Golfweek’s Best New Courses


October 27, 2011 | 9:37 a.m.

The new kids

Golfweek Staff
The Old MacDonald course in Bandon, Ore.
The Old MacDonald course in Bandon, Ore.

The annual list of Golfweek’s Best New Courses isn’t the biggest list we publish, but it might be the one that provides the best barometer of the golf industry and the broader economy.

Only a few years ago, scores of courses merited consideration for this list. These days, as the development pipeline has slowed to a trickle, we have far fewer candidates from which to choose. That’s reflected in the size of this list: A year ago, we capped it at 40 courses; this year, it’s 25.

This dynamic is forcing course architects to spend more ...

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October 26, 2010 | 10:56 a.m.

2010 Golfweek’s Best New Courses

No. 12 at Shooting Star
No. 12 at Shooting Star

Click here to read about the 2010 Golfweek's Best New Courses list

2010 Golfweek’s Best: New Courses

1) Old Macdonald 8.90

Bandon, Ore.

2010, Tom Doak, Jim Urbina

2) Huntsman Springs 7.77

Driggs, Idaho

2009, David McLay Kidd

3) Shooting Star 7.75

Teton Village, Wyo.

2009, Tom Fazio

4) The Patriot 7.65

Owasso, Okla.

2010, Robert Trent Jones Jr.

5. Clear Creek 7.33

Tahoe, Nev.

2009, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw

6. The Wilderness Club of Montana 7.13

Eureka, Mont.

2009, Nick Faldo

7. Red Ledges 6.90

Heber City, Utah

2009, Jack ...

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Categories: New Courses, Architecture
October 26, 2010 | 10:51 a.m.

Head for the hills

Martin Kaufmann
The par-4, 13th hole at Huntsman Springs
The par-4, 13th hole at Huntsman Springs

Click here for a list of the 2010 Golfweek’s Best New Courses

The valleys on either side of the Teton Pass – which connects the county seats of Jackson, Wyo., and Driggs, Idaho – afford visitors some of the most scenic mountain vistas in America. The Tetons seem to erupt from the earth, creating a striking juxtaposition between the mountains and the lowlands.

But the very nature of the pancake-flat valleys in Teton County, Wyo., and Teton County, Idaho, place a premium on the imaginations of course architects. They don’t so much have to “find” golf holes but rather conjure ...

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October 17, 2009 | 1:26 p.m.

2009 Golfweek’s Best New Courses

Nos. 2 and 3 at Rock Creek Cattle Co. in Deer Lodge, Mont.
Nos. 2 and 3 at Rock Creek Cattle Co. in Deer Lodge, Mont.

Categories: New Courses
July 7, 2008 | 11:41 a.m.

2008 Golfweek’s Best New Courses

Categories: New Courses
July 7, 2007 | 11:42 a.m.

2007 Golfweek’s Best New Courses

Categories: New Courses
September 7, 2006 | 11:17 a.m.

2006: Test of faith

Martin Kaufmann

John Tyson built Blessings Golf Club to challenge the world’s best players, but at the moment he’s the man in the crucible.

“Oh, Johnny, Johnny,” he chides himself, “you came at it too hard from the top. . . . Oh, Johnny, here comes that train wreck. . . . Oh, Johnny. . . .”

So it goes at Blessings, the course with the saintly name and the Old Testament-tough reputation. Tyson, the chairman of Tyson Foods – a 114,000-employee company that produces a quarter of the nation’s chicken and beef – believes that “golf’s about being tested on every swing.”

So he assigned architect Robert ...

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Categories: New Courses
July 24, 2006 | 12:27 p.m.

2006: Starting on top of the heap

Bradley S. Klein

Bayonne, N.J.

When it comes to design skill, working with native contours is a matter of restraint. The tougher test of an architect’s vision is being able to manufacture something out of nothing. Or, in the case of Bayonne Golf Club, to create a stunning dunes-like golf course out of an abandoned industrial wasteland.

Here on the piers of the New Jersey coast overlooking New York Harbor, Eric Bergstol has fashioned an amazing landscape. “We wanted to embrace the city and the harbor,” he said.

Anyone who thinks links-style golf is a matter of naturalism will be in ...

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Categories: New Courses

By Bradley S. Klein

There’s nothing more exciting in course architecture than playing

a newly opened course for the

first time. Such a trek elicits a pioneer’s sensibility and fuels endless 19th-hole debates.

Even with the number of annual U.S. new course openings falling to one-third of their volume five or six years ago, there’s plenty of innovative work being done. In our annual rundown of Golfweek’s Best New Courses, we’re showcasing the finest examples from the class of courses that came on line in 2004-05.

Topping the chart is Bandon Trails, designed by ...

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Categories: New Courses
Bradley S. Klein

Seen any good new golf courses lately? We have. Here is our top 40, all opened in 2003-04 and visited by Golfweek America’s Best raters.

Private clubs top our list, though more than half of the courses are daily-fee (14) or available to resort guests (7). Friar’s Head claims the No. 1 position. A links-inspired design by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw that brushes up against the shore of Long Island Sound, Friar’s Head is a modern ancestor of such classic windswept, shotmakers venues as nearby Shinnecock Hills and National Golf Links of America.

Right behind Friar ...

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Jeff Babineau

Every now and then, David Buth, director of golf operations at 3-year-old Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand, Fla., fields a call from a wayward golf tourist stranded about an hour away along Orlando’s International Drive. The tourist invariably will ask whether it’s worth the drive to visit Buth’s course.

“I always answer the same way,” he says. “I tell them, ‘Please make sure to find me after your round if you think it isn’t.’ ”

Buth engages in his share of post-round conversations, but not to issue refunds. Most frequently, it’s another pleased customer thanking ...

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Categories: New Courses
November 16, 2002 | 10:23 a.m.

2002: A golf playland in the Georgia hills

Golfweek Staff

By Chris Hodenfield

Lake Oconee, Ga.

In America we’re accustomed to seeing some gleaming piece of fabulousness constructed where once was acres of nothingness. Disneyland was built on an orange grove, Las Vegas was built on desert scrub and Adam Sandler’s career was built on his wit. So what are we to make of Lake Oconee, which is now being trumpeted as a “golfer’s paradise,” a dream destination, even though it is located in the rambling hills of middle Georgia, in what was not long ago one of the state’s poorest counties?

The Georgia hills should ...

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Categories: New Courses
December 5, 2001 | 2:32 p.m.

2001: Newcomer Kinloch a welcome throwback

Bradley S. Klein

Manakin-Sabot, Va.

The golf world in staid Old Dominion has a newcomer on its hands that’s already being talked about – rightly, in this reviewer’s judgment – as the state’s best course. Kinloch Golf Club, 12 miles west of downtown Richmond, is something of a throwback in an area of horse country that’s fast becoming the frontier of road development and residential expansion.

Luckily for golfers able to afford its pricey membership, Kinloch is an ideal refuge. This is a pure golf club. No swimming pool. No tennis courts. A walkable layout with well-trained caddies, and best of ...

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Categories: New Courses