Architects’ Choice: 80-71

Architects’ Choice: 80-71
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 80-71 on our list:

80. Monterey Peninsula (Shore)
California, USA
Robert Baldock, Mike Strantz, 1960

Mike Strantz’s extensive 2003 redesign of the Shore course at Monterey Peninsula would be his last work before cancer robbed golf of one of its most innovative architects. With an artist’s sketchpad as his most powerful design tool, the Shore course provides a series of stunning landscapes. Strantz sandcapped the site to create a surface that would encourage a ground game and reversed many of its holes in the direction of its famous neighbour, Cypress Point.

79. Baltusrol (Lower)
New Jersey, USA
AW Tillinghast, 1922

From 1948 Rees’ father Robert Trent Jones was retained to improve and modernise Tillinghast’s dual courses at Baltusrol. Among the changes was the addition of seventy yards in length at the par three fourth hole on the Lower course. Trent Jones famously responded by stepping onto the tee, holing his shot and announcing: “Gentlemen, I think the hole is eminently fair”.
Trent Jones’ son Rees, along with design associate Steve Weisser, is currently helping prepare the Lower course for the 2016 PGA Championship.
Lyne Morrison says: “Baltusrol Lower gains a vote for providing the best-sited womens’ tees on a traditional member course played to-date. It’s so very satisfying to be engaged with the intended strategy from the tee – and clear confirmation that this can be done!”

78. The Island
Dublin, Ireland
Fred Hawtree, Eddie Hackett, 1890

The club’s founding members, the ‘Syndicate’, made the original voyage from the village of Malahide to the linksland of The Island in the late nineteenth century, and it remained only accessible by boat for the first 80 years of its existence. The construction of a new access road in the 1970s prompted the relocation of the clubhouse from its original quayside location and a subsequent rerouting and redesign by Fred Hawtree and Eddie Hackett. Both Jeff Howes and Martin Hawtree have made revisions since, but the course’s sense of natural evolution remains.

77. Formby
Merseyside, England
Willie Park Jr, 1884

The northwest coast of England has rich pickings when it comes to links golf and Formby’s, with its rolling fairways and tall pines, give it a unique character that elevates it into the company of its Open rota neighbours. “Visiting the course changed my life as a golf course architect,” says Michiel van Der Vaart of Jol Golf Design in the Netherlands. “One hole after the other is breathtaking and full of character”.

76. Harbour Town
South Carolina, USA, 1969
Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus

Pete Dye had given Jack Nicklaus his first taste of design with a consulting role at The Golf Club in Ohio. But at Hilton Head Nicklaus had a hand in every hole, working alongside Pete Dye to create a design that remains one of the most distinctive on the PGA Tour.

75. The European Club
Wicklow, Ireland, 1993
Pat Ruddy

Located on Ireland’s fabulous coastline south of Dublin, the European Club has been the labour of love for architect and owner Pat Ruddy and his family for the past twenty years. Taking a long term view, the course has evolved over that time and is now recognised as one of Ireland’s best.

74. Shoreacres
Illinois, USA, 1919
Seth Raynor

One of Raynor’s first designs, the club has worked with Renaissance Golf Design to ensure that it remains as close to its original design as possible. The routing makes the best use of dramatic natural ravines found on the property and, like many Golden Age designs, makes the best use of classic hole designs from the UK’s links courses.

73. The Country Club
Massachusetts, USA, 1893
Willie Campbell

The Country Club introduced six golf holes in 1893 and appointed Willie Campbell as club professional. Campbell oversaw the completion of the first nine soon after and the subsequent increase to 18 holes, and William Flynn added another nine holes, the Primrose, in 1927. Few golf courses have such a rich championship history, from the 1902 US Women’s Amateur and Francis Ouimet’s historic victory in the 1913 US Open, to the infamous Ryder Cup of 1999 and this year’s US Amateur. “The Country Club has a slew of challenging, scenic golf holes. However, it is the towering 100 year old oaks and timeless beauty of the rolling lands that make any round of golf here memorable,” says Graham Cooke.

72. Los Angeles (North)
California, USA, 1911
George Thomas

LACC moved to its current location in 1911, with a course designed by the club’s founders that was subsequently redesigned by Herbert Fowler and George Thomas. In 2010, a five year project to restore Thomas’s design of the North course was completed, under the direction of Gil Hanse, “LACC is probably the most flawless course in California, offering a huge collection of wonderful holes on really perfect California golfing terrain, utilising the barrancas in a perfect, varied way,” says Todd Eckenrode.

71. Cape Kidnappers
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, 2004
Tom Doak

Set dramatically on the top of huge cliffs overlooking Hawke’s Bay and with holes separated by deep ravines, Cape Kidnappers offers a visual spectacle that has few equals either in golf or nature.

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