Ten years ago, designer Mark Parsinen and architect Kyle Phillips took a St. Andrews backdrop and created the greatest new course in years, Kingsbarns.
A decade later, Parsinen and another American, Gil Hanse, have moved north and opened Castle Stuart, the emphatic winner as the best new course anywhere in 2009.
Genuine linksland and spectacular views of Moray Firth complement a remarkably varied set of holes. Says one panelist, "In 10 years, a round here will be as coveted as a round on the Old Course. This place is unbelievable."
One glimpse and you'll be hard-pressed to argue.
3. Lough Erne Golf Resort (Faldo Course)
Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
7,167 yards, par 72
Designer: Nick Faldo
4. Paraiso del Mar
La Paz, Mexico
7,157 yards, par 72
Designers: Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest
Westin Bear Mountain Resort (Valley course)
Victoria, B.C., Canada
6,807 yards, par 71
Designer: Nicklaus Design