Closer look at Golfweek’s Best New Courses

Palouse Ridge GC in Pullman, Wash., is No. 2 on Golfweek's Best New Courses list.

THE LIST: Golfweek’s Best New Courses

When the economy goes upside down, all sorts of new and innovative ideas suddenly have a chance to emerge. The same goes for golf development, where there’s been a long-term slide

in the number of new courses opening, but no falloff when it comes to innovation.

As our 2008-09 Golfweek’s Best New Courses list attests, there’s a wide range of talent out there and plenty of opportunity to make a mark.

Golf architecture traditionalist Tom Doak has struck a responsive chord in the scrubland of southern Montana with Rock Creek Cattle Co., our No. 1-rated new course to have opened in the past two years. Our team of raters was impressed by the scruffy look, the wide-open sensibility of the place and a land plan that has seen homesites pulled away from the golf course.

Legendary powerhouse Jack Nicklaus leads the list with four new designs, including his high-profile Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain (Saguaro and Tortolita nines) in Marana, Ariz., No. 11 on our list and home to the PGA Tour’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Twenty-five states placed courses on the list; California and Florida lead with five each, followed by Montana with three.

Of the two new courses in Maryland, one of them, TPC Potomac, at No. 12, actually is a “blow up and start over” of the much-criticized TPC Avenel.

Our No. 2 layout, Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash., stands a good chance of being architect John Harbottle’s breakthrough layout in terms of national acclaim.

Jack Frost National Golf Club in Blakeslee, Pa., No. 20 on our list, will, by contrast, serve as a powerful memorial to co-designer Mark Brown, who died in 2006 before his collaboration with Terry LaGree could be finished.

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