1. Lubker Golf
Resort Djursland, Denmark
0114538-408000; $87-$130; lubker.com
Scandinavia's answer to Valderrama is this flawlessly conditioned 27-hole Robert Trent Jones II design in the Jutland region of Denmark, three hours from Copenhagen. Of the three nines, Sand and Sky form the premier pairing, while Forest is a less challenging loop. Lead architect Bruce Charlton employed a variety of bold bunkering styles to create strategic interest throughout, but what sends scores soaring is the heavily contoured greens and their surrounds, which make par saves a heroic endeavor. With numerous wetlands in play (and a Viking graveyard alongside the course), Lubker will entertain and challenge, but its remarkable course conditioning sets it apart.
Runner Up: The Castle Course at St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Scotland
011-44-1334-466-666; $130-$190; standrews.org.uk
No course polarized our panelists more than the new seventh course in St. Andrews. This David McLay Kidd design features epic scale, incredible views of bay, beach and town, and some of the most challenging, thrilling golf in the game's homeland. Still, some panelists feel strongly that the greens are too severely contoured and that the dune-like fairway knobs are almost anti-strategic. The majority of our panelists who have played the Castle have had strong reactions for and against but nearly everyone agrees that with a bit more seasoning it may well claim a place among golf's most cherished courses.