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Top 100 Golf Courses "BiteSize" – June 2017

The USGA’s huge sigh of relief must have resonated around the globe following their impressive staging of the US Open at Erin Hills earlier this month. Ahead of this year’s second major, Iain Carter, the BBC’s golf correspondent, along with many other news outlets around the world, commented that the governing body for golf in the US was under intense scrutiny as it prepared to stage the tournament. Iain went on to mention that there’s a growing feeling that players are losing patience with the USGA’s ways: ‘Panicky’ USGA needs to impress at Erin Hills

As it turned out, the US Open was one of the least controversial USGA-managed majors in recent years and, once again, a first-time major winner was crowned. The 27-year-old Floridian, Brooks Koepka, joined an elite group of former champions and proved in no uncertain terms that he is one of golf’s many talented young guns with an enviously powerful and classy game. It’s no surprise that Brooks also liked the set-up at Erin Hills: “I love it, obviously. I thought it was a great test.”   

There were losers as well as winners at Erin Hills, and one of our most respected contributors, M. James Ward, was there to witness the action as it unfolded. The 117th US Open marked his 30th time at the event and he kindly allowed us to publish his story: Winners and losers at Erin Hills - 2017 US Open

West Midlands - Top 10 Golf Courses 2017

There are approximately 170 golf clubs spread across the five counties which form our West Midlands region: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Our new regional Top 10 features four courses that are currently ranked in our English Top 100, but only one that is presently placed in our GB&I table and no world-ranked layouts, which may account for this region being overlooked by intrepid, travelling, overseas golfers.

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Zala Springs is our new Hungarian No.1

We try to keep an eye out for golf developments that appear to be a cut above the rest in Central Europe. So when we were invited to inspect a new RTJII course that had recently been unveiled in Hungary, we jumped at the chance. While we were there, we took the opportunity to visit four other top Hungarian layouts and subsequently update our Hungarian rankings twelve months ahead of our normal biennial schedule.

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West Cliffs is set to become Cynthia Dye's global masterpiece

Located an hour’s drive north of Lisbon on Portugal’s spectacular Silver Coast, we take an early look at the new Cynthia Dye-designed West Cliffs, which officially opened its doors on June the 12th. It’s hard to imagine that the ground on which this spectacular layout is routed was covered in dense pine groves, rolling sand dunes and wild vegetation only a couple of years ago.

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The Netherlands – a golf destination of high quality

Last week we visited The Netherlands to sample several old Dutch Masters that aren’t widely recognised beyond the Low Countries. The country’s top seven courses were on the schedule, so we knew we were in for a golfing treat before we touched down in Amsterdam. The company name of Colt, Alison & Morrison Ltd. loomed large at the courses we played and that’s not a coincidence.

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Sotogrande Region – where golfing quality runs deep

Golf in Spain has a strong history and the sport has been incredibly popular for many years now. Established as a golfing destination in Andalucía during the early 1960s, Sotogrande now boasts some of the best courses and resort destinations that Spain has to offer. We stayed at the ideal base for a golf holiday in the region at Almenara, which is just a perfect location with everything you might expect at a top golf resort.

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Steve Carr frames the spirit of the Stadium course at PGA Catalunya

A specially commissioned portfolio of new golf course images, revealed on May 30th 2017 for the first time, perfectly showcases why PGA Catalunya Resort, near Barcelona, is currently regarded as Spain’s No.1 golf course. Shot through the lens of accomplished golf course photographer, Steve Carr, the images capture the beauty and tranquillity of the resort’s Stadium course.

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Review of the Month May 2017 – The Machrie

The course itself is starkly beautiful: close by the sea, treeless, undulating, scrubbed by the wind; and the layout is imaginative, with many memorable holes. Very few bunkers; the lay of the land presents enough of a challenge. As newcomers, there were many places where we’d have to climb up on dunes or on bluffs to see where the heck we were supposed to go.

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