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The World's Best Public Courses

Cigar Aficionado expert panel picks the best places you can play, plus names the top private clubs on the planet
Larry Olmsted
From the Print Edition:
Kurt Russell, May/June 2006

(continued from page 5)

REGIONAL WINNERS
In this section, only resorts that did not win other categories are described in detail.

United States
Northeast
Turning Stone, Verona, NY
Fueled by proceeds from its casino, the local Oneida Indian Nation is undertaking a golf boom unprecedented in the region, and according to Evan Rothman, "Turning Stone is gradually turning into the Pinehurst of the Northeast." Jeff Williams added, "With top-flight courses by Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Rick Smith, Turning Stone ought to be on every serious golfer's radar screen." The resort also has a fabulous 98-room boutique hotel, bringing true luxury to sleepy upstate New York. You won't be served liquor on the course or in the hotels or casino, however, prompting Robert Pedrero to couch his vote with the caveat, "Turning Stone, yes, but the no booze is a bummer."

South
Pinehurst, NC
See writeup on this page.
Honorable Mention: Both Sea Island and Kiawah got kudos for their respective new luxury hotels, The Lodge and The Sanctuary, and Kiawah's Ryder Cup venue, the Ocean Course, cracked our Top 10.

Midwest
Destination Kohler, WI
See write-up on page 87.

West
Pebble Beach, CA
See write-up on page 79.

Northwest
Bandon Dunes, OR
See write-up on page 84.

Hawaii
Kapalua, Maui
  Hawaii has as many high-quality golf resorts as any state, and the competition was heated, with panelists splitting their votes between several islands and the resorts of Kapalua, Mauna Kea, Princeville, Hualalai and Lanai. The nod went to Kapalua probably because its Plantation Course, home of the PGA Tour's season-opening Mercedes Championship, is the state's best. The course is also one of the most amateur-friendly of all Tour venues —if you do not play from the tips. Honorable Mention: Lanai, with its two fine hotels and two excellent but very different courses, the brash coastal Nicklaus Challenge at Manele and the lush inland Ted Robinson/Greg Norman Experience at Koele, makes for a wonderful escapist experience and came in second in our voting.

British Isles
Scotland —Best Resort
Turnberry, Ayrshire
See write-up on page 79.

Scotland —Best Course
Old Course, St Andrews
See write-up on page 92.
Honorable Mention: Kingsbarns fared surprisingly well against its centuries-old neighbor, while both the Ailsa course and Royal Dornoch had several vocal supporters.

Ireland —Best Resort
Kildare Resort
"Fortune Favors the Brave" is the motto at this resort that includes the Ryder Cup venue K-Club, a 36-hole Arnold Palmer —designed layout, and it is a motto golfers can live by on the courses. Yet it was the decadent food and lodging, not the golf, that won over voters, along with its proximity to Dublin.


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