Out with the old, in with new — with eyes wide open to the year ahead.
Because there’s no such thing as too much golf, here’s a glance at 11 course openings we’re keen to see in 2022.
CABOT ST. LUCIA
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, set loose to do their thing on a stunning stretch of Caribbean coastline. If the prospect of this project, the latest from the development team behind Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs in Nova Scotia, isn’t enough to get your pulse up, this early image ought to do the trick.
LANDMAND GOLF CLUB
Ever since the debut of Sweetens Cove, their beloved nine-hole course in Tennessee, it’s been all work in the name of play for the design duo of Rob Collins and Tad King. Though the name is a riff on Lanman, the Danish word for farmer (lan-man), the land itself merits marquee billing, too. Set in rollicking terrain in southwest Nebraska, the site has been likened in its scale and wildness, to an inland Cruden Bay. Adding to the good news: though Landmand has a group of founding members, the bulk of its times will be given over to public play.
This just in: development does not come easy in Northern California. Years in the making, this members-only Coore-Crenshaw design, just north of Napa Valley, is now close to completion, on a scrub-oak dotted site, with an out-and-back routing and open vistas that give way in the distance to views of Mt. St. Helena.
THE NORTH COURSE AT CORICA PARK
Why should members of private clubs have all the fun? If the front nine of the North Course, which opened this past fall, is any indication, the back nine should be a study in creative entertainment. Marc Logan, an Aussie-born agronomist who doubles as an architect, handled the design, shaping wide, rambunctious fairways, ample greens and dramatic sod-wall bunkers on a course intended to play firm and fast. This closing nine represents the final phase in a dramatic overhaul of Corica Park, a 45-hole facility that is gaining recognition as one of the country’s finest showcases of muni golf.
For the well-traveled golfer, ground zero for golf in Portugal has long been the Algarve, on the country’s southern coast. But in recent years, momentum has been moving northward, closer to Lisbon. Long delayed, first by finance issues and then by Covid-19, this David McLay Kidd design sits near the Alentejo coast, about an hour south of the capital city, the green fingers of its fairways stretching through a landscape of sand and pines.
BAR RUN GOLF COURSE
Built on a former gravel mine, Bar Run takes its name from “river bar,” the raised layers of sediment deposited by the currents of a river. In this case, the South Umpqua River, which frames this sporty design by Dan Hixson (who also crafted the inventive reversible course at Silvies Valley Ranch, in eastern Oregon). After nine holes of preview play this fall, all 18 are nearly ready, on a property that will also be home to an RV park.
LOST RAIL GOLF CLUB
Nebraska is a bustling frontier of American golf, but many of its marquee courses, including Sand Hills, the Prairie Club and Dismal River, are remote. Lost Rail is 30 minutes from downtown Omaha. Designed by former Fazio Design associate Scott Hoffman, routing runs through a landscape that ranges from rolling pasture to craggy terrain etched with a ravine. One note: getting to the course is not the same as getting on it. Lost Rail will be private.
BLACK DESERT RESORT GOLF COURSE
Though it nudges close to the red rock of St. George and Zion, the Tom Weiskopf design moves through a darker, starker landscape of lava beds and scruffy desert vegetation. At 7,200 yards, the course is plenty long, but being for part of a resort, it’s more about width, with landing areas on most holes anywhere from 70 to 100 yards.
The allure of the Lido, a long-lost Macdonald-Raynor masterwork on the shores of Long Island, has inspired two projects. The first, Ballyshear, a Lido tribute by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, opened to member play this fall in Thailand. For State-side golfers, though, the simpler trip will be the Sand Barrens of central Wisconsin, where Chris and Mike Keiser Jr. (the siblings behind Sand Valley), have commissioned Tom Doak to build a faithful reproduction, a clone of the original, complete with all the template holes but minus the ocean. Thirteen holes will be open to member play July 1 and all 18 by fall for member and resort guest play. (Note: though the course is private, limited times will be set aside for Sand Valley resort guests.)
THE SOUTH COURSE AT TE ARAI LINKS
Te Arai, New Zealand
These have not been easy days for travel to New Zealand. But here’s some good incentive to make it work. Designed by Coore and Crenshaw, the South Course is the first of two planned links at Te Arai, a little more than an hour’s drive from Auckland (Tom Doak is at work on its sibling, the North Course). We are using the term ‘links’ literally here: sandy land along the water, bouncy fescue turf. We can almost feel the breezes and taste the salt spray.
SIAM COUNTRY CLUB BANGKOK
Though the bulk of play in Thailand comes from tourists and expats, domestic interest has been on the rise. Siam Country Club aims to tap that young and growing market. Developed by the owner of Siam Motors Group, and designed by former Coore/Crenshaw shaper Toby Cobb, the course turns its back on water-laden, target golf in favor of more classical features. Think turtle-backed greens and grass-faced bunkers and broad-shouldered fairways with plenty of movement. The par-3 18th hole should make a memorable finish, with a large and rumpled putting surface guarded on the left by a deep, potted bunker nicknamed “Big Ass.”
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