Published: Sunday, May 17, 2015 | 9:40 a.m.
Here are some exceptional layouts guaranteed to get any devoted golf traveler excited:
Cabot Cliffs, Nova Scotia, Canada
Expected to open in July, Cabot Cliffs will be the sister course to Cabot Links, a phenomenal golf complex on Cape Breton Island developed by Mike Keiser, who brought us Bandon Dunes in Oregon. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Cabot Cliffs will be a moveable feast of rolling sand dunes and soaring cliffs. The front nine is routed through low lying dunes around wetland and back nine features cliffs up to 100 feet high.
Cape Wickham, King Island, Australia
Set on an island off the southern coast of Australia, this stunning layout is scheduled to open this year. Designed by American golf architect (Greywalls and Kingsley Club), Cape Wickham is predicted to be one of Australia’s top ten courses. Get your camera out as it will have eight holes framed by ocean as well as five other rimming the tee or green.
Gamble Sands, Brewster, Washington
With the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, the State of Washington has taken center stage in the golf world this summer. If you love Chambers Bay and Bandon Dunes, you’ll love Gamble Sands, a spectacular new course designed by David McLay Kidd. Built on a giant ridge about 1,000 feet high, the course rewards players with magnificent panoramas of the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River. Spacious fairways and flat greens make the course thoroughly playable for all skill levels. Sand is integral part of the golf experience at this aptly named course. The public-accessible layout, located about a 3 hour drive east of Seattle, is slated to open a boutique-style lodge by 2016.
Saint Emilionais Golf Club, St. Emilion, France
Set on beautiful, rolling terrain in the Bordeaux region, this new Tom Doak design promises to be one of France’s next great golf experiences. Following the natural contour of the land, the course is set in a valley framed by oak trees and vineyards.
Streamsong Black, Lakeland, Florida
Known for its two courses (Red & Blue) built on an abandoned phosphate mining site designed by Tom Doak and Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, Streamsong Resort, about a hour drive east of Tampa, is adding another course to its impressive menu. Slated to open in fall 2017, the new Black course will be designed by Gil Hanse.
TPC Baha Mar, Nassau, Bahamas
Opened in the spring, this Jack Nicklaus Signature Course design is situated at Baha Mar, the luxurious, $3.5 billion mega-resort. Stretching 7,189 yards, the TPC at Baha Mar, the first Caribbean golf course in the TPC Network features two very distinct nines. The front offers several high-profile water features and ocean views and the back nine weaves through a lush inland forest. Tree growth on the layout is phenomenal with 15 species of native trees, including protected Mahogany, Silk Cotton, Caribbean Pine and Buttonwood, as well as Red and Black Mangroves.
And here are two more courses with renovations that will make them seem almost new:
Trump International Ireland, Doonbeg, Ireland
Donald Trump has elevated the quality and overall experience at this luxury resort (formerly known as The Lodge at Doonbeg). He has embarked on an extensive enhancement program on and off the course. The course, a Greg Norman design situated on lush, rolling farmland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean has received a makeover and services like Trump Attache, a signature concierge program, Trump Wellness and Trump Kids have been added.
Trump Turnberry Resort, Soutn Ayshire, Scotland
The legendary Ailsa Course, a treasured experience for American golf travelers, will close on Sept. 27, 2015, for a renovation and enhancement program. Some of the most notable changes are the Par-4 ninth hole will be changed to a Par-3 with the course’s iconic lighthouse as a backdrop and the Par-4 tenth hole will be lenghtened to be a Par-5. The Ailsa course is projected to reopen in June of 2016.