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10 courses every golfer should play

Carnoustie Golf Links (Scotland) Carnoustie Golf Links (Scotland) Ocean Course
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  10 courses every golfer should play  Carnoustie Golf Links (Scotland)Carnoustie Golf Links (Scotland)Ocean Course, Kiawah Island (S.C.)Ocean Course, Kiawah Island (S.C.)Old Course, St. Andrews Links (Scotland)Old Course, St. Andrews Links (Scotland)Pebble Beach Golf Links (California)Pebble Beach Golf Links (California)Pinehurst No. 2 (North Carolina)Pinehurst No. 2 (North Carolina)Royal County Down Golf Club (Northern Ireland)Royal County Down Golf Club (Northern Ireland)Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club (England)Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club (England)Royal Porthcawl Golf Club (Wales)Royal Porthcawl Golf Club (Wales)Royal St George's Golf Club (England)Royal St George's Golf Club (England)Royal Troon Golf Club (Scotland)Royal Troon Golf Club (Scotland)STORY HIGHLIGHTSThe Masters tees off on one of the world's most beautiful courses -- AugustaOcean Course on Kiwah Island in South Carolina hosted the notorious War on The Shore at the  1991 Ryder CupSpectacular Pebble Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean appears on many golfers' bucket listRoyal Porthcawl and Royal County Down are the only two courses on this list that have never hosteda professional Major(CNN) -- The weekend of the 2014 Masters -- the first major golf tournament of the year -- invariablyacts as a siren call to anyone who owns a set of clubs.If you love the game and its history, the following list of courses will make you feel like a pro, even if  you don't swing like one.I've limited this list to 10 courses, in alphabetical order, that the average golfer can play.Carnoustie Golf Links (Scotland)Carnoustie is where the great Ben Hogan won the only Open Championship he ever played and hadthe par-five, sixth hole named after him ( Hogan's Alley ) because of the tight driving line he took atthis hole in all four rounds.Other Open winners on what has been called the world's toughest links course include HenryCotton, Gary Player and Tom Watson. Ambitious (and perhaps overconfident) swingers can try to emulate Hogan's drives at the sixth hole,aiming between the fairway bunkers and the out-of-bounds fence.Carnoustie can be played at its Open length of 7,421 yards, par 71 or from the yellow tees at a moremodest 6,595 yards.Try not to follow in the footsteps of Jean van de Velde, who took seven at the 18th hole in 1999 whena six would have won him the Open.Green fees from £154 ($260); must have current handicap certificates, 28 or better for men, 36 forwomen and juniors (14-18); under 14s not allowed on Championship course.Carnoustie Golf Links, Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland; +44 1241 80 2270MORE: World's 18 most beautiful golf holes A tough but beautiful challenge.Ocean Course, Kiawah Island Golf Resort (South Carolina)From the toughest links course in the world to possibly the toughest course in the world, which alsohappens to be by the ocean.The Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course at Kiawah Island was the stage for the 1991 Ryder Cup, thenotorious War On The Shore, in which Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and therest of the European team lost by the narrowest of margins to a U.S. team that included the latePayne Stewart, Fred Couples and Ray Floyd.  The Ocean course was also the venue for Rory McIlroy's PGA Championship victory in 2012.In that event the course played to a monster 7,676 yards, par 72, but you can play it from a varietyof tees that go as low as 6,202 yards.Even at that shortened length it's a challenge, but whichever tees you choose a round on the OceanCourse is a heavenly experience.No carts; handicap required; packages from $200-450 depending on season.Kiawah Island Golf Resort, One Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, South Carolina; +1 800 6542924Old Course, St. Andrews Links (Scotland)This is known as the Home of Golf and is probably the most famous course in the world.It's one that all serious golfers want to play.The Old Course at St. Andrews has hosted 28 Open Championships, with another due in 2015.The list of champions here is a mighty one, including Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus (twice), SeveBallesteros, Sir Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods (twice).When you play this magnificent links you can't fail to be inspired by the history -- the Swilcan Burn,Hell Bunker, the Road Hole, the Old Course Hotel and the huge double greens on 14 holes that canleave you with putts of more than 100 feet. You can play the Old Course at its Open Championship length of 7,305 yards, par 72, or 6,721 yardsfrom the white tees, or 6,387 yards from the yellows.Official Handicap card/certificate required, 24 or better for men, 36 for women and juniors; from Â£160 ($270) April 14-October 19 (ballot booking), £112 ($190) October 20-31, £80 ($135)November-March 2015St. Andrews Links, Old, New & Jubilee courses, West Sands, St. Andrews; +44 (0)1334 466 718MORE: World's 10 toughest golf courses Jack Nicklaus said: If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links (California)This iconic course overlooking the Pacific Ocean is one every golfer should play before they're tooold to enjoy it. Jack Nicklaus said: If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. It's hosted five U.S. Opens and will host its next one in 2019.Past winners include Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell.   A round at Pebble costs $495 plus cart cost. Various tees can stretch the course length from 6,116 yards to 7,040 yards, par 72.Pebble Beach Resorts, The Lodge at Pebble Beach, 1700 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, California; +1831 624 3811Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst Resort (North Carolina)Known as America's St. Andrews, Pinehurst is steeped in history.The resort has eight courses, four designed by Donald Ross, including Pinehurst's legendary No. 2course, which has hosted one Ryder Cup, one PGA Championship and two U.S. Opens.In 2014, the No. 2 course will make history by becoming the first course to hold the U.S. Open andthe U.S. Women's Opens in successive weeks.In 1999, the course's 18th green was the scene of one of golf's most enduring images when PayneStewart punched the air after holing a 15-foot putt to win his second U.S. Open -- a statue of Stewartin the pose is situated behind the 18th green.Pinehurst can be played from a variety of tees ranging from 7,495 yards, par 72, from the U.S. Opentees to 5,822 yards from the green tees.Every golfer should play at least one Donald Ross course before they die and this is the best.Caddies recommended: $55 per bag; fees from $360, non-resort guests must call +1 910 235 8141.Pinehurst, 80 Carolina Vista Drive, Pinehurst, North Carolina; +1 855 235 8507MORE: World's 10 best golf resortsThe Royal County Down Golf Club (Northern Ireland)One of only two courses on this list that has never hosted a professional Major, Royal County Downhas been the venue for major amateur events including the Walker Cup in 2007, the Curtis Cup in1968 and two Amateur Championships.But it's really on my list because Royal County Down is a magical links course that's perennially voted one of the best golf courses in the world, most recently by Golf Digest (the world's biggestselling golf magazine), which placed it fourth in its list of the world's 100 greatest courses.Royal County Down is a par 71 that measures 7,186 yards from the championship tees, 6,878 yardsfrom the medal tees, or 6,675 yards from the stableford tees.Green fees from £50-185 ($85-310); between May and mid-October, blue, white and yellow teesrequire handicaps of 4 or better while red tees are open to all; buggies not allowed.The Royal County Down Golf Club, 36 Golf Links Road, Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland;+44 28 4372 3314 for tee time reservation


Jul 23, 2017
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