9 must-play public golf courses set to open in 2024

An aerial view of the new course at Pinehurst Resort

Pinehurst No. 10 is the first new 18-hole course at Pinehurst Resort in nearly 30 years.

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As another new year dawns, we could make the same old empty pledges to ourselves about bettering our finances, fitness and focus. Or we could set a realistic goal that is guaranteed to improve our wellbeing: play more golf, maybe even on new courses. Some biggies are coming in 2024. Here are 9 in this country we’ve resolved to see.

Pinehurst No. 10
Pinehurst, N.C.

Scheduled opening: April

Playing golf at Pinehurst Resort has been likened to touring a museum of golf-course architecture, with great works represented from different eras. For its latest installation — the first new 18-hole course at Pinehurst in nearly 30 years — the resort commissioned Tom Doak, a leading figure in modern-minimalism, and set him loose on an unruly sandy canvas, four miles south of the resort’s main clubhouse. No. 10 is Doak cranked to 11, brimming with bold features and occasional blind shots, on a routing that seizes, in its middle portions, on rugged dunes created by early 20th-century mining operations. As further evidence that the past at Pinehurst is always present: No. 10 is set to open a little more than two months before the U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst No. 2.

Sedge Valley
Nekoosa, Wis.

Scheduled opening: Late spring

Short in yardage, long in nuance, the newest 18-hole course at Sand Valley Resort finds Tom Doak (he’s a busy man these days) working on a modest scale. Inspired in part by the great heathland layouts outside London, Doak’s routing maxes out at a shade over 6,000 yards but packs a world of options into its slight frame, with a host of half-par holes on rollicking terrain that defy the blunt conventions of the modern power game. “When you don’t have to think about stretching a course to 7,300 yards, you can start thinking about finding cool green sites,” Doak has said of the possibilities the project opened for him. Sedge Valley tapped a fresh side of his creativity. For golfers, it is meant to do the same.

The Chain
Bowling Green, Fla.

Scheduled opening: May

Par isn’t listed on the scorecard at the newest course at Streamsong Resort. It’s more about match-play on the Chain, a 19-hole design by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw with holes that range in length from 90 to 275 yards. As it stands, 13 holes are open for preview play, but a key link in the layout — the 9th, which is the gateway to holes 10 through 14 — still needs to grow in before the entire routing is declared ready. If the weather cooperates, that could happen sooner than May.

Bandon, Ore.

Scheduled opening: Spring

In 2012, when he cut the ribbon at the Preserve, a 13-hole par-3 course at Bandon Dunes, the developer Mike Keiser could not have known that he was also kicking off a craze. Bite-size courses have since become the rage, and Bandon is now ready to open another. This one, designed by the trio of Rod Whitman, Dave Axland and Keith Cutten, is named in honor of the late Shorty Dow, the original caretaker and self-appointed “mayor, governor and sheriff” of Bandon Dunes. And like Dow, it should burst with character, with an unconventional 19-hole routing, stitched into a swath of dunes and scattered pines between the first hole of Bandon Trails (one of the resort’s five 18-hole courses) and the ocean. 

Cabot Citrus Farms
Brooksville, Fla.

Scheduled opening: October

It’s not easy keeping up with Cabot, the marquee golf developer whose footprint has expanded from its original home in Nova Scotia to St. Lucia, Scotland and beyond. The company’s latest project, its first in the U.S., is fittingly ambitious: a sweeping overhaul of the destination formerly known as World Woods Golf Resort, resulting in two remade 18-hole courses, a 10-hole executive course and an 11-hole par-3 course (which gets us to the “9” cited in the headline above). The first of those big courses opens for preview play this month (as do the two short courses), showcasing the work of Kyle Franz, who was tasked with reimagining what used to be Pine Barrens, a highly regarded Tom Fazio design. In its reborn form, the course, now called The Karoo, relies on many of the original playing corridors, but its greens and bunkers have been dramatically transformed, with more compelling shape and contour, and a rustic edge that blends beautifully into the sandy surrounds. The second 18-hole course (formerly Rolling Oaks, it has been renamed The Roost) has been reworked by Mike Nuzzo, in collaboration with Franz and Ran Morrissett, and will be ready for preview play in May, with the full resort slated to open in the fall.

The Keep
Rising Fawn, Ga.

Scheduled opening: Fall

If the name sounds to you like it was plucked from “Game of Thrones,” you’re not far off. It is actually a nod to the kind of cliff-top castles you might come across in Europe from which approaching armies could be seen for miles. As for The Keep itself, it’s the second 18-hole course at McLemore (like its sibling, it’s the handiwork of Bill Bergin and Rees Jones), a mountaintop retreat in northwest Georgia, and it looks the part, with a stretch of arresting cliff-edge that overlook a valley, some 1,000 feet below. 

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