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Top 100 Golf Courses "BiteSize" – June 2018

The US Open held at Shinnecock Hills earlier this month was compelling to say the least. When last year’s event was drawing to a close at Erin Hills, the grimaces were not on the faces of the players they were on the faces of USGA officials. This year, on Saturday, the organisation shot themselves in the foot, but on Sunday Brooks Koepka provided the perfect counterpoint. M. James Ward was reporting at the scene:

Behind the architectural curtain - 2018 US Open
Shinnecock's superb short holes - 118th US Open
Will Shinnecock Hills show fear or frivolity?
Koepka defends US Open title at Shinnecock Hills

Hopefully the R&A will not make similar misjudgements next month when the 147th Open heads to Carnoustie for the eighth time.

Also this month we’ve rolled out phase five of our US Best In State rankings for the eight states in the South Atlantic Division. Richard Smith and his wife Ruth visit the Sandhills of North Carolina to sample five of the best designs outside the Pinehurst Resort while M. James Ward takes a look at some of the quality public golfing options on Long Island and asks Bill Coore a few questions while revealing the USGA opts for coastal locations for the US Open until at least 2028.

Over in Europe we take a look at four flourishing courses in Flanders, discover some great golf in the north of Poland near Gdańsk and realise there’s more than just golf to be enjoyed in the Swiss Alps.

US South Atlantic Division Best in State Rankings 2018

Our Best in State biennial re-ranking exercise for the USA reaches the halfway stage with this news release for the eight South Atlantic states of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. This region has seventeen courses currently occupying positions in our US Top 100, making it one of the nation’s strongest golfing territories.

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The Sandhills – high-class designs outside Pinehurst

The Pinehurst area in the Sandhills of North Carolina offers a number of high-class golf courses at a reasonable price, so Richard Smith and his wife Ruth travelled the 350 miles from their home in Knoxville to this historic golfing area to sample five of the best layouts that lie outside the confines of the fabled Pinehurst Resort.

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Quality public options abound – the lure of Long Island golf

The return for the 5th time of the US Open to iconic Shinnecock Hills earlier this month once again placed the spotlight on the qualities of Long Island golf. That focus has often featured an array of stellar courses but far too often the category has only included the elite private clubs. Beyond the private side there's a public golf component that often gets lost in the shadows.

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Four flourishing golf courses in Flanders

Already well known for its culture and gastronomy, Flanders is something of an unknown quantity when it comes to golf but, with more than fifty courses to choose from, a round of golf is never far away from a good bite to eat and a great beer. The vibrant cities of Antwerp, Brussels and Bruges are all within striking distance of these golf courses so they’re easily accessible by land, sea and air.

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Gdańsk – great golf in the north of Poland

Northern Poland is perhaps not the first European destination to spring to mind when considering an overseas golf trip but there’s a lot of good golf going on around the port city of Gdańsk – where thousands of Scandinavian golfers fly into every year – so we recently travelled there to see what the region had to offer.

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Swiss Alps – a golf destination and much more

Would we suggest a golf holiday in Switzerland? Probably not. Would we recommend a holiday in Switzerland and then play some golf while there? Oh yes, with great big cowbells on! This was Andy’s first visit to Switzerland and he thoroughly enjoyed the national culture which focuses on the finer things in life.

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Q & A with Bill Coore

Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore are among the world's finest golf course creators, reshaping classical golf architecture with some of the finest modern designs including the likes of Sand Hills in Nebraska and Friar's Head on Long Island. Earlier this month M. James Ward interviewed Bill Coore ahead of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills where the duo act as course consultants.

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USGA opts for coastal locations - heartland hostings on hold

The selection of future US Open sites provides a fascinating behind the scenes understanding of how the United States Golf Association seeks to position its most important event. From this year through the 2027 event at Pebble Beach the US Open will be staged primarily in either east or west coast time zones – central and mountain time zones will not host a US Open until at least 2028.

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Review of the Month May 2018 – Royal Cinque Ports

Deal is as good as I remembered. I have changed and so has Deal, new bunker construction here and there but by and large it is as good and spectacular a place to play today as it ever was. I appreciate it more now, each time I am lucky enough to go back.

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