Category: Other Places

Nicklaus, Palmer and Player, Oh My! Champions Retreat

Nicklaus, Palmer and Player, Oh My! Champions Retreat

Most golfers relish the chance to play courses from name brand designers. But among a small sector of architectural traditionalists (you may call them snobs), choosing between the designs of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player is like a wincing version of the game “Would You Rather.” At Champions Retreat, a private club near Augusta, Georgia, the matter is no cocktail party…

Read More Read More

Old Macdonald Had A Paradox

Old Macdonald Had A Paradox

Expectations can be a hell of a thing. No architect on earth would have turned down the chance to build the fourth course at Bandon Dunes. But whomever did get the job knew they were accepting near heart-attack levels of expectation. It was obvious there would be extreme pressure to match the brilliance that already existed…

Read More Read More

How Elite is Cascades?

How Elite is Cascades?

One of the first impressions I had playing The Cascades in the Allegheny Mountains of western Virginia was to think how this kind of course would never be built today. Actually that thought came to me around the 5th hole, a big par-5 that traverses a sidehill fairway and then rises blindly over a shoulder of the same hillside.…

Read More Read More

Pacific Dunes — Blurred Lines

Pacific Dunes — Blurred Lines

  Once when I couldn’t sleep I tried to mentally run through the holes at Pacific Dunes. I normally have strong recall when it comes to golf holes and I could visualize each one at Pacific Dunes, placing the major features, the elevations, the sweep of the fairways plus prominent bunkers and green movements. What I couldn’t…

Read More Read More

The Faces of Bandon Trails

The Faces of Bandon Trails

The book on Bandon Trails has always read something like this: developer Mike Kaiser wanted Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to build the third course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, but after the original Bandon Dunes course and then Pacific Dunes grabbed all the most prestigious property, all he could offer them was a piece of land set back from the coast with no opportunity for the dramatic…

Read More Read More

Slammer & Squire, Slighted

Slammer & Squire, Slighted

Slammer & Squire, the original course at World Golf Village, is overshadowed by the companion Palmer/Nicklaus collaboration, King & Bear, which the resort did far more to promote when it opened in 2000. This puts the Slammer in a double bind because, since its development in the late ’90’s, the entire WGV and Hall of Fame complex near St. Augustine has failed to attract the passionate…

Read More Read More

Pilgrimage to Sand Hills

Pilgrimage to Sand Hills

  One of the most inspirational views in American golf is off the deck of Ben’s Porch at Sand Hills Golf Club after you’ve taken the mile or so cart ride up from the clubhouse. The entire Sand Hills panoramic opens before you, a diorama of green ribboning across a whipped and weathered horizon with players marching…

Read More Read More

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