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Among the world’s best new golf courses set to open in 2023 is a replica of a long-lost legend, while a potential world-beater from Jack Nicklaus in Scotland continues construction.
This ‘new’ course is a replica of The Lido, C.B. MacDonald’s long-lost legendary Long Island masterpiece, re-made in Wisconsin. Opened for play in 1917, the original Lido was considered a masterwork held in the same regard as Pine Valley, Shinnecock Hills and National Golf Links. It fell into disrepair and closed for good after World War II.
Tom Doak is in charge of the replica in collaboration with Michael and Chris Keiser, the sons of Bandon Dunes founder Mike Keiser, and the operators of Sand Valley Resort, also in Wisconsin. Doak has drawn on century-old records and contemporary 3-D modelling for the painstaking resurrection. The new Lido will operate as a semi-private club, with some tee times set aside for Sand Valley guests. The course will be ready for play in Spring 2023.
After 12 years of ups and downs, David McLay Kidd’s first design in mainland Europe, Comporta Dunes in Portugal, will open in July 2023. His other designs include Bandon Dunes and the Castle Course at St Andrews. Dunes will be a par-71, links-style layout situated on the coast, one hour south of Lisbon in a quiet setting on the edge of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve.
It will have a new clubhouse and golf academy, while a second golf course, Torre, is in the works which will be a collaboration between Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia. Away from the fairways, an array of lifestyle activities will be available including horse riding, wellness and sailing, with a wide range of plots for hotels, tourist and residential condominiums also on offer. The course and resort is predicted to quickly become of Europe’s must-play golfing venues when it opens.
Two Greg Norman 18-hole championship courses are set to open at a new club in the Phu Tho province of northern Vietnam. Lang Empire Golf Club, the brainchild of T&T Golf, will feature The Prime and The Legend courses, covering 93 hectares and 75 hectares respectively, with both due to host their first rounds in September 2023.
It will be interesting to see what the Australian comes up with. Norman’s design philosophy is inspired by his reverence for classic, traditional designs which use the natural contours of the land, giving each course a unique character. He also believes rather than a course having a signature hole, each hole should stand on its own. “I think Vietnam is the place to realise the dreams of golf course designers,” said Norman. “It’s full of wonderful elements of weather, rivers, and hills. I always hold a firm belief in taking advantage of what nature gives us to design each special golf course in a different way.”
Wicker Point is expected to open in the spring of 2023 and promises to take Alabama golf to a whole new level. Design duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw will design the course, built on the hilly landscape around Lake Martin southeast of Birmingham, one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States. The new course gets its first glimpse of the lake on the par-three eighth hole, but from there it is by the water almost all the way. In fact nine of the 18 holes have water frontage.
The course will feature Zeon Zoysia grass for the approaches, tees, fairways and rough and TifEagle bermuda on the greens accentuated by bunkers with sand native to the area. The Alabamian appearance of the course will be accentuated by longleaf pine plantations, native forests, and the out-of-play areas will be plentiful with native grasses and wildflowers. Wicker Point will be the main feature of a new 1,500-acre residential development called The Heritage.
Stirling & Martin, led by two former Pete Dye associates American Blake Stirling and Spaniard Marco Martin, have designed this new course in Spain‘s capital that’s expected to open in 2023. Residents of Madrid will know the La Finca brand as the exclusive residential estate in the west of the city, preferred by celebrities and superstar footballers.
The new course will cover 75 hectares immediately south of the La Finca neighbourhood close to a huge new residential area of apartments, villas and a shopping centre. The whole new complex is built around ten interconnected lakes that gives the course its name – ‘Los Lagos’ which translates as ‘The Lakes’. 1,800 pinyon pines between four and seven meters high were planted across this highly sustainable design which was built in the form of an auditorium, with many holes on slopes, so that any sporting competition can be seen by the largest possible number of spectators.
Heritage Golf Club in Mauritius will unveil the Indian Ocean’s first and only contemporary links course in 2023 with the opening of La Reserve Golf Links. The new course is located in the beautiful south-west region of Mauritius and will feature panoramic ocean views from every hole. Inspired by the great seaside links of Ireland and Scotland, the course will have elevated tees, raised greens and spectacular views over Mauritius’ tropical bays and southern shores.
Alongside its sister course, Le Chateau, La Reserve Golf Links will become a new host venue for the DP World Tour’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open from 2023. The new course will be reserved for club members and residents of Heritage Golf Club’s two luxury beachside resorts and villas, and was co-designed by 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen alongside course architect Peter Matkovich.
OKOL Lake Park is slated to set new standards for golf in Bulgaria and the Balkan region when it opens in 2023. The resort will feature an 18-hole championship golf course managed by IMG and designed by European Golf Design, the five-star Pullman OKOL Golf Resort & Spa Hotel – which will be managed by Accor – and an array of real estate opportunities.
The golf course is set in the centre of the development, around 1,000 meters above sea level with views of Iskar Lake, the largest in Bulgaria, and the Rila Mountains. Designed by one of EGD’s leading architects Robin Hiseman, it’s laid across alpine meadows with many rock formations featuring throughout the layout. There will be extensive practice facilities and an academy featuring IMG Performance Studios offering the latest in swing analysis and custom-fit technology.
This course is actually due to open in late 2024, but it’s already highly anticipated and has got the golfing world talking. It could become one of the world’s most impressive courses and residential golf communities.
Nicklaus Design and developer FM Group teamed up to launch the first Jack Nicklaus-branded residential golf community in Europe in the town of Stonehaven, Scotland. It will be a huge development of luxury homes at the historic Ury Estate, built around an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course – currently under construction – and the magnificent Ury Castle. Jack’s parkland design, measuring 7,300 yards with views of the sea, circles the castle, part of which will become the clubhouse, and will be long and challenging enough to be tournament-ready.