Though it’s only January, the biggest golf course news of 2021 might have already dropped. Virtually any mint-new golf course project is notable these days, but the news of The Lido hit with particular force. Unlike previous samples from the novelty category of “replica courses”—those all-star cornucopias of imitation holes tossed together like chef’s salads,
The Stadium Course at PGA West was conceived as a California version of the Players Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass—but harder. The course opened in 1984, an era when difficulty was often conflated with greatness, and with PGA West, Pete Dye was evidently trying to build the greatest course on earth. He emptied the toolbox
34. Southern Hills Country Club Perry Maxwell (1936)/Gil Hanse (2018) A product of the Great Depression, funded by Phillips Petroleum money and constructed by hundreds of workers who stood at the gate each morning hoping for a 25-cents-per-hour job that day, Southern Hills is architect Perry Maxwell’s great achievement. Nearly every hole bends left or
The PGA Tour returns to Waialae Country Club, which hosts this week’s Sony Open for a 51st consecutive time, dating back to 1965. It’s special for many reasons, not the least of which because it’s the only Seth Raynor original design played on the PGA Tour (now with the Greenbrier’s Old White TPC course not
Every two years the American Society of Golf Course Architects elects a new president to lead the organization. Seventy-four men and women have previously held the position since its inception in 1947, including luminaries such as Donald Ross, Stanley Thompson, Robert Trent Jones and William Langford. Forrest Richardson, elected in Fall 2020, is now the
Ever since animals first dug into the sides of sandhills in search of shelter from chilly winds, golf links have had deep, dark, foreboding bunkers. Naturally, golf architects soon began imitating nature, and the results are classic hazards like the Road Hole Bunker at St. Andrews in Scotland. Today, it’s a rare golf course that
In a year riven with change, with ground shifting weekly and everything from offices to school to food and safety and the very bonds of society open to re-examination, finding consistency in the world of golf-course design is notable. In golf architecture at least, the advent of this decade resembles the beginning of the last.
A confession here: Golf Digest’s course-ranking process has never been perfect, but it has always been transparent. So in the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that in past years our eight course-evaluation criteria were a bit cumbersome and confusing, not just to readers but to some of the 1,800 low-handicap male and
Sheep Ranch, the Best New Course of 2020, is an embodiment of the old choreographies of links golf. It is also an expression of a new movement—a revival, actually—toward creating increased width and spaciousness. Though Sheep Ranch sits on a relatively small site—fewer than 150 acres—the playing fields are enormous, with fairways 60 to 100
The original Hogan’s Alley was a newspaper comic strip that dated back to the 1890s, but beginning in the late 1940s the name would be conveniently appropriated by sportswriters to describe various tournament venues where famed golfer Ben Hogan dominated. Riviera Country Club, in Pacific Palisades, Calif., south of Los Angeles, is golf’s original Hogan’s Alley.
Back-yard football is the unofficial sport of Thanksgiving, but pick-up pigskin works better in theory than practice. Half the crew is out of shape or hungover, there’s always one guy delivering cheap shots to atone for unresolved childhood drama, and the quarterbacks are so bad they make Mitchell Trubisky look competent. Fun times! Which is
I’m sure there are worse things to happen to you on a golf course than encountering “the Wall,” but at the moment I’m drawing a blank. For those unaware of “the Wall,” it’s that painfully slow group ahead impeding your round. It’s usually not intentional, yet the sight—and subsequent stoppage—of “the Wall” is an emotional
Most will agree that traveling for golf ranks relatively low on the list of things that are most important right now, but it’s a missing part of many golfers’ summers in 2020. Even still, some were not deterred this summer, making either local golf trips or shifting to locations that were open with some restrictions.
One of golf’s classic tests of precision golf will once again host the U.S. Open, for a sixth time since 1929. The rich history at Winged Foot’s West course includes a playoff win by Bobby Jones (by 23 shots); an unbelievable collapse by Phil Mickelson in ’06 and the devastatingly tough 1974 U.S. Open, dubbed
It’s been a long time coming. That’s not a reference to the three-and-a-half-years of construction and grow-in for Payne’s Valley, the newest resort course at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Mo. Rather, it has been 14 years since public golfers began waiting to play a course designed by Tiger Woods. Woods founded his design company,
It might be difficult for some of us to fathom, but in the 1990s new golf courses were blooming across the country like wildflowers in summer. Favorable lending, the continuing expansion of the suburbs and exurbs and an unrealistic expectation of the game’s growth convinced developers there was money to be made in golf. Capital
Golf is remarkable in the way it brings together people from different cultures and climates, uniting them for a period of time in mission and experience while remaining an entirely individualistic pursuit. It is social and solitary, as all good travel is, and in this regard is also a passport, a ticket. Golf is the
There are enough things in golf to scare us: Forced carries, downhill five-footers and fried-egg lies to name a few. The last thing golfers want in the back of their minds are terrifying animals ready to attack you after you pipe one down the middle. A member of our Golf Digest Places to Play courses