Perhaps the noblest of the London-area heathland courses, this charming, tree-lined track is dotted with heather patches and ingeniously placed bunkers.
Robertson, 1842/Old Tom Morris, 1872/James Braid, 1926 26. The best of these may well be the par-4 15th that runs along an inlet with an adjacent dune ridge.
Gigantic sand dunes, Pacific Ocean panoramas and superb risk/reward variety are highlights, as well as unforgettable individual holes such as the par-3 second and par-5 17th.
Lahinch (Old) Lahinch, Ireland Old Tom Morris, 1894/Alister Mac Kenzie, 1927 42. At times the tumbling terrain resembles Scotland's Gleneagles.
Royal Birkdale Southport, England George Lowe Jr., 1889/Fred Hawtree, 1932 33. Cape Kidnappers Hawke's Bay, New Zealand Tom Doak, 2004 41. Following events such as the 2004 Ryder Cup and 2008 PGA Championship won by Padraig Harrington, the brilliant Donald Ross routing and beguiling green contouring has restored its status to "great," as opposed to "hard." Nine Bridges' appeal starts with its tranquil setting, with holes etched into pine-clad, rolling topography in the shadows of Mount Halla, at 6,000 feet, Korea's tallest mountain.
Kingston Heath Melbourne, Australia Dan Soutar 1925/Alister Mac Kenzie, 1928 29. Pete Dye's personal favorite of all of his designs, Teeth of the Dog is flat-out gorgeous, with seven holes practically sunk into the Caribbean Sea. Despite its intimidating name, Teeth of the Dog entrances, starting with its superior collection of par-3s.
Still, it's nature's fairway contouring and architect Tom Doak's virtuoso skill in designing green complexes that elevate the course.
One of the world's Top 10 when it comes to eye-candy views, the back nine in particular at Cape Kidnappers boasts a sequence of staggeringly dramatic holes, starting with the tiny seaside par-3 13th and peaking with the 650-yard, par-5 15th which falls away on both sides of the fairway and which sports a horizon green that's perched precariously on a bluff overlooking the sea.