How The Lido cracked our newest Top 100 Courses in the World list
Brandon Carter/Courtesy Sand Valley
GOLF released its latest ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the World (2023-24), and while Pine Valley again took the top spot, there were eight newcomers that found their way into the ranking. Here, we’ll introduce you to them.
Newcomer spotlight: The Lido / Rank: 68th
Location: Rome, Wis.
Architect: Tom Doak, 2023 (C.B. Macdonald reincarnation)
Why it made our list, according to a rater:
The most strategic course off the tee in the United States? I’ll stake a claim for the Lido. Blind shots bring disorientation, in the best sense. Firm, fast-running fescue on the fairways and greens means rollouts into narrow corners of bunkers. Rumpled fairways produce unpredictable bounces. Recovery shots require creativity, and approaches from wide fairways vary wildly in demand, depending on the angle you’ve taken off the tee. This is a faithful interpretation of a course that, based on the archives, C.B. Macdonald started planning in 1914, with input from other notable names. Via postal mail, Tom Simpson designed the remarkable 15th hole, appropriately named Strategy. And Alister MacKenzie’s entry in a magazine-sponsored design competition is the 18th hole, my personal undoing in six consecutive rounds. It’s wonderful. I can’t wait to play it again. — Tom Brown
More about The Lido
The Lido, on Long Island’s South Shore, opened for play in 1917, the work of C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor. The course met an unkind fate in the 1940s, but not until luminaries like Bernard Darwin had lavished praise on it; Darwin said he thought Lido was the best course in the world “as a battlefield for giants.” Well! Some eight decades later Michael and Chris Keiser decided to recreate the course adjacent to their Sand Valley Resort. Key to the equation was Peter Flory, who open-sourced hundreds of vintage photos of the original Lido and fed them into a software program that modelled the new Lido as accurately as possible. The Keisers then hired Tom Doak and Brian Schneider (who spent more than 230 days on-site) to build the course. This process included the use of GPS bulldozers, though discretion by Doak and Schneider was certainly required in getting the green contours just right. The scale of the course, the depth of its hazards and the size of the greens, which average over 12,000 square feet, is dazzling. Almost all of the great template holes are represented, from the Alps 10th to the Redan 16th, making this course a strategic marvel. Panelist Clyde Johnson calls Lido the “ultimate IQ test for golf-course architecture.” One of America’s great designs is back! — Ran Morrissett