Updating golden tee location
Though the greens are surprisingly flat, as if to compensate for the rugged terrain and numerous blind shots, bunkers are a definite highlight, most with arched eyebrows of dense marram grasses and impenetrable clumps of heather.4 . Tom Watson called it the most fun he'd had playing golf. Partly because it was created on a site far more rugged than the duo normally tackle—land that housed a World War II Army barracks, complete with stone tunnels. CABOT CLIFFS | Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada | 6,765 yards, par 72Another sensational Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design, Cabot Cliffs overflows with variety with its southernmost holes in Lahinch-like sand dunes, its northernmost atop Pebble Beach-type ocean cliffs and bits of pine-lined Scottish highlands in between. New tree removal at selected spots have revealed some gorgeous views of the sandy landscape upon which the course is routed.2 . The tinkering may soon continue if the club, as reported, closes on a deal with adjacent Augusta Country Club to buy a portion of land that will allow the famed par-5 13th to be lengthened.3 . The design is attributed to Old Tom Morris but was refined by half a dozen architects in the past 120 years, most recently by Donald Steel. (CHAMPIONSHIP) | Scotland | Old Tom Morris, John Sutherland and George Duncan (1877) | 6,704 yards, par 70Herbert Warren Wind called it the most natural course in the world. | Hainan Island, China | 6,894 yards, par 71It has wide corridors flanked by jungle gunch, big intricate greens and eye-catching ragged-edge bunkering, yet Shanqin Bay is perhaps the most controversial design the highly regarded firm of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw has ever built. Recent improvements include the redesign of the once-treacherous 14th green and a reshaping of the par-3 17th green.16 . Hard to fathom that National Golf Links was not ranked in the 100 Greatest from 1969 until 1985.17 .Its shaggy-edged bunkers are more than mere set decorations.Some define targets off the tee; other pose options and challenges.57 .Golf Digest has been ranking golf courses for more than half a century. Colt (1918) | 7,101 yards, par 70A genuine original, its unique character forged from the sandy pine barrens of southwest Jersey. Donald Ross called it his home, having been born in the village and learned the game on the links. | Mangawhai, New Zealand | 6,840 yards, par 71Built by American designer Tom Doak from what had been a pine-covered Sahara along the eastern coast of New Zealand's North Island, it's far more links-like than the country's other coastal courses, most of which are on rock. With holes inspired by Cypress Point, Royal Dornoch and Royal St. Colt in the 1930s, was the Open site back in 1951, and will be again in 2019. Today's generation of big hitters couldn't conquer the little old course, couldn't consistently hit its twisting fairways, which are edged by creeks, hodge-podge rough and OB stakes and couldn't consistently hit its canted greens edged by bunkers that stare back. Coore's routing manages to traverse the mountainous property, but only with the help of some blind shots, two holes around an artificial irrigation pond and a very unusual finish with two drivable par 4s among the last three holes. The course has six par 5s, including three in the space of four holes, and six par 3s, plus an additional one-shot bye-hole aside the fourth.
45 Club at Nine Bridges, designed by Ronald Fream and then-partner David Dale. | Hunter Valley, Australia | 7,312 yards, par 72No other course on the World Top 100 is so brutally honest about its intention to be a ball buster.The routing changes direction on every hole to pose different wind conditions. That's how a championship course remains competitive.35 . THE COUNTRY CLUB (Clyde/Squirrel) | Chestnut Hill, Mass. Those events were played on a composite course, utilizing a few holes from the club's third Primrose nine. When he returned for the 1975 Open, he found it had been converted to a pot bunker.39 . To best utilize ocean frontage, Tom Doak came up with an unorthodox routing that includes four par 3s on the back nine. Said Crenshaw, "Our job was to marry the two distinct elements. There are no rakes at Whistling Straits, in keeping with the notion that this is a transplanted Irish links. Bell (1926) | 7,040 Yards, par 71A compact but clever design by George C. With its 18th green at the base of a natural amphitheater, Riviera seems tailor-made as a tournament venue. The design is dramatic and unusual, particularly the par-4 fifth, a dogleg right along the river, whose blind tee shot brings to mind the 17th at St. Instead of old black sheds, a high dune blocks view of the fairway from the tee.The front runs clockwise, the back counterclockwise, but history mistakenly credits Old Tom Morris with Muirfield's returning nines. | Willie Campbell (1895) / Alex Campbell (1902) | 7,350 Yards, par 70The Country Club's 18 holes that were the scene of the 19 U. We rank the Clyde & Squirrel combination, clearly good enough to be one of the top courses in the world. Holes seem to emerge from the landscape rather than being superimposed onto it, with rolling greens and rumpled fairways framed by rugged sand dunes and marvelously grotesque bunkers. We didn't want one nine up in the dunes and the other down on the flat." The solution was to move the routing back and forth and to artfully reshape the farm fields into gentle links-like land. It has too much rub-of-the-green for the comfort levels of many tour pros, two dozen of whom will tackle the Straits again in the 2020 Ryder Cup.45 . It's hosted an annual PGA Tour event, but no U. Billed as a Coore and Crenshaw design, schedule conflicts kept Ben Crenshaw from participating.Golf Digest demoted it to the Fifth Ten back in the early 1970s, saying, "It's not surprising that good players might find Cypress Point wanting: it has several easy holes and a weak finisher." Our panel has since changed its collective opinion. After Zach Johnson's dramatic overtime victory, few mentioned the alterations. Oakmont also has the game's swiftest putting surfaces, which were showcased during the U. Open in 2016, despite early rains that slowed them down a bit. What's most fascinating is that the back nine is completely reversed from how Doak originally routed it. Chopped from a pine forest but routed like a links, with the ninth at the far end of the property, it plays like a links, too, for there's a sand base beneath the turf. | Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (1994) | 7,089 Yards, Par 71The golf course wasn't so much designed as discovered. The greens look like giant mushrooms, curled and slumped around the edges, proving that as a course architect, Tillinghast was not a fun guy. Five years ago, Martin Hawtree added new tees atop dunes on several holes.28 . The 2004 design truly demonstrates the lay-of-the-land philosophy of American architect Tom Doak, who ran holes out and back along a series of ridges perpendicular with the coastline, most framed by deep canyons. | Alister Mac Kenzie & Perry Maxwell (1931) | 6,518 Yards, par 70Perry Maxwell, the Midwest associate of architect Alister Mac Kenzie, lived on site while constructing the course to Mac Kenzie's plans, but there's evidence Maxwell exercised considerable artistic license on some holes. Macdonald (1894) / Seth Raynor (1923) | 6,846 Yards, par 70There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not this is America's first 18-hole golf course. We do know when Chicago Golf Club moved to Wheaton in 1896, Macdonald laid out what he called, "a really first-class 18-hole course of 6,200 yards." It was remodeled into its present configuration, emulating famous holes, in 1923 by Macdonald's longtime assistant Seth Raynor. A succession of post-war architects has slowly re-established the integrity of the design, most recently Greg Norman.33 . But the bunkering and green contours are very similar to the West.In the 2000s, member Sandy Tatum, the former USGA president who christened Cypress Point as the Sistine Chapel of golf, convinced the club not to combat technology by adding new back tees, but instead make a statement by celebrating its original architecture. | William Flynn (1931) | 7,450 yards, par 70Generally considered to be the earliest links in America, heavily remodeled twice by C. Macdonald, then replaced (except for three holes) by William S. It's so sublime that its architecture hasn't really been altered for nearly 50 years, until the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw made several changes in 2012, including restoration of a massive waste area on the sixth hole, to prepare Shinnecock for the 2018 U. For the first time ever, the Old Course will host the Senior Open Championship in 2018.10 . So was the site so good that, once construction started, Doak and Clayton were able to find nine new green sites at the opposite ends of holes originally envisioned? The Old has big greens, as Park put a premium on approach putting, and artful bunkers, with both angled cross-bunkers and necklaces of sand hampering direct routes to some greens. | Heatherton, Australia | 7,102 yards, par 72Considered an Alister Mac Kenzie design, but in fact Australian golf professional Des Soutar designed the course in 1925. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw trudged back and forth over a thousand acres of rolling sand hills in central Nebraska, flagging out naturally-occurring fairways and greens. The fairways are wide, but Doak rewards bold tee shots that flirt with ravines and sets strategies using some of the deepest bunkers he has ever built. Whomever did it, Crystal Downs has fairways that zigzag and rumble over the landscape and greens that have doglegs in them. | Donald Ross (1929) | 6,836 Yards, par 72A majestic Donald Ross design with a clever routing on a rectangular site, each hole at Seminole encounters a new wind direction. One thing Raynor retained was Macdonald's routing, with all the out-of-bounds on the left. (Mackenzie had routed a nine-hole East Course that was never built. | Tom Fazio (1987) | 7,302 Yards, par 72Built during the period when Tom Fazio was still working with the existing landscape rather than ignoring it, Wade Hampton is an exercise in restraint.