Courses and Travel

Ten Courses to Watch

Photo: LC Lambrecht

The 12th hole at Waterville Golf Club in Ireland, a safe bet to make our Top 100 list in 2009.

Waterville Golf Club
Waterville, Ring of Kerry, Ireland

It fell short of the Top 100 by two-hundredths of a point, but the par-5 11th, hemmed in by dune ridges, and the seaside par-3 17th, its back tee and green isolated by dense vegetation, are among the planet's best holes.

Erin Hills Golf Course
Erin, Wisconsin

Our Top New Course You Can Play in 2006 unfolds over the kind of rumpled, fescue-covered terrain that will have you thinking you're at Ballybunion, only it's Miller High Life being brewed down the street, not Guinness.

Sutton Bay Golf Club
Agar, South Dakota

Fell just three panelists shy of making a quorum that would have put this lakeside prairie layout (a private 2003 Graham Marsh design) solidly in the U.S. Top 100.

Bright's Creek Golf Club
Mill Spring, North Carolina

Bright's Creek's spacious fairways look like they've been there for eons. Only a handful of panelists saw this year-old private layout, but its votes added up to the highest scores of any course not making the list.

Canyata Golf Club
Marshall, Illinois

Canyata does fewer than 1,000 rounds a year, because it's the private family golf compound of Gerald Forsythe, who made his hay in the power-equipment business. Forsythe wisely empowered Bob Lohmann and Mike Benkusky to create a lovely blend of farmland and forest.

The Alotian Club
Roland, Arkansas

The Alotian is Little Rock's version of Augusta National, a hilly, perfectly groomed, 7,470-yard, Tom Fazio beauty that overlooks Lake Maumelle. All that's missing from this 3-year old track are the green sandwich wrappers.

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
Porthcawl, Wales

This venerable seaside test in southern Wales played host to the 1995 Walker Cup, where it proved too much for Tiger Woods. The constantly shifting routing, sea views from every hole and nearly 100 bunkers explain its appeal to our raters, who put it in the World's Top 105 courses.

Pinnacle Point
Mossel Bay, South Africa

With its cliff top setting dishing out staggering views of the Southern Cape "Garden Route" landscape, folks might soon start calling Pebble Beach the "Pinnacle Point of America" instead of the other way around.

Galloway National Golf Club
Galloway, New Jersey

Another creation from Tom Fazio's design shop, this private course just north of Atlantic City finished at number 101 in our U.S. rankings, so it's got plenty of supporters.

Colorado Golf Club
Parker, Colorado

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw's Colorado Golf Club is kept from Top 100 glory only by its youth. The private club formally opened in the spring of 2007, but sneak previews yielded high praise from our raters.

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