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. Play it soon; rumor has it that it’s on the chopping block. For back-tee golfers, the swinging bridge tee box at the 175-yard, par-3 11th rocks.
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.
Kapalua Resort (Plantation) Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii 25.
Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. The Highland Course at Primland Resort Meadows of Dan, Va.
Reynolds Lake Oconee (Great Waters) Greensboro, Ga.
Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club (Champion) Orlando, Fla.