Course of the month
The Canyons at the Oasis Golf Club
Mesquite, Nevada (semiprivate).
Opening: October 1
With the addition of nine new holes, the former Vista Course here has now been rechristened as the Canyons. It's a dazzling target-golf affair, bookended by mountains, yet wider and more playable than its sister course, the Palmer, to keep residents of this master-planned community moving briskly in the desert sun. And though slightly less dramatic than the Palmer, there's a mountain waterfall that spills into a greenside lake and a few holes that plunge up to eighty feet from tee to green. Architect: David Druzinsky. Yardage: 6,517. Par: 71. Greens Fees: $40–$90. Tee Times: 888-367-3386, .
The Retreat Golf & Country Club, Corona (private).
Nearly half of the holes here, the first private gated community in the southern Inland Empire, lap at the foothills of Cleveland National Forest, creating a verdant, canyonlike setting. The fairways are generous, but the small, wrinkled greens and a niggling creek require precise iron play. Architect: Nicklaus Design. Yardage: 6,955. Par: 71. Initiation Fee: $45,000. Membership Inquiries: 951-277-0562, theretreatcc.com.
Eagle Landing at Oakleaf Plantation, Orange Park (semiprivate).
In addition to a set of classically designed par-threes, the challenge here is to find two bunkers that look alike—most of them resemble free-flowing capes, bays and fingers of sand spilled from toppled pitchers. One exception is the church pews bunker at the corner of the par-five seventeenth, one of several holes on the course that, despite being located in a housing development midway between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, has no homes bordering it. Architect: Clyde Johnston. Yardage: 7,037. Par: 72. Greens Fee: To be announced. Tee Times: 904-291-7200.
The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove, Waverly (semiprivate).
Opening: September 1.
Most of the golden age–style greens on this course, twenty minutes south of Sea Island, are so small and undulating that they can't be mown with modern equipment. Further enhancing the old-time feel are live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, and a trio of holes that play onto a small island shared by a protected maritime forest. Architect: Fred Couples/Love Golf Design. Yardage: 7,050. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $40–$80. Tee Times: 912-466-0080, sanctuarycove.info.
Tamarack Resort Golf Course, Donnelly (resort).
Opening: September (nine holes).
The first all-season ski resort built in the U.S. in more than twenty years will include this aspen- and wetlands-lined golf course draped in a meadow between Tamarack Mountain (elevation 7,700 feet) and Lake Cascade. The playful, often deceptive holes include five par threes and five par fives.
Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Yardage: 7,400. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $70–$119. Tee Times: 208-325-1000, tamarackidaho.com.
Atchafalaya Golf Course at Idlewild, Patterson (public).
Opening: September 15.
Each hole of this parish-owned course highlights a different plant species found in the Atchafalaya Basin, the crawfish and gator-filled flood plain between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers. The routing winds through twenty acres of lakes and features bulkheaded greens and copious amounts of horsetail, pickerel weed, cattails and water lilies. Architect: Robert von Hagge. Yardage: 7,536. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $55–$65. Tee Times: 985-519-5906, atchafalayagolf.com.
Chapel Ridge Golf Club, Pittsboro (semi-private).
Opening: October 14.
Instead of carting away the abundant rock found on this mountainous site near Chapel Hill, the architect wove it into the design as retaining walls, bulkheads, and aiming points on doglegs. The highest point on the property affords twenty-mile views of the Haw River Valley. Architect: Bob Moore. Yardage: 7,100. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $40–$80. No contact information at press time.