Category: Gold Star Courses

The Best Courses in Golf

Wild Horse — Little Course on the Prairie

Wild Horse — Little Course on the Prairie

In almost all cases golf courses are a jarring abstraction against their environment. No matter how evolved they may appear, there’s nothing natural about their shapes, their presence or their reason for being. Golf as we know it does not appear accidentally in any ecosystem. They are not random mutations but rather invasive species. But…

Read More Read More

Augusta Country Club, Taking Shade

Augusta Country Club, Taking Shade

The topic of how courses are judged in comparison to their neighbors comes up quite a bit here. Often it’s fair to make assessments about a property based on other proximate courses, but sometimes looking left and right instead of straight ahead makes for lazy analysis. In the case of Augusta Country Club, however, there’s just no way around it.…

Read More Read More

The Synchronicity of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

The Synchronicity of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

One of my favorite stories of Pete Dye involves the construction of the Ocean Course in 1989. Hurricane Hugo had just come aground at Kiawah Island and Charleston, upturning everything he’d built to that point. With the site razed and most of the coast evacuated, Dye ventured out alone and began reshaping the course, pushing up dunes and moving the holes out…

Read More Read More

Holding On To Holston Hills

Holding On To Holston Hills

Holston Hills has the reputation of being a Donald Ross course that time forgot because so little has supposedly changed over the years. The story is that the club, increasingly located on the “wrong” side of Knoxville and challenged to hold onto members, never had the money to unwittingly hire an architect to come in and modernize the course,…

Read More Read More

Showdown: We-Ko-Pa vs. Talking Stick

Showdown: We-Ko-Pa vs. Talking Stick

One of the reasons Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s golf courses are held in such high regard—by architectural cognoscenti, by magazine ranking panels and international developers—is that they’re so often, so obviously, brilliant. The pretext is that they’ve been hired to construct courses on some of the greatest sites made available in the last 40 years. But when they get there, they…

Read More Read More

Irrepressible Lawsonia Links

Irrepressible Lawsonia Links

Suddenly, Wisconsin has become a powerhouse golf destination, at least as unlikely a place for extraordinary public play as Nebraska has become. The state hit the big stage in 1988 when Pete Dye built Blackwolf Run’s original 18 at Destination Kohler. That begat another 18 holes and, several years later, 36 more for the resort at Whistling Straits, including the famous Straits Course on bluffs…

Read More Read More

May River — 21st Century Lowcountry

May River — 21st Century Lowcountry

From the time the earliest links were staked out, whenever that was, golf course “design” has been in a continuous state of development. That’s not to say it’s been a smooth or straight evolution–there have always been stops and restarts. Pete Dye almost single handedly reset the direction of golf architecture in the mid-1960’s following the pre-fab boomer period…

Read More Read More

Ballyneal Golf Club — Gravity Rides Everything

Ballyneal Golf Club — Gravity Rides Everything

Someday we’ll be able to talk about Ballyneal in the northeastern corner of Colorado without referencing Sand Hills, as I’ve already just done. It’s kind of like how it took about 15 years for every new violent, ironic crime movie not to be viewed through the lens of Pulp Fiction. Such is the advantage of being first—you get to…

Read More Read More