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Bandon Preserve PHOTO: WOOD SABOLD


New golf course openings are down, but their quality is stellar


onnoisseurs of new golf courses will perhaps look back at the last four


years as the nadir of their hobby, with


2011 representing the absolute low point. Accord- ing to the National Golf Foundation, the industry’s primary stats keeper, merely 15 courses opened nation- wide last year as compared to more than 400 just 12 years ago. That year (2000), 10 courses alone opened in Northern California. But 2012 will wit- ness the first new course in the region since 2008. Tom Weiskopf ’s Langtry Farms, in Napa Valley, is an 18-hole links-style layout routed over one of the largest contiguous private land holdings in the


region (22,000 acres). “The property at Langtry Farms allowed me to go back in time to create a golf course reminiscent in character and design of the classics that have been respected and admired since the turn of the 20th century,” Weiskopf said. ” The routing, com- bined with a unique bunker style, allowed us to integrate the natural features of this spectacular piece of prop- erty. It was obvious from the beginning that a minimalist approach to earth moving would bring out the best of each hole.” Five sets of tees ranging


from 5,167 yards to 7,247 and a comprehensive prac- tice facility will appeal to any player. Additonally the course boasts forced carries on 14 holes, 62 bunkers and


BY SCOTT SEWARD


native grasses. Five-time PGA Tour champion and three-time Ryder Cup team member Johnny Pott is the director of golf. Golf at the private Langtry Farms is available by invitation to guests at Auberge du Soleil, Calistoga Ranch and Solage Calistoga resorts in Napa Valley, and to owners of the Residences at Calistoga Ranch and members of Club Solage. Other new courses close


to California make 2012 a memorable vintage, perhaps best exemplified by the debut of Bandon Preserve, the fifth course at Bandon Dunes Resort. Created by Bandon Trails’ designers Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the layout is a par-3 course comprised of 13 holes routed to


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