The Top 10 New Courses You Can Play: 2008
1. The Golf Club at Tetherow
7,450 yards, par 72;
Green fees: $195;
David McLay Kidd was
schooled among the dunes
of Machrihanish and the
gorse of Gleneagles, and he
broke into architecture's
elite a decade ago with the
opening of Bandon Dunes.
His worldwide portfolio is
impressive, but Tetherow
is the place he calls home.
The layout rambles
over two ridgelines and is
seeded in wall-to-wall fescue,
ensuring fast conditions and
a links-like emphasis on the
ground game. A spectacular
exception is the all-carry
190-yard, par-3 17th, which
plays into an old pumice pit
to a dry island green.
Tetherow is a private
residential golf club that will
offer limited outside play
until 2010, when an onsite
boutique hotel comes online.
After that, it's members and
resort guests only. That gives
you plenty of time to see the
best "public" course of 2008.
2 of 10Lake Presidential Golf Club
9. Lake Presidential Golf Club
Upper Marlboro, Md.
7,230 yards, par 72; Green fees: $50-$95;
With all of the Beltway blather we were subjected to last
year, it's easy to forget that there is one new arrival in the
Washington area that even the most partisan of politicos can
agree on: Lake Presidential Golf Club, located 20 miles from
the White House in suburban Maryland.
Lake Presidential is the handiwork of Landmark Land
Company, the outfit that yielded Kiawah Island and PGA West,
among others. Its newest layout is more
mellow than monstrous, a beautiful
stroll through wooded and stream-filled
terrain. The only point of debate here
is which par 5 is better: the fishhook-shaped,
570-yard 8th, which features a
tee shot from out of a chute of trees, or the
reachable 515-yard 18th, which tackles the
namesake lake from the get-go with an
imposing, forced-carry tee shot.
3 of 10James Engh Golf Design Group
8. Four Mile Ranch Golf Club
Canon City, Colo.
7,053 yards, par 72; Green fees: $59-$74;
As far as Jim Engh is concerned, "straightforward" is code
for "dull," and he has yet to be accused of designing a boring
course. But the heaving terrain he was handed in Colorado
was so dramatic that Engh decided to just leave well enough
The result is a quirky hodgepodge that resembles
nothing you've seen in golf. There are no formal bunkers,
just white shale ridges called hogbacks. Ranging in height
from three to thirty feet, they're all Engh
needed to balance out the blind shots,
native grasses and fearsome greens.
Love it or hate it, the 560-yard, par-5
6th is unforgettable, its green obscured
by huge rocks. This is adventure golf
at its finest. Four Mile Ranch enjoys
mountain vistas in every direction but it's those on-course hogbacks that
will linger long in your memory.
4 of 10Rob Perry
7. Palouse Ridge Golf Club at Washington State University
7,308 yards, par 72; Green fees: $58-$104;
Washington State University has produced its share of
NFL stars Drew Bledsoe, Ryan Leaf, Timm Rosenbach so perhaps the school's new golf course will help it produce
PGA Tour-level golfers. One thing is certain: All WSU
golfers will be assured a stiff test before graduation.
Palouse Ridge belongs in the upper echelon of college
courses. The John Harbottle III design rolls through
windswept, mostly treeless terrain and boasts panoramic
views of mountain peaks in Idaho and Oregon. Particularly
eye-catching are the massive, whisker-edged bunkers that dot
the layout. The 463-yard, par-4 1st hole sets the tone, playing
along a fescue-covered ridge toward Bryan Clock Tower,
WSU's most recognizable landmark.
In short order, Palouse
Ridge has proven to be the perfect excuse to cut class.
5 of 10Hunter PR
6. Sand Hollow Resort (Championship Course)
7,319 yards, par 72; Green fees: $50-$125;
Architect John Fought has taken southwest Utah by
storm with this superb layout in Hurricane, just 15 minutes
from St. George. The former All-American at BYU carved
out a massive layout with gigantic greens, and the result is
a playable, natural-looking high-desert design 25 minutes
from Zion National Park.
Ridgelines, canyons and red-rock cliffs highlight the round.
The front nine is fairly sedate, but the back is a home run,
with a four-hole stretch (Nos. 12 to 15) that's among the most
memorable in the West. Steep outcroppings and red-sand
bunkers punctuate each hole, making it abundantly clear
why the region is known as "Color Country."
6 of 10Wild Rock Golf Club
5. Wild Rock Golf Club at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort
Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.
7,418 yards, par 72; Green fees: $60-99;
The call of the wild begins at the first tee of this rugged,
raucous ride by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, who created
our top new public course of 2006 at nearby Erin Hills. A rocky
stream bisects the second-shot landing area at the 559-yard 1st,
while overly bold approach shots will find a lake behind the
green. The risk/reward theme continues throughout the round.
Wide fairways are framed by trees and dotted with sand and
gravel mounds, but the holes you'll remember are the downhill,
588-yard, par-5 6th, which takes in views of the Baraboo Bluffs,
and the 179-yard, par-3 15th, which demands a full-blooded
carry over an old stone quarry. By round's end, it's clear that
the course couldn't be more perfectly named.
7 of 10Aidan Bradley
4. Journey at Pechanga
7.219 yards, par 72; Green fees: $150-$200;
Journey at Pechanga,
an Arthur Hills creation
spearheaded by Hills'
partner Steve Forrest, is
layered with architectural
more than others, but the
result is an unforgettable
romp through Southern
California's wine country
at the upscale Pechanga
Resort & Casino.
The driveable 488-
yard, par-4 6th hole yes,
you read that correctly, driveable plummets 18 stories from
tee to fairway. The fun continues with an oak tree in the middle
of the 7th fairway, a punchbowl green at the 10th, and a Biarritz
green with its characteristic vast hollow in the middle at the
18th. If you're the kind of golfer who's looking for unparalleled
variety with a splash of quirk, your journey ends here.
8 of 10Lonna Tucker/PGA Coyote Springs
3. The Chase at PGA Golf Club Coyote Springs
Coyote Springs, Nev.
7,471 yards, par 72; Green fees: $120-$200;
The 50-mile trek north from Las Vegas to Coyote Springs is
so desolate that you're likely to encounter more coyotes than
people. Jabbed into an arid site ringed with mountains, this
Jack Nicklaus track kick-starts one of the most ambitious golf
development projects ever. Plans call for at least 10 courses
and 150,000 residents, but for now this course is all you'll find.
Fortunately, it's good enough to justify the drive, with some of
the most artfully crafted bunkers and greens of Jack's career.
The Chase is a monument to thoughtful shotmaking. Water
affects play on more than half the holes, notably the 9th and 18th,
a pair of beefy par 4s. But it's the firm, fast fairways and speedy
green complexes that will most determine your final tally.
9 of 10Jim Krajicek/Pound Ridge Golf Club
2. Pound Ridge Golf Club
Pound Ridge, N.Y.
7,171 yards, par 72; Green fees: $235;
Pound Ridge is a Pete
and Perry Dye design whose
combination of beauty and
brutality echoes Whistling Straits and Kiawah Island's Ocean Course. While its
challenges are relentless, it
captivates from beginning to end thanks to a succession of
vividly memorable holes. The Dyes were given a 172-acre
canvas studded with rock outcroppings, many of which come
into play. And if the rocks don't get you, the wetlands, forced
carries, fescue mounds and fiendishly contoured greens will.
10 of 10Harris Golf
10. Old Marsh Country Club
6,523 yards, par 70; Green fee: $89;
Architect Brian Silva made his name as a makeup
artist, carefully restoring old masters. Old Marsh proves
he can hold his own with original designs, even if he does
borrow liberally from the greats. Located on a wooded
landscape in southern Maine, less than an hour's drive
from Greater Boston, Old Marsh features the engineered
look of C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor, with steep,
random, strategic bunkers, mammoth fairways and
similarly scaled greens, most notably the 15,000-
square-foot behemoth at the 215-yard, par-3 17th. (It's the
largest putting surface in the state.) For fans of classic
design, Silva employed an Alps feature and a punchbowl
green at the 375-yard 2nd, and a Redan-style green at
the 410-yard 5th. But modern touches abound as well,
with Florida-style excavated lakes forming the bulk
of the hazards. Even with its Old World flavor,
Old Marsh is a Yankee original.• Return to 2008 Best New Courses Homepage
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