Monday, February 04, 2013

Top Ten Golf Courses In The World

1) Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
What really sets Cape Kidnappers apart from other golf courses is its truly stunning location. Golf course architect Tom Doak  carved this course out on a succession of ridges reaching out into Hawkes Bay.  If you cannot keep your shot straight on the undulating fairways and angled greens you’ll face searching for your ball in series of frightening canyons more suited to climbing than golf.

2) The Majlis course at Dubai Emirates Golf Club
Familiar to us as the home of the Dubai Desert Classic, the Karl Litten designed course is a shining emerald jewel in the Dubai desert.  Follow in the footsteps of champions like Woods, Jimenez and MacIlroy as you take on the numerous dog-legs and water hazards.  Being in the desert though, you’ll always be spending some time in the sand.
The 9th hole on the par-3 course at the August...
The 9th hole on the par-3 course at the Augusta National Golf Club (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3) Augusta National Golf Club, USA
Home to The Masters, the Augusta National course is one of the spiritual homes of golf, every golfer from municipal course hacker to world class professional dreams of playing there.  From ‘Amen Corner’, ‘Ike’s Pond’ and ‘Hogan’s Bridge’, Augusta is the course that has both fulfilled and destroyed dreams.  One of the most beautiful courses in the world, it can also be one of the most unforgiving.

4) Carnoustie Golf Links, Scotland
Ernie Els says the Championship course here is “the best bunkered course in the world”. Carnoustie’s links have a fearsome reputation, some of the greats of world golf have floundered amidst the dunes, bunkers and a high grown rough that swallows wayward shots.  Carnoustie, sometimes with help from the Scottish weather, have also produced some truly outstanding competitions.

5) Royal Melbourne West Course, Australia
The MacKenzie designed course in Black Rock, Melbourne is part of Australia’s oldest golf club.  Many of the holes tempt big hitters to drive directly to the green, but well positioned and generously sized bunkers await the unwary, and intelligent use of grass types on the fairways may see you get less run on your ball than you are used to.

6) Royal Dornoch, Scotland
Royal Dornoch will be celebrating 400 years of golf in 2016, and the chance to play this ancient and mesmerising course should not be spurned.  The course really comes into its own in late spring as the yellow gorse blazes into life and winter gales give way to mere summer squalls.  Isolated and challenging, Royal Dornoch is also naturally beautiful and should be part of any golfer’s ‘must play’ list.

7) Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, California
Cypress Point is probably the most famous golf course in the world that you will never get to play.  Exclusivity isn’t just the middle name of this Monterrey course, it seems to be it’s entire reason for being.  If though, by some grant of the golfing gods, you do get  to play this magnificent course, and especially the trio of holes in the back 9 than run along the shoreline, you should come back with a new perspective on golf. Where else in the world can you play a tee shot like that at the 16th, where a 230 yard ocean carry makes for one of the most memorable holes in world golf.

8) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England
3rd hole at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoy...
3rd hole at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The distinguished history of Hoylake includes hosting no less than 11 Open Championships, 18 Amateur Championships and a host of other events.  What is it then that keeps the professionals coming back time and again ? Designed to be a demanding test of golf, the original links course has constantly been updated to allow for improvements in equipment. The combination of sculptured fairways, tight greens, high sided pot bunkers, deep rough plus the occasional wind blowing in from the Irish sea makes for a demanding but fulfilling round of golf.

9) The Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland
Widely considered to be the home of golf, the world famous Old Course at St. Andrews is rather unusual in that unlike some other, highly exclusive golf courses, this course sits on public land and any golfer with an appropriate club handicap can play there.  If you are successful in the tee time ballot you can play on the world’s most famous course, taking in the Road Hole, a tricky shot over the Old Course Hotel and the possibly the most photographed and televised 18th hole in golf.

And then there is….

10) Kabul Golf Club, Afghanistan
Not a top ten course in the traditional meaning, but if you make it around Kabul’s nine holes, from which land mines, rockets and thousands of rounds of ammunition were removed before the course opened for play, we guarantee you’ll be regaling your mates with the story next time you’re in the 19th at your own club.

I was writing this blog article as a submission for an on-line gambling site when the job was pulled at the 11th hour.

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