Village Courses

 Course Points

1 Diamante 1,350
2 Isabella 814
3 Granada 675
4 Ponce de Leon 446
5 Balboa 316
6 Magellan 252
7 Cortez 216
8 Coronado 109
9 DeSoto 107

Most First-Choice Votes

 Course Votes

1 The Alotian Club, Little Rock 121
2 Hardscrabble Country Club, Fort Smith 79
3 Pleasant Valley Country Club, Little Rock 78
4 Belvedere Golf Resort, Hot Springs 63
5 Big Creek Golf Club, Mountain Home 61
6 Harbor Oaks Golf Club, Pine Bluff 38
7 Blessings Golf Club, Johnson 25
8 Chamberlyne Country Club, Danville 24
9 Centennial Valley Golf & Athletic Club, Conway 23
10 Chenal Country Club-Founders Course, Little Rock 21
11 Hot Springs Village-Diamante 17
12 Chenal Country Club-Bear Den, Little Rock 15
13 Hot Springs Village-Isabella 15
14 Hot Springs Village-Granada 14
15 Country Club of Little Rock 13
16 Course at Eagle Mountain, Batesville 7
17 Hot Springs Country Club-Arlington 5
18 Mountain Ranch Golf Club, Fairfield Bay 5
19 Red Apple Inn & Golf Club, Heber Springs 5
20 Glenwood Country Club 5

Top Vote Getters by Region

Central
1 The Alotion Club, Little Rock
2 Chenal Country Club-Founders Course, Little Rock
3 Pleasant Valley Country Club, Little Rock
4 Chenal Country Club-Bear Den Course, Little Rock
5 Country Club of Little Rock

Delta
1 Meadowbrook Country Club, West Memphis
2 Sage Meadows Golf Club, Jonesboro
3 Ridge Pointe Country Club, Jonesboro
4 Stuttgart Country Club
5 Blytheville Country Club

Ozarks
1 Pinnacle Country Club, Rogers
2 Big Creek Golf Club, Mountain Home
3 Mountain Ranch Golf Club, Fairfield Bay
4 Blessings Golf Club, Rogers
5 Stonebridge Meadows, Fayetteville

Ouachitas
1 Hot Springs Village-Diamante
2 Hot Springs Country Club-Arlington
3 Belvedere Golf Resort, Hot Springs
4 Hot Springs Village-l abello
5 Hot Springs Country Club-Majestic

River Valley
1 Hardscrabble Country Club, Fort Smith
2 Chamberlyne Country Club, Danville
3 Ben Geren Golf Club, Fort Smith
4 Lion's Den Golf Club,' Dardanelle
5 Cedars Country Club, Van Buren

Timberlands
1 Texarkana Country Club
2 Harbor Oaks Golf Club, Pine Bluff
3 Pine Bluff Country Club
4 El Dorado Country Club
5 Magnolia Country Club

* Formerly Bay Ridge Golf Club
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Comment:Readers rank Alotian as Arkansas' best golf course.(Golf)
Author:Moritz, Gwen
Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Mar 19, 2007
Words:879
Previous Article:Alotian, PVCC, Chenal get golf pros' approval.
Next Article:Arkansas golfers can choose from 202 courses.
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