Get to know Baltusrol Lower: Top 100 Courses in the World newcomer spotlight

There are no shortage of regulars on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World list — in fact, it’s nearly all regulars. But that’s not to say there’s no churn or fresh faces. This time ’round, seven newcomers made the cut, and in the coming days were going to introduce (or reintroduce!) you to each of them. Here’s a closer look at No. 57 on the 2021-22 ranking: Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course in N.J.

A view of the 15th and 16th holes at Baltusrol’s Lower Course

Evan Schiller

No. 57: Baltusrol (Lower)
Springfield, N.J.
A.W. Tillinghast (1922)

For decades, Baltusrol had what it took to run headache-free major championships. After a 2020 restoration by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, it has that plus so much more. Of particular note, thanks to the reinstallation of some of A.W. Tillinghast’s most imaginative bunkering schemes: one of the game’s finest driving tests is fully back.

The 12th hole at Baltusrol’s Lower Course

Evan Schiller

Perhaps the best example comes at the 5th, a straightaway par-4 that plays to a well-placed green high on a ridge. Three re-installed centerline bunkers perplex the golfer standing on the tee. To go right, left, short or long, that is the question! From the member tee, the 5th measures just under 400 yards and is as good a hole of that length as exists in this country. That’s important, as such holes – a driver and, say, a 6-iron — are the backbone for membership play.

The 5th hole at Baltusrol’s Lower Course.

Evan Schiller

Additionally, the green expansions have yielded intense, new playing interest. Indeed, if you want to appreciate an architect’s design chops, see what he does on flat land. Three stellar green complexes are found today on the flatter portion of the property, namely those at the 9th, 12th and 16th. Variety is back on the menu at Baltusrol, but the course also has retained its championship grit.

The 11th hole at Baltusrol’s Lower Course.

Evan Schiller

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