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After the dizzying panorama from the par-4 1st, the next stunner is the 203-yard, par-3 7th that demands a lake carry to a wildly undulating green cocooned in the sandhills. design has been one of the Tour’s hardest layouts for nearly 50 years. (0) Tom Fazio and Steve Wynn demonstrated in 1990 that with sufficient money and imagination, there’s nothing that couldn’t be accomplished in golf course design. Reynolds Lake Oconee (Great Waters) Greensboro, Ga. This Jack Nicklaus creation, with John Sanford consulting, is a treeless faux-links, complete with dunes and fescue grasses framing the fairways and options around the greens. The green at the par-5 first affords a sweeping panorama of the waters of Spanish Bay, clear out to the spit of land known as Point Joe, which serves as home to the Restless Sea, where ocean and bay currents collide, creating a tumult of foamy, white sea spray. The rugged, high-desert scenery includes Columbia River views and vistas of the snow-capped northern Cascades. The 485-yard, par-4 final hole with water down the entire left side is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most memorable closers. Background photography: Courtesy Reynolds Plantation 51. Contoured greens are often edged by shaved-down chipping areas, putting a premium on short-game creativity. Not as relentlessly tough as Number 2, yet its crowned greens will reject any timid approach. Many holes tee off atop gigantic sand piles and play up, down and around cavernous pits, giant boulders and vast sand waste areas, all at a price tag that’s been chopped to bits by a sharp pickaxe. Golden Horseshoe Golf Club (Gold) Williamsburg, Va. (5) Public access at Linville is limited to guests of the Eseeola Lodge, but it’s well worth the splurge to check out the eye-candy afforded at this 1924 Donald Ross design, situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains an hour northeast of Asheville.
Bay Harbor Golf Club (Links/Quarry) Bay Harbor, Mich. Try rolling terrain that’s crisscrossed by barrancas, slender fairways hemmed in by trees, hordes of deep, artfully sculpted bunkers, Pacific Ocean breezes and nightmarishly quick, canted greens. Tom Doak crafted fairways that cling to the terrain as if they’ve been here for thousands of years. Imaginative green-contouring forces players to think before approaching. Spyglass Hill Golf Course Pebble Beach, Calif (5-5) Part of the rotation for the PGA Tour’s Bing Crosby (now AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) since 1967, this Robert Trent Jones Sr. Background photography: Nile Young Reynolds Lake Oconee (Great Waters) Holes 14 & 15 41. (4-5) New York City finally has a track to challenge Bethpage Black for public-access state supremacy. (0-0) This undeniably gorgeous layout begins at the Pacific Ocean, eases through marshes and dunes, climbs into the forest and finally returns to the sea. (-0) GOLF Magazine’s Best New Course winner of 2014 is a David Mc Lay Kidd design in central Washington that serves up extra-wide, firm fairways that zigzag around massive sand ridges and heavily contoured greens that place significant emphasis on ground game options. (-0) Five times the venue for the LPGA Championship, this beautiful 18-year-old brute from Pete Dye that’s situated 40 minutes north of Baltimore unfolds over rolling, tree-lined terrain for 7,375 yards and enjoys several grin-inducing vistas of Chesapeake Bay. (5) Past home to the PGA Tour’s Open, and a memorable venue to the 2016 U. You must stay at the 45-room inn to play, but it’s worth it for the Clos La Chance vineyards views alone. (0-5) Higher up in the hills than its Fazio-designed sibling, Greg Norman routed his severe, yet stunning holes amid vistas of mountain peaks and ski runs, with dry gulches, hardy scrub oaks and clusters of Alister Mac Kenzie-style bunkers along for the ride. However, you’ll want to linger awhile at the par-3 6th, which traverses Greenleaf Creek, and at the par-3 14th that edges so close to the May River, you could stick your ball retriever in and pull out an oyster lunch. Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club Southern Pines, N. (-5) Owned and operated by legendary LPGA Founder Peggy Kirk Bell, Pine Needles is situated just three miles from Pinehurst, but is a celebrated tournament venue in its own right, having hosted the 1996, 20 U. Women’s Opens, won by Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Christie Kerr, respectively. (-) From the remains of a rock and sand quarry in an old iron ore mine, architect Jeff Brauer forged a Paul Bunyanesque challenge in the northeastern Minnesota wilderness.
Pelican Hill Golf Club (Ocean South) Newport Coast, Calif. It has been called the public Sand Hills, which comes as no surprise, because course architects Dave Proctor and Dave Axland were instrumental in helping Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw bring Sand Hills to fruition. Sunday River Golf Club Newry, Maine (-) Sunday River is carved from dense stands of hardwoods and pines and dishes out sandy waste areas, mountain brooks and 400 feet of elevation change. (-) Situated in the state’s far west, this 2001 Jim Engh creation rolls out one visually arresting hole after the next, with no two the same.
This 2001 Rees Jones design 30 minutes south of the Vegas Strip is a high desert links with firm, fast fairways that burrow through stark, brown rock-encrusted hills. Background photography: Courtesy Barefoot Resort The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa Hole 17 91. (.50-) This Carnoustie of the Corn Belt tumbles through windswept, treeless terrain , where half the battle is keeping the ball from scooting into links-like bunkers and tall native grasses. The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa Grand Junction, Colo.
A horseshoe-shaped rock wall frames the eighth; the 12th is backdropped by the Colorado National Monument. As always, with Dye, it’s tougher than old beef jerky from the tips, but pure fun if you choose the correct set of tees. (-) Perhaps the best bang for the buck in the United States, this Gil Hanse/Jim Wagner/Geoff Shackelford design 45 minutes north of L. engages at every turn, thanks to an easy-to-walk routing with tremendous variety that allows for run-up shots galore. (-9) Home to the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic, where winners include Jordan Spieth, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson, the TPC Deere Run was warmly received upon its 2000 opening, including a ringing endorsement by 2003 champ Vijay Singh. Toss in massive oaks, sycamores and rock outcroppings and you have a handsome package. Bay Harbor Golf Club (Links/Quarry) Bay Harbor, Mich.
Plenty of grin-inducing vistas of the Mahoosuc Range await, including a dandy at the 443-yard, par-4 18th. As a quartet, the par-3s rank among the game’s most memorable, with holes 8, 12 and 17 offering vertigo-inducing plunges. (-9) This early Pete Dye masterpiece kicked off the Palm Springs resort golf boom when it debuted in 1980. Weibring and Chris Gray injected an astonishing amount of variety into the layout, with holes that tumble up and down the slopes of the Rock River foothills, doglegging this way and that and which culminate in a splendid mix of green complexes.
The Harvester sweeps across the prairie with sharp yet flowing lines that harken back to 1920s-era Midwestern classics. (5-5) Waterfalls on the practice range, bighorn sheep on the first hole and a river that runs through the clubhouse—hey, it’s Vegas! (-5) This brilliantly restored 1921 Donald Ross creation in the North Carolina Sandhills features the 2013 handiwork of architect Kyle Franz, who aided Coore-Crenshaw with their restoration of nearby Pinehurst Number 2. (0-0) You’ll need local hero Larry Bird’s long-range touch to cope with this seven-year-old, 8,100-yard Pete Dye brute that plays atop ridges and through valleys amid the rolling countryside of southern Indiana. (9-5) Rees Jones’ big, bold layout benefits from rolling terrain that sweeps through giant pines and mixes strategy-laden shotmaking options with eye-candy views of Lake Oconee. A highlight of the 22-year-old layout is the 209-yard, par-3 11th, which demands a precise shot over a sunken creek bed. The meadow-style tract is a rugged test, at 7,683 yards, though tempered by the 3,600-foot elevation and by glorious vistas of snow-capped Mt. As proof that accuracy is as critical as length, look no further than Fred Funk, who twice here captured the Tradition, a Champions Tour major. Today’s Ross originals appear as holes 1-6 and 16-18. crafted the other nine holes (7 through 15) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The risk/reward par-5 closer flirts with water and trees in its exciting tee-to-green journey. Stick around for a stellar finish, highlighted by a double canyon crossing at the 453-yard, par-4 18th. By its 2001 opening, Tom Fazio had moved two million cubic yards of dirt, brought in 4,000 trees and peppered the layout with lakes, streams and most incongruously, fescue-topped hills.
This 2003 Gene Bates design also sports a modest green fee that enhances the tranquil ambience.
Thick desert flora frames every Talon fairway and mountain panoramas arrive early and often. Circling Raven Worley, Idaho (-) It may not sport a floating island green like its neighbor up the road, but this bird has everything else in its nest, including wetlands, grasslands and Ponderosa pines, plus unparalleled solitude disturbed only by the stray elk or moose.
Reynolds Lake Oconee (Great Waters) Greensboro, Ga.
Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club (Champion) Orlando, Fla.