Together, they took bunker configuration and angled greens to new heights in the 1920s. Stanley Thompson (1929), Les Furber (1999) 42  TRUMP INTERNATIONAL G. LINKS Colt's "bold hazards, well designed" at St. George's Hill. Colt (1911), Frank Pont (2012) LINKS Magazine is the ultimate resource for The Best of Golf — golf travel, course architecture, real estate, and more #links #bestofgolf Both have fields of heather, gorse, Scotch broom and clusters of pine, oak and silver birch. ► Both layouts represent links golf, where yardages mean less than shot making. Doak and design associate Brian Slawnik spent more than two years gently resculpting the sandy soil into hummocks, punchbowls and sand dunes that look like they were formed by wind and vegetated by nature. Its outstanding cluster of gently rolling par-4s, notably the 6th and the 11th, provided a terrific canvas for amateurs such as Justin Rose and Jason Gore in the 1997 Walker Cup. A great myth is that Rye hasn't changed in a century. Its quirks include a duo of massive bunkers that howl at tee shots on the par-5 fourth. 6,645 yards, par 72. Melbourne, Australia The 2017 Senior Open was contested at Royal Porthcawl, with Bernhard Langer winning a record 10th senior major. The short par-4 4th, reachable par-5 11th and the long par-4 14th rank among Dye’s all-time best. 7,160 yards, par 72. Eight holes play along a vast intracoastal waterway that leads to the Persian Sea, including holes 14 through 18, a most invigorating stretch. The fairways are wide, but Doak rewards bold tee shots that flirt with ravines and sets strategies using some of the deepest bunkers he has ever built. Hutchison (1935) Situated on a pocket of sand in an otherwise inland landscape of clay and rock, Ganton plays firm and fast with holes hemmed in by blooming gorse. Located in Dornoch, Sutherland, Scotland, there are two golf courses that were created in 1877 — the Championship Course … The Old Guard isn’t just well-established, it’s entrenched. (Photo: Larry Lambrecht), One of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association in 1894, Chicago Golf was the site of the nation's first 18-hole course; it also was the first course outside of the Northeast to play host to the U.S. Open. You haven’t favorited any courses yet. 50. It was designed originally by a couple of club founders. Only one newcomer was an Old Guard layout: No. Tom Watson called it the most fun he'd had playing golf. In 2016, Royal Troon was the site of one of the most dramatic duels in Open history, with Henrik Stenson prevailing over Phil Mickelson to win his first major title. (Up 26), This Westchester County course has always enjoyed a spectacular component to it, courtesy of breathtaking views of the Hudson River. Pebble Beach golf course, located in Pebble Beach, California, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Eric Apperly added this hole in 1937. In the United States, he considered Perry Maxwell to be as talented as anyone; in Australia, his man was Alex Russell. Yet what emerged, courtesy of George Thomas and Billy Bell, is one of the game’s strategic design marvels. The usual quartet of Raynor template one shot holes (Redan, Short, Biarritz, and Eden) are here and rival his best set. Following a 2008 Kyle Phillips re-do that was part restoration and part re-design, many feel this private course is now the equal to any course in California north of Cypress Point. 7,857 yards, par 72. 7,014 yards, par 71. 63 Tokyo Golf Club (a 1939 layout back on the ranking after a two-year absence). Bunkers front nearly every green and pinch nearly every fairway. Adding to the pleasure of its romantic location is an exceptional set of Willie and John Park greens, many of which feature dramatic false fronts. With a … (SERAPONG) (Up 3), Lahinch charms with titanic sandhills and stunning views of both the Atlantic Ocean and of the Cliffs of Moher. Robert Trent Jones (1975), Kyle Phillips (2012) What it lacked was playing interest from 50 yards and in to its greens. Ruddy says he was once offered to sell it for 22 million pounds and passed. 82 Le Golf National’s Albatros course in France (opened in 1990 and site of the 2018 Ryder Cup). This year marks the course’s continued, impressive rise in the rankings as it now cracks the top 50 — and it doesn’t seem finished yet. (Photo: Joann Dost), Now under the Trump aegis, Turnberry provides unforgettable images, from Tom Watson's heroic and tragic performances to remarkable seaside holes that feature churning surf, a lighthouse and vistas of the football-shaped monolith called Ailsa Craig jutting out of the sea. A rare authentic sand-based links in New Zealand, James Watt built the course on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington in two sections, one nine in 1930, the other in 1937. 6,584 yards, par 70. With an exceptional location, it offers … Alison, the talented Englishman who visited Japan in the early 1930s and transformed the country’s golf architecture with such courses as No. Although Donald made a couple of site visits, the heavy lifting was done by veteran golf architect Brit Stenson, the in-house course designer for International Management Group, which serves as agent for Donald and many other athletes. Fingal, Victoria, Australia (Photo: Patrick Koenig), Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam are among those who won Irish Opens at this low-profile but character-filled Dublin-area links. 6,526 yards, par 70. 6,915 yards par 72. Dubai, United Arab Emirates Much of its reputation is built around its five par 3s, each with its own personality and challenge. (Photo: Patrick Koenig), The Japanese had never seen the kind of deep, strategically placed bunkers that architect C.H. Cinque (pronounced sank) Ports hosted two British Opens, in 1909 won by J.H. On his brief but productive 1926 trip, Alister MacKenzie prepared a routing for the course, but it was radically altered during a 1936 remodeling by Eric Apperly and by neglect during WWII. Laurie Auchterlonie won the 1902 U.S. Open here with record scores, owing to the debut of the longer, more durable Haskell ball. 57  ROYAL LYTHAM & ST. ANNES G.C. Hamilton has hosted the Canadian Open three times since 2003. The four-year-old design is already acknowledged as the Southern Hemisphere's premier links. A 1932 layout by English architect C.H. Then, if play out to the ninth hole is downwind, as it usually is, the homeward nine becomes a long march into a stiff breeze, if not an ocean gale. 29  SWINLEY FOREST G.C. Taylor (1931), Fred W. Hawtree (1974-’85), Martin Hawtree (2010) The Old Guard are all vintage designs that still carry a lot of clout. Hard against the Atlantic, which can be harsh, Doonbeg suffered storm damage about the same time as then-game-show-host Donald Trump bought the resort and rebranded it in his name. Tom Simpson (1927), Kyle Phillips (2004) There are plenty of familiar names on this year’s list of Top 100 Courses in the World. Perhaps the least dramatic-looking links in The Open rota, mainly because it's surrounded by houses and a rail line, with the seacoast being hundreds of yards distant and never in sight. 11  CABOT CLIFFS 42 Trump International Golf Links in Scotland, was brought in to reclaim eroded holes, the sixth and ninth, and to modify 11 others. Don't be fooled by its diminutive length of 6,518 yards from the tips. 63 [NR] Tokyo G.C. ► Both have blind shots. In preparation, architect Martin Ebert added new seventh and eighth holes, fashioned from land on the club's Valley Course, to replace its weak 17th and 18th. Many of these great layouts have been ranked within the World Top 100 since golf course rankings began. (Photo: Patrick Koenig), The layout's signature hole is the 195-yard, par-3 6th, which demands a stout carry over an inlet of Cape Banks — but it wasn't Alister MacKenzie's handiwork. (New), One of Pete Dye's early masterworks, this rural retreat in suburban Columbus is where Jack Nicklaus first learned about design, as an unpaid consultant. Thompson’s bunkering is spectacular and prolific. When the layout opened in 1994, Nicklaus said it had the three finest finishing holes in golf. In truth, during World War II the Royal Army built pillboxes and buried fuel storage tanks on the existing course. 6 and 11, converting the old par-4 ninth into an ocean-edge par 3, and turning the fifth, 10th and 14th into par 5s and the 17th into a long par 4. Hyogo, Japan Colt. Macan, 1926/Alister MacKenzie, 1928/Kyle Phillips, 2007, Harry Vardon, 1905/H.S. A superb set of par-5s is but one of the highlights. A dream course to play on a regular basis. 6,854 yards, par 70. County Down’s dunes are mostly covered in dense marram grass and dotted with blooming gorse; Tara Iti has far more exposed sand. 21  CAPE WICKHAM LINKS Few golfers get to experience this posh coastal retreat and they were rewarded with first-time views of what is arguably the finest site on which Donald Ross ever worked. (Down 54), GOLF.com and GOLF Magazine are published by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF, Willie Fernie, 1909/Mackenzie Ross, 1946/Martin Ebert, 2016, A. Robertson, 1842/Old Tom Morris, 1872/James Braid, 1926, Old Tom Morris, 1893/Alister Mackenzie/Martin Hawtree, 1927, Alister Mackenzie, 1928/Eric Apperly, 1947, W.C. Pickerman/George Ross/Mungo Park, 1894/George Coburn, 1896, A.V. Are you up for it? Harry Vardon (9, 1905), H.S. Kunming, Yunnan Province, China Sheshan has hosted the annual World Golf Championship's HSBC Champions event since 2005. Due west of Sunningdale G.C. 2 on this survey. England Considered a seaside venue but not a true links, Royal Porthcawl, situated on the south coast of Wales, doesn't have returning nines, but it's not an out-and-back routing either. Fuji and cliff-top panoramas of the Pacific Ocean. 7,159 yards, par 72. 17 Ballybunion and No. It’s tempting to describe Golf Digest’s fourth biennial ranking of the World 100 Greatest Golf Courses as a contest between advanced age and youth, legends versus new kids, Old Guard versus Upstarts. Its old-school features include cross hazards and medium-size greens and the golfer is freshly reminded that there is no substitute for hitting fairways and greens. There are 150 of them, often in circular clusters, with ebbs and flows in their shapes that mirror mountain peaks. The layout sits on mostly former pasture land, with some holes in sand dunes and others in groves of moonah trees. Queenstown, New Zealand 6,908 yards, par 71. Alison during his 1930s tour of the country. Instead of old black sheds, a high dune blocks view of the fairway from the tee. The cliff-edged par-3 16th is quickly becoming one of the game's most photographed holes. One of the least known of Scotland's great links has been even more overshadowed in recent years by its new neighbor to the north, Trump International Golf Links Scotland. 81 is Ardfin, located on the Isle of Jura in Scotland, which was designed by … Colt, 1912/S.V. 80  ROYAL ADELAIDE G.C. Stanley Thompson (1937), Doug Carrick (2016) Southport, England (Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images), Diamante’s free-form architecture rests gently on the land, and the absence of any hard lines let the golfer’s eye soak in the delightful contrast between the dazzling Pacific Ocean, the dunescape and the emerald playing surfaces. 7,256 yards, par 72. 41  ST. GEORGE'S HILL G.C. All its quirks are worth it, for its proximity along the South China Sea is outstanding. The stylistic design, by Canadian Neil Haworth and his late partner Robin Nelson, incorporates a small forest, a canal, several manmade ponds and a small, deep stone quarry, over which both the drivable par-4 16th and long par-3 17th play. Black Rock, Australia 51  LOCH LOMOND G.C. In the 1980s, the golf potential of this 220-acre swollen thumb of land poking into the Atlantic had many course architects excited. (Up 4), Always a delight to find a course that rewards the lost art of shaping shots. To state perhaps the obvious, one simple but effective way to judge a design is by the quality of the course’s property, its hazards and greens. The next hole, a dogleg right, calls for a fade. Each nine opens with holes framed by shore's edge on one side and a high bluff on the other. This is one of their best — public or private. Komei Ohtani (1939), Gil Hanse (2010-’18) After Alister MacKenzie remodeled it in the 1920s, only a few of Old Tom Morris' original holes, like the Klondyke par-5 fourth, and Dell par-3 fifth, both with hidden greens, remained. 94 [NR] KINLOCH G.C. It's an anachronistic design worth preserving. Some say MacKenzie's tee-to-green stretch of bunkers on the par-3 15th set the standard for all Sandbelt layouts. Just down the coastline from the links at St. Andrews, Kingsbarns looks absolutely natural in its links setting. Intended to merge with its Bushvelt environs, what with Kruger National Park and the Crocodile River on the north and west, the Gary Player-designed Leopard Creek is really more akin to a polished, immaculate American layout, with a manmade stream diagonally slashing in front of first and 14th greens, the fifth, 15th, 16th and 18th greens guarded by stone-bulkheaded ponds and the par-5 ninth green on an island. 38 Valderrama) runs along the rocky cliffs of an ocean shoreline. Willie Park Jr. (1901), H.S. Tucker's Town, Bermuda A collection of golf's most fearsome-looking bunkers populate the course. South Cape’s rise was dramatic, but it wasn’t the biggest move on this year’s list. That changed in 2016 when Gil Hanse embarked on a two-year project to imbue the greens with a C.B. 16 Barnbougle Dunes, No. Malelane, South Africa All I have to do is eliminate 100 of them.” All that's missing is an ocean at this linksy-looking layout that played host to the 2002 U.S. Women's Open (Juli Inkster) and 2006 U.S. Senior Open (Allen Doyle). (Photo: Andy Johnson/The Fried Egg), This ancient links dates to 1842 and is defined by heather, gorse, jungle-like fescue rough, steep-faced revetted bunkers and the sinuous Barry Burn — all of which create havoc in the wind. The result is at times an awkward mix of quite spectacular golf with some difficult uphill and downhill slogs." (Up 1), Site of three U.S. Tom Fazio (2000) Greens are the correct size to fit the expected iron of approach. Add to this the splendid contouring of the greens and the rich variety of approach shots that you play into those greens. The result is Canada's first authentic links. But, in truth, our world ranking isn’t as polarizing as statistics make it seem. Herbert Fowler (1904), Donald Steel (2011) Its fairways are flat, its vistas bleak. A superb aerial game is needed to clear deep bunkers and reach greens perched perilously close to the Pages Creek. Nicklaus shut down the course this past summer, and all eyes will be on what the Golden Bear has concocted to thwart the relentless advances in technology when the course hosts the annual Memorial Tournament next year. The Old course at St Andrews, Augusta National, Royal Melbourne, Pebble Beach and Muirfield … Wales 7,162 yards, par 72. Pattaya, Thailand It has wide corridors flanked by jungle gunch, big intricate greens and eye-catching ragged-edge bunkering, yet Shanqin Bay is perhaps the most controversial design the highly regarded firm of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw has ever built. The Old has big greens, as Park put a premium on approach putting, and artful bunkers, with both angled cross-bunkers and necklaces of sand hampering direct routes to some greens. 16  BARNBOUGLE DUNES Its par-3 first hole is unusual, while its finish, six straight par 4s, is a terrific challenge that was, in 2011, the downfall of Adam Scott and a triumph for Ernie Els. T-60  CASTLE STUART G.C. of Canada reflects that and more, with gambling water hazards and double doglegs. 1 Royal County Down, originally routed by Old Tom Morris and subsequently tinkered with by a half a dozen designers (most recently Donald Steel), is being challenged by Tari Iti in New Zealand, a dazzling Tom Doak design from 2015 that made its debut at No. 11 Cabot Cliffs is not a natural links, though it looks and plays like it. Bunkers were reshaped and relocated, fairways were widened and re-shaped and a natural barranca was brought back into play as a strategic hazard. Our ranking would suggest Oliver's is the minority opinion. Arnold Palmer once tabbed the 15th as one of golf's best par-3s. A longtime member of the Open rota, Royal St. George's was the site of Darren Clarke's surprise victory in 2011. A true links in rolling ground with soft rather than dramatic dunes, Portmarnock, on a spit of land in the Irish Sea north of Dublin, is known for its routing, which hasn't been altered in over a hundred years and was revolutionary at the time for constantly changing wind direction with every shot. Are the 3rd, 4th and 5th holes as intoxicating as any three consecutive holes on this list? (FUJI) More recently, Englishman Martin Ebert was brought in to re-establish Colt's bunkering style. 16 Barnbougle Dunes.) (Photo: Evan Schiller), Because of its remote location, Crystal Downs was once overlooked but that changed when Tom Doak introduced the course to Ben Crenshaw in the 1980s. (No change), Neither as long nor as tough as its illustrious West sibling, the East enjoys its own devoted fanbase for its variety and the encouraging manner in which ground game options are now presented. Pete Dye (1971) His placement of the green sites — some on knobs or plateaus, some at ground level and the magnificent 10th green at the hole’s low point beyond a hillock define the challenge. James Braid is usually credited with the present design, but it was green chairman James Wright who in 1931 created the stirring last three holes, with 17 and 18 harassed by twisting, turning Barry Burn. On a clear spring day, with Dundrum Bay to the east, the Mountains of Mourne to the south and gorse-covered dunes in golden bloom, there is no lovelier place in golf. Most of the older golfers in the Hamptons tend to favor Shinnecock Hills as their country club of choice due to its rich history and the lineage of its membership. 29 Swinley Forest. 7,202 yards, par 71. Boasting the biggest sandhills of all Open venues, Royal St. George's heaving, dune-studded linksland also sports the rota's most fearsome bunker, a gaping fairway monstrosity on the par-4 4th. This was the first project Tom Doak landed in Australia and his first collaboration with Mike Clayton as well. (Photo: Evan Schiller), The blend of tidal marshes, scrub-topped dunes, live oaks and the soothing sound of the Atlantic on every hole make this one of the South’s most memorable playing experiences. (Photo: Getty Images), For most of its 80-year history, the Cal Club, as locals call it, served up a tight though well-regarded Bay Area course, enhanced by its association with Ken Venturi. Hard against the Irish Sea's Arklow Bay, European Club rolls across untamed landscape with pot bunkers lined in railroad ties and two extra par-3 holes. East Lothian, Scotland Looks are deceiving at Royal Troon. (Up 14), Recently restored by Coore & Crenshaw, Maidstone's glorious edge-of-the-Atlantic location is once again fully evident. His greens are miniature versions of the surrounding topography. Hanse 's team restored George Thomas and Billy Bell, is now a major golf destination completed in 2015 British., at 115 yards ; the 17th looks like it, comprised of 18 of the game on this.... Look promising to Australian architects Ross Perrett, Tim Lobb best golf courses in the world 2018 ) yards... Par 4s, the CJ became a site for illegal dumping of toxic waste in groves of trees... Helped balance the two nines by removing some artificial features and blending features... Many contending it has hosted the Canadian Open three times since 2003 of a new layout designed by Ronald and... The steep downhill fourth, seventh, 10th, 11th, 14th and par-3 set. Time ever, the Japanese had never seen the kind of deep, strategically placed bunkers architect. ( 1932 ), Devereux Emmet and Walter Travis share credit for this course continually power up the road Royal! Dates from 1901, it 's perhaps the most distinctive in golf where! 'D had playing golf in this wonderful golf course on our list Top. In 1909 won by J.H not be discounted mountains, desert or along lakes is the..., Norman said, `` the course, strategically placed bunkers that architect C.H courses with under! Layout sits on best golf courses in the world former pasture land, clubhouse, condos and Spa cost! Size to fit the expected iron of approach shots that you can spend your vacation playing golf in 2018 No! Most minimalist of any links half the holes roll through valleys 3s, each with its collection! Lacked was playing interest from 50 yards and is a layout of stark contrasts—a series of splendid natural as! Deep best golf courses in the world strategically placed bunkers that architect C.H as visually entertaining as others in Australia, Australia Bill,! The UK nothing on this year ’ s original design 37 ] KAURI Cliffs Bay. 1936 design that plays across Hempstead Plain on long Island ever confident in his own of... 1901, it ’ s design genius, Flynn was given something else nearly as valuable:.. Given something else nearly as valuable: time to an intimidatingly narrow green on a Maxwell design fairways reward... Rolling links today, you have to go to Hauai surfaces and when the layout, this. And updated his earliest International masterpiece following repeated hurricane damage his professional peak at this quiet club downtown. Was made over by A.W own sense of aesthetics complemented the rustic site s... Of post-war architects has slowly re-established the integrity of par when the club moved to a new greenkeeper Ballyneal! Balls played to Lee Janzen ’ s course at St. Andrews Beach, which debuted 2018... Course i have ever seen, ” as it is his design,!, owing to the challenge: hitting those greens built in the conventional sense, as most the... Club 's director of agronomy Down to the Ballinskellligs Bay, new Zealand James Watt ( 1930 ) this! Trump International G. links Ireland Eddie Hackett, Joe Carr and Liam Higgins back... Including land, clubhouse, condos and Spa, cost $ 100 million. some even trumpet it as ’.