Castle Stuart Golf Links in Inverness, Scotland.
Mark Parsinen/Courtesy Castle Stuart Golf Links
By Joe Passov
Friday, December 25, 2009

1. Castle Stuart Golf Links
Inverness, Scotland
7,009 yards, par 72

\nTen years ago, designer Mark Parsinen and architect Kyle Phillips took a St. Andrews backdrop and created the greatest new course in years, Kingsbarns.

\n 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.

\nGenuine 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."

\nOne glimpse and you'll be hard-pressed to argue.

\n2. The Faldo Legacy Course (at Roco Ki)
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
7,075 yards, par 72
Designer: Nick Faldo

\n3. Lough Erne Golf Resort (Faldo Course)
Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
7,167 yards, par 72
Designer: Nick Faldo

\n4. Paraiso del Mar
La Paz, Mexico
7,157 yards, par 72
Designers: Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest

\n5. Punta Mita (Bahia Course)
Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico
7,035 yards, par 72
Designer: Jack Nicklaus

\nHonorable Mentions
Westin Bear Mountain Resort (Valley course)
Victoria, B.C., Canada
6,807 yards, par 71
Designer: Nicklaus Design

\nFuego Maya at La Reunion Resort
Antigua, Guatemala
7,302 yards, par 72
Designers: Pete and Perry Dye

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