143. The Creek
C.B. Macdonald & Seth Raynor (1923) / Gil Hanse & George Bahto (2011)
When it was conceived in the early 1920s, The Creek was considered “The Million Dollar Club” because of the wealth of its exclusive membership. The line that writer Royal Cortissoz wrote upon its 1923 opening remains true today: “The distinctive character of this course lies in its range.” It opens with holes framed by trees, mainly lindens that line the entry drive, then moves onto a bluff that overlooks Long Island Sound. At the turn, holes play adjacent to the shore, offering fresh takes on two of C.B. Macdonald’s most exciting template holes. The 10th, a dogleg along the sea, is his version of the Leven (of Lundin Links in Scotland), while the 11th is not just a Biarritz green, but an island Biarritz green. Other Macdonald favorites are also at The Creek, including the Eden, Redan and Short.
Panelist comments, The Creek:
"This is the only course I know with a Redan green on a par 4 as an opening hole. That, plus the 87-yard deep green at No. 11, and the re-captured thumbprint in the par-3 17th green are so unique and help give The Creek its brilliant character."
"Some straight-forward holes to start, then the course really reveals itself as you head down the hill at the all-world sixth hole
"The Creek is almost like playing golf on the beach. While many of the classic C.B. Macdonald/Raynor templates are present, so too are a collection of truly original holes, including the terrific par-4 6th an the "Inferno" 9th. Even the templates appear in unexpected forms, most notably the island Biarritz 11th."
"I've never seen a golf course with a setting like 10-14 with the blown out sand—definitely seaside golf. "Unique" gets thrown around a lot, but it really is a really unique setting. 15 and 16 have very similar uphill approaches and 17, I would call a standard "short" hole—but there is a graveyard next to the green!"
"Interesting fact: The club is focused on creating gender-neutral tees. I learned they tested all the members' swings speeds early in the season and from those results recommended one of the five sets of tees for them to play."
"The drive through the main gate and up to the clubhouse is beautiful."