This 2006 Jack Nicklaus/Tom Doak collaboration counts the National Golf Links of America and Shinnecock Hills as neighbors on the eastern end of Long Island. It hosted the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open, and I wouldn’t mind spending part of August in the Hamptons, watching the Jordans and Rorys battle the Peconic Bay breezes.
2 of 9Joann Dost
Spyglass Hill -- Pebble Beach, Calif.
Every year at the AT&T, Spyglass is dumbed down to get amateurs around in seven hours. I’d love to see the pros cope with this course set up in full. Plus, August on the Monterey Peninsula is pleasant duty indeed.
3 of 9Chris Condon/PGA Tour/Getty Images
Muirfield Village -- Dublin, Ohio
Sure, this course already enjoys tons of exposure from Jack’s annual PGA Tour shindig. But it would be nice to see the PGA show some additional love by tossing a bone to the five-time winner of its premier championship, whose hometown course is easily deserving of a major.
4 of 9Larry Lambrecht
Pine Valley Golf Club -- Pine Valley, N.J.
This fantasy pick hosted the 1985 Walker Cup and is home to the annual Crump Cup, an international event that no top amateur turns down. Alas, our top-ranked course in the world has too much sand and scrub to allow for efficient gallery flow, but wouldn’t it be awesome to see the game’s best tackle the best course in the game?
5 of 9Courtesy of Pronghorn
Pronghorn (Nicklaus Course) -- Bend, Ore.
Formerly a private real estate development, Pronghorn now offers limited public play, although few will take on the 7,379-yard tips. I’d relish watching the pros try it, especially amid Bend’s dry, perfect August climate, at 3,200 feet above sea level with views of nearby Mt. Bachelor.
6 of 9Larry Lambrecht
Crystal Downs -- Frankfort, Mich.
Perched upon a bluff between Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake, this Alister MacKenzie/Perry Maxwell collaboration is a bit too remote and lacks sufficient length to bother today’s stars, but toss in gusts off the lake, dense native roughs and enough classic holes to fill a textbook, and it would provide a memorable PGA site regardless of scores.
7 of 9David Cannon/Getty Images
Pacific Dunes -- Bandon, Ore.
No course in the U.S. serves up such a quirky, yet delightful stew of imaginative shot-making opportunities and mind-blowing aesthetics. Amid shaggy sand dunes, prickly gorse bushes and natural "blow-out" bunkers on wind-blown cliffs 100 feet above the Pacific, architect Tom Doak created a back nine with three par 5s and four par 3s. Lack of population, airport access, available lodging and gallery space make this a fantasy pick, but a man can dream, can't he?
8 of 9David Cannon/Getty Images
Sand Hills -- Mullen, Neb.
Jim Awtrey, former CEO of the PGA of America, made this his fantasy PGA pick a few years back and it's easy to see why. It's sheer folly because it's impossibly remote, but the effort to get here is worth it. Hewn from wind-blasted, prairie land and blanketed with tall golden grasses, this Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw design is considered by many to be the best course built in the last 50 years.
9 of 9John Henebry
Wynn Golf Course -- Las Vegas, Nev.
Don't bark about the unbearable August heat in Nevada — the heat and humidity is a lot worse in Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia, among other steamy PGA locales. Tom Fazio's spectacular triumph of remaking the old Desert Inn layout echoed his efforts at nearby Shadow Creek — but can you imagine playing a major right on the Vegas Strip?
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