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Rickie Fowler: What’s In The Bag?
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Kyle Phillips burst onto the scene just under two decades ago with his acclaimed creation at Kingsbarns. His ability to craft a world-class golf course out of what was gently undulating farmland, catapulted the designer into the big time. Since his maiden solo success, Phillips has been responsible for some of the world’s most exciting new designs. Guaranteed to make for a memorable round, Phillips is synonymous with creating authentic links courses with a modern twist.
Here are five of our favourites:
Kingsbarns is about as close to heaven as it gets. Just ten minutes from St Andrews, the crown jewel in Kyle Phillips’s ever-expanding portfolio played host to its first major championship, the Ricoh Women’s British Open, earlier this year.
The players were unsurprisingly full of praise for his ingenious design. Awe-inspiring views of the North Sea greet the player at every turn, including at the signature par-3 15th, where the golfer must hold their nerve to play over a rocky inlet, with the green sticking out precariously into the ocean.
Despite only opening in 2000, Kingsbarns is a true links which has the pedigree to match Scotland’s most celebrated courses. It’s hard to believe that thousands of tons of earth were moved in the design process. That only makes today’s offering more impressive. Kingsbarns is one of the best courses on the planet. Even with the hefty green fees, everyone should play this Scottish gem at least once in their lifetime.
Kyle Phillips involvement in a course’s design is normally a sure sign of its quality. This is certainly the case for the Links Course, which after ten years in the planning process, opened to much acclaim in 2009. The layout, which forms part of the 45-hole complex at the PGA of Sweden National Golf Resort, is more reminiscent of a Scottish links than a course typically found in Scandinavia. Nonetheless it retains an extremely natural feel. This is perhaps surprising considering the amount of earth shifted during the shaping process. In fact, despite being ten kilometres from the coast it’s hard to believe you haven’t been transported back to golf’s homeland. Ranked among Europe‘s top 100 courses, the design looks set to rise further as it matures.
Located just outside Malmo, the acclaimed complex is easily accessible from across Sweden, as well as Northern Europe.
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then you’ve come to the right place.
Set in 300 acres of beautiful county estate, The Grove is one of the finest luxury golf resorts in Britain. Opened in 2003 to rave reviews, the 7,152-yard layout played host to the 2016 British Masters, and has quickly become one of the most talked about courses in England.
An expert at sculpting land to make dramatic and memorable holes, Phillips has done an inspired job at the Hertfordshire venue. So much so that within three years of opening the course welcomed the world’s best golfers for the WGC, famously won by Tiger Woods.
A pay-and-play course, The Grove is renowned for its friendly welcome. The resort also houses a 5* Hotel, spa, and a selection of fantastic dining options.
Kyle Phillips has made quite a habit of creating world-class links courses. Routed along the Arabian Gulf, this is certainly the case at the Middle East’s first links course, Yas Links.
Located in Abu Dhabi, this outstanding layout, which opened for play in 2010, has helped the thriving city carve a reputation as a must-visit golf destination.
Neighbouring the Formula One Grand Prix racing track, it is certainly a masterpiece. The course is in fact so reminiscent of the best links in the UK that if it wasn’t for the weather it might be hard to believe you weren’t in Scotland.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable golf course that will leave golfers of all levels smiling as they walk from the final green to the luxurious clubhouse.
Verdura was described as paradise by Álvaro Quirós on his way to victory at the Rocco Forte Open in May. With two sublime Kyle Phillips designs, and a 5* experience to rival any resort in Italy, it’s hard to disagree.
Ranked as one of the finest layouts in Continental Europe, the East Course offers uninterrupted views of the azure waters of the Mediterranean. A traditional out-and-back layout, the course boasts some of the most picturesque holes on the European Tour.
Meanwhile the West Course provides the ideal complement and features one of the most memorable finishes anywhere in the world.
Kyle Phillips also designed an outstanding nine-hole par-three course at the resort. Set in 230 hectares of stunning landscape the European Tour destination enjoys 1.8km of private coastline. The Sicilian venue has won ‘Editors’ Choice Award for Best International Resorts’ by Golf Digest for the past two consecutive years.