Courses That Should Host a Major, but Never Will!
With the growth of the game globally it seems slightly absurd that we don't have a major on mainland Europe or Asia or South America. We've already picked out some deserving candidates in the UK and United States.
So, what if the majors did not necessarily have to take place in their traditional locations? Which courses would make the grade?
Check out this list of a further 10 courses that really deserve to host a major competition, but very likely never will
10. Koninklijke Haagsche, Netherlands
This course will really please the links traditionalists and it is arguably one of the best links courses in mainland Europe. Located on a stretch of North Sea coastline, Koninklijke Haagsche has everything you would expect from a links course. The Harry Colt and C.H.Alison design makes outstanding use of the naturally undulating dune landscape, with each hole offering a completely different view and a surprising new challenge.
There is also so much to do for the spectators who would attend the event as the course is located near to Den Haag. Known as the “Legal Capital of the World”, thanks to landmarks such as the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Course, there are several landmarks to explore, including regular music festivals.
9. The Links at Fancourt, South Africa
The Links at Fancourt is excellently sculpted into what Gary Player described as his greatest feat as a course designer. The undulating, windswept terrain and dune-style landscape deservedly was voted number one in the country by Golf Digest South Africa.
The fantastic design and beautiful scenery on offer at this course has seen it host several huge tournaments such as the Presidents Cup (2003), the SA Open (2005) and the Volvo Golf Championships (2012), meaning it has the capability to host large tournaments, so why not a major?
8. Casa de Campo (Teeth of the dog), Dominican Republic
The Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo is Pete Dye’s signature course at this resort and it is perhaps the best course in the Caribbean. It is pretty apparent from the name of this course that it is a tough test of golf and if you dare challenge it, your efforts will be rewarded with 18 majestic holes of golf.
Ranked as the 39th best course in the world, the Teeth of the Dog is meticulously hand carved from the rugged rock and coral of the Dominican coastline, with seven of the holes running right along the ocean. It would be incredible to see how the professional’s go about tackling this, especially when the Dog is biting back.
7. Shanqin Bay, China
This outstanding course in China is constructed in a manner like no other and really is the benchmark for those still to come. Located in the south east of Hainan Island, many of the world’s top designers turned down the opportunity to take on the challenge of designing this course due to the extremely challenging nature of the topography. But step forward Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, who turned this incredible landscape into one of the finest masterpieces in the world.
Each hole offers a unique challenge at Shanqin Bay, including a variety of landforms such as cliffs, chasms, dunes and dense vegetation. If a major were to be held at this golf club, it would definitely help grow the game around the world.
6. Diamante (Dunes), Mexico
This course, on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, features a spectacular dune landscape and will blow away everyone’s perception of resort golf. Voted as the 52nd best course in the World, this Davis Love III and architect Paul Cowley design really is an exceptional test of golf reminiscent of a Scottish Links course.
The course sees 84 acres of paspalum-grassed fairways weave around a series of huge sand hills and the difficulty of the challenge really is a testament to the architects at Love Golf Design. The back nine measures at a lengthy 4,010 yards and when the wind blows, it can often feel even longer.
5. Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
This beautiful golf course stretches along the breathtaking Hawkes Bay coastline and offers possibly the most scenic and awe-inspiring setting of any golf course in the world. However, don’t let the natural beauty of this design put you off, Cape Kidnappers still offers an exceptional test of golf that requires great accuracy and precision.
A lot of the holes run along fingers of land with vast drops down to the ocean below waiting to collect any ball hit off line. Despite only opening in 2004, this spectacular course in New Zealand has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels. The course is a true test of golf and thanks to its setting, it is one of the best looking courses in the world.
4. Hirono Golf Club, Japan
Consistently voted as the best course in Japan and Asia, Hirono Golf Club really does test the quality of approach play. Charles H. Alison designed the course and it quickly made its way to the top of the rankings thanks to its outstanding natural beauty and quirky design of holes.
His strategic layout makes its way across several stunning landforms and is complimented by greens that are tilted to make it harder to stop your ball on the putting surface. Bunkers are strategically placed on both the fairways and surrounding the greens and this course really does reward bold driving with better angles for approach shots. It is the par-3s that really stand out here and in particular the 13th hole that is reminiscent of the 12th at Augusta National, but much more natural and dramatic.
The only problem surrounding this course is that it is an ultra-private members club and maybe wouldn’t have the capability or capacity to host a major event.
3. Kingston Heath, Australia
Kingston Heath is regularly in competition with Royal Melbourne in terms of which is the premier course in Australia and there really isn’t much to separate the two. One of the stand out features of this course is the outstanding bunkering by Dr. Alister MacKenzie and it is often describe as the best natural bunkering you could ever encounter. Thanks to the exceptional bunkering, this course is an ultimate example of strategic golf.
In 2009 the course showed how it can cope with the demands of a major tournament when it hosted the Australian Masters. The event was won by Tiger Woods, who couldn’t speak highly enough the course’s incredible sand-belt design. The course has now been chosen to host this year’s World Cup of Golf, which shows the exceptional quality of this course is finally being rewarded.
2. Morfontaine (Grand Parcours), France
Despite only 6,001 metres in length from the back tees, this par 70 golf course is described as the best and toughest golf course in Europe. Designed by Tom Simpson, this course really does require a tactical approach as any wrong club selection could see you in lots of trouble.
White birches line the fairways and surround just about every green on this golf course. The greens are large and feature severe undulations, on top of being well defended by bunkers that are waiting to gather any approach shot that is not perfect. The ever-present trees mean maximum concentration is required from tee to green. It is a shame that Europe’s toughest course doesn’t host a major championship.
1. Royal Melbourne, Australia
This course is regularly described as Dr Alister MacKenzie’s greatest design, despite the fact he never saw it in its completed form. The West Course at Royal Melbourne is acknowledged as the best course in Australia and for many great reasons. The course is full of dramatic undulation and fertile sandy soil to add to its naturally rugged appearance. Similar to Kingston Heath, the course is highlighted by bold bunkering and native grasses that naturally frame each hole and when you add the some of the most consistent putting surfaces in the world, you get a fine test of golf.
In recent years the Composite Course, which is a mix of the East and West courses, has hosted the 2013 Australian Masters, won by Adam Scott, and the 2013 World Cup Individual Trophy, won by Jason Day. Again this shows the club is capable to host a major tournament and as one of the best courses in the world, it really should be given the opportunity to host something bigger, as well as to help grow the game across the world.
There are so many more top golf courses around the world that are both of the quality and have the capability to host a major championship. If you open up some of the biggest tournaments in the world to countries where golf isn’t as popular as it should be, it will help grow the game, which can only be a good thing.