Last month we brought you GolfScape’s Top Courses to Play Before You Die – numbers 11-20.
Now we will count you down just like the ball dropping for the New Year. Number 10 down to Number 1!
GolfScape, https://golfscape.com/, is UK based and I’m not sure how much time that they have spent in North America, so we will throw in a few suggestions for you and maybe them as well.
GolfScape is a booking platform changing the way to golf by seamlessly connecting golfers to top rated courses through their smartphone.
- Cabot Cliffs, Cape Breton, Canada
Brings us to our beloved Canada! Located over a mile of sandy beach along the coast of Cape Breton, Cabot Links offers one of the best golf resort experiences in North America. With an ocean view from each of the resorts 72 rooms and 36 golf holes, Cabot Links is where traditional links land golf comes to life against the spectacular Nova Scotia landscape.
- Emirates Golf Club (Majlis Course), Dubai
Emirates Golf Club is home to two championship courses, Majlis and Faldo. The Majlis is the first grass course in the Middle East, taking its name from the Arabic word for ‘meeting place.’ The course has developed a worldwide reputation as a testing layout for even professional golfers. The course features hundreds of indigenous species of flora and fauna, beautifully complemented by meandering fairways and seven stunning lakes. Take in the magical Dubai city skyline whilst you play.
- Highland Course, Primland, USA
Located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is Primland Resort. Nestled in 12,000 acres, this must-play course is carved out of the mountainous landscape, combining breathtaking views and dramatic elevation changes, attracting players of all skill levels who return time and time again. Designed by renowned golf course architect, Donald Steel and ranked by GOLF Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Course You Can Play.” Definitely one to add to the bucket list!
- Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, New Zealand
Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the spectacular Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course, completed in 2004, has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape complete with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays high above the ocean. With cliff-edge fairways perched 140 meters above sea level with a surface that remains firm and fast, this course offers holes unlike anything you find elsewhere in the world.
- Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa
Situated on the southern bank of the Crocodile River, forming the natural border of the world-renowned Kruger Park, lies one of Africa’s golfing jewels. Born of the vision of a banker in tandem with the expertise of one of the world’s greatest golfers – Gary Player – it was founded on the values of friendship, a common love for the game, and a shared reverence for nature.
Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek for much of the water is home to magnificent creatures for which the river is named, crocodiles. The 505-meter Par-5 13th is one of Leopard Creek’s most memorable holes. The green is 32 meters above the level of the water and offers up magnificent views of the river.
- Yas Links, Abu Dhabi
Yas Links is the first true Links course in the region, a unique golfing experience for both members and visitors to enjoy. Imagine teeing off under the desert skies, with views of the sparkling Arabian Gulf! Designed by the architect, Kyle Philips, Yas Links was awarded Best Course in the Middle East for the third consecutive year at The Asia Pacific Golf Summit 2018.
- Sandy Lane, Barbados
The Green Monkey Golf Course at Sandy Lane, Barbados is the first course designed by Tom Fazio outside the US. The ultra-exclusive Green Monkey course features seven holes playing in and around a huge quarry. Most holes offer spectacular Caribbean Sea views from elevated tees and greens, shared with the famous Bajan Green Monkeys, which live in the gullies in and around the course. A unique layout with five par threes, eitgh par fours, and five par fives.
- Pebble Beach Golf Links, USA
The stunning Pebble Beach Golf Links is consider the number one most desired public golf course to play in America. Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant the course is a favorite amongst Hall of Famers, Hollywood stars, and Presidents! In 2019, the course will host its sixth U.S. Open and has been the host of the PGA TOUR event since 1947! The Pebble Beach course features some of the most famous holes in golf complete with a picturesque Oceanside landscape.
- El Camaleón Riviera Maya Golf Club, Mexico
El Camaleon made golf history in 2007 when it became home of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, the first PGA TOUR Event to ever be contested outside of the United States and Canada. Designed by legendary Australian Golfer Greg Norman, El Camaleón boasts an amazing layout featuring three different ecosystems: tropical Mayan jungle, mangrove forest, and the Caribbean Sea coastline. A masterpiece as unique as its creator, El Camaleón Golf Club is a bittersweet challenge you will want to take on. Constantly changing views, cenotes (natural wells), crystal- clear lagoons, mangrove, jungle, and the Mexican Caribbean Sea, frame the perfect setting for an experience that can be enjoyed by all.
- The Blackstone Course, Mission Hills Haikou, China
The Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou is part of the enormous and extraordinary Mission Hills complex in China which spans 22 golf courses across two locations, making it the largest golf facility in the world, as accredited by the Guinness World Records.
Located on the tropical tourism island of Hainan, Mission Hills Haikou is home to 10 of those courses, including the world-famous Blackstone Course, recently voted #48 in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The stunning Schmidt-Curley design, carved out of volcanic rock, has hosted several historic tournaments, including two World Cups, six World Ladies Championships, four World Celebrity Pro-Ams, and the 2013 ‘Match at Mission Hills’ between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Recently voted Asia Pacific Golf Resort of the Year by the world’s leading tourism organization, IAGTO, Mission Hills Haikou has plenty to offer golfers and non-golfers alike on Hainan Island, often referred to as China’s Hawaii.
My 2 cents for what it is worth…and from the perspective of someone based in America.
Having played The Blackstone Course at Mission Hills in China I find that an interesting choice – it was a great course but I’m not sure that it is deserving of a #1 rating.
Cabot Cliffs in Nova Scotia I have not played, but I hear nothing but great things about it. This past year I have played both Whistling Straits (Wisconsin) and Chambers Bay in Tacoma Washington. Both have hosted Major PGA Tour events and are worthy of a “bucket list” visit.
My favorite mountain style course in the world might just be The Pete Dye Club tucked away in the northwest corner of West Virginia. The only Pete Dye course with his name on it!
If I was going back to Europe to play, the first track I would want to revisit is set along the undulating dunes over the Atlantic – Praia D’el Rey is about an hour north of Lisbon in Portugal! While there I might just venture down to the Algarve and play the Victoria Course with it’s to die for picturesque back nine!
Last but not least, likely the best golf destination in North America (might be), Los Cabos in the Baja region. On pretty much every shot your visuals are of mountains, desert and oceans!
My ‘to die for’ course here is The Ocean Course at Cabo Del Sol. The Ocean Course at Cabo recently replaced the Ocean Course at Kiawah as my #1 course in the world!
I think it might just be time for the Traveling Golfer to create his own course!