By Ron Whitten
Sand Hollow is spectacular, and it certainly has company
Which public courses provide a true Old Country experience?
This is the 20th anniversary of the Lido Competition, the annual golf design contest co-sponsored by the Alister MacKenzie Society and Golf World. The challenge is to design the best imaginary golf hole reflecting MacKenzie’s principles. David Dale, of the Santa Rosa-based firm Golfplan: Dale and Ramsey Golf Course Architecture, served as our 2018 judge. Seventy contestants entered this year, from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Great Britain and Finland. The Society narrowed it down to 17 finalists, then Dale thoroughly examined and reexamined each finalist, slowly eliminating entries. “This is no easy task,” he said. “There are so many good ideas and such outstanding graphics.” Here’s the Lido Countdown as conducted by Dale, from 17th place down to No. 1, with some his comments on each entry.
Despite its tranquil nature, golf can be a contact sport. Here we present stories from readers on the latent dangers of the game—from the self-inflicted to the unforeseen—and advice for playing it safe in 2018
This might be the most important new golf course of 2017
Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw's stunning Sand Valley is inspired by Pine Valley and Sand Hills
Still not enough new courses to warrant New Public and New Private categories, so the 15 new courses nominated for consideration competed in a single Best New Courses race. But with 85 remodeled courses nominated, we decided to split our Best New Remodel survey into three categories to reflect the wide range of projects in today’s design industry. Major Remodel involves a total redesign with little regard to the original architecture. Renovation improves a design but sticks to the original routing. Restoration strives to honor the original architecture. What about “blow-up” jobs, where an existing course is so drastically altered (“blown up”) that it hardly resembles the original? That was up to each architect and individual club to decide whether to compete as a Best New candidate or Best Major Remodel. Related: Sand Valley is America's Best New Course