Tillinghast in 1926 and Gil Hanse’s restoration this past decade has the course at peak. (Up 2), Though Spyglass Hill just slipped off the list, Robert Trent Jones’s work is still represented by Peachtree’s strong showing. Colt's 97-year-old companion to its charming elder, the Old, stands on its own merits. When you discover the design plays as good as it looks, you have something special. 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. The Muirfield Village Golf Club is widely considered as one of the oldest golf courses as it houses the worldâs oldest golfing society, Muirfield. Despite its intimidating name, Teeth of the Dog entrances, starting with its superior collection of par-3s. Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic. A combination of strong breezes, thick fescue roughs, undulating terrain and fiendishly contoured greens make this one of the harder courses relative to its tight par of 70 in the Top 100. (Up 12), Roughly 200 bunkers menace this rugged links that has hosted Open Championships since 1926. 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. Gone too are the clean edged bunkers that never looked at home on a Maxwell design. Seth Raynor retooled his mentor C.B. The scenery of the Pacific Ocean becomes more beautiful each time you play the course. (Down 14), With this land on the east side of the Ohoopee River where sand accumulated for centuries, Hanse finally got a dream site upon which to build an original design. Designed by hall-of-fame designer Peter Dye, Whistling Straights is made up of two prestigious golf courses: the Straits and the Irish Course. However, the beautiful view and ambience are what balance it out and make it so popular. (Up 32), Japan's answer to Pebble Beach is this 1936 design that boasts staggering views of snow-capped Mt. (Down 1), Ever confident in his own work, Alister MacKenzie was quick to praise the talent of others. Equal parts weird and wonderful, this host to 24 Open Championships (including the first 12) features a perfect combination of quirk and muscle. The Old Course at St. Andrews Links, one of the oldest courses in the world, is called the "home of golf" because the course was played in the 15th century. (Photo: Nile Young), H.S. Lakes, creeks and wooded slopes not only contribute to the beauty and variety, but are seamlessly integrated into the design. The question is answered at the 1st, with a green that follows the natural contours and slopes away from the player. Short by modern day technology, it's still visually demanding, visually impressive.” (Down 2), Hale Irwin survived the 1974 "Massacre at Winged Foot" U.S. Open to win at seven over par. California Golf Club of San Francisco, 78. This list represents the 2020 list from Golf Digestâs Top 100 Public Golf Courses. Like Rye, its quintet of one-shotters and tight sub-70 par make it more of a complete test than a quick glance at its scorecard might indicate. (Up 9), What a good thing the club did by hosting a televised event to raise money to fight Covid in May 2020. 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. Home of the Players Championship since 1982, the design has evolved into a handsome battleground (however you feel about the towering clubhouse), highlighting Pete Dye’s talent for envisioning something from nothing. Add it all up — and throw in the Kintyre Peninsula wind — and you have a place that lures people back time and time again. For shotmaking options and memorable individual holes that require a blend of power and finesse, the Stadium Course has few peers. The Old Course might well possess the fastest, best turf in all of golf (despite, or perhaps because of, its constant use) and no design possesses the flexibility in allowing a 10-year-old, 30-year-old, 50-year-old and 70-year-old to enjoy themselves as a group. The 4th hole, for instance, features a reverse-camber fairway: the hole swings right to left but the fairway tilts left to right, mandating a draw from the tee. Deep bunkers are Woodhall Spa's defining trait, along with plentiful gorse and a stellar set of par-3s. (Down 34), This 1999 Kyle Phillips design 15 miles from the Old Course has earned the respect of links fans, who can be a tough bunch as they generally travel to the United Kingdom to play courses that are 100-plus years old. A strategic delight, it is stern but fair, with heather, gorse, rough and penal, high walled bunkers that must be avoided. (Photo: Dave Samson). Are the 3rd, 4th and 5th holes as intoxicating as any three consecutive holes on this list? Hard for a course this well known to exceed first time expectations — but it does, which is a true feat. What a delight that the Maxwells got to work with this special site as their soft touch on the land is a must-study for any architect. So, each time you play Angus Glen, you are walking the same fairways that the worldâs best golfers have competed on. Dating to 1916, the course was made over by A.W. Doug Carrick's stunning course constructed from a former gravel quarry continues to be one of the best public golf options in the Greater Toronto Area. (Photo: Joann Dost), This seaside classic is worth the journey. Another of Russell’s creations, Paraparaumu Beach in New Zealand, just missed out inclusion this year but the panel’s appreciation of the East Course raises the question: What is the best 36-hole day in golf at one site? After Tom Watson played here before his Open defense in 1981, he remarked that the experience was “the most fun I've ever had a on a golf course.” Donald Ross grew up here, though Dornoch took its final shape as we know it today well after he left. The fact that you can walk it in two and half hours makes you question the merit of courses that are so much longer. Situated 23 miles north of Aberdeen, Cruden Bay offers many novel features, including the par-4 14th, with its funnel-shaped bathtub green and the dramatic par-3 4th, which overlooks the Water of Cruden and the fishing village of Port Erroll. (Photo: Evan Schiller), Prestwick has always had critics, but atmosphere, ambience and renewed appreciation of its historical features have finally nudged the course into the ranks of the elite. (Down 4), This 14-time British Open host dates to 1887. Dubai Hills Golf Club by Jumeirah â Darren King, Stephen Scott, Adam Dutson, Michael Schooley World's Best New Golf Course 2019 Nominees Chee Chan Golf Resort (Thailand) (Up 3), Lahinch charms with titanic sandhills and stunning views of both the Atlantic Ocean and of the Cliffs of Moher. from $19 per game, musselburgholdlinks.co.uk, Location: Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland. With the help of the emergence of Tiger Woods, the popularity of exploded in the late 1990s and early 2000s, drawing hundreds of thousands of new players â¦ As one the oldest golf courses in the world, it's no wonder that Musselburgh Links has some amazing historic features. Is that true for Myopia Hunt, given that it has hosted four U.S. Raves all around for how this course now looks and plays. (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. (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. Together, they took bunker configuration and angled greens to new heights in the 1920s. The routing works its way over and across heaving dunes and through an enchanting coastal forest, and the fact that you don’t miss the sight of the water for most of the round speaks volumes to its design quality. The club prides itself on its firm playing surfaces and when the coastal breezes kick in, watch out. Best for the Open Terrain. Location: Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, Best for Playing a Game Amongst Crazy Views. The ability to shape tee balls played to Lee Janzen’s strength when he won the 1998 U.S. Open here. Designed by hall-of-fame designer Peter Dye, Whistling Straights is made up of two prestigious golf courses: the Straits and the Irish Course. The exposed, gorgeous par-3 4th that juts out to the tip of Sally's Point invites comparisons to Pebble Beach's 7th. Lost Farm is fairly new in the world of golf. 82. Documented evidence proves that the course dates all the way back to 1672. (Up 7), One of the world's top 10 when it comes to views, each nine at Cape Kidnappers boasts a sequence of staggeringly dramatic holes. Add to this the splendid contouring of the greens and the rich variety of approach shots that you play into those greens. Designed by golf champion, Gary Player, Domaine de Taulane golf course is located at the foot of the mountains in the heart of Provençal nature, a short drive away from Grasse in France. (Photo: Courtesy SFGC), After weeks of tromping around the yucca-choked sand hills of Hutchinson, architect Perry Maxwell proclaimed, “There are 118 good golf holes here. from $1,038 for two-night stay and three rounds of golf, pinehurst.com, Location: Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States, Best for the Strategically Designed Course. Seeing a 6,431-yard, par-69 course like Swinley Forest be embraced as an epitome of great design is a powerful message. (Photo: Courtesy Kiawah Island Resort), Pete Dye's personal favorite of all of his designs, Teeth of the Dog is flat-out gorgeous, with seven holes practically sunk into the Caribbean Sea. It's not a pretty course in the conventional sense, as there are no lighthouses, mountains or wild majestic undulations. The same design principles — fairway contours that either shunt you out of position or send you to the ideal location, hazards that appear ageless and greens that offer a wide range of hole locations —demand you reassess how to best play each hole from one day to the next. Hard to imagine that the professionals now try to drive the sliver of green at 14 but that’s how the game has changed. It was renovated and designed by world renowned golf architect Andy dye back in 1995.. Tillinghast, 1929/Gil Hanse, 2017, Charles Hunter, 1876/Old Tom Morris, 1879, Golf’s 2020-2021 Ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the World. Tillinghast may have crafted his most gorgeous collection of bunkers at this low-key Bay Area hideaway that avoids publicity as steadfastly as its neighbor the Olympic Club embraces it. Fuji and cliff-top panoramas of the Pacific Ocean. Who knew inland golf could be this exciting? However, new courses do appear on the list from time to time and with the best land, the right architect and a lot of money, anything is possible. One par-3 is tiny, at 115 yards; the others measure 236, 246 and 256 yards. Macdonald’s course in 1923 and not much has changed since as its slew of exemplary template holes make it just as relevant today as it was in the age of hickory golf. Opening in 2004, the course caught the attention of players all over the world and made GOLF Magazine. (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. The more the world speeds up, the more people appreciate clubs like Swinley where calm reigns supreme. Known for its enchanting opening hole that demands a drive over the beach, Machrihanish provides a gleeful romp through shaggy sandhills on the front nine. To see our latest World Top 100, simply scroll down this page. Colt never went down that path and he achieved the best possible result here in that he produced a course that would be a delight to play every day. Macdonald together for the first time and what they created still stands as a marvel of strategic design. Colt and S.V. Great Northern is created with inspiration from some of the worldâs best golf courses and built up with respect for the local areaâs countryside and history. 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. How did MacKenzie get the best from the land? There are few daunting carries and the greens are huge, so what’s the big deal? Yet, when the wind is up, it's one of the game’s fiercest links, one that requires supreme shotmaking, as Tiger’s Open win here proved in 2006. A poor course set-up for the 1999 Open only furthered its reputation as “Carnastie,” but if you play from the right set of tees, you will be surprised by the variety and interest that its holes possess. Nine Bridges has played host to the PGA Tour's CJ Cup. Hotchkin for enhancing Vardon's work and turning the course into one of golf's supreme shotmaking tests. Echoed five-time Open champion Tom Watson, “It is one of the best and most beautiful tests of links golf anywhere.” Greenkeeper John Bambury embarked several years ago to convert the poa greens to fine fescue and to re-establish the running game. Situated on the side of a hill, the course is guaranteed to catch any wind that is about. Thanks to the inspired positioning of the bunkers and the angled green, options abound on how to card a big number on this tiny hole. 7 Best Golf Courses in the World. (Up 2), A.W. The south-end holes are akin to a traditional Scottish links. Fun fact: The winning score at its four U.S. It’s a question worth considering. (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. T77. (Photo: LC Lambrecht), Blend the towering dunes of Ballybunion, the relentless challenge of Carnoustie and the legendary bombast of Donald Trump and you'd have a potential Open site for the ages. If you buy something from the links on this page, we may earn a commission. (Up 14), Recently restored by Coore & Crenshaw, Maidstone's glorious edge-of-the-Atlantic location is once again fully evident. âVictorian golf has long been recognised for Melbourneâs famous Sand Belt region, home to arguably the finest collection of golf courses in the world. Built in a narrow canyon, there was no reason to hold high hopes for this course. It should also be reiterated that we have such high-quality golf in this area, both public and private. Much more short grass has been added around the green complexes since then and now the design is more thought-provoking rather than terror-inducing. The par-5 4th and its iconic cross-bunkering is a world-beater. 2 has hosted more golf championships than any other course in America, . Rolling, sandy terrain, rippled fairways that were spared from a bulldozer, ever-present winds, wavy prairie grasses and gigantic blow-out bunkers create the sensation of being seaside in the middle of landlocked Nebraska. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite courses factoring playability, conditioning, layout and value. (Photo: Patrick Koenig), Golf in the United Kingdom started along its coastline on linksland but as the sport became popular, people wanted courses nearer to where they lived. The rest of the property has more modest topography but you are unlikely to notice that fact as the expansive greens offer such interesting targets. (Down 4), This low-key 1926 Seth Raynor creation in suburban Cincinnati dishes out deep bunkers and huge, squared-off greens on a property laced with valleys and ravines. Bunkers were reshaped and relocated, fairways were widened and re-shaped and a natural barranca was brought back into play as a strategic hazard. Arthur Hills, designer of more than 200 courses around the world, built Virtues Golf Club in Nashport near Columbus, which is No. Tiger Woods, who won the 2002 "People's Open," as that U.S. Open came to be known. Don't be fooled by its diminutive length of 6,518 yards from the tips. Too bad more modern architects are leery to build finishers that reward mind over muscle. Playing at this golf course is â¦ (Down 6), Tucked away in a nearly impossible-to-find forested location 40 miles north of Paris is a low-key heathland design that is utterly charming and utterly private. There are plenty to pick from here, including the 1st, 4th, 8th, 10th and the love-it-or-hate-it 18th, but the hole everyone needs to see at least once in their life is the famous downhill Biarritz 9th. Rebuilt following its use for RAF airfields in World War II, the "Duel in the Sun" 1977 British Open venue witnessed a recent series of well-received design changes by MacKenzie & Ebert that better utilized the rugged coastline. Opens and a quartet of PGA Championships, this Depression-era Perry Maxwell design features holes that gracefully flow across a plot of undulating ground perfectly suited for golf. (Down 53), Preeminent Canadian architect Stanley Thompson hit his professional peak at this quiet club near downtown Toronto. Colt, 1895/Tom Simpson/Herbert Tippet/Guy Campbell, 1907, Davis Love III/Mark Love, 2010/Paul Cowley, 2016, Donald Ross, 1917/Robert Trent Jones Sr., 1950, C.B. And certainly the 14th has never flinched in being able to defend the integrity of par. His own sense of aesthetics complemented the rustic site’s color palette of browns, rusts and tans. Opens and the 1999 Ryder Cup. Even today, no more thrilling, spectacular stretch exists than holes 4 through 10. Birkdale boasts towering sandhills and no blind shots, as most of the holes roll through valleys. “Sandwich,” as it is known colloquially, serves up blind shots and supremely interesting contours in equal measure. The drivable ½-par 9th is another design standout with its angled green toward play. The meanest of the Open rota courses has produced winners such as Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Tom Watson. The next hole, a dogleg right, calls for a fade. The design itself stands up to the aesthetics. Arguably America’s premier urban design, LACC North hosted the 2017 Walker Cup and design afficionados can’t wait for the highly anticipated 2023 U.S. Open. Some of its template holes, including the Alps 3rd, the Redan 4th, the Short 6th and the Leven 17th, are arguably superior to their namesake holes in the United Kingdom that Macdonald copied. Golf imitates life, and these public courses imitate (and in most cases exceed) some of the finest private courses in the land. Tom Weiskopf cites the primary appeal: "The continuous change in direction from hole to hole leads to different winds, great balance and maximum variety." The standout on the back is the 14th, with its valley fairway and glorious North Sea vistas. Golf is generally considered best along a cool coastline. More notable, the Straits has open, rugged terrain and was named one of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses in Golf â¦ (New), Waterville's slithering par-5 11th, hemmed in by dune ridges and its seaside par-3 17th, with a back tee isolated by dense vegetation and backdropped by MacGillycuddy's Reeks, are both world-class. (Up 14), A Boston Brahmin society haunt for more than 100 years, this tree-lined design has played host to three U.S. from $223 per golf package, kiawahresort.com, Location: Kiawah Island, South Carolina, United States. Recent tree-planting and narrowing of corridors stands in contrast to that shared vision and is at odds with what has transpired at other Golden Age cornerstone designs this century, proving what a tough position ANGC finds itself in continuing to test the world’s best players in golf’s most anticipated event. (Up 1), Many of the game's elite consider this course to be the fairest Open rota course. Do you agree with the list? It finished seventh in Golf Digest's ranking of Best New Resort Courses of 1994, well behind World Woods' Pine Barrens Course (which ranks No. The course’s most famous hole is also its most feared, the 650-yard, par-5 15th which falls away on both sides of the fairway and which sports a horizon green perched precariously on a bluff overlooking the sea. Access to these golf courses should be cherished, and these holes are the best of the bunch. A historical golf course located within the city of Manila is Intramuros Golf Club.This golf course is known to be one of the old courses in the city. (Photo: Patrick Koenig), The Japanese had never seen the kind of deep, strategically placed bunkers that architect C.H. Regardless, the course’s staggering beauty and Masters tradition remain unlike any other. Right on the California's coastline, Pebble Beach golf course has hosted the U.S. Open in 2010 and has been the home to five U.S. Open Championships. Walton Heath was the venue of the 1981 Ryder Cup, when arguably the strongest American side of all time demolished the Europeans, 18.5 to 9.5. Amateur telecast from here was captivating. What follows are 12 par-4s, 10 (!) Like World Woods, there's more than one golf course, and they're all terrific, starting with the famed Tom Fazio-designed Quarry Course, which has a stretch of holes on the back nine as spectacular as anything in Florida.The Ranch Course, which many locals actually prefer, and even the nine-hole Highlands Course are both very memorable, too. Heathland golf around London is famous for all sorts of reasons but the strength of its par-5s isn’t one of them. Does anything in golf compare with that final stroll up the par-5 18th as it curves left around Carmel Bay? The acidic soil is free-draining, allowing for firm fairways that yield plenty of links-like run, and its open expanse means that wind is a likely consideration. The course so impressed Jack Nicklaus in his 1966 win that he named his own major-worthy course in Ohio after it. (New), The companion to Barnbougle Dunes yields a Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw design that differs from its Tasmanian sibling in that its huge dunes run both parallel and perpendicular to the ocean, so holes play up and over the dunes, as well as between them. (Photo: Courtesy Myopia Hunt Club). A dream course to play on a regular basis. Eric Apperly added this hole in 1937. Legendary golf writer Bernard Darwin summed it up nicely when he opined, “The National Links is a truly great course; even as I write I feel my allegiance to Westward Ho!, to Hoylake, to St. Andrews tottering to its fall.” (Photo: William Tyler Smith), This 1889 Old Tom Morris creation is one of the most handsome tests in the world. Its enviable location in the dunes along the Pacific Ocean, along with superior fine-fescue fairways and swirls of natural grass and sand, have some reviewers wishing it could host an Open tomorrow — if only it were 11,000 miles farther northwest. (Photo: Joann Dost), NGLA, or “National,” as it's known, brought Seth Raynor and C.B. ," this course will definitely challenge golfers. (Photo: Larry Lambrecht), Donald Ross's chef d'oeuvre rolls spaciously through tall longleaf pines in the Carolina Sandhills with holes culminating with legendary inverted-saucer greens. As proof of their magical skills, look no further than Riv’s 311-yard, par-4 10th. To view our map, which highlights the best golf courses in Scotland and where they are, click here A delightful juxtaposition of old and new in the upper echelons of the list highlights the rich diversity and vibrancy of golf in the country. There's internal out-of-bounds all over the lot. Its fairways are flat, its vistas bleak. Garden City’s tilted greens, like the 10th and 15th, are lay-of-the-land architecture at its highest form. The golf course was first designed by T. Morris in 1889 and is inducted in the third place in our list of 10 Best Golf Courses in the World. Mission accomplished. (Photo: Patrick Koenig), Australia's greatest links achieves top-40 status thanks in large part to the sophisticated design and but also to the stirring seaside setting in Tasmania, with holes nestled in the large dunes that run parallel to the ocean. Highlights include wide fairways, wild and woolly bunkers and panoramic views of Moray Firth and the Scottish Highlands. of which measure more than 420 yards, and a famously diabolical group of five par-3s that have this 6,503-yard course weighing in yard for yard as one of the most difficult on our list. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. Multiple-Course Resort, U.S. Bandon Dunes, Bandon, OR Pacific Dunes is the highest-ranked public course in the world built since 1947, according to Golf Magazine. Running fairways through giant, sculpted dunes filled with golden fescue, Carrick created an adventure-filled round of golf with the propertyâs high points offering views of downtown Toronto. The course and its predecessor, Bandon Dunes, quite simply shocked the golf world when they opened, because they are that good. Four of its 18 courses were ranked among the Worldâs 100 Best Courses (U.S. excluded) by Golf Digest in 2018: Querencia, Quivira, The Dunes at Diamante, and the Ocean Course at â¦ (No change), Venue for five U.S. The famous par-4 11th, where Bobby Jones clinched the 1930 Grand Slam, is slashed by a creek, while the par-4 16th demands a shot over an abandoned stone quarry. The wonderful rolling parkland terrain is replete with streams and natural valleys and has witnessed five Canadian Opens, most recently in 2010. Most memorable is the trio of stunning closing holes, beginning with the 176-yard, par-3 16th, played out over the cliffs that give the course its name. 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). Tillinghast layout. Alison's superb bunkering and strategies mix with undulating terrain that make it worth the three-hour trip from Tokyo. (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. The course has been an important part of the history of golf shaping the way coursâ¦ The iconic par-3 16th, which extends into the churning Pacific, is perhaps the most dramatic and photographed hole in the game, but there are endless other highlights — from heaving dunes to jagged coastline — that golfers won’t soon forget. Frighteningly contoured, pear-shaped greens, cavernous bunkers and a procession of rugged par-4s define the trouble here. Strategically designed by David Ross, in 1907, so that it was the "fairest test of championship golf," this course will definitely challenge golfers. Colt, 1912/S.V. Best Public Golf Courses in St Augustine From high end (and high fee) resort courses to County courses and even a nearby old Donald Ross gem nestled among ravines. (Up 4), Always a delight to find a course that rewards the lost art of shaping shots. It's easy to see why it's Golf Magazine's top public golf course in the country. Its opener is one of the most distinctive in golf, with a stone wall and railway flush along the right side. Great attention has been paid to the mow lines, with short tight fairway grass on the high side of the entrance to all the greens. Between the firm, fast surface and the ever-changing winds, it will be hard to control the trajectory of the ball, but that's what makes this course a favorite among golfers who like a challenge. Location: Pebble Beach, California, United States. To quote Hanse, "The course enjoys a perfect sense of place and balance." A master router, Colt incorporated them in every possible manner. (New), Some sniff at the artificiality of a course being hewn from a swamp, yet that’s also what makes the Stadium Course stand out from the crowd. As good as those courses are, itâs in the private golf world that Ohio truly shines. Which Courses are Regarded as the Best 9 Hole Golf Courses in the World? Macdonald flair that, well, even Macdonald would appreciate. 1 spot for decades. (Photo: Andy Johnson/The Fried Egg), Gil Hanse's team restored George Thomas's classic to perfection in 2010. This remote Old Tom Morris design entrances more for its ambience than for its challenge. Look for four of its plateau greens, namely those at the 2nd, 3rd, 11th and 14th, to have a large say in who wins the 2021 PGA Championship. (Photo: Gary Kellner/Dimpled Rock), Tree-dotted dunes, open meadows and bluff-top views of Long Island Sound highlight play at this 2003 Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design. (Down 4), “Kingston Heath offers perhaps the best collection of par-3s without water in the world,” Greg Norman says. (Down 1), East of Edinburgh sits this fabled links — at least in architectural circles — thanks to its 15th hole, the much-copied Redan, a par-3 played to an elevated, diagonal green. Why trust us? Possibly one of the most famous courses in the world, St. Andrews is home to some really exceptional golf. Old Tom Morris' 1893 design, coupled with Alister MacKenzie's 1927 enhancements, including the 9th green, and Martin Hawtree's 2003 push into the big dunes, proves an irresistible combination of beauty, challenge and fun. A collection of golf's most fearsome-looking bunkers populate the course. This is one of their best — public or private. Welcome to Golf Worldâs Top 100 Golf Courses Scotland: an established and comprehensive ranking of the best golf courses in Scotland. (Photo: Evan Schiller), Modern architecture did itself no favors by pursuing holes that constantly scream at the golfer, because at some point the golfer goes tone deaf. Both intended for Augusta National to reflect the spirit and strategic options of the Old Course at St. Andrews, the course that they admired most. Following events such as the 2004 Ryder Cup and 2008 PGA Championship won by Padraig Harrington, the brilliant Donald Ross routing and beguiling green contouring has restored its status to "great," as opposed to "hard." Architecture buffs are likely to be just as captivated by the playing angles at the short two shot 14th with its Road Hole green complex. Tom Doak and Ian Andrew spearheaded a restoration that was completed in 2015. Nearly every hole at St. Andrews and Augusta National provides a safe route to the green and also a riskier one. Woodhall Spa is his design legacy, an intriguing heathland/inland-links blend, an oasis of tumbling terrain amid the surrounding flat fenland of Lincolnshire. In short, Merion has everything, including newly installed sub-air and irrigation systems that lend more control over the firmness and speed of the playing surfaces. Modern architects, take note! The design was immediately embraced, and the minimalist movement started in earnest, with this course arguably kicking off the second Golden Age. You won't find any bogey players on these courses. Built in the late 1940s, this design came before Jones had acquired his Oakland Hills “monster” rep. More of Stanley Thompson’s influence is seen in Jones’ early work, highlighted here by his imaginative — and enormous — punchbowl green at the 10th. Let the beating commence! Only Mike Keiser would have approved of such an unusual sequence and this course helped modern architecture break free from some certain design shackles that had constrained designers over the past five decades. In fact, some people prefer the more muscular New Course to the Old. (Photo: Evan Schiller), This 16-time Open venue was never more testing or memorable than in 2013, when Phil Mickelson rode his 3-wood to victory. The water is 10 miles both north and south, so sea breezes are a frequent companion. (Up 1), Its stark, open-plain setting is the definition of a heathland and as a test of character and shotmaking, Walton Heath has few peers. The game’s best front nine includes the 217-yard, par-3 4th and the blind par-4 9th with its views of the Irish Sea, the Mountains of Mourne and the red-brick steeple of the Slieve Donard Hotel. The result is Canada's first authentic links. Remember when Tiger Woods was once voted the most underrated player on tour when he won three majors in a year? ", No course thrives more on looking mean and playing vicious. The finish line is near. (Up 1), Site of three U.S. Holes 1 through 3, which include a Road and Biarritz template, represent one of the game’s great starts. BEST GOLF Quality of golf only. 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. (Photo: Gary Lisbon), Augusta National is the vision of Bobby Jones and his chosen architect, Alister MacKenzie. (Photo: Chris Condon/Getty Images), Venue of the 2004, '10 and '15 PGA Championships, this 1998 Pete Dye design on Lake Michigan was once a poker table-flat military training base in World War II. The usual quartet of Raynor template one shot holes (Redan, Short, Biarritz, and Eden) are here and rival his best set. Opening in 2004, the course caught the attention of players all over the world and made GOLF Magazine's World Top 100 list in the first year. Mark Brooks, 1996 PGA champion, summed up this Golden Age A.W. (New), Several of Coore & Crenshaw’s finest designs are located at hard-to-access private clubs but many of their works thankfully are available to the public, often courtesy of Mike Keiser. The longest golf course in the world at 8,548 yards, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain includes a 711-yard par-five (and two more that measure over 680 yards), a â¦ (Photo: Patrick Koenig), The Black intimidates golfers with a sign at the 1st tee that recommends the course “only for highly skilled golfers.” Among the highly skilled? Spectacular ocean views often come with the price of atrocious playing conditions but not here. Which courses would you've liked to see? Its two nines are quite diverse, the first being on more open land while the second jumps into the woods where Tillinghast incorporated natural water features to perfection. (Up 5), The opener is the easiest hole (and the course’s only three-shotter) and then … hold on! The beautiful, yet steep, natural sand dunes make for memorable yet challenging game. One of those bunkers, in the left-center of the 18th fairway, cost Adam Scott the 2012 Open. Even in calm conditions, the mix of short grass, sprawling bunkers and cypress trees provide constant photo opportunities that captivate. (Photo: Courtesy), Developers Ben Cowan-Dewar and Mike Keiser handed over a rolling plot of coastal Nova Scotia terrain to Canadian architect Rod Whitman. Current count is 95 out of 100. One of the earliest inland courses that established a new standard in design came here at Sunningdale just after the turn of the last century. Maidstone has struck the perfect balance. Pine Valley excels at all three, with many contending it has the most formidable hazards and sophisticated green complexes in golf. For a course famed for its difficulty, what gets lost in the shuffle is the brilliance of its short par-4s. Kudos to Kyle Phillips as the seamless melding of flat farmland and Old World links contours is quite the design accomplishment. Holes such as the par-5 14th call to mind an East Coast version of Cypress Point. In the United States, he considered Perry Maxwell to be as talented as anyone; in Australia, his man was Alex Russell. (Up 26), This Westchester County course has always enjoyed a spectacular component to it, courtesy of breathtaking views of the Hudson River. Some even trumpet it as Tilly’s finest design for regular play. (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. (No change), Steep ravines affect play throughout its famed stretch of holes from 10-15. Forced carries over ravines, greens set along ridge-tops and the influence of Pages Creek add to the challenge. (Photo: Evan Schiller), Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf and Tom Watson are among the Americans who have won at Troon, yet the most memorable shot was struck by a non-winner, 71-year-old Gene Sarazen, who aced the 123-yard “Postage Stamp” 8th during the 1973 Open — with a 5-iron!