Stowe Mountain Club, Stowe (resort). Opening: June
This quintessential New England mountain course, part of the new Spruce Peak luxury development at Stowe Mountain Resort, features tight, sloping fairways lined with pine and birch as well as a routing that spans nearly four hundred feet of elevation changes. Thinking "green" in true Vermont fashion, the course will recycle irrigation water through the resort's snowmaking storage pond (which has a capacity of 117 million gallons) and will be the first in Vermont to receive certification from Audubon International.
Architect: Bob Cupp. Yardage: 6,411. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $110-$150 (open to resort guests only). Tee Times: 802-253-4833, www.stowemountainclub.com.
Chambers Bay, University Place (public). Opening: late June
On a site that over the years housed a paper mill and a gravel quarry, among other things, Robert Trent Jones Jr. has fashioned a links-style design with eye-popping views across Puget Sound. Jones transformed a largely clear-cut nine-hundred-acre property into a dramatic setting of canyons, ridges, moguls and dunes that frame the course. The routing switches back and forth across the sloping site, climaxing at the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth holes, all of which play along the sound.
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr. Yardage: 7,585. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $60-$150. Tee Times: 253-460-4653, www.chambersbaygolf.com.
Tobiano Golf Course Kamloops, British Columbia (public). Opening: late June
Located at an ideal stopover point between Banff and Jasper National Parks, Tobiano is the newest in a growing number of premier golf destinations in Western Canada. The wide-open thousand-acre property lies on a bluff overlooking stark, silvery Kamloops Lake, and holes play across deep fissures in the terrain. Five of them are set hard by the cliffs and offer spellbinding scenery, but sweeping ground contour and ragged-edged bunkers help keep a player's focus on the task at hand.
Architect: Thomas McBroom. Yardage: 7,328. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $130. Tee Times: 877-373-2218, www.tobianoliving.com.
Course of the month
The Creek Club at Reynolds Plantation
Greensboro, Georgia (private). Opening: June
In hiring Jim Engh to create a new members' club, this upscale resort and residential community was intent on coming up with a course that would be distinct from its four other fine layouts. But "distinct" doesn't begin to describe the postmodern forms Engh has produced at the Creek Club, a dazzling jaunt through wooded terrain with elevation changes of up to two hundred feet. The architect has fashioned a course with enormous greens, some featuring steep ramps and bowls; with split fairways that require a decision on the tee; and with his trademark deep and curvaceous "muscle" bunkers. The putting surface on the par-three thirteenth is so wavy it looks like it slithered off a Salvador Dalí canvas. Finally, there's the eighteenth, a par five that has three different greens, one of which will be in play each day.
Architect: Jim Engh. Yardage: 7,079. Par: 72. Membership Inquiries: 800-800-5250, www.reynoldsplantation.com.
Next on the Tee...
Tiger Woods has announced plans to begin his much-anticipated course-design career. Woods's Al Ruwaya course in Dubai, scheduled for completion in 2009, will be part of an exclusive residential community that bears his name.... Davis Love III and Phil Mickelson are each designing a course in the private development of Diamante Cabo, near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The Love eighteen, the first of the two, could open as early as December. Mickelson, who's also undertaking projects in California and North Carolina, plans to design just ten courses in all.... A Tom Fazio layout at Bachmann Springs Resort, a holistic desert retreat near Tombstone, Arizona, is due to open this fall.... A Jack Nicklaus Signature course with holes along the Potomac River is slated to open in autumn as part of a Northern Virginia community called Harbor Station.