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HomeGolfThese 25 programs missed our High 100 World record by the narrowest...

These 25 programs missed our High 100 World record by the narrowest of margins

pasatiempo, cape wickham, congresssional blue

From left: Pasatiempo, Cape Wickham and Congresssional (Blue).

Patrick Koenig (left and proper); Gary Lisbon (center)

At any time when we publish a new GOLF High 100 rating, invariably probably the most requested query is, “So, which programs simply missed out?”

Within the case of our newest record — GOLF’s High 100 Programs within the World for 2023-24 — we’re answering that question by revealing the course themselves: World Nos. 101-125. Statistically, the distinction between these programs and, say, No. 90, is grass-blade skinny, with just a few rating factors separating them. And but the distinction between, say, De Pan, within the Netherlands, clocking in at No. 94 in 2021 versus No. 101 in 2023 nonetheless feels vital — little question particularly to the numerous followers of the Harry Colt heathland traditional.

To say the next record of 25 programs is world-class is not any exaggeration and, not surprisingly, it options among the all-time nice architects and a few with a number of entries, together with Pete Dye, Alister MacKenzie, C.B. Macdonald, Stanley Thompson and A.W. Tillinghast.

Once we replace the World record two years from now, it will be no shock to see a few of these programs break into the High 100. Keep tuned, and earlier than you ask, No. 126 is the enchanting Willie Park Jr. design at Notts Golf Membership, in England!

Methodology: How we fee programs | Meet our skilled panelists

GOLF’s different course rankings: High 100 Programs within the U.S. | High 100 Programs You Can Play | High 100 Worth Programs within the U.S. | America’s Greatest Municipal Programs | High 100 within the U.Ok. and Eire | High 100 Quick Programs within the World

101. De Pan (Utrechtche)
Utrecht, Netherlands
Harry Colt, 1929

Trendy structure did itself no favors by pursuing holes that continuously scream at golfers, as a result of in some unspecified time in the future golfers go tone deaf. Colt by no means went down that path and the result’s designs that get pleasure from timeless enchantment. At De Pan, he did what he did finest: produce a course that could be a delight to play each day. The general setting is one in every of pure tranquility with the colourful heather superbly framed by evergreen bushes. The property isn’t expansive, however you typically play golf in seclusion as you meander down your personal gap. A main differentiator right here vs. the heathland programs round London is the dune system that runs by way of the course. A grasp router, Colt included the dunes in a inventive method, from weaving them in twice as obstructions on the troublesome two-shot sixth to having them bisect the tenth fairway to inserting tees and greens on them, as he did on the seventeenth. Add much more allure to the property are Frank Pont’s cautious restoration work for greater than a decade and the thatch-covered clubhouse.

De Pan

Courtesy De Pan

102. St. Enodoc (Church)
Wadebridge, England
James Braid, 1907

James Braid is legendary for a lot of causes, together with for each his talent as a golfer and course designer. Selecting a favourite Baird design is hard obligation — would you go along with the Kings Course at Gleneagles; or Brora, simply north of Dornoch; or hidden gem Fraserburgh, north of Cruden Bay or…right here? Our panel says right here, the place Baird adroitly labored with among the wildest terrain in his profession. The course begins with a visually interesting, although mild, par-5 earlier than throwing haymakers with a number of lengthy, brutish par-4s, just like the 2nd, third, the take-no-prisoners tenth and its demanding nearer. For enjoying angles, few holes rival the quick dogleg-left 4th with out-of-bounds laborious down the correct. However this course will all the time be finest identified for one of many recreation’s deepest and fiercest hazards, the Himalaya bunker 90 yards in need of the sixth inexperienced. Although St. Enodoc measures lower than 6,600 yards, its tight par of 69 nonetheless supplies a stiff check.  

103. St. George’s G&CC
Etobicoke, Canada
Stanley Thompson, 1929

Few architects are as intently tied to at least one nation as Stanley Thompson is to Canada. From Capilano within the west to Cape Breton Highlands within the east and Banff and Jasper Park in Alberta, Thompson redefined what constituted nice golf in his homeland. No doubt, St. George’s is his parkland masterpiece, that includes holes that he weaved by way of and over pure valleys and previous streams. The design is a pleasant members course whereas nonetheless being difficult sufficient to host a number of Canadian Opens. Tom Doak and Ian Andrew spearheaded a restoration that was accomplished in 2015 and revitalized Thompson’s distinctive bunker schemes and configurations.

104. Quaker Ridge
Scarsdale, NY
A.W. Tillinghast, 1926

This discrete membership throughout the road from Winged Foot has lengthy attracted admirers, together with Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye. Its excellent cluster of gently rolling par-4s, notably the sixth, seventh and eleventh holes, supplied a terrific canvas for the likes of Justin Rose and Jason Gore within the 1997 Walker Cup. Relationship to 1916, the course was revamped by A.W. Tillinghast in 1926, and Gil Hanse’s current restoration has the course at its peak. Tillie was a giant fan of central options that dictate play. That strategy manifests itself at Quaker with a big mound in the course of the eighth fairway and within the cross hazards on the lengthy, uphill par-5 14th, each nice holes. The par-3 ninth is a sleeper. It is without doubt one of the hidden gem one-shotters within the Northeast, although it might take a couple of rounds to determine why.

Quaker Ridge


105. TPC Sawgrass (Gamers Stadium)
Ponte Vedra Seashore, FL
Pete Dye, 1981

Some sniff on the artificiality of a course being hewn from a swamp, but that’s additionally what makes the Stadium Course stand out. Dwelling of the Gamers Championship since 1982, the design has developed right into a good-looking battleground (nonetheless you’re feeling in regards to the towering clubhouse), highlighting Pete Dye’s expertise for envisioning one thing from nothing. The quick par-4 4th, reachable par-5 eleventh and the lengthy par-4 14th rank amongst Dye’s all-time finest. For shotmaking choices and memorable particular person holes that require a mix of energy and finesse, the Stadium Course has few friends.

106. CapRock Ranch
Valentine, NE
Gil Hanse/Jim Wagner, 2021

The uncooked property enjoys copious pure benefits with which few different websites can compete, as this Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner design takes benefit of each the Snake River valley and the bordering dunescape. Eight greens are set alongside or border the Snake River valley. Standing on the sixth inexperienced, you look down and see the winding river some 190 toes under. (All the time neat to see a 10-million-year-old characteristic in a three-year-old design!) The holes away from the valley play into dunes with some greens, just like the eighth, having fun with punchbowl qualities. Different greens, such because the 14th, are perched excessive, poised to wreak havoc. The routing effortlessly runs to the spectacular caprock cliffs again to the dunes and again once more. The ending four-hole stretch, together with the drivable seventeenth and dramatic 230-yard 18th, is epic and produces wild match swings.

107. Cape Wickham
King Island, Australia
Mike Devries/Darius Oliver, 2015

Wickham wows with a gap stretch of seaside headland holes, three par-3s that skirt the ocean and a Cape-style 18th that calls for a bite-off-as-much-as-you-dare drive over Victoria Cove. The course is ready on the northern finish of King Island within the Bass Strait between Tasmania and mainland Australia, that means wind is usually an element. Acknowledging this, the co-designers prudently imbued the design with vast touchdown areas and greens which might be open in entrance, making certain golfers have a rousing time, be they enjoying in a one-club wind — or 4! The 2-shot 14th that swings to the left is a very fascinating and well-designed gap.

Cape Wickham
Cape Wickham

Gary Lisbon

108. Toronto Golf Membership 
Mississauga, Canada
Harry Colt, 1912

Harry Colt didn’t spend a lot time in North America; in truth, many programs which might be labeled Colt & Alison are completely the work of Hugh Alison. But, when the Maestro was right here, he made his time rely, beginning proper on the high with Pine Valley. One pure Colt design that has gained our panel’s consideration lately is Toronto Golf Membership. It benefited from a restoration by Martin Hawtree in 2010, and the membership and its greenkeeper, Paul Scenna, even have carried out a wonderful job of opening up sightlines and exposing the neat landforms and ravines that zig and zag by way of the positioning. A number of panelists now really feel that is in Colt’s high tier of labor — and there’s no increased reward than that.  

109. South Cape Homeowners Membership
Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
Kyle Phillips, 2013

Kyle Phillips’ work shines at such numerous geographic areas because the California Golf Membership of San Francisco, Kingsbarns in Scotland and Yaz Hyperlinks in Abu Dhabi. Add on this South Korean course and also you begin to achieve a way of Phillips’ world footprint. Working for enterprise magnate Jae Bong Chung, Phillips was given a sprawling coastal website full with cliffs on an island simply off the South Korean peninsula. First-timers can be forgiven for pondering that the par-5 sixth, which twists uphill previous rocks and huge sandscapes, and the 220-yard seventh out over the ocean are the highlights, however then comes the stretch from 13 to 16. The sixteenth is Asia’s equal of 16 at Cypress Level and debate exists as to which gap is finer. The clear traces and décor of the clubhouse and lodging present immaculate style, and the music library is a can’t-miss.

110. Ellerston
Hunter Valley, Australia
Greg Norman/Bob Harrison, 2001

Greg Norman has lengthy professed his admiration for Alister MacKenzie. At ultra-exclusive Ellerston, he and design companion Bob Harrison tailored MacKenzie methods and bunker stylings on a rugged panorama, leading to one of many strongest, most option-laden exams within the Southern Hemisphere. Compelled carries over ravines, greens set alongside ridge tops and the affect of Pages Creek add to the problem. Few golfers can entry the course, which is a disgrace given there’s a lot to admire architecturally. 


Courtesy of Nice White Shark Enterprises

111. Walton Heath (Previous)
Tadworth, England
Herbert Fowler, 1904

The design’s stark, open-plain setting is the very definition of a heath, and a check of character and shotmaking, Walton Heath has few inland friends. A strategic delight, it’s stern however truthful, with heather, gorse, tough and penal, excessive walled bunkers that have to be prevented. The soil is free-draining, permitting for agency fairways that yield loads of links-like run, and the open expanse signifies that wind is a probable consideration. Walton Heath was the venue of the 1981 Ryder Cup, when arguably the strongest American facet ever demolished the Europeans, 18.5 to 9.5. For historians, this course holds a particular place because it was one of many first designs particularly constructed with the brand new rubber core Haskell ball in thoughts.

112. Olympic (Lake)
Daly Metropolis, CA
William Watson and Sam Whiting, 1924

Generally the timing of a rating works in favor of a membership, comparable to when a restoration opens 4 months earlier than ballots are due; different instances, timing works towards it, comparable to when a restoration opens three days after the balloting course of has closed, as was the case with Olympic this yr. In 2022-23, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner augmented the charms of this historic course by way of tree elimination to open up gorgeous vistas to Lake Merced, including width and enjoying angles, increasing greens and returning a few of William Watson’s aptitude to the course. The brand new seventh inexperienced, with its entrance left kick slope, has acquired excessive reward for offering one of the vital enjoyable strategy pictures within the Bay Space, which is saying one thing. Gone is thick tough round each inexperienced as Hanse and Wagner added a lot quick grass to stimulate creativity. Kudos to William Watson, who is perhaps the underappreciated essential Golden Age architect.

113. Peninsula Kingswood (North) 
Frankston, Australia
Sloan Morpeth, 1965; Ogilvy Clayton Cocking & Mead, 2018

Panelist Dana Fry writes, “After I take into consideration my time on the North Course at Peninsula Kingswood GC, my ideas heart on the stirring elevation adjustments and the way the holes circulate seamlessly throughout them. As an architect myself, I’m particularly appreciative of the masterful routing. All through the spherical, I used to be all the time excited and left to marvel what was subsequent. There have been no weak hyperlinks, one thing that’s laborious to tug off. The holes themselves are visually dramatic, framed by towering bushes, sandy scrub areas and delightful heathland sort vegetation. The course performed quick and agency with boldly contoured fairways and imaginative inexperienced complexes surrounded by tightly mowed greens surrounds that require golfers to hit a wide range of restoration pictures. Peninsula Kingswood additionally is without doubt one of the finest conditioned programs I’ve ever performed. Wonderful design, certain to take its place as not solely among the best programs in Australia but in addition one of many world’s greats.”

114. Eastward Ho!
Chatham, MA
Herbert Fowler, 1922

Herbert Fowler will all the time be related together with his beloved first design, Walton Heath, outdoors of London, the place he needed to lend the open heath its {golfing} qualities as the positioning featured modest topography. What Fowler was introduced with right here on Cape Cod was the precise reverse: a glacial moraine with tumbling landforms that converge in probably the most random manners. What a problem to route however his figure-8 routing with the clubhouse within the center seized on the chance to perfection. The design’s one-shotters are among the many most interesting units within the Northeast, and a few of its perched greens, just like the sixth, are exasperating in one of the best ways, particularly when the coastal breeze picks up.

eastward ho!
Eastward Ho!

Courtesy Eastward Ho!

115. Valley Membership of Montecito
Montecito, CA
Alister MacKenzie/Robert Hunter, 1929

Designed by Alister MacKenzie with Robert Hunter overlooking building, The Valley Membership oozes allure. The holes don’t bully gamers and size isn’t the problem, however approaching these greens from the optimum facet of the golf green is paramount, given the firmness of the enjoying surfaces that the membership routinely achieves. Look no additional than the primary two greens and the way they’re angled to reward play from the riskier, left facet of the golf green. The one factor lacking is yardage markers, however that’s solely as a result of the membership doesn’t imagine in them. Refreshing to discover a place the place the sport is performed by really feel, not analytics.

116. Congressional (Blue) 
Bethesda, MD
Devereaux Emmet, 1924/Andrew Inexperienced, 2020

Nice issues have been all the time meant for this course, given its location simply outdoors our nation’s capital. However after 100 years of existence, too many architects had had a hand in its evolution, and this Devereux Emmet design misplaced its Golden Age ethos. What to do? The membership pivoted to Andrew Inexperienced and gave him carte blanche to wholly reimagine the course and unify it underneath one hand. Inexperienced delivered with the revamped design now trying prefer it has been there for greater than a century. The alternating asks are wonderful, and each facet of your recreation is examined. Take the stretch of seven by way of 9: the uphill par-3 seventh requires a carry over the course’s deepest greenside bunker; the eighth is a teaser of a brief par-4 with par amply defended on the angled inexperienced; and the ninth is a 600-plus yard rollercoaster that follows the heaving land again to the majestic clubhouse. Pete Wendt is without doubt one of the nation’s most interesting greenkeepers and his layering of native grasses throughout the rollicking panorama lends the course a luxurious texture that had lengthy been absent. With bushes eliminated and the wind blowing by way of, the times of a tender course — just like the one Rory McIlroy encountered when he gained the 2011 U.S. Open right here — are a distant reminiscence on the “new outdated” Congressional.

117. Barnbougle Misplaced Farm
Bridport, Australia
Invoice Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2010

Not like its sister course Barnbougle Dunes the place the holes run up and down the coast inside a slender band of dunes, the routing right here defies description, with holes to-ing and fro-ing in each course, culminating with the par-5 twelfth set 1,300 yards from the shoreline. With the wind whipping off the Bass Strait, it’s essential to make fixed allowances for a way the wind impacts every gap. The attractive, tiny par-3 4th kicks off the course’s most interesting four-hole stretch, however the pièce de résistance is Coore’s work within the flats, particularly the 2nd and twelfth greens and the outrageously intelligent par-4 sixteenth. The course storms residence from there with an extended par-3 to a inexperienced benched excessive within the dunes and an extended two-shotter that tumbles over land to an open inexperienced that’s deeper than it’s vast. 

Barnbougle Misplaced Farm

Gary Lisbon

118. Royal Porthcawl
Relaxation Bay, Wales
Ramsay Hunter, 1897; Harry Colt 1913

One of many recreation’s most rousing opening 3-hole sequences is discovered right here, with three par-4s that meander up the shoreline of the Bristol Channel. By the point you attain the 4th tee, you might be already smitten with the course however the high quality of the golf by no means lets up at the same time as you progress away from the shoreline. The par-3s are all wonderful and a number of other of the opposite holes characteristic cross-hazards that put an emphasis on correct driving. The ultimate gap tumbles again to close the place you began with a inexperienced flush towards the shore. It’s a worthy — and scenic — end to a course that had the Royal title conferred in 1909. Porthcawl has change into a daily host website for the Senior Open Championship and the wild climate on the ultimate day of play in 2023 was must-watch tv.

119. The Golf Membership
New Albany, OH
Pete Dye, 1967

Certainly one of Pete Dye’s early masterworks, this rural retreat in suburban Columbus is the place Jack Nicklaus first realized about design as an unpaid marketing consultant. With bunkers and water hazards framed by railroad ties and tall native grasses scattered all through, the totally unique design left little question that Dye was a generational expertise within the works. Golf merely hadn’t seen holes just like the third and thirteenth. Golf structure was about to move in a extra thrilling course, one which prized selection in addition to the usage of grasses for texture and distinction. As The Golf Membership celebrates its 56th birthday, many contend that it stays Dye’s most interesting inland design.

120. Pasatiempo
Santa Cruz, CA
Alister MacKenzie, 1929

Alister MacKenzie known as Pasatiempo the best course he ever constructed. Not like Cypress Level, simply an hour south, Pasatiempo sits barely inland, however its excessive factors supply views of the Pacific and your complete routing, with its large paw-print bunkers and huge, undulating greens, make plain the affect that this course had on MacKenzie’s later work at Augusta Nationwide. Charms and challenges abound, from the lengthy, uphill par-3 third to the par-4 sixteenth, a humpbacked dogleg with a second shot that performs over a chasm to a wild and successful three-tiered inexperienced. Some nitpickers grouse that the course is pinched by houses. However a kind of homes belonged to MacKenzie himself, who selected to reside beside the par-5 sixth.

Pasatiempo Golf Course

Patrick Koenig

121. Paraparaumu Seashore
Paraparaumu Seashore, New Zealand
Alex Russell, 1949 

Writes GOLF panelist Michael Goldstein: “Alex Russell, the one-time design affiliate of Alister MacKenzie, left many nice programs behind, together with the East Course at Royal Melbourne, Lake Karrinyup in Perth, and right here at Paraparaumu Seashore. Although it might lack the gorgeous vistas of the trendy masterpieces of New Zealand golf, Paraparaumu’s routing is one for the purists the place restraint balances towards its epic, rumpled landforms, rendering a seamless stroll by way of the dunes. Whereas most opinions emphasize Paraparaumu’s quick holes (together with the sixteenth, which performs to a deep however slender inexperienced), the true depth of strategic design comes from the range discovered inside its two-shot holes, most notably the rumpled drivable sixth; the whimsical drive-and-pitch eighth; the rollicking thirteenth; and the strategic dogleg seventeenth. As soon as a bit overgrown and spongy, right now’s course soars underneath sturdy custodianship — the bushes are gone permitting the native wastelands to flourish and the enjoying corridors are as soon as once more agency and bouncy. It’s correct hyperlinks golf of the best order.”

122. The Creek Membership 
Locust Valley, NY
C.B. Macdonald/Seth Raynor, 1923

An epic mixture of parkland and seaside golf, this McDonald-Raynor traditional serves up a biggest hits of the duo’s favourite design components. After a strong however sedate tree-lined opening 5 holes, the visuals explode on the spectacular sixth, which performs right into a well-known reverse Redan inexperienced. From there, gamers hit all the way down to the Lengthy Island Sound. Holes 10 by way of 14 wind by way of sand and water, starting on the tenth with its huge — and unforgettable — island Biarritz inexperienced.

123. Previous Sandwich
Plymouth, MA
Invoice Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2004

A contemporary traditional with a starchy, old-school vibe, Previous Sandwich occupies selection floor within the pine hills of jap Massachusetts, the place the land begins to elbow towards Cape Cod. Although not on the water, the course is usually buffeted by Atlantic breezes, whereas its sand dunes and fescues add an additional layer of coastal atmospherics. Quick par-4s are a degree of delight for Coore and Crenshaw, and the Cape-style fifth is as wonderful an instance of any they’ve constructed. However the seventh is perhaps the extra memorable two-shotter, with its inexperienced perched, island-like, amid a sea of sand.

Old Sandwich
Previous Sandwich

Evan Schiller

124. Tokyo GCS
ayama Metropolis, Japan
Komyo Ohtani, 1940; Gil Hanse, 2018

The one phrase that does this course and membership justice is elegant. The present course is within the membership’s third location, and although C.H. Alison designed the second iteration, right now’s course provides even higher golf. Koymo Ohtani, who intently studied and labored with Alison, deserves main credit score. He routed right now’s course — anchored by a world-class assortment of par-5s — and later a second inexperienced was added to every gap, with the aim of getting one inexperienced with a heat climate grass and one other with a cool climate selection. That made sense in that period however enhancements in agronomy have rendered that strategy moot. Nonetheless, the two-green system thrives due to work carried out a number of years in the past by Gil Hanse and Neil Cameron. On the par-3 4th, you play from the upper-right tee to the lower-left inexperienced, otherwise you play from the lower-left tee to the upper-right inexperienced. Elsewhere, on the sixth, you possibly can bounce a ball onto the open lower-left inexperienced that’s at grade with the golf green with a creek hugging the inexperienced’s left facet. However the upper-right plateau inexperienced with deep guarding bunkers poses a completely totally different ask. Tokyo GC occupies an expansive piece of property, which is exactly what’s required to tug off such an elaborate two-green system. First-timer guests to Tokyo GC will go away craving for extra two-green programs, although this design will all the time be in a category by itself. 

125. Royal Adelaide
Adelaide, Australia
H. Rymill/C. Gardner, 1906; Alister MacKenzie, 1926

A dune system in the course of the property was put to excellent use with holes fanning out and in of it on each nines. You haven’t seen the perfect holes in Australia till you play the quick par-4 third and the par-4 eleventh with its interrupted fairway that requires a shot over damaged floor to a inexperienced nestled on the base of a giant dune. Different highlights embody the pugnacious par-3 seventh inexperienced, which is ringed by eight bunkers and performs towards the ocean lower than 2 miles away. A tram line bisects the course, and the perfect gap on the east facet of it’s absolutely the dogleg-right 14th that options one other interrupted fairway. The course and the membership exude Previous World allure.

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