It is estimated there are 50 million golfers in the world and now these golfers have a newly discovered destination for tee time according to the International Association of Golf Tour Operations (IAGTO). Tasmania has been named the 'Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year' by over 200 of the world's leading golf travel journalists across 36 countries.
How about some good news? This year promises to be a great one for new golf courses. Some are available for play in 2015 and others will debut shortly. Here are some exceptional layouts guaranteed to get any devoted golf traveler excited:
Cape Wickham, King Island, Australia
Set on an island off the southern coast of Australia, this stunning layout is scheduled to open this year. Designed by American golf architect (Greywalls and Kingsley Club), Cape Wickham is predicted to be one of Australia’s top ten courses. Get your camera out as it will have eight holes framed by ocean as well as five other rimming the tee or green.
That’s the question several judges invited to King Island to preview Cape Wickham Golf Links on a windy day in late March will be asking themselves for the next several months as the course grows in over winter ahead of its official opening in November 2015.
Cape Wickham Links, King Island, Tasmania, Australia — “American architect Mike DeVries, best known for his top-ranked Michigan courses — the Kingsley Club and Greywalls at Marquette Golf Club — teamed with Aussie course critic Darius Oliver to create a pulse-racing layout on King Island, located between Tasmania and Melbourne. Highlights include eight holes alongside Bass Strait, a beachside 18th and huge sand dunes and ridges affecting play.”
Cape Wickham (King Island, Australia)—Set on an island off the southern Coast of Australia, Cape Wickham, scheduled to open in 2015, is being designed by American golf architect Mike DeVries, who’s known for his work in northern Michigan (Greywalls and Kingsley Club). Predicted to be one of Australia’s top ten courses, Cape Wickham will have eight holes framed by ocean as well as five others rimming the tee or green.
Siwanoy CC in Bronxville, NY is finishing its fall phase of work. Completion of the restoration will happen in spring, 2015.
It is with great sadness that Enrique Hernandez, our good friend and associate in South America, passed away on June 13, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. Enrique was a great player, winning national amateur championships from the late 1950’s and into the 1990’s. He was a keen observer of the game and truly loved the sport. His knowledge of Argentine and South American golf will be missed, but mostly I will miss his friendship.
Strike it far and sure, Enrique!
Your friend always,
King Island, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA
Cape Wickham is a unique and beautiful place, remote today but even more so when its famous lighthouse was built in 1861 to warn seafarers of the treacherous waters of the Bass Strait. The golf course is located next to the lighthouse and the iconic structure is visible from throughout the golf course and is prominent from the clubhouse view.
The land the site occupies is amazingly diverse in how the golf holes and features interact with the ocean. Eight full holes play along the coast while three other green sites and three other tees are adjacent to the water. Importantly, holes attack the water from all different directions of the compass and at various heights to the sea, from the clifftop 1st to the 18th’s beach, while the 16th tees are perched on rocks at the seashore and the 11th is practically in the Bass Strait at both tee and green.
To have the opportunity to work on a traditional links golf course in such a beautiful setting is a dream come true. To take advantage of all this project had to offer, Mike DeVries brought his family over to King Island for 6 months in 2013 to build the course. The chance to experience a distant land and culture by all was unforgettable and one we will treasure all our lives.
Visit the course’s website at http://capewickham.com.au/ to learn the latest from this great new course.
“Everybody who plays this game has heard of Dr Alister MacKenzie. Hardly anyone has heard of David Edel. But a throwaway line over a post-round drink in Argentina a decade ago could see the names of these two inextricably linked for generations to come.”
GOLF AUSTRALIA, October 2010
Read the article to find out how DeVries Designs are involved in bringing this lost course to life. Golf Australia, October 2010: MacKenzie’s Lost Designs (PDF)
Check out the Golf Club Atlas website for reviews and discussions on courses and all things golf course architecture related. A group of 35 from this site came together to play Kingsley (with smaller contingencies at Greywalls and the Mines prior to Kingsley) in late June.
“Like a pitcher that changes speeds, I thought Kingsley was a great example of a course constantly varying the challenge from hole to hole.” — JASON TOPP
Since then, there has been some good discussions on the courses – click here to see what they are saying. Or, if you’d like to participate in the thread click here.
On Golfweek’s 2010 BEST COURSES You Can Play for Michigan, Greywalls is #2, Pilgrim’s Run is #18, and the Mines stays at #19. Nice to see continued support and enthusiasm for these fine courses. If they had a national listing for courses under $30, Diamond Springs would certainly be a worthy candidate for that list.
Darius Oliver, author of the critically acclaimed Planet Golf and Planet Golf USA books, has started Planet Golf On-line, a website to provide the “Definitive Reference to the World’s Greatest Golf Courses” and the “Internet’s most authoritative source for unbiased and accurate golf course information.” In developing this site and its accompanying Global Golf Group, Oliver has identified only nine Quality Endorsed Designers, and Mike DeVries is among that select group.
“Mike DeVries is one of those rare modern course architects who not only understands the principals of great design but is also able to personally shape the features that make golf courses so appealing. His ability to work with natural ground contours enables him to produce original layouts that are sustainable, attractive, fun to play and constantly engaging.”
Golfweek magazine’s annual “GolfWeek’s Best” issue sees Greywalls jump up to #79 on the Top 100 Modern Courses, while Kingsley is stable at #19 in the country. These courses continue to be recognized for their fun, playable, and exciting golf.
A shot of the 5th green at Greywalls is featured on the cover of the magazine’s annual “GolfWeek’s Best” issue, which lists the country’s top 100 courses in Classical (pre-1960) and Modern (post-1960) eras. Greywalls debuts at #92 in the country, joining Kingsley, which is at #20 and has been a staple on the modern list for many years.
In the listing for public access courses in Michigan, Greywalls is #3, Pilgrim’s Run is #17, and the Mines debuts at #19 for the state.
Traverse City’s Mike DeVries has gone from mowing fairways at Frankfort’s tony Crystal Downs to designing some of Northern Michigan’s sweetest links. This year GolfWeek Magazine named the DeVries-designed Greywalls course in Marquette No. 3 in the state, and Kingsley Club, just south of Traverse City, No. 20 of the Best Modern Courses in the nation. We caught up with the wunderkind between trips to Texas, where he’s carrying out the decades-lost design of a course MacKenzie masterminded in 1930.
Since 1926, the Marquette Golf Club on the north shore of Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula has provided some of the most scenic golf in the Midwest. With the opening of Greywalls, the most talked about new course in the Great Lakes region in 2005, the next chapter in golf history at Marquette has begun - and it promises to be an illustrious one.