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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - The Castle Course at St. Andrews in Scotland was named as the top new golf course of 2008 by Travel + Leisure Golf magazine, which described it as one of the most ambitious designs that would keep golfers talking.
The list, selected by the magazine editors, includes seven courses in the United States and one course each in Scotland, British Columbia, and Dominican Republic. The list is not endorsed by Reuters:
1. The Castle Course, St. Andrews, Scotland (Architect David McLay Kidd) Scotsman David McLay Kidd won the coveted design commission to build a seventh course at St. Andrews and transformed every inch of a derelict 220-acre potato farm on the outskirts of town into the Castle Course. Tumbling, hazard-studded fairways make every tee shot an adventure.
2. The Chase At PGA Golf Club Coyote Springs, Coyote Springs, Nevada (Architect Jack Nicklaus) Situated 50 miles north of Las Vegas, the Chase at Coyote Springs supplies lakes, waterfalls and artful desert buffer zones. Nicklaus tosses in the unexpected with tattered-edge bunkers and intricate contours in and around the greens.
3. Ritz-Carlton Golf Club At Creighton Farms, Aldie, Virginia (Architect Jack Nicklaus) The property is in on terrain laced with wetlands, creeks and ponds. Developers gave Nicklaus several hundred acres of this horse country to transform but his crew left much of it in a natural state. Where the ground was high and dry, he built bunkers, false fronts and lots of undulations.
4. The Club At Tower Ranch, Kelowna, British Columbia (Architect Thomas McBroom) In interior British Columbia as many as 10 courses are opening over a three-year span. The Club at Tower Ranch has broad vistas and bulging hills overlooking Lake Okanagan and the city of Kelowna, a popular summer resort.
5. Tetherow Golf Club, Bend, Oregon (David McLay Kidd) This sporty layout, covering craggy high-desert terrain, merits lavish praise. Tall pines frame some of the holes, but much of the acreage was ravaged by wildfire 15 years ago, leaving open expanses that Kidd used to effect.
6. Sugarloaf Mountain Golf And Town Club, Minneola, Florida (Architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) Sitting in the hilly outback of scrub oak, citrus groves and quiet country roads, the layout features elevation changes of 200 feet or more and enormous tumbling fairways. Tacking up and down pleasant inclines, the holes are beautifully oriented and paced.
7. The Legacy Course At Roco Ki, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Architect Nick Fald) This new Faldo course required a midstream re-routing because the tricky island terrain reacted unpredictably to some construction. But Faldo found corridors through upland mangrove.
8. Four Mile Ranch Golf Club, Canon City, Colorado (Architect Jim Engh) Fans of Engh's work will note many of his trademark elements here, among them high-stakes green complexes and sharply angled doglegs. No traditional bunker can be seen, just noses, hollows and humps but the course is far from hazard-free.
9. Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Pullman, Washington (Architect John F. Harbottle III) This golf course has greens perched high and fairways that heave and tilt like turbulent seas. Wind turns Palouse Ridge into the evergreen state's version of a blustery British links. Even on calm days, the course is still a handful.
10. Rock Creek Cattle Company, Deer Lodge, Montana (Architect Tom Doak) A prime selling point of this private prairie-links golf course and fishing club near Deer Lodge, Montana, is that the course works its way through evergreen-studded foothills and small natural bowls.