Looking for some new greens? Add these courses to your bucket list.
Designed by Gil Hanse and Mark Parsinen, Castle Stuart opened in 2009. Its rumpled fairways cause unpredictable bounces and roll on infinity-edged greens and a seaside mosaic of swaying marram grass, gorse and heather. Management claims it’s not difficult for its own sake, but rather plays upon hope and redemption.
Fifteen minutes from the city of Merritt, this previously private course is now public and set for a post-refurbishment reopening in summer 2017. Designed by Canadian course architect Rod Whitman (renowned for Cabot Links), it tumbles and rolls with natural rhythm. Three hours from Vancouver, it has no set tee times. When you arrive, let it rip.
Dramatic topography hewn from reclaimed phosphate mining land, plus the pedigree of its architects, have put Streamsong on the Golf magazine list of top courses for 2016-17. Streamsong Red (by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) and Streamsong Blue (by Tom Doak) were created in collaboration between the three designers.
Thomas McBroom’s The Links at Brunello, named North America’s third-best new course of 2015 by Golf Digest, winds its way through stands of pine and over wetlands and rocky outcroppings. Big greens, wide fairways and only 38 bunkers are all part of the plan to make golfing here fun, fast and playable.
This distinguished course opened in 1894. Now being renovated, it will open in April or early May 2017. Nine holes can be played, 18-hole players do them twice. The seaside tract overlooking St. Andrews by-the-Sea and Passamaquoddy Bay reopens in July or early August 2017, with eight new holes.