The challenge for architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw at Friar’s Head was to design some holes in breathtaking sand dunes perched 200 feet above Long Island Sound, and other holes on an ordinary potato field to the south. Said Crenshaw, “Our job was to marry the two distinct elements. We didn’t want one nine up in the dunes and the other down on the flat.” The solution was to move the routing back and forth and to artfully reshape the farm fields into gentle linkslike land. They pulled it off so impressively that Friar’s Head has moved steadily up the rankings each survey period until this year, from No. 34 in its 2011 debut to No. 15 in 2023-2024.
100 Greatest: Ranked since 2011.
2023-'24 ranking: 15th (highest, along with 2019-2020)
Previous ranking: 16th.
Best in State: Ranked Top 5 in New York since 2017; Top 10 from 2011-2016; Top 15 from 2005-2009.
Current ranking: 5th since 2017.