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What is surprising to first-time players at Spyglass Hill is how hilly the course is, even on dunes holes like the par-4 second. When it opened three years ago, we predicted Old Macdonald would eventually become the most popular course at Bandon Dunes Resort, mainly because it has wide fairways and generous greens.
The rugged dunes-like topography of Arcadia Bluffs was always there, just hidden beneath a forest that was removed to construct the course.
Karsten Creek, winner of Golf Digest's Best New Public Course title in 1994, was developed by Oklahoma State University and thus is also often at the top of rankings of the best collegiate courses in America.
The first encounter with the serpentine Sheboygan River is from the tee on the gorgeous par-4 fifth, so far right that it merely frames the picture. Bandon Trails is much like Spyglass Hill on the Monterey Peninsula, not directly adjacent to the Pacific Ocean but still a tremendous romp through coast terrain. The Highland Course at Primland, named in 2007 as the year's Best New Public Course in the $75 and Over category, sits atop a mountain plateau overlooking some of the most unusual scenery in America, a deep river valley dotted with tall spirals of rock.
Forest Dunes is another course, like Spyglass Hill, that has portions that look like Augusta National (pristine turf, pines and gleaming white sand bunkers) and other portions that look like Pine Valley (rugged holes edged by native sand dunes deposited by the nearby Au Sable River). It doesn't get the press that courses like Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Whistling Straits or Arcadia Bluffs, but The Quarry at Giants Ridge plays very links-like with its collection of fairway speed slots, greenside bankboards and backstops and reverse camber greens.
By the time Golf Digest named Chambers Bay as America's Best New Public Course of 2008 and in difficulties around and on the windswept greens.
Built some 35 years after nearby Harbour Town Golf Links, May River is an interesting contrast in Jack Nicklaus's portfolio, an equally low-profile layout with a number of bump-and-run approach shots but with several Pine Valley-like waste areas. Conceived as an exclusive private club just a few miles north of Pinehurst, the economic downturn forced owners to open its doors to outside play last year.
The immediate thrill at Mauna Kea is its now-iconic par-3 third, a daunting tee shot over an ocean cove that's a great substitute for those unable to gain an invitation to tackle the 16th at Cypress Point. When it first opened, Pronghorn was strictly private and its Nicklaus Course was ranked by Golf Digest as No. Few golfers recognize that the East Course at The Broadmoor is a combination of Donald Ross holes (one through six and 16 through 18) and Robert Trent Jones ones (holes seven to 15).
If anything, The Challenge at Manele should be even more popular than Mauna Kea, as it has not just one, but three ocean-cove holes, including the par-3 12th and dogleg-right par-4 17th.
Torrey Pines sits on one of the prettiest golf course sites in America, atop coastal bluffs north of San Diego with eye dazzling views of the Pacific. Wolf Creek is a fantasy calendar come to life, with holes clinging to stark canyon hillsides and plunging down narrow ravines. The Irish Course has same manufactured dunescape as found on its more famous sister Straits Course, but has three major differences.
Paa-Ko Ridge, Golf Digest's Best New Affordable Public Course of 2000, is quite long from the tips and regular tees. Originally private, the TPC Stadium Course (the original 18 at PGA West) was a candidate for Golf Digest's Best New Private Course of 1986. Although it didn't get built for another 15 years, Fallen Oak Golf Club was first conceived by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn soon after Tom Fazio had completed Shadow Creek. Unlike its older brother, the Fazio Foothills Course, which had been among America's 100 Greatest Public in 2011-2012 but slipped off this year, the Fazio Canyons courses at Barton Creek has wider corridors, softer slopes and more gentle bunkering.
Part of Crosswater was reportedly built in the meadow where John Wayne, as Rooster Cogburn, filmed his climactic charge with guns blazing in the 1969 film, True Grit. The Harvester is a throwback design, incorporating the look, feel and playing qualities of classic old courses built 75 years ago.
Mattaponi Springs was carved from a dense Virginia pine forest by Bob Lohmann and his then-associate Mike Benkusky, the team that also produced (in the same year) the private Canyata in Illinois, ranked No. Its ocean dunes are mostly covered with turfgrass and mature trees now, but when Robert Trent Jones built The Dunes back in the late 1940s, the property was most windswept sand dotted with lagoons. Back in 1966, Golden Horseshoe was ranked among America's 200 Toughest Courses by Golf Digest. One of the great engineering feats in golf thus far in this century, Cascata climbs up and down a steep, rocky mountain hillside southeast of Vegas.
A stern championship test for a casino resort destination, Tom Fazio's Atunyote features a pond or wetlands in play on three of the first nine holes and on all but one hole on the back nine.
Part of a sterling list of Ten Best New Upscale Public Courses of 1999 (which included Bandon Dunes, Whistling Straits, Bay Harbor and Tobacco Road), the Golf Club at Cuscowilla has wowed our panelists with its variety of terrain, from piney woods to meadow holes to waterfront holes along Lake Oconee. The number in parentheses after each country name is the approximate number of golf courses in that country.Where a facility has more than one course, the name of the ranked course is shown in parentheses. The August edition of Golf World magazine had a special section devoted to the World's Top 100 golf courses. Golf Digest Ireland will be bringing out their Top 100 Irish Courses in mid-November, so it's always interesting to provide a little groundwork, a little perspective, before that list (always up for debate) arrives on the newsagents' shelves. Great to see RCD still being lauded internationally, at least by our neighbours across the Irish Sea. On another subject, the magazine did three big interviews with professional golfers - the first of which was with Darren Clarke. Where the Straits is superior than either of those two iconic courses is in its par-3 holes. Some might call The Ocean Course a links, but water comes into play with annoying frequency and only some of the greens accept low, running approach shots, on Paspalum turf that is not conducive to bump-and-run. Shadow Creek plays like a musical composition in three movements, with alternating heavy beats and light moments, building to an resounding crescendo. What's more, the holes are a more natural fit into the windswept terrain than the mammoth-mounded Straits Course.

2 has long been considered a great second-shot course because of its convex greens that demand precise iron play. What makes this lakefront layout different than other lakeside ones, say Whistling Straits or Bay Harbor, are its distinctive stacked-sod bunkers. But it creeps ever closer on the next few holes, always in the slice zone, until the reachable par-4 ninth, where it taunts us to carry it and go directly for the green.
Its opening and finishing holes are in more rugged sand dunes than Spyglass, and while its forest holes might lack the towering drama of the Monterey pines found at Spyglass, the tumbling topography of Bandon Trails provides a majesty all its own.17. Back when Pete Dye was building the course, he was asked to dispose of a huge quantity of sewer sludge from housing developments on Hilton Head, so he dug a big pit to the left of the par-4 16th, had it dumped in there, then covered it with acres of sand. A century-old stone aqueduct brings water from the top of a rain-soaked volcano down to a pond that sits 800 feet above the course. The course design by veteran British architect Donald Steel is austere in its green contours and bunkering, as if not to overpower the setting.23. Forest Dunes has clever greens with subtle contouring, with some treacherous pin positions just beyond false fronts of steep putting surface or just beside fall-away ear lobes leading off the sides of greens.20.
Flynn, Seth Raynor was originally consulted about building the Cascades course, but declared the property insufficient. It has a classic routing with the first nine turning clockwise through forest, the back nine circling counter-clockwise and both touching repeatedly on the wetlands of namesake May River.30.
The design is typical of Coore & Crenshaw, a timeless look where holes often play to targets obscured by landforms, bunkers or ground-hugging green contours. The remaining holes at Mauna Kea are thrilling too, with constant views of the ocean, awkward lies on sloping fairways and roughs of crunchy lava rock.28. It then suffered through a period of economic recession but has regained its bearings and recovered its conditioning. Colt for its Seaside design, but in truth the present Seaside Course is purely Tom Fazio, who incorporated an original Colt-designed nine (called Seaside) along with the Marshland 9 designed by Joe Lee in 1974 to create a new 18 hole course. Yes, a golf ball carries farther at its 6,500-foot elevation, but Paa Ko also plays long because both nines work up mountain foothills for several holes before playing downhill. Wynn wanted Fazio to do a similar course for his Beau Rivage casino hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. His Tullymore design in central Michigan has probably the longest, skinniest set of putting surfaces of any course on America's 100 Greatest Public, along with the longest, skinniest set of bunkers, most of which are deep trenches with repeating knobs that bring to mind Art Deco. The Bob Cupp design is far more subtle than a Wayne western, with low-profile greens edged by graceful chipping areas and fairways intersected repeatedly by the Big and Little Dechutes rivers. Holes seem to emerge from the land, greens and bunkers have an angular appeal to them and other crisp-edged features flow in long horizons across the landscape.
Those lakes come in prominently on many holes, particularly on the 11th through 13th, dubbed Alligator Alley. Told to route the course to preserve as many trees as possible, Hills made the brawny Longaberger wander gracefully from ridge top to valley, testing every shot with uphill, downhill and sidehill lies. Cascata is authentically Nevada on the edges, the barren areas akin to Wolf Creek in Mesquite, but its turfed areas, planted with date palms, ironwoods and willows, and crossed by endless babbling brooks, is something of a salute to nearby Shadow Creek.
Only a handful of holes play in mature woods, the rest have newly planted trees that are rapidly maturing. Bear in mind that this magazine was published in the run-up to the Open Championship, so what a coincidence that the other two articles were: first, with Ernie Els - talking about how he believed he could win another Major and what he was doing differently that would allow him to achieve that goal - and, second, with Adam Scott saying he was ready to win his first.
The Ocean Course is simply another example of the ingenuity and versatility of designer Pete Dye. Its original concept was a simple lay-of-the-land layout that would prove Mother Nature is indeed the best golf architect.
Like hitting a 5-iron onto the hood of a Volkswagen, he said.) So Pete Dye ripped up 10 greens to make them fairer. The river hugs the next four holes too, then disappears, only to reappear on the last three holes, this time on the left.
Pete Dye and his companions have twice played the course from those tees in under three-and-a-half hours. With its elaborate greens and spectacular bunkering fully restored by Tom Doak, Pasatiempo is a classic example of Mackenzie's art.
Two years ago, the club (which also has a Fazio-designed 18), began allowing public play on its Nicklaus track, whose back nine may be the most delightful Jack has ever designed, with gambling holes and gorgeous scenery at every turn.29.
Open, it brought several coastal canyons into play for everyday play, especially on the par-3 third and par-4 14th.
The 496-yard par-4 seventh is the same shape and dimensions as the 10th at Augusta National and the back tee of the par-4 17th, atop a butte, affords perhaps the best vista in New Mexico. It was also once involved in the old Bob Hope Desert Classic, until some pros petitioned to remove it.
Wynn's empire got swallowed by MGM Grand, which ultimately had Fazio design Fallen Oak. The 561-yard 18th is especially water laden, playing over the same serpentine boulder-edged creek twice.44. Confined by the existing corridors of the old layout, Fazio created an unusual complement to neighboring No. Harvester finished second among America's Best New Affordable Public Courses of 2001 to The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa, which is ranked No. Earlier this year, we ranked The Gold Course as one of America's 50 Most Fun Public Courses. Atunyote hosted the 2006 BC Open on the PGA Tour, which became the Turning Stone Resort Championship in 2007 through 2010.56.

From the day it opened, Cuscowilla has played firm and fast, years before that became popular.57. The concept changed -- some greens moved, one blind par-3 eliminated -- as the quest for a U.S. No need to sleep in the parking lot just to get a tee time anymore (just go online), but you may still have to verify your handicap. Cascades was ranked by Golf Digest as one of America's 100 Greatest for 40 years and is No. The back nine, playing repeatedly over deep barrancas, is a test for even the most talented of golfers.27.
It was a seventh place finisher in Golf Digest's ranking of Best New Resort Courses of 1994. It has twice been ranked among America's 100 Greatest, from 1995 to 1998 and from 2005 to 2006.
2 Course by adding two new par 3 holes, styling the greens with slopes and run-offs, creating large expanses of native sand and then peppering the land with 180 pot bunkers, most of them in clusters guarding doglegs and pin placements.45.
It shouldn't, especially since its Donald Ross heritage was reinforced by a restoration by John Fought nearly 10 years ago. As with most Dye designs, the greens are tricky, the bunkering extensive and there's rarely a level lie. Wherever the Brits went, they took their golf, cricket, bridge, gin, scones and garden clubs.
As a sign near the first tee states, Bethpage Black is an extremely difficult course recommended only for highly skilled players.9. Our latest round took over 5 hours, as it seemed like every player wanted to film his every shot for memory's sake.
With Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw re-introducing hardpan rough and distressed turf off every fairway, No. The new and improved Prince now has Seashore Paspalum turf and some of the surrounding jungle cut back for playability.19. To answer these questions, Golf Digest again publishes the top-100 courses outside the United States, and individual rankings for every golf nation on earth, too, 199 countries in all (click here to get your copy of World's Greatest Golf Booklet). Generally you will be searching for the finest coastal sand, for that is where those at the top of our list are to be found. Forty-two of the top 100 are in the British Isles -- again, mostly links -- 13 in the rest of Europe, 17 are in the Southern Hemisphere, nine in Asia, and 11 in Canada.You will find no better than top-ranked Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. In 1889, Old Tom Morris laid out two nine-hole loops among the shaggy sand hills that isolate each hole while providing perches and tees from which to admire the backdrop of the Mourne Mountains.
Resort (Bandon Dunes), Bandon, Ore) 28) Olympic Club (Lake), San Francisco, Calif) 29) Oakland Hills C.C. This is a links so strategically fine and so stunningly beautiful that while you play, it frequently appears as an oil painting -- until the wind disturbs a distant flag.Rivalries discern themselves as you peruse the ranking. Cayman Islands (3 courses)1) Blue Tip, Grand Cayman Costa Rica (10 courses)1) Four Seasons Resort G.C. In the Dominican Republic, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Punta Espada (2006) has its revered neighbor, Pete Dye's Casa de Campo (1971), in its sights. Cse., Nieuwpoort Dominican Republic (30 courses)1) Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog, La Romana 2) Punta Espada G. That continuing evolution at the Home of Golf is evidenced by the debut of the Castle Course on our ranking, in 65th position. Designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd and opened not quite a year ago, the Castle is notable for its large, sloping greens, wide landing areas, and elevated views of the sea and the town.
From southern Europe to Moscow, the Turkish coast to Palm Beach, Dubai to Japan, the market for new golf courses has generally evaporated, and the value of those already established has fallen. Prices for Korean golf memberships, which are traded like equities, have declined 40 percent in the past year. In Dubai, the opening of the Tiger Woods course has been delayed and the real-estate development surrounding it postponed indefinitely. The English Golf Union reports that 40 percent of its clubs decreased in membership last year -- there's an average of 46 member vacancies per club. Scotland's Loch Lomond -- 21st in our ranking -- is back in the hands of its lenders, and the lenders are in the hands of the government. Destinations in Great Britain, Ireland and Australia that have retained the essence of their golf and forgone the hoopla of distracting amenities and overcooked greenkeeping remain attractive to travelers motivated by value.Significant new designs can still be produced in a downturn. During the Depression, Alister Mackenzie produced Crystal Downs (1931) and Augusta National (1933). William Flynn perfected Shinnecock (1931), and Perry Maxwell gave us Southern Hills (1936) and Prairie Dunes (1937). Hugh Alison refined Naruo (1930) before designing Hirono (1932) and Kawana's Fuji course (1936). In some corner of the world, the next Royal County Down is being prepared for future world rankings.100 Best Courses Outside The United States 1.

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