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This 2003 Gene Bates design also sports a modest green fee that enhances the tranquil ambience. Thick desert flora frames every Talon fairway and mountain panoramas arrive early and often. Circling Raven Worley, Idaho (-) It may not sport a floating island green like its neighbor up the road, but this bird has everything else in its nest, including wetlands, grasslands and Ponderosa pines, plus unparalleled solitude disturbed only by the stray elk or moose. How can such a pipsqueak in the yardage department play so difficult? (-5) Hewn from the remnants of old phosphate mines, Streamsong Blue features a distinctive sand-based canvas that puts an emphasis on ground-game prowess. The PGA Tour has played here since 2010, amid the rolling terrain in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains and players delight in the classic accents, such as the Redan par-3 8th, Punchbowl par-4 9th and Eden par-3 15th. Since then, folks have been scaling the snow-topped Cascades for a chance to duel with this sagebrush-lined, high desert treat that’s dotted with lava rock ridges and juniper trees, notably at the lake-guarded, dogleg-right, 378-yard, par-4 13th. Double bogeys and alligators await any sliced shot. Rolling, tilted, walkable fairways, imaginative green contouring, cactus-covered hillsides and no homes or roads make for a remarkable back-to-nature experience. creation south of San Jose darts through oaks and sycamores and is slashed with ravines and gorgeous sprawls of sand. (5-5) This low-key Jack Nicklaus-designed romp through the salt marshes and 300-year-old oaks of the Lowcountry features soft contouring and mostly level terrain, making for a wonderful walk and quick pace of play.
Phil Mickelson and Tom Lehman staged a memorable Shell’s match here in 1998. The oasis-in-the-desert ambiance is achieved via 15,000 pines, planted atop slopes that cocoon virtually every hole and by the handsome water features that grace 11 holes. (-5) Talon, a 1994 David Graham/Gary Panks design, has terrific variety and many memorable holes.
The drivable par-4 13th set in a box canyon, is another standout.
What follows is an all-carry shot over a cactus-filled canyon.
As visually arresting as the Links holes are at water’s edge, the real drama amps up on the Quarry, which must be carried, or considered, on nearly every hole. (0-0) Turn Tom Fazio loose with hotelier Steve Wynn’s imagination and budget and you have the Wynn, with its enviable location on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (Links) Green Lake, Wis. Mountain is home to a truly memorable back nine, especially holes 14 through 16 that plunge up and down the mountainside. The course name is rooted in holes that are crisscrossed by barrancas and framed by native sagebrush and steep cliffs and by the old-fashioned shaggy-fringed bunkers. (6-2) Arthur Hills’ 27-hole creation wows with jaw-dropping holes that skirt Lake Michigan and complements the sizzle with a prime collection of strategic holes that zigzag among trees and rock outcroppings.
Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club Southern Pines, N.