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Play Away: Scintillating Sister Acts

Sibling rivalry stretches all the way from Cain and Abel to Charlotta and Annika. Golf courses also have a rich history of one sib being overshadowed by another, sometimes unfairly. Here are twenty tracks from around the world generally considered to be sidekicks that deserve far more respect, each colored green with envy.

1 Winged Foot Golf Club (East), Mamaroneck, NY (1923, private) Significantly shorter yet nearly as challenging as the celebrated West, its 2006 U.S. Open-hosting kin, A. W. Tillinghast's East offers more variety, water hazards and charm.

2 Baltusrol Golf Club (Upper), Springfield, NJ (1922, private) Relatively untouched compared with its in-vogue sister, the Lower, this Tillie gem has hosted the men's and women's U.S. Opens, traverses more hilly terrain and sports a tougher-to-par closer.

3 Blackwolf Run (Meadow Valleys), Kohler, WI (1988, resort) Hewn from the same steep ravines and postglacial ridges as Pete Dye's River, nine of his Meadow Valleys holes were used at the infamously challenging 1998 U.S. Women's Open, including Salmon Trap, the brutal 458-yard par-four eighteenth.

4 Princeville Resort (Makai), Kauai, HI (1973, resort) Half as demanding as its Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed brother, the Prince, but twice as playful, this twenty-seven-holer entrances with holes like Woods #7 and its black-lava-rock "Zen" bunker.

5 Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (Ghost Creek), North Plains, OR (1992, public) Tiger won an Amateur and Nancy lost an Open at its private sis, Witch Hollow, but this Robert Cupp layout, where David Duval captured the 1993 Nike Tour Championship, boasts better finishers on both nines.

6 World Woods Golf Club (Rolling Oaks), Brooksville, FL (1993, public) Pine Barrens' Pine Valley-like facade steals the thunder, but Tom Fazio routed Rolling Oaks more seamlessly into the terrain, making for a vastly enjoyable romp through nature.

7 Troon North Golf Club (Pinnacle), Scottsdale, AZ (1996, semiprivate) Tom Weiskopf's solo effort is usually ranked behind the Monument he created with Jay Morrish, but it's tougher, more dramatic, more boldly bunkered and offers greater options off the tee and extra deception around the greens.

8 Firestone Country Club (North), Akron, OH (1969, private) Bert Way's South is a stern final exam; the North, an RTJ Sr. creation, is a pop quiz full of whimsy and water and was an exciting fill-in at the 1994 World Series of Golf when the South was ailing.

9 Olympia Fields Country Club (South), Olympia Fields, IL (1916, private) Willie Park Jr.'s North got this year's Open, but the South (by Tom Bendelow) has many proponents due to its classic routing, splendid terrain and several arresting holes, such as the drive-and-pitch par-four sixth.

10 Pinehurst (No. 8), Pinehurst, NC (1996, resort) It can't touch No. 2 for history, but Tom Fazio's No. 8 has more beauty, variety and memorable holes, along with eighteen tributes to Donald Ross's crowned greens.

1 Royal Melbourne Golf Club (East), Black Rock, Australia (1932, private) Dr. Alister Mackenzie's West is a classic, but six of Alex Russell's East holes—each featuring terrifyingly firm greens and artfully sculpted bunkers—are included in the club's Composite course, a tournament layout ranked among the world's top three by Greg Norman and Ben Crenshaw.

2 Sunningdale Golf Club (New), Sunningdale, England (1922, semiprivate) Conventional wisdom rates Willie Park's Old higher, owing much to Bobby Jones's famous sixty-six in 1926. But the less attractive New is the better modern test, and its H. S. Colt design is truer to the heathland setting.

3 Gleneagles Hotel (The Queen's), Gleneagles, Scotland (1924, resort) This James Braid creation is the shortest yet most stunningly pretty of Gleneagles' triumvirate; it harmonizes perfectly with its landscape yet serves up delightfully quirky holes in abundance.


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