A core of nine openings reveals the resurgence of Golf’s global design

We are taught in school that when we look up into the night sky we are actually looking back in time since the light we see from the stars originated hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Golf course openings also offer a look into the past; they look new, but the origins were often years in the making. Their design and composition reveal things about the economic and regional conditions of the time and place where they were designed.

Current periods of slow or non-existent golf development are an indication of past bear markets or financial headwinds. A core of recent and upcoming international course openings reveal otherwise. These projects reflect more optimistic realities and the fruit of years of wise foresight, as well as bold investments and, in some cases, an intuitive desire to locate the world’s most remarkable golf venues. As symbols of golf’s global resurgence, here are nine new international courses we’re looking forward to.

SEVEN MILE BEACH, Tasmania
CLAYTON, DEVRIES & PONT
DATE: END 2023

The project at Seven Mile Beach near Hobart [Feature image: Lukas Michel] is an example of the modern tendency to go where the big sites are, to hell with geography. The course is being built on an intriguing expanse of beachfront terrain comprised of sand dunes, drop-offs, pine trees and scrub. An international collaboration, touring professional Mathew Goggin, originally from Hobart, assists the architectural team of Australian Mike Clayton, American Mike DeVries and Dutchman Frank Pont.

Navarino Hills by Costa Navarino

NAVARINO HILLS IN COSTA NAVARINO (HILL COURTS AND COURTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC ACADEMY), Greece
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZABAL
DATE: OPEN FEBRUARY 2022

Two-time Masters champion Olazábal designed the two courses at this resort located on Greece’s southwest coast overlooking Navarino Bay. The Hills course runs through wide, gentle valleys with views of the Ionian Sea, and the longer International Olympic Academy course has tighter shot requirements and holes that skirt cliffs overlooking Mediterranean waters.

CABOT REVELSTOKE (CABOT PACIFIC), British Columbia, Canada
WHITMAN, AXLAND & CUTTEN
DATE: MI-2024

Revelstoke has always been recognized as one of Canada’s top skiing and heliskiing destinations, and it will soon be recognized for its excellent mountain golf. Part of the new Cabot Revelstoke development, the Cabot Pacific design by Rod Whitman, Dave Axland and Keith Cutten is forged from dense evergreen forests and embodies the spirit of world-famous Canadian courses like Jasper Park and Banff Springs, with bonus multiple holes lining a steep canyon rim.

Golf des Bordes by Kevin Murray

BORDES GOLF CLUB (NEW COURSE), France
GIL HANSE AND JIM WAGNER
DATE: OPEN MI-2021
Hanse and Wagner’s new course at this upmarket Loire Valley private club has an old-world feel, channeling aspects of classic-era French designs like Morfontaine and Hardelot Les Pins with low, graceful holes that wind move through sandy woods and fields of wild grasses and flowers. The accompanying short 10-hole Wild Piglet course, with fun holes ranging from 120 to 181 yards, may soon become a favorite course for members and guests.

FASANO LAS PIEDRAS, Uruguay
THAD LAYTON, ARNOLD PALMER COURSE DESIGN
DATE: OPEN MI-2022

Palmer Design opened nine holes at this resort in 2012, and company vice president and principal architect Layton returned to complete the course with nine new holes. Delivering on the promise of natural and sustainable golf, the ground for the holes has remained 90% intact and incorporates the site’s existing bunker sand and a strain of native Bermuda grass. But the design is also bold and striking, with vast bunkers and undulating terrain outlines.

St Patricks Links by Clyde Johnson

ST PATRICK’S LINKS, Ireland
TOM DOAK, GOLF REBIRTH
DATE: OPEN MI-2021

Openings of new courses in Ireland and Scotland are rare, but new courses on natural links are almost unheard of. This new design at the Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort in Donegal has taken years to develop, dating back more than a decade when the owners first acquired an adjacent 36-hole course that was shaped into the new links. Doak has found and shaped an incredible array of seaside holes that cut through some of the Emerald Isle’s most impressive dunes.

CABOT SAINT LUCIA (POINT HARDY GOLF CLUB), Saint Lucia
BILL COORE AND BEN CRENSHAW
DATE: FALL 2023

Once opened, the new Cabot Saint Lucia course, the latest from renowned developer Mike Keizer, will boast some of the most breathtaking golf courses in the world. Almost every hole offers breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea as the course climbs and descends the scenic slopes. Nine holes touch the rocky, elevated shoreline with a number playing dramatically across ocean inlets similar to the best holes at
Cypress Point and Pebble Beach.

Ballyshear Golf Links at Ban Rakat Club by Chris Wise

BALLYSHEAR GOLF LINKS AT BAN RAKAT CLUB, Thailand
GIL HANSE AND JIM WAGNER
DATE: OPEN END 2021

The eyes of North American golfers have turned to the reconstruction of CB Macdonald’s defunct Lido course in Sand Valley, Wisconsin, slated to open in 2023. But this project outside Bangkok, built on low-lying farmland, is the first to replicate versions of the famous Lido jig holes that Macdonald began designing on Long Island in 1914, in scorecard order, but not in the same routing configuration.

TE ARAI LINKS (SOUTH COURSE), New Zealand
BILL COORE AND BEN CRENSHAW
DATE: OPEN SPRING 2022

The south course of this sister development of Tara Iti, the second-ranked course on Golf Digest World’s 100 Greatest Courses list, is made of much the same material and should give it some lively competition. Just a few miles away, it’s the latest addition to a growing list of outstanding Southern Hemisphere connections. The course starts and ends high in the dunes, but is thrilling with breathtaking trails along the sandy seafront in the middle and end of each nine.