Course of the Month
Erin Hills Golf Club Erin, Wisconsin (public). Opening: August
Sites as perfectly suited to golf as this one—a wonderfully contoured property whose hillocks, drumlins and hollows were shaped by retreating Ice Age glaciers—don't come around that often. The land, thirty-five miles northwest of Milwaukee, had such a natural roll to it that very little earth needed to be pushed around; almost all that had to be done was to mow down the native fescue. What role the architects did play was to thoughtfully draw out old-world aspects of course design, encouraging shots to be played on the ground as well as in the air and building in great variety, such as greens that range from 2,500 square feet to more than four times that size. In one of many distinctions sure to come, the USGA has already chosen Erin Hills to host a national championship, the 2008 Women's Amateur Public Links.
Architects: Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten. Yardage: 7,700. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $125$150. Tee Times: 262-646-3331, erinhills.com.
Mountain Course at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs (resort). Opening: July 1
This classic resort, known as the "grande dame of the Rockies" and the site of Jack Nicklaus's first U.S. Amateur championship in 1959, hired the Golden Bear's design firm to make what used to be called its South course more playable. The results include broader fairways and flash-faced bunkers (as well as additional length from the tips), to go with the traditionally fast greens. A six-foot border of rough bookends the wide fairways before yielding to wildflowers, native grasses, ponderosa pines and scrub oak.
Architect: Nicklaus Design. Yardage: 7,700. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $145$180. Tee Times: 719-577-5790, broadmoor.com.
Teton Reserve, Victor (semiprivate). Opening: late August
Just as the Old Course at St. Andrews can be played in reverse, so, too, can Teton Reserve in the breezy Teton Valley, twenty miles west of Jackson, Wyoming. The reversible routing here comes adorned with other linksy touches, such as conjoined fairways, long rolling contours, and bunkers seemingly placed by scattershot.
Architect: Hale Irwin. Yardage: 7,350. Par: 72. Green Fees: $80$120. Tee Times: 208-787-4227, tetonreserve.com.
Sand Creek Station, Newton (public). Opening: July 1
The small city of Newton hopes this course—described by its architect as an "over-the-top" take on traditional design—lures players from Wichita, a half hour south, and beyond. Modern riffs on classic architectural features include an Alps, a Road Hole and the Mae West (honoring George Thomas's extinct hole at Bel-Air Country Club, where two large mounds guarded the green).
Architect: Jeffrey Brauer. Yardage: 7,324. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $39$49. Tee Times: 316-284-6161.
Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City (private). Opening: July 4
After much anticipation, former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman's ultraexclusive club opens on the shores of New York Harbor, with views of the Statue of Liberty and the lower Manhattan skyline. Initiation fee: $400,000. The course, a marvel of finance and engineering, occupies a former Superfund site in an otherwise industrial precinct of northern New Jersey. Fireman hopes it will someday host a major.
Architects: Bob Cupp, Tom Kite. Yardage: 7,433. Par: 72. Membership Inquiries: 201-333-0531, libertynationalgc.com.