Illinois National Golf Club at Arrow Head Pointe, Petersburg (semiprivate)
Given the lay of the land, architect Doug Treadwell claims to have "found" more than a hundred holes and seven different routings on this massive 1,200-acre site. The holes he ended up plotting ramble among the sizable hills, hardwoods and ravines of the Sangamon River Valley, three hours southwest of Chicago.
Architect: Doug Treadwell. Yardage: 7,107. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $80$100. Tee Times: 217-632-7710, illinoisnationalgolfclub.com.
Hill Course at French Lick Springs Resort and Casino, French Lick (resort)
Course designer Lee Schmidt relied on Donald Ross's original drawings to return this vintage 1920 layout to its earlier glory. Schmidt restored thirty lost bunkers and brought back the angular shapes and contoured surfaces of the greens. In a nod to the modern game, he also added five hundred yards.
Architect: Lee Schmidt. Yardage: 7,007. Par: 70. Greens Fees: $75$100. Tee Times: 812-936-9300, frenchlick.com.
Cottonwood Hills Golf Club, Hutchinson (semiprivate).
Opening: May 1 (nine holes; second nine opens in August)
When word got out that this property a few miles east of the famed Prairie Dunes was being developed into a golf course, architects from all over inquired about the job. Nick Faldo was the lucky one who landed it, thanks to his appreciation of links courses, an asset in designing holes featuring firm fairways and twenty-foot-high sand dunes in the Great Plains.
Architect: Nick Faldo. Yardage: 7,260. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $65. Tee Times: 888-888-2310, cottonwoodhills.net.
Renaissance Golf Club, Haverhill (private)
Hired by a club whose motto is "classic golf," Brian Silva fashioned a strategic, Seth Raynorinfluenced design here. He routed fairways through pine forest and open fields, as well as across sections of an old gravel pit, tossing in a Redan, a cape hole and a drivable par four with a punchbowl green for good measure.
Architect: Brian Silva. Yardage: 7,061. Par: 72. Membership Inquiries: 978-556-1599, renaissancegolfclub.com.
Riverwood National Golf Club, Ostego (semiprivate).
Opening: May 15
Riverwood National hopes to attract golfers from the Twin Cities metropolitan area (twenty to thirty minutes to the southeast) up to the rolling hills of Ostego with affordable prices and one of the region's largest practice areas. The course wanders out and back through pastoral copses of oak and pine, then into open meadows where it skirts ponds, wetlands and marshes.
Architect: David Kirscht. Yardage: 7,014. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $29$34. Tee Times: 763-271-5000, riverwoodnational.com.
The Dogwoods at Hugh White State Park Golf Course, Grenada (public)
Thirty-foot-tall dogwood trees grace this tranquil, sloping property in a state park overlooking the 63,000-acre Grenada Lake in north-central Mississippi. The newest addition to the Magnolia Golf Trail, the Dogwoods is built on an impressive scale, with greens as large as ten thousand square feet and fairways up to eighty yards wide, all garnished with rough-edged Alister MacKenzieinspired bunkering and mounding.
Architect: Gary Roger Baird/Global Golf Design. Yardage: 7,003. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $25$49. Tee Times: 800-373-2571.
Wolfdancer at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Lost Pines (resort)
Opening: June 1
Hewn along the banks of the Colorado River twenty minutes southwest of Austin, this course is a brash new look for Arthur Hills and company. Dozens of randomly scattered steep-faced bunkers—including the fifteen-foot-deep "Big Mouth"—and slick, false-fronted greens decorate a heaving landscape of old, broad-canopied oak, cedar and pecan trees.
Architect: Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates. Yardage: 7,205. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $135$150. Tee Times: 512-308-1234, lostpines.hyatt.com.
Course of the Month
River Course at Humber Valley Resort
Humber Valley, Newfoundland, Canada (resort). Opening: June
Golfers won't know whether to stare at the jaw-dropping beauty of the Humber River Valley, in the northernmost reaches of the Appalachians near the west coast of Newfoundland, or at Doug Carrick's dramatic new course that's the centerpiece of this four-season resort and real estate community. If the elegant holes edging along the river and through spruce and hardwood forests don't command attention, the 160-foot plunge from the par-four tenth tee undoubtedly will.
Architect: Doug Carrick. Yardage: 7,247. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $120. Tee Times: 709-686-1090, humbervalley.com.