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New Course Review

Silverbell Golf Course, Tucson (public). Reopening: December 1.
Tucson city officials were so pleased with Ken Kavanaugh's redesign of another municipal course, Dell Urich, they hired him to renovate this one, too. In addition to moving holes off the uncapped, sinking landfill upon which the course was built, he lengthened the layout, added fairway bunkers, and established contour and elevation changes.
Architect: Ken Kavanaugh. Yardage: 7,022. Par: 71. Greens Fees: $16–$35. Tee Times: 520-791-5235, tucsoncitygolf.com.

Sonoran Course at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa, Tucson (semiprivate). Opening: December.
Knowing that its guests come to play desert-style golf, this resort (and PGA Tour stop) hired Tom Lehman to create a second course in keeping with classic target-oriented design. Lehman built nine new holes and reworked an existing nine. With generous fairways and contoured greens, the new layout complements the Catalina course, which hosts the Chrysler Classic.
Architect: Tom Lehman. Yardage: 6,750. Par: 70. Greens Fees: $65–$180. Tee Times: 520-877-2315, tucsonnational.com.

Callippe Preserve Golf Course, Pleasanton (public). Opening: November 11.
Less than an hour southeast of San Francisco, this course was delayed for years over battles to protect the callippe silverspot butterfly, among other animal species. The front nine rolls along a ranchland valley laced with streams and creeks, while the back creeps into the wooded hills, offering views of Mount Diablo, a peak settlers used to navigate back from the Sierra Nevadas.
Architect: Brian Costello, JMP Golf Design Group. Yardage: 6,748. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $36–$60. Tee Times: 925-426-6666, playcallippe.com.

Amelia National Golf Club, Fernandina Beach (private). Opening: January 28.
In developing golf communities, few course architects have the authority to place higher importance on the holes than the homesites. Tom Fazio is one of them. His formula came first at this Carolina-style design, complete with pine straw lining the fairways: Only four holes will border houses.
Architect: Tom Fazio. Yardage: 7,166. Par: 72. Initiation Fee: $45,000. Membership Inquiries: 877-600-0907, amelianationalgolf.com.

Cypress Course at the Grand Club, Palm Coast (semiprivate). Reopening: November.
As well as repositioned and rebuilt greens, the most noticeable changes to this wetlands-skirting course are the removal of its chocolate-drop fairway mounds and encroaching tree limbs. Crushed coquina shell replaces the concrete cart paths and fills new waste bunkers, all designed to keep wayward shots in play.Architect: Gary Player Design.
Yardage: 6,800. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $65–$75. Tee Times: 386-445-0852, hamptongolfclubs.com.

Nicklaus Course at Bay Point, Panama City Beach (resort). Reopened: September 17.
By smoothing out awkward fairway lies, exposing hidden water hazards and easing up on forced carries, the Nicklaus team has turned this once devilish course into a player-friendly foray along the Grand Lagoon and St. Andrews Bay. The slope rating, once one of the highest in the country at 152, now tops out at 143.
Architect: Nicklaus Design. Yardage: 7,152. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $75–$95. Tee Times: 850-235-6950, baypointgolf.com.


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