The Bridges at Black Canyon, Montrose (semiprivate). Opening: July 15.
Seventeen wooden-plank bridges were installed so players can cross the prickly Montrose Arroyo and the Loutsenhizer Canal, which carve through this gently rolling western-Colorado course hard by the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park. Because it draws its water from the canal, this essentially private club is required to offer public access, but it will likely top out at only 10 to 20 percent of the rounds played.
Architect: Nicklaus Design. Yardage: 7,208. Par: 71. Initiation Fee: $25,000. Guest/Daily Fees: $85-$100. Membership Inquiries/Tee Times: 970-252-1119, montrosebridges.com.
Bayside Resort Golf Club, Selbyville (resort). Opening: August.
Though partly routed along Assawoman Bay (near Ocean City, Maryland), this course reflects an unusual approach to coastal golf. Instead of showcasing the indigenous sand with large, flashed-faced bunkers, Jack Nicklaus and his design team tucked it away in small strategic spots. The greens—elevated and petite—are a further departure from the typical beach layout.
Architect: Jack Nicklaus. Yardage: 7,545. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $160. Tee Times: 302-436-4727, golfbayside.com.
Bartram Trail Golf Club, Grovetown (public). Opening: August 1.
Oak, maple, dogwood and redbud abound at this rolling layout named after the early naturalist William Bartram. Euchee Creek and its tributaries dictate a few forced carries, but it's the greens that create intrigue. In contrast to Augusta National, just a dozen miles west, the undulation is concentrated around the edges, pulling shots into collection areas—or feeding them toward the flag.
Architect: Rick Robbins. Yardage: 6,706. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $21-$44. Tee Times: 706-210-4681, bartramtrail.com.
The Mines Golf Course, Grand Rapids (public). Opening: July.
Although only five minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, the former gypsum excavation that took place here thirty years ago gave rise to unique landforms and elevation changes normally associated with courses in northern Michigan. Also uncommon is the shared fairway between the fifth and ninth holes, a vast greensward uninterrupted by trees or rough. Salvaged mine-shaft timbers serve as directional signs, and other relics adorn the clubhouse.
Architect: Mike DeVries. Yardage: 6,744. Par: 70. Greens Fees: $45-$50. Tee Times: 616-791-7544, theminesgolfcourse.com.
Hamlet Willow Creek Golf & Country Club, Mt. Sinai (public). Opening: July.
The combination of open, level terrain and abundant ponds brings Florida to mind, but the often blustery conditions near the north shore of Long Island and the small, tricky greens give this course (located sixty miles from Manhattan) a bit of the New York attitude. The drama that unfolds at the sixteenth hole, a peninsula-green par three that runs alongside the clubhouse, can be followed from the windows of the pro shop, restaurant and ballroom.
Architect: Stephen Kay. Yardage: 6,611. Par: 71. Greens Fees: $55-$70. Tee Times: 631-928-3680, hamletwillowcreek.com.
The Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club, Humble (public). Opening: August 1.
Next April, the PGA Tour's Shell Houston Open will move from Redstone's Members course to this one, a level-land Rees Jones design toughened up with plentiful woods, wetlands and gaping greenside bunkers that practically guarantee dreaded long bunker shots. Upon the advice of consultant David Toms, several holes were shortened to emphasize shot making and crowd-pleasing eagle opportunities.
Architect: Rees Jones. Yardage: 7,450. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $125-$140. Tee Times: 281-459-7820, redstonegolfclub.com.
The Norman Course at Lansdowne Resort, Lansdowne (resort). Opening: July.
Unlike its sister course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Greg Norman's layout features several holes located so close to the Potomac that errant shots can easily end up in the river, across the Maryland state line. The final four holes, which measure exactly 1,760 yards and conclude with a 663-yard par five and a 247-yard par three over water, are being billed as "the hardest mile in golf."
Architect: Greg Norman. Yardage: 7,332. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $135-$145. Tee Times: 877-509-8400, lansdowneresort.com.
Northern Bay Golf Resort & Marina, Arkdale (resort). Opening: August 1.
Nine of the eighteen holes here replicate several of the country's most famous, including the thirteenth and sixteenth at Augusta National, the first at Pebble Beach and the island-green seventeenth at the Stadium course at Sawgrass. But it's Northern Bay's original holes, featuring dramatic elevation changes and corridors carved from a pine forest, that purists will love.
Architect: Tour 18 Design Group. Yardage: 7,100. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $75. Tee Times: 866-784-2291, nbfun.com.
Course of the Month
Sunday River Golf Club Newry, Maine. Opening: July 24.
Unlike most mountain courses, this new one at the Sunday River ski resort, ninety minutes northwest of Portland, was blessed with sandy soil that could be smoothed out to eliminate awkwardly steep lies. The extrawide fairways, fescue- fringed waste areas and massive greens are also atypical, though the stunning views of the Mahoosuc Range and four hundred feet of elevation change offer vivid reminders that you're far from sea level.
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr. Yardage: 7,130. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $125. Tee Times: 207-824-4653, sundayriver.com.