The Old Course, St Andrews Links

Have Passport, Will Golf
CL readers have a serious yen for the land down under. They’ve voted two courses from Australia onto the International List (New South Wales and Kingston Heath) and two from New Zealand (Kauri Cliffs Golf Course and Cape Kidnappers), proving that distance is no impediment to the
serious golf traveler.

Top 20 International
1. The Old Course, St Andrews Links,Scotland

2. Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

3. The Fairmont Banff Springs GolfCourse, Canada
(866) 540-4406,

4. The Gleneagles Hotel (King’sCourse), Scotland
(866) 881-9525,

5. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler GolfCourse, Canada
(800) 606-8244,

6. Dundonald Links, Scotland

7. Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol,Mexico (877) 703-4394,

8. Carnoustie (Championship Course),Scotland

9. Ballybunion Golf Club (The OldCourse), Ireland

10. The Green Monkey, Barbados
(246) 444-2000,

11. The Lodge at Doonbeg, CountyClare, Ireland

12. Ocean Club Golf Course, Bahamas(888) 528-7157,

13. The K Club (Palmer Course), Ireland011-353-1601-7200,

14. Kauri Cliffs Golf Course,New Zealand 011-64-9-407-0010,

15. Cruden Bay Golf Club, Scotland

16. Kingston Heath Golf Club, Australia011-61-3-8558-2700,

17. Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland
(800) 441-1391,

18. Old Head Golf Links, Ireland011-353-21-4778444,

19. New South Wales Golf Club,Australia 011-61-2-9661-4455,

20. Highlands Links Golf Course,Cape Breton, Canada (tie)
(800) 441-1118,

20. La Cana Golf Course,Dominican Republic (tie)
(888) 442-2262,
The Farm, the luxury accommodations at Cape Kidnappers, may have lent a hand, but Tom Doak’s dramatic cliffside design overlooking Hawke’s Bay took a serious run at first place this year.

The Old Course at St Andrews LINKS continues its reign, however, and the new 48-hour ballot should make it easier for visitors to plan their play at other area courses (like the castle Course, one of our Editors’ Mentions), lest they fall short in the lottery. (Advance bookings are
already oversubscribed for The Old Course this summer, though tour specialists probably have some tee times set aside.)

Readers also have a yen for Canada’s master designer, the late Stanley Thompson, returning his Rocky Mountain masterpiece to the list, THE Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course. At the other end of the country, located within the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, is another gorgeous Thompson routing, Highlands Links, making its first appearance on the Platinum List while in the midst of a restoration.

With the opening of Cabot Links in Inverness this summer — a course virtually guaranteed to be on the Platinum List ballot in coming years — look for Cape Breton to start heating up as a golf destination. Not as hot as New Zealand, perhaps, but all in good time.