Associate editor Rebecca Larsen tackles the tough task of naming the best of 2003 in Arizona. With so much to like, and so many courses, this is no easy chore. Check out her comments and rankings to see where places like The Duke at Rancho Eldorado, the Boulders Resort in Carefree, The Stadium Course at the Tournament Players Club, We-Ko-Pa, Arizona National, Talking Stick, and many others finished.
For years, Las Vegas has proved to be an outstanding destination spot for golfers as the area rolled out one new course after another. The golfing boom has led to predictions that Vegas soon could top other golfing meccas like Scottsdale or Palm Springs in quantity and quality. Here's a roundup of some of the top venues in the area.
Who will win this year's awards? With the Tradition Golf Club in Pawleys Island, the Dunes Club, Glen Dornoch, and many others, the competition is stiff. But managing editor Shane Sharp separates the wheat from the chaff and hands out the honors for the best in the Grand Strand from 2003.
The past year was filled with plenty of lowlights at several courses. The area seems to have reached its saturation point, but that doesn't necessarily mean all is lost. With Rick Smith, Treetops' upgrades and the Ryder Cup, there's still plenty to like about Michigan golf. Despite some rough patches in 2003, 2004 figures to be a special time.
There are more than 1,200 courses between North and South Carolina - a redoubtable figure that no longer grows like rye grass after a spring shower. Now it's time to pick the best of the lot. Looking back at 2003, here is one publication's list of where the traveling golfer's time and money was well-spent. From the best new public course (Rock Barn Country Club in Hickory) to the best remodeling project (Pinehurst No. 7), these layouts earned our highest praise this year.
More and more new, and good, golf courses are coming online, which immediately raises the bar for golf in Florida. Derek Duncan notes that 12 of the current top-30 courses have been built within the past 10 years, seven of those in the past five. He says that might be interpreted as an indictment of Florida's lack of tradition, but it's also a compliment to the flexibility and freshness it provides. In his "Best of 2003" compilation, the Florida-based writer takes you through the top options in the Sunshine State.
With more than 1,000 golf courses in the state, ranking them requires breaking it down to Northern California and Southern California, and even then, there are still plenty of good courses that get left out. Associate editor Rebecca Larsen tries to whittle it down for you with her blueprint to quality public tracks you might consider for the new year. In addition to all-time classics, she'll tell you her must plays, the best resorts and point out some gems that deserve more attention.
In the Land of Lincoln, there's much debate about everything, and golfisnot different than the lines drawn betweenCubs' fans and Sox fans. Associate editor Dave Berner tries to sort itallout, and he weighs in with his opinion on everything from the bestresort inthe state to the best hot dog. Feel free to disagree if you must, butthere's no debate about this: noketchup on the dogs.
StoneWater pulls in top honors, but there are plenty of other awards togoaround. Genius events (Playboy bunnies atThunder Hill) and genius locations (Longaberger) also rate well in thisyear-end tradition. Staff writer Jason Stahl takesyou around the state and not only give you the best place to hold atournament, but he'll also tell you where you canbreak a car window with a golf ball and not get in trouble for it.There'ssomething for everyone in this year's Best of Ohio.
The quality of courses on the islands of Hawaii has turned it it into one ofthe world's great golf destinations. If you haven't ever had the pleasure ofenjoying the Hawaii experience, it's time to say "aloha," sniff the freshflower leis, and get out the clubs. "Like the islands, Hawaii golf continuesto grow and mature," writes Don Chapman. In fact, the islands have so muchgreat golf in exotic settings that it might just be crazy to go anywhereelse.
As we wade through a cold winter, thoughts of sunny places and sandy beachesfill our heads, not to mention green fairwaysand ocean views from the tee box. The Caribbean, though ever-changing, hasplenty of classic courses that make lookingback at 2003 special. You can't miss with the island golf found in PuertoRico (Cayo Largo), the Dominican Republic(Guavaberry), and Jamaica(Half Moon Resort).
Every year brings new courses and the restoration of old favorites. It's anongoing, metaphoric sharpening and clashing of swords as courses compete foryour dollars and your loyalty. Isn't it nice to be fought over? Even niceris the thought that the courses you play know they have to be sharp to drawand keep your business. Competition is stout in the Mid-Atlantic, but DaleLeatherman wades through and ranksthe best of the best.
Whether you're looking for the Best Golf-Fish Road Trip Destination (LakeFork) or the Most Difficult Course(The Cliffs at Possum Kingdom), you'll find it in Jason Stone's look backat the year in Texas golf. Instead of creatinga traditional "best of" list, Stone created his own unique categories inorder to properly review the expansive golf scene,which covers 430 golf towns, 1,000 some-odd golf courses, and eight massive,geographically diverse regions.
The Grove in London - the Kyle Phillips-designed course that is racking upthe accolades - and the eagerly awaitedSantana Golf & Country Club have everyone in Europe talking about these twobrand spanking new courses. There'splenty to like about all of the old courses as well, and associate editorDave Bowers sorts it all out for you with hisBest of Europe in 2003.
December 22, 2003
Simply select where you want to play, find a tee time deal, and golf now!