Ten to Watch: Watch Out, Top 100! These Tracks Are Hot on Your Tail

Bayonne, Top 100, 2009
Larry Lambrecht
Bayonne borders the Big Apple.

Ellerston Golf Club
New South Wales, Australia
The highest-ranked course not to crack the Top 100 is an exclusive 2001 Greg Norman/Bob Harrison design located about 200 miles from Sydney. Only four panelists have tested the mostly open layout, which is crisscrossed by Pages Creek.

Castle Stuart Golf Links
Inverness, Scotland
Ten years after his hit with Kingsbarns (1999), developer/designer Mark Parsinen engaged collaborating architect Gil Hanse to build this seaside Highlands layout. The rumpled terrain and stunning views drew instant acclaim.

Bro Hof Slott GC (Stadium)
Bro, Sweden
This 2007 Robert Trent Jones II design 25 miles northwest of Stockholm stretches nearly 8,000 yards. Sprawling bunkers, lakes (it sits atop a huge fjord), and gallery areas make this a potential Ryder Cup site.

Firestone CC (South)
Akron, Ohio
Another former member of the Top 100, this PGA Tour site embodies the hard-par, easy-bogey mantra of its architect, Robert Trent Jones Sr. Recent panels found it lacking in variety, but it has regained traction, jumping to No. 102 in the U.S.

Wentworth GC (West)
Virginia Water, England
Once a mainstay in our Top 100, this 1924 H.S. Colt heathland classic near London dropped off the list due to conditioning issues. However, the club is regrassing fairways and greens, and a limited reopening is scheduled for this month.

Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
This 2007 Tom Fazio design boasts staggering views of pine-covered slopes, 10-story-high rock spires and Lake Coeur d'Alene. Fazio's typically artful shaping and bunkering completes a pretty picture.

Victoria National GC
Newburgh, Ind.
The 103rd-ranked course in the U.S. in 2009 is a partly wooded 1998 Tom Fazio creation that sits atop a reclaimed strip mine. Where coal excavation left deep gashes, spring-fed ponds took their place, providing beauty and menace.

Bayonne Golf Club
Bayonne, N.J.
Developer Eric Bergstol transformed a New Jersey landfill straight out of The Sopranos into a sandy, faux- Irish links straight out of the Dingle Peninsula. This private, walking-only course is only four miles from Manhattan.

Blair Atholl Golf Club
Johannesburg, South Africa
Gary Player built this handsome, private behemoth (it can play as long as 8,500 yards at an elevation of 5,750 feet) in his own backyard — literally. Blair Atholl has been the Player family residence for the past 25 years.

The Cliffs at High Carolina
Asheville, N.C.
Tiger Woods has two other courses in the works — one in Dubai, another in Mexico — but High Carolina is his first U.S. design. Slated to open next year, the course is draped across a mountain meadow in the heart of Blue Ridge country. We know Tiger can play, but can he design? We're about to find out.

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