Course of the Month: Rock Creek Cattle Company
Deer Lodge, Montana (private). Opening: June
The task for Tom Doak at this exclusive club in western Montana was to design a golf course that matched the scale of the surrounding landscape, a vast working cattle ranch studded with evergreens and boulders. He responded by creating holes with enormous greens and large clusters of bunkers—anything less would have seemed out of place. “When you are playing the course,” says Doak, “you have a sense of limitless space.” He routed three holes—eight, seventeen and eighteen—right down to the banks of Rock Creek. In many states, he notes, environmental laws would prevent that, but in Montana, where logging around creeks is allowed, no such restrictions exist. Still, the construction was handled with sensitivity to ensure that the club’s other major attraction—prime fly-fishing—is preserved. —Derek Duncan
Architect: Tom Doak. Yardage: 7,500. Par: 71. Membership Inquiries: 406-846-3474, rockcreekcattlecompany.com.
Timilick Club, Truckee (private). Opening: June
Set in the scenic Martis Valley north of Lake Tahoe, this high-country private course covers two distinct landscapes. The opening nine runs through a pine meadow, emphasizing accurate placement of drives and approach shots. The more dramatic second nine rises more than two hundred feet into heavily wooded corridors at an elevation of nearly 6,200 feet above sea level, then descends all at once at the par-four seventeenth.
Architects: Johnny Miller and John Harbottle III. Yardage: 7,080. Par: 71. Membership Inquiries: 877-846-4542, timilick.com.
Ocean Edge Resort & Club, Brewster (semiprivate). Opening: May 1
The formerly narrow, quirky course at this Cape Cod resort, originally opened in 1985, has been completely reconceived by the Nicklaus Design Group with an emphasis on widening the holes to eliminate blind shots and to take advantage of the natural topography. As an added plus, the fairways are now planted with bent grass, ensuring not only good lies but also a fair amount of roll.
Architect: Nicklaus Design. Yardage: 7,011. Par: 72. Green Fees: $110–$145. Tee Times: 774-323-6200, oceanedge.com. Membership Inquiries: 774-323-6020.
The Chase at PGA Golf Club Coyote Springs, Coyote Springs (public). Opened: April 25
The first of several projected courses at this 43,000-acre development an hour north of Las Vegas—and home to only the second PGA Learning Center in the nation—features enormous fairways that ripple and swerve around a valley floor. Large clusters of jagged-edged bunkers guard landing areas and greens, and buffer zones of rock, cactus and other desert flora mirror the horizon of the Arrow Canyon Range, one of four mountain ranges surrounding the course.
Architect: Nicklaus Design. Yardage: 7,471. Par: 72. Green Fees: $100–$200. Tee Times: 877-742-8455, coyotesprings.com.
The Golf Club at Rainmakers, Ruidoso (private). Opening: June (nine holes; second nine to open in August)
Following up on his recent success at Chambers Bay, Robert Trent Jones Jr. has designed this course as the heart of a real estate community eighteen miles north of the town of Ruidoso, in the southernmost section of the Rockies. The highlights of the layout are when it jumps from point to point across scrubby arroyos and deep ravines. A 135-acre section of open space on the property has been set aside in perpetuity as a wildlife conservation area.
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr. Yardage: 7,110. Par: 72. Membership Inquiries: 575-336-7500, rainmakersusa.com.