The Top 10 New Courses You Can Play

1 of 10 Mike Houska/DMK Golf Design
The Top 10 New Courses You Can Play: 2008 1. The Golf Club at Tetherow Bend, Ore. 7,450 yards, par 72; Green fees: $195; 866-234-4848; Scottish designer David McLay Kidd was schooled among the dunes of Machrihanish and the gorse of Gleneagles, and he broke into architecture's elite a decade ago with the opening of Bandon Dunes. His worldwide portfolio is impressive, but Tetherow is the place he calls home. The layout rambles over two ridgelines and is seeded in wall-to-wall fescue, ensuring fast conditions and a links-like emphasis on the ground game. A spectacular exception is the all-carry 190-yard, par-3 17th, which plays into an old pumice pit to a dry island green. Tetherow is a private residential golf club that will offer limited outside play until 2010, when an onsite boutique hotel comes online. After that, it's members and resort guests only. That gives you plenty of time to see the best "public" course of 2008.
2 of 10 Lake Presidential Golf Club
9. Lake Presidential Golf Club Upper Marlboro, Md. 7,230 yards, par 72; Green fees: $50-$95; 301-627-8577; With all of the Beltway blather we were subjected to last year, it's easy to forget that there is one new arrival in the Washington area that even the most partisan of politicos can agree on: Lake Presidential Golf Club, located 20 miles from the White House in suburban Maryland. Lake Presidential is the handiwork of Landmark Land Company, the outfit that yielded Kiawah Island and PGA West, among others. Its newest layout is more mellow than monstrous, a beautiful stroll through wooded and stream-filled terrain. The only point of debate here is which par 5 is better: the fishhook-shaped, 570-yard 8th, which features a tee shot from out of a chute of trees, or the reachable 515-yard 18th, which tackles the namesake lake from the get-go with an imposing, forced-carry tee shot.
3 of 10 James Engh Golf Design Group
8. Four Mile Ranch Golf Club Canon City, Colo. 7,053 yards, par 72; Green fees: $59-$74; 719-269-7444, As far as Jim Engh is concerned, "straightforward" is code for "dull," and he has yet to be accused of designing a boring course. But the heaving terrain he was handed in Colorado was so dramatic that Engh decided to just leave well enough alone. The result is a quirky hodgepodge that resembles nothing you've seen in golf. There are no formal bunkers, just white shale ridges called hogbacks. Ranging in height from three to thirty feet, they're all Engh needed to balance out the blind shots, native grasses and fearsome greens. Love it or hate it, the 560-yard, par-5 6th is unforgettable, its green obscured by huge rocks. This is adventure golf at its finest. Four Mile Ranch enjoys mountain vistas in every direction — but it's those on-course hogbacks that will linger long in your memory.
4 of 10 Rob Perry
7. Palouse Ridge Golf Club at Washington State University Pullman, Wash. 7,308 yards, par 72; Green fees: $58-$104; 509-335-4342; Washington State University has produced its share of NFL stars — Drew Bledsoe, Ryan Leaf, Timm Rosenbach — so perhaps the school's new golf course will help it produce PGA Tour-level golfers. One thing is certain: All WSU golfers will be assured a stiff test before graduation. Palouse Ridge belongs in the upper echelon of college courses. The John Harbottle III design rolls through windswept, mostly treeless terrain and boasts panoramic views of mountain peaks in Idaho and Oregon. Particularly eye-catching are the massive, whisker-edged bunkers that dot the layout. The 463-yard, par-4 1st hole sets the tone, playing along a fescue-covered ridge toward Bryan Clock Tower, WSU's most recognizable landmark. In short order, Palouse Ridge has proven to be the perfect excuse to cut class.
5 of 10 Hunter PR
6. Sand Hollow Resort (Championship Course) Hurricane, Utah 7,319 yards, par 72; Green fees: $50-$125; 435-656-4653; Architect John Fought has taken southwest Utah by storm with this superb layout in Hurricane, just 15 minutes from St. George. The former All-American at BYU carved out a massive layout with gigantic greens, and the result is a playable, natural-looking high-desert design 25 minutes from Zion National Park. Ridgelines, canyons and red-rock cliffs highlight the round. The front nine is fairly sedate, but the back is a home run, with a four-hole stretch (Nos. 12 to 15) that's among the most memorable in the West. Steep outcroppings and red-sand bunkers punctuate each hole, making it abundantly clear why the region is known as "Color Country."
6 of 10 Wild Rock Golf Club
5. Wild Rock Golf Club at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort Wisconsin Dells, Wisc. 7,418 yards, par 72; Green fees: $60-99; 608-253-4653; The call of the wild begins at the first tee of this rugged, raucous ride by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, who created our top new public course of 2006 at nearby Erin Hills. A rocky stream bisects the second-shot landing area at the 559-yard 1st, while overly bold approach shots will find a lake behind the green. The risk/reward theme continues throughout the round. Wide fairways are framed by trees and dotted with sand and gravel mounds, but the holes you'll remember are the downhill, 588-yard, par-5 6th, which takes in views of the Baraboo Bluffs, and the 179-yard, par-3 15th, which demands a full-blooded carry over an old stone quarry. By round's end, it's clear that the course couldn't be more perfectly named.
7 of 10 Aidan Bradley
4. Journey at Pechanga Temecula, Calif. 7.219 yards, par 72; Green fees: $150-$200; 888-732-4264; Journey at Pechanga, an Arthur Hills creation spearheaded by Hills' partner Steve Forrest, is layered with architectural gambits. Some succeed more than others, but the result is an unforgettable romp through Southern California's wine country at the upscale Pechanga Resort & Casino. The driveable 488- yard, par-4 6th hole — yes, you read that correctly, driveable — plummets 18 stories from tee to fairway. The fun continues with an oak tree in the middle of the 7th fairway, a punchbowl green at the 10th, and a Biarritz green with its characteristic vast hollow in the middle at the 18th. If you're the kind of golfer who's looking for unparalleled variety with a splash of quirk, your journey ends here.
8 of 10 Lonna Tucker/PGA Coyote Springs
3. The Chase at PGA Golf Club Coyote Springs Coyote Springs, Nev. 7,471 yards, par 72; Green fees: $120-$200; 877-742-8455; The 50-mile trek north from Las Vegas to Coyote Springs is so desolate that you're likely to encounter more coyotes than people. Jabbed into an arid site ringed with mountains, this Jack Nicklaus track kick-starts one of the most ambitious golf development projects ever. Plans call for at least 10 courses and 150,000 residents, but for now this course is all you'll find. Fortunately, it's good enough to justify the drive, with some of the most artfully crafted bunkers and greens of Jack's career. The Chase is a monument to thoughtful shotmaking. Water affects play on more than half the holes, notably the 9th and 18th, a pair of beefy par 4s. But it's the firm, fast fairways and speedy green complexes that will most determine your final tally.
9 of 10 Jim Krajicek/Pound Ridge Golf Club
2. Pound Ridge Golf Club Pound Ridge, N.Y. 7,171 yards, par 72; Green fees: $235; 914-764-5771; Pound Ridge is a Pete and Perry Dye design whose combination of beauty and brutality echoes Whistling Straits and Kiawah Island's Ocean Course. While its challenges are relentless, it captivates from beginning to end thanks to a succession of vividly memorable holes. The Dyes were given a 172-acre canvas studded with rock outcroppings, many of which come into play. And if the rocks don't get you, the wetlands, forced carries, fescue mounds and fiendishly contoured greens will.
10 of 10 Harris Golf
10. Old Marsh Country Club Wells, Me. 6,523 yards, par 70; Green fee: $89; 207-251-4653; Architect Brian Silva made his name as a makeup artist, carefully restoring old masters. Old Marsh proves he can hold his own with original designs, even if he does borrow liberally from the greats. Located on a wooded landscape in southern Maine, less than an hour's drive from Greater Boston, Old Marsh features the engineered look of C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor, with steep, random, strategic bunkers, mammoth fairways and similarly scaled greens, most notably the 15,000- square-foot behemoth at the 215-yard, par-3 17th. (It's the largest putting surface in the state.) For fans of classic design, Silva employed an Alps feature and a punchbowl green at the 375-yard 2nd, and a Redan-style green at the 410-yard 5th. But modern touches abound as well, with Florida-style excavated lakes forming the bulk of the hazards. Even with its Old World flavor, Old Marsh is a Yankee original.• Return to 2008 Best New Courses Homepage