Kinloch, New Zealand (Public)
Jack Nicklaus played an exhibition in New Zealand forty-five years ago and fell hard for the place. But despite having designed courses in thirty countries, Nicklaus hadn’t left his mark on the Land of the Long White Cloud until now. After four years of planning and construction overlooking moody Lake Taupo in volcanic terrain, Nicklaus has completed the Kinloch Club. The course rumbles across a dramatically undulating landscape punctuated by exposed rock. Its fairways are contoured and conditioned for ground play and flecked with disheveled bunkers. The second nine, delayed slightly, is set to open in December. —Nigel Wall
Architect: Jack Nicklaus. Yardage: 7,340. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $190. Tee Times: 011-64/2131-0611, kinloch-golf.com.
Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (Private)
Wending lazily around fragrant pines and tranquil ponds, Gozzer Ranch is more likely to incite reflection than frustration. Glistening Lake Coeur d’Alene provides a bust-out-your-camera backdrop beginning on the mountaintop tee of the third hole, a plunging par three. The rap on architect Tom Fazio is that his real estate courses go overly easy on members, but Fazio pulls no punches at the 475-yard fifth or the 472-yard eleventh, a pair of wicked par fours. The course does rather coast home beginning at the 501-yard sixteenth, an easily reachable downhill par five. Still, it’s hard to leave without wearing a smile—albeit one that’s tinged in purple, thanks to the club’s homemade huckleberry ice pops. —Scott Gummer
Architect: Tom Fazio. Yardage: 7,237. Par: 71. Membership Inquiries: 208-765-9034, gozzerranchclub.com.
Cobble Beach Golf Links
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada (Public)
Only two letters separate this course from a certain layout on the Monterey Peninsula. Neither is a true links, but both occupy stunning stretches of waterfront. Doug Carrick’s great achievement here was in making the inland holes not merely passable but some of the best on the course. He starts with a wicked false front on number one and a set of elusive, ridge-influenced angles on the second green. Complemented by its luxurious spa and ten-room inn (both housed in the grand Nantucket-style clubhouse), Cobble Beach is the Toronto golfer’s new hot destination. —Thomas Dunne
Architect: Doug Carrick. Yardage: 7,134. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $100–$135. Tee Times: 888-278-8112, cobblebeach.com.