Nicklaus Design sets record with 65 courses named to Best In State list
Golf Digest clearly understood the meaning of the phrase "an oldie but a goodie" when they returned Sycamore Hills Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in Fort Wayne, Ind., that opened in 1989, to its list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses for 2007-08. Including Sycamore Hills, which made the list at No. 92 and was named the second best course in Indiana on Golf Digest’s Best in State List, Nicklaus Design had seven courses in the top 100–the most by the firm since the 1995 ranking.
Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, came in at No. 18 to top all Nicklaus entries. Castle Pines Golf Club (Castle Rock, Colo.) and Shoal Creek (Ala.), both Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, rounded out the Top 50 on the list for Nicklaus Design at Nos. 36 and 50, respectively.
"In my opinion, Sycamore Hills is one of the finest sites we’ve ever had the opportunity on which to design a golf course." – Jack Nicklaus
The biennial survey by Golf Digest also includes a listing of the Best In State, as well as the 100 Best Courses Outside the United States and a list of the Top Courses in 197 Countries. Nicklaus Design had a record 65 courses make the Best in State list (up 11 from the last survey), including 21 courses ranked in the top five of their respective states. Six of those took top honors–Shoal Creek (Alabama), Castle Pines (Colorado), Valhalla (Kentucky), Muirfield Village (Ohio), Las Campanas-Sunset (New Mexico), and Dalhousie Golf Club (Missouri).
Dalhousie in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and the solo design debut by Gary Nicklaus, is only 5 years old and moved up one spot from the last survey to No. 1, ranking above such venerable layouts as Bellerive and Old Warson.
Mayacama Golf Club (Santa Rosa, Calif.) made its second appearance in the 100 Greatest list, moving up one spot to No. 66, while Valhalla Golf Club (Louisville, Ky.), site of the 2008 Ryder Cup, climbed two spots to No. 68.
Harbour Town Golf Links, a Nicklaus-Pete Dye co-design in Hilton Head Island, S.C., rounded out the Nicklaus entries in the top 100, coming in at No. 93, up four spots from the last survey. Harbour Town also led seven Nicklaus Design entries in the 100 Greatest Public Courses survey by Golf Digest at No. 15. The others were Kauai Lagoons Golf Club (Lihue, Hawaii) at No. 56; Ocean Hammock Golf Club (Palm Coast, Fla.) at No. 57; Great Waters at Reynolds Plantation (Eatonton, Ga.) at No. 97.; Reflection Bay Golf Club (Henderson, Nev.) at No. 99; and Old Works Golf Course (Anaconda, Mont.) at No. 100.
Cap Cana debut highlights Nicklaus entries in global rankings
Proving once again that Nicklaus Design is the world’s leading design firm, Golf Digest recognized as many as 25 Nicklaus courses in their global rankings, including the debut of Punta Espada Golf Club at Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic in 100 Best Courses Outside the United States. Cap Cana, which was one of five Nicklaus courses to make the list (up two from the 2005 survey), entered at No. 77 just seven months after opening for play.
Two of the five entries were from Mexico–Los Cabos to be exact–with the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol at No. 28 and newcomer El Dorado at No. 97. Spring City-Mountain Course in Kunming, China (No. 64) and Sherwood Hills in the Philippines (No. 85) round out the Nicklaus entries.
Golf Digest also recognized 25 Nicklaus Design courses in their listing of the Top Courses in 197 Countries. Nicklaus Design is represented in 29 countries outside of the United States, and in the ranking, Nicklaus was represented in 18 countries. Eight of those courses were ranked first or second in their respective countries.