Famous Golf Courses

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The first recorded international golf match was played between the Duke of York and an English nobleman in 1682. Andrew Dickson, who carried the clubs of the Duke of York, is the first recorded caddy. A golf course requires more land than most of the other sports fields. Essentials for a golf course include: a teeing ground which usually extends two club lengths and is the starting point; a fairway, which is the area between the tee box and putting green and where the grass is cut even and short and is considered advantageous for the golfer. The area between the fairway and the green as well as between the fairway and out of bounds is called the ‘rough’ and is considered disadvantageous for the player. A golf course comprises a series of ‘holes’ which include special areas called ‘hazards’ usually of two types; the water hazards like lakes, ponds, and rivers, and the bunkers or sand traps. The creation of a golf course is a specialist’s job and requires someone who is well aware of the ins and outs of golf, is well versed with the environmental aspects, is a good architect, and is well equipped with landscaping skills.

1.  The Old Course

The Old Course
The Old Course

Located in St. Andrews, Scotland, U.K., the Old Course is one of the most famous golf courses in the world. It was established in 1552 and is owned by the St. Andrews Links Trust. It is 18 holes, 72 par golf course measuring 7,305 yards in length. James II of Scotland banned golf in 1457 in consideration of the people’s lack of interest in archery due to their inclination towards golf. Other kings of Scotland held the ban till it was lifted in 1502 by King James IV of Scotland who himself became a golfer. Facing bankruptcy in 1797, the town council of St. Andrews allowed rabbit farming on the course which came to an end after 20 years of legal cases between the golfers and the rabbit farmers.

2. Mission Hills Shenzhen

Mission Hills Shenzhen
Mission Hills Shenzhen

Located in Shenzhen, China, the Mission Hills Golf Club was established in 1992 as a private facility. It is a 12-course, 18-hole golf resort with a total of 216 holes. Guiness World Records accredited it as the world’s largest golf facility in 2004. Nanshan Golf Courses in Shandog, Northern China with 279 holes have applied to the Guiness Book of Records to break the Mission Hills’ record. The International Golf Federation agreed with the People’s Government of Shenzhen to allow it to host the 1995 World Cup of Golf Final tournament in China. It was the first international golf tournament in China. This golf course has been visited by the celebrities, Royalties, political leaders, businessmen, and top-class golfers including; Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen, Zhang Lianwei, and Annika.

3. Pebble Beach

The Pebble Beach Club
The Pebble Beach Club

The Pebble Beach Club located in Big Sur County, California is an 18-hole course and is regarded as the most beautiful golf course in the world. Golf is particularly enjoyable here because its low temperature is never too low and the highs are never too high yielding the ideal climatic conditions. Dr. Alister Mackenzie, the famous architect of the Augusta National Golf Club, designed this golf course having 18 holes, 72 par, and extends over 6,536 yards. Scenic mountains are a treat for the sight, and the Pacific Ocean is the world’s most famous water hazard at this course.

4. East Hampton Golf Course

East Hampton Golf Course
East Hampton Golf Course

East Hampton Golf Course located at the East Hampton Golf Club facility in East Hampton, New York, U.S. was founded in 1978. It is an 18-hole course, 71 par, extending over 4,712 yards. It was designed by the Hall of Fame golfers Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. Having completed it, Ben Crenshaw remarked, ‘We had a good time designing East Hampton and think the layout presents a challenging mix of holes.’ The idea of this golf course was conceived by Pete Bistrian, a potato farmer since the 1940s. It is considered a super elitist golf course, and its membership is exclusively by invitation only. The potential member is required to declare ‘I am an individual (not a partnership, corporation, etc.) whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with my spouse, presently exceeds $1,000,000 exclusive of home, furnishings, and automobiles’¦’

5. Yas Links

Yas Links
Yas Links

The Yas Links is an 18-hole, 72 par golf course extending over 7,450 yards. It is located at the west shores of the Yas Island Developments on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. Yas Island has an optimal environment for a golf course. It is a coastal habitat for many unique birds and marine life. It was designed by the famous golf course architect Kyle Phillips. The course layout is set in the perspective of the Arabian Gulf. It contains over 100 bunkers.

6. The Legends Golf & Country Resort

The Legends Golf & Country Resort
The Legends Golf & Country Resort

The Legends Golf & Country Resort is located in Sedenak, Johor, Malaysia. It is set on 1,200 acres and very easily accessible, though it is far enough from the city’s hustle and bustle, providing an excellent environment for enjoyable golf. The international golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer designed this complex. The Jack Nicklaus Golf Course is 18 holes, 72 par, and a 7,338 yard golf course. It was opened for play in June, 1997. It is considered one of the top three golf courses in Asia. In addition to the world class golf course designed by the golf legend Jack Nicklaus, the complex also includes an equestrian center and a fishing lake.

7. Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf Club, one of the most famous golf clubs, was founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. It was opened for play in 1933 and has played host to the Annual Masters Tournament. Golf Digest in its 2009 list of ‘America’s 100 Greatest Courses’ ranked it number 1. Originally, the course was a plant nursery. Therefore, all the 18 holes are named after plants as: 1. Tea Olive, 2. Pink Dogwood, 3. Flowering Peach, 4. Flowering Crab Apple, 5. Magnolia, 6. Juniper, 7. Pampas, 8. Yellow Jasmine, 9. Carolina Cherry, 10. Camellia, 11. White Dogwood, 12. Golden Bell, 13. Azalea, 14. Chinese Fir, 15. Fire Thorn, 16. Redbud, 17. Nandina,
18. Holly. Its notable members include: General Eisenhower, Condoleeza Rice, Bill Gates, Pete Coors, and Sam Palmisano.

8. Leopard Creek

 Leopard Creek
Leopard Creek

Leopard Creek is located near Malelane in the center of Mpumalanga to the southern border of the world famous National Kuger Park. The complex is bordered to the north and west by the scenic Crocodile River. It is an 18-hole, 72 par golf course designed by Gary Player. The 505 meters 13th hole is a distinguished and memorable hole. It is a 6,631 meters long golf course. Bent grass has been used for the greens while Kikuyu grass has been used for the fairway. Leopard Creek Golf Course works in close coordination with the National Kruger Park authorities. It is home to more than 200 bird species and also the 5 big cats that can be viewed from open land rovers in the company of qualified game rangers.

9. The Pine Valley Golf Club

The Pine Valley Golf Club
The Pine Valley Golf Club

The Pine Valley Golf Club located in Pine Valley, New Jersey, U.S was established in 1913. It is a private, 18 holes, 70 par, and 6,999 meters golf course. It was designed by George Arthur Crump, Harry Colt, Charles Hugh Alison, A.W. Tillinghast, and Perry Maxwell. In 2009, it was at number one in Golf Magazine’s ‘100 Top Courses in the U.S.’ It is an enjoyable, private golf course, but the non-members can play only when invited and accompanied by a member.

10. Muirfield Village Golf Club

Muirfield Village Golf Club
Muirfield Village Golf Club

Muirfield Village Golf Club is located in Dublin, Ohio. It is an 18-hole, 7,221-yard golf course with the longest tees for a par of 72. Bent grass is used in the course greens. It was designed by Jack Nicklaus, and it was opened for playing in 1974. It is spread over 220 acres including an 11-acre driving range. Originally it had 77 bunkers while currently there are 71. Nicklaus scored a 6 under par 66 which remained a record until 1979. Golf Digest rated it at number 17 on the list of ‘America’s 100 Greatest Courses.’

Conclusion:

Golf is an outdoor, recreational activity which had been also considered, by some, as an elitist, racial, and snobbish activity on account of the racial discrimination as demonstrated by Clifford Roberts to whom is attributed a saying ‘As long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white, and all the caddies will be black.’ Scott Werner, a caddy at the super elite East Hampton Golf Club revealed the truth about his rich clients whose membership fee begins at $400,000 saying ‘They aren’t particularly skilled when it comes to playing 18 holes.’

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