My bucket list of public-access courses to play in 2013
Before the start of the golf season I always set my new goals. While I still want to play up to my full potential, evidenced by low scores, my real goals are not how I play but where I play. So every spring I am revising my bucket list of courses I still have to visit. So far I was able to tick off the majority of the most highly regarded public-access courses of the US and I also have Scotland and Ireland pretty well covered. My next challenges will be Australia and New Zealand before I tackle South Africa and Los Cabos, Mexico. A man always has to have dreams!
Here are my “Top 10″ public-access courses I have yet to play (in no particular order). I know I won’t be able to play all of them this year due to a lack of time – but I can still try!
From what I hear one of my friend Tom Doak’s best efforts! To recite an old saying “a picture says more than 1,000 words” (please see above). I would fly literally halfway around the globe (and back) to see it once.
New Zealand’s one-two punch is Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs. Obviously I feel obligated to play both. I was told that both resorts are also second to none.
One of Scotland’s classics that every links aficionado has to play. When I go there I’ll probably also pay a visit to Royal Troon, Royal Prestwick and Western Gailes (which are all in the same area).
Royal Melbourne (West)
This Dr. Alister MacKenzie classic is constantly ranked among the 15 best courses on the planet. The club was founded in 1891 and the “West” is the most legendary course in “Down Under".
This Tom Doak meisterwerk on the Australian island of Tasmania is said to be off the charts! It looks like a fast-and-firm links with amazing views of the ocean.
The second course at Barnbougle was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Both tracks are ranked among the best new courses of this millennium.
Tom Fazio, one of my favorite contemporary designers, built his legacy in North Las Vegas. No expenses were spared as Fazio alongside casino tycoon Steve Wynn transformed the desert in a lush tropical forest while making everything look natural.
Another famous club in the sandbelt region south of Melbourne that was designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie. I heard design critics make the case that it’s even better than Royal Melbourne. Naturally, I need to play both to give my five cents!
While I’m typically not a huge fan of “executive courses", I can’t wait to go back to Bandon to play this 13-hole par 3 track. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw delivered fun holes with a view of the ocean. Mike Keiser just always does it right!
Casa de Campo (Teeth of the dog)
This golf course basically put the Republica Dominicana and maybe the entire Caribbean on the golf map. I have seen numerous images of this Pete Dye gem that looks to be out of this world.
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