Architects’ Choice: 70-61

Architects’ Choice: 70-61
Toby Ingleton
By Sean Dudley

We’re counting down the Golf Course Architecture Architects’ Choice Top 100 Golf Courses in the World, as voted for by over 240 golf course architects from 28 countries across the globe.

Today we reveal which courses feature in positions 70-61 on our list:

70. Royal Lytham & St Annes
Merseyside, England,
George Lowe, Harry Colt, 1897

While not in view, the influence of the sea is clear at Royal Lytham & St Annes, with rolling fairways that provide a stern but fair test. “It is not the most beautiful course in the world, but there is something about the challenge which I love. It’s a course which rewards the intelligent golfer,” says Ross McMurray of European Golf Design.

69. Mid Ocean Club
Charles Blair Macdonald, 1921

Upon completion of the construction of the golf course at Mid Ocean Club, Macdonald wrote to his client the Furness Withy Steamship Company, describing the contours as “unsurpassed, delightful valleys winding through coral hills”. When Robert Trent Jones was called in to improve the course in the 1950s, his touch was relatively restrained, respecting the design of Macdonald.

68. Noordwijk
Frank Pennink, 1972

Along with the golf courses at Kennemer and Haagsche, Nordwijkse sits in the west coast dunes that protect the Netherlands from the North Sea. Pennink’s course was created when the club’s original 1915 course in the dunes made way for a housing estate. The connection to Pennink remains as recent changes at the club have been handled by Mackenzie & Ebert, who previously worked for Pennink’s business partner Donald Steel.

67. Machrihanish
Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Tom Morris, 1879

While its first hole, requiring a heroic drive over the beach, is one of its most famous, the fun at Machrihanish really starts from the third hole, when the course hits the dunes.

66. Western Gailes
Ayrshire, Scotland
F. Morris, 1897

Western Gailes was a coastal retreat for Glasgow-based golfers made possible thanks to the train. The course is situated between the railway line and the sea, with out of bounds, pot bunkering, meandering burns and the coastal winds combining to make this a classic Scottish golfing experience.

65. Casa De Campo (Teeth of the Dog)
Dominican Republic
Pete Dye, 1971

Christoph Städler says: “Teeth of the Dog, Pete Dye’s masterpiece in the Caribbean, probably was the most creative golf design in the 70s and is still outstanding today. In 1974, I was so fortunate to play the course on the occasion of the Eisenhower Trophy and it eventually became a real eye-opener for me. Bite-off holes across ocean bays, an island tee in the ocean, a ‘wadi’ alongside a hole, a green within a gigantic bunker, and many other unexpected features which I had never seen before on the dull, uninspiring German courses of that period suddenly evolved my dream of becoming a golf architect and of designing creative golf courses myself. However, it took another thirteen years and the boom following Bernhard Langer’s first Masters victory before I dared to make this dream come true.”
“Seven holes parallel the ocean, a par three entirely surrounded by sand… great strategy, fun, playable, scenic and challenging for all – a bucket list must for all golfers,” says Lee Schmidt of Schmidt-Curley Design.

64. Royal Cinque Ports
Kent, England
Henry Hunter, James Braid, 1892

Hunter’s original links were redesigned and rebuilt by James Braid following the World War I and again by Sir Guy Campbell and Henry Cotton in 1946 following World War II. The course now stands proudly alongside its famous neighbour Royal St George’s as one of England’s finest.

63. Trump International
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Martin Hawtree, 2012

The newest course in our Top 100 opened just last year, its presence in the list a huge achievement given the relatively small number of architects that will yet have seen it. The development was fraught with controversy, but the end result is a sensational golf course amid huge dunes, that will improve further once the ground settles.

62. Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin)
Lincolnshire, England
Harry Vardon, Harry Colt, SV Hotchkin, 1905

While Vardon created the original design and Colt’s subsequent routing of 1915 stays largely intact, the design of Woodhall Spa surely belongs to Colonel Hotchkin, who was instrumental in its formation and worked on the course from the 1920s to his death in 1953. Nothing compares to its bunkering, with hugely deep pits, both in fairways and alongside greens, staying long in the memory.

61. Barnbougle Dunes
Tasmania, Australia
Tom Doak, Michael Clayton, 2005

Despite its remoteness on the northern coast of Tasmania, golfers from Australia and beyond travel to Barnbougle Dunes to experience a seaside links formed by a combination of nature and skilled designers.

A full report of the Top 100 – including the observations of golf course architects – will be sent to Golf Course Architecture monthly e-mail newsletter subscribers on July 12th. Sign up for free by entering your email address in the e-mail newsletter box on the home page of this website.

Architects’ Choice: 100-91| 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | the full report