Best New Courses | 2013\nPublic course, 7,176 yards par 72 | Tom Doak, designer\n\nBill Coore and Tom Doak routed 36 holes together, then Coore gave Doak first pick of which 18 to build. He took the land where all mining had been completed, so the Blue was finished first. There's more elevation change on the Blue than Red (the first tee is atop an 80-foot dune) and more water in play, but the architecture of both is so complimentary as to provide a practically seamless 36.\nPublic course, 7,148 yards par 72 | Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw, designers\n\nStreamsong is the golf destination of the year, maybe the decade, and as the site is a reclaimed phosphate strip mine, a great example of how golf can also serve a higher purpose. The Red is practically the Best of Coore/Crenshaw, with the chasm-like bunkers of Sand Hills, the edgy water hazards of Cuscowilla and the diabolic angles of Talking Stick.\nPrivate course, 6,994 yards par 71 | Tom Doak, designer\n\nDifferent than all other courses in the sandhills, including its sister Nicklaus-designed White Course, nearby Sand Hills Golf Club and Doak's Ballyneal in Colorado. More like Doak's Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, with fairways on plateaus between gulches. Closing holes, in the valley formed by the narrow, serpentine, artesian-fed Dismal River, are outstanding.\nPublic course, 7,283 yards par 72 | Notah Begay III & Ty Butler, designers\n\nI compare this casino amenity, built by the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council, to Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Same concept, a fantasyland carved from flat desert, with deep dips, high hills, tumbling waterscapes, recirculating streams and opulent floral displays. Even had the same construction budget—around $40 million—but has a far more affordable green fee: $150 in season, $75 offseason.\nPublic course, 7,069 yards par 72 | Robert Trent Jones II, designer\n\nA true municipal along the Rio Grande, which really isn't that grand, compared to the mighty Mississippi. The Trent Jones design, handled mainly by Texas associate Mark Voss, offers decent views of the river and takes advantage of meandering ravines throughout the property. The Max has surprisingly austere bunkering for a Jones Jr. design.\nPrivate course, 7,295 yards par 72 | Tom Weiskopf, designer\n\nIt began as second 18 to the Club at Black Rock across the street, but the developer lost it in foreclosure. The owner of the Montana's Rock Creek Cattle Co. stepped in to complete the Weiskopf design. The routing offers only glimpses of Lake Coeur d'Alene, but has some wonderful holes, including the par-3 fifth with dual greens and the drivable par-4 16th with dual fairways. (Meanwhile, Weiskopf's Lantry Farms course in northern California remains in limbo.)\nPrivate course, 7,218 yards par 72 | Gary Player, designer\n\nPlayer Design moved its HQ from Florida to an office park along this proposed mountain valley course in 2008, only to have the original Cliffs developer go bust. The gorgeous layout is finally open and a showcase with Diamond Zoysia fairways, MiniVerde greens and eye candy bunkers. Player and his associate Jeff Lawrence gave me a preview last fall. "One of the great secrets in golf architecture is contrast," Player said. "We made these holes look like a bear but play like a puppy."\nPrivate course, 7,368 yards par 72 | Greg Norman designer\n\nProbably Greg Norman's best American design in years, The Grove had to be purchased from a Bermudian Provincial Bankruptcy Court after its original owner went under with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Norman's very low-profile design, with deceptive bunkers and acres of tightly-mown chipping areas around the greens, highlights the horse country landscape southeast of Nashville.\nPrivate course, 7,258 yards par 72 | Jack Nicklaus, designer\n\nOriginally called Skywater, the project went through two previous owners and two bankruptcies before becoming a private component of the adjacent Horseshoe Bay Resort. Chet Williams, then a Nicklaus associate, now on his own, was on-site architect but the design reflects Jack's eagle-eye editing. Half the course sits atop a hill-country bluff, the remaining holes at its base. The effect is stunning.\nPublic course, 6,505 yards par 70 | Chris Rule of Nicklaus Design, designer\n\nThe front nine holes of this residential-development daily-fee, some 30 minutes south of the Quad Cities, opened in 2009 as Fyre Lake National Golf Club. The remaining holes, intersecting both Fyre and Karl Lakes, were finally completed this year. Jack Nicklaus wasn't involved in the architecture, but his firm and his design philosophy were. It's a handful despite its short length.\nPrivate course, 7,063 yards par 72 | Ron Prichard, redesigner\n\nFew things provide a view of the past like a fully restored Donald Ross design. Ron Prichard, a specialist at that stuff, removed thousands of trees (after the usual member protests), relocated and rebuilt bunkers in the deep-dish Ross style (increasing their number from 52 to 116) and expanded greens to recapture crazy corner pin positions. He even restored the marvelous if controversial "top hat" knob in the ninth green.\nPrivate course, 6,600 yards par 70 | Ron Forse, redesigner\n\nAnother excellent Donald Ross restoration, this one by the expert team of Ron Forse and his associate Jim Nagle. Armed with a chainsaw and a complete set of Ross's original hole-by-hole blueprints, they reintroduced width to corridors, depth to greens and several marvelous clusters of bunkers. A highlight is the quarry hole sixth.\nPrivate course, 6,935 yards par 72 | Keith Foster, redesigner\n\nNot a restoration, but a renovation meant to re-energize a classic 1926 C. H. Alison design. Designer Foster removed lots and lots of trees (exposing some gorgeous landforms) and reestablished the original parameters to the canted greens, but since Alison had a rather mundane bunker style, Foster rebuilt and added new bunkers, recessing them into hillsides and below levels of fairways. He also gave them irregular edges to add character.\nPrivate course, 7,226 yards par 72 | Graham Marsh, designer\n\nSutton Bay first opened in 2004 on rocky slopes overlooking Lake Oahe, part of a vast Missouri River flood control network of reservoirs. But the land continually shifts (there s a reason the area is called the Missouri Breaks) and in recent years several holes fractured and slid downhill. In 2012, original architect Marsh was called back to create a brand-new $4 million 18 on a stable plateau above the old course, which is now abandoned. Sutton Bay Version 2: same style, more walkable.\nPrivate Course, 7,037 yards par 70 | Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw, redesigners\n\nHired mainly to rebunker this unique 1939 Perry Maxwell design, Coore & Crenshaw opted not to reproduce the original bunkers (some of which were enormous) but rather emulate their gnarly shapes, edges and vegetation in places where bunkers naturally fit. Lots of trees had already been removed but the architects convinced the club to remove even more. Eventually, one swath of fairway will connect the fourth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 17th and 18th holes. Very unique.\nPublic course, 7,238 yards par 72 | Jason Straka, redesigner\n\nCamelback's old Indian Bend Course, straddling a linear flood control channel, was embarrassingly flat and lifeless. No more. Straka lowered and naturalized the wash and used the fill to reshape every hole with such flair that Ambiente now overshadows the resort's Padre Course. Started as a Hurdzan/Fry project, now billed as a Fry/Straka design, Ambiente is probably the most improved course of the year.\nPublic course, 7,492 yards par 72 | Ken Dye, designer\n\nIts wry name came from developer Pete Parks, who started this daily-fee in tiny (but corporate HQ intense) El Dorado in 2001 and, after a decade of misadventures, finally completed it in 2012. Architect Dye (no relation to Pete) promised a MacKenzie routing, Pinehurst greens and Tillinghast bunkers. My take: better topography than Alotian, more interesting greens than Pleasant Valley and more dramatic bunkering that Chenal. Best course in Arkansas? Someday, maybe.\nPrivate course, 7,329 yards par 72 | Rees Jones, designer\n\nA splendid design by Jones and associate Steve Weisser on the Big Island in Hawaii. Each hole on the front nine is recessed into lava fields accented by Naupaka plants, while most of the second nine runs along the coastline, dodging tidal pools and cultural sites. Featuring new Seadwarf Paspalum everywhere, Kohanaiki was started in 2006, finished in early 2010 but sat unused for three seasons.\nPrivate course, 7,106 yards par 72 | Bob Cupp, redesigner\n\nCupp's reshaping of this 1975 Joe Lee design, inside the bend of the Chattahootchee River, brings to mind nearby Peachtree Golf Club, with its curvaceous water hazards and perched greens. He also removed sufficient trees to reveal the swift-flowing "Hooch" to golfers and bring air circulation to greens, now turfed in ultradwarf Bermuda instead of bent. Cupp says the project was the most fun of his career.\nPublic course, 7,007 yards par 72 | Ray Hearn, redesigner\n\nProbably the least-changed remodel job of the year, but still worthy of mention as a new product. Hearn, the original architect, was asked to shorten a hole to accommodate a new clubhouse. He took advantage of the opportunity to reroute the course, revise nearly every hole and add some rivetted bunkers.\nPrivate course, 7,135 yards par 72 | Brandon Johnson and Arnold Palmer, redesigners\n\nBoth Palmer and his late partner, Ed Seay, told me Old Tabby was their favorite design, but the 20-year-old course had become tired and overgrown, so Palmer was summoned to reclaim its glory. Greens were given more flow and unfashionable mounds eliminated, turf was reduced around and in front of tees (restoring patches of packed sand), new irrigation was added (with twice the heads applying half as much water) and trees were chopped away to open river views.\nPublic course, 7,015 yards par 72 | D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard, redesigners\n\nAsked to breathe new life into the ailing (if not failing) 27-hole Chase Oaks Golf Club, Weibring and Wolfard converted one nine into a precision course and massive practice facility and turned the main 18 from a ball-buster to something far more enjoyable for the common golfer. As Wolfard says, it's shorter and less expensive, a different golf product.\nPublic course, 6,500 yards par 70 | Jeff Blume, redesigner\n\nBlume, who rebunkered Boiling Springs, calls the land—sand dunes covered with cedar and mesquite—one of the best for golf he's ever seen. I call Boiling Springs one of the unheralded municipals in the country. This winter Blume, a Texas A.&M. grad, will unveil his redesign of Texas A.& M. Golf Course, on what is one of the dullest pieces of land for golf I've ever seen. I expect it to be vastly improved.\nPublic course, 6,847 yards par 72 | John Colligan, redesigner\n\nAnother excellent Donald Ross restoration, this one by the expert team of Ron Forse and his associate Jim Nagle. Armed with a chainsaw and a complete set of Ross's original hole-by-hole blueprints, they reintroduced width to corridors, depth to greens and several marvelous clusters of bunkers. A highlight is the quarry hole sixth.\nPrivate course. 6,950 yards par 71 | Tom Doak, redesigner\n\nReconstruction of Medinah No. 1 started the day after the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah concluded and was completed in August, when Doak gave a select group a sneak peek. Course 1, which will reopen mid-2014, is totally new, with fewer trees, realigned holes, graceful greens and artful bunkers, including the restored camel bunker (the club's logo) on the opening hole. No. 1 won't replace No 3 as a championship venue, but I could see a U.S. Amateur being hosted by both.\nPublic course, 7,227 yards par 72 | John Colligan, redesigner\n\nShades of Luna Vista! This time, Colligan and Kemp tackled the Amarillo municipal where Kemp learned the game, giving features the same sort of old-style geometric shapes that work so well at their renovations of Brackenridge Park in San Antonio and Stevens Park in Dallas. Added a couple of double greens, too, including one serving holes two and four.\nPublic course, 7,450 yards par 72 | Gil Hanse, redesigner\n\nWith Hanse busy on the Rio 2016 Olympics course project in Brazil, associate Jim Wagner handled most of the Blue Monster redesign. The legendary 18th was altered slightly; all other holes were drastically improved. To triple the size of the practice range, the eighth, ninth and 10th were all shifted to new locations, and water is now in play on both the par-3 15th and drivable par-4 16th. It'll be ready to host the WGC Cadillac Championship in March.\nPublic Course, 7,156 yards par 72 | Jack Nicklaus, designer\n\nPotomac Shores, a roller-coaster routing on river bluffs 30 miles south of Washington D.C. was completed (as private Harbor Station) in 2006, but was abandoned, ironically for lack of water, until revived last year. Rick Jacobson, a former Nicklaus associate, helped reclaim the 18 and, with Jack's approval, modify it for public play, raising nine-foot-deep bunkers to modest depths, softening greens and adding elbow room off tees. It opens in early 2014. A hotel is planned.\nPublic course, 7,362 yards par 71 | John Sanford, Jim Lipe and Jack Nicklaus, designers\n\nOriginally planned as a private Nicklaus design atop a decommissioned city dump, Ferry Point became a NYC muny when the private developer went belly up. Sanford teamed with Nicklaus to win the competitive bid to create a U.S. Open-worthy layout just off the Whitestone Bridge. Trump's golf division will operate the club and maintain the course. It's done, but won't officially open until 2015.