Five Underrated Beauts of World Tour Golf Links

Augusta National and St. Andrews might be the namesake origins that helped put World Tour Golf Links on the map.

But the breadth of this replica course is in the supporting acts.

Mel Graham’s 1999 creation sought to give players an opportunity to experience and taste of some of the finest holes in golf all at one property. And while those headliners certainly brought an it-factor to the round, we are reminded every time we play here that World Tour goes so much further.

These five holes deserve their fair share of the credit.

OPEN NO. 2, PAR 5, 467 YARDS
What’s crazy about Graham’s take on the 16th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 is that virtually 60 percent of the front part of the hole is just… sorta… there. Even from the white tees, players need to get a good poke over the no-man’s land enveloping the tee boxes and then the tiny pond before even sniffing the fairway. From there, the squeeze is on, and the touch necessary gives players just enough pause to appreciate the design and execution of this hole. (Pictured right)

OPEN NO. 5, PAR 5, 435 YARDS
Based off New Orleans’ English Turn Golf and Country Club, the fifth hole is a magnificent combination of length off the tee and then precision on the approach. The fairway is going to feel wider than it might appear with the water running all the way up the right. However, there’s no shame in scaling back a touch to get into position to put your second shot within striking distance of the island green that is offset to the right smack dab in the middle of the pond.

OPEN NO. 8, PAR 4, 355 YARDS
If the YOLO tag ever applied to a hole at World Tour, this might be the one. A strong tee shot combined with the ability to cut the corner or carry the tree line can nestle players about as close to the green as they could possibly expect. Graham knew this, which is why he incorporated a slight rough area between the furthest edge of the fairway and the green to prevent dryer days from automatically giving away the whole kit and caboodle. Still, it’s fun to try. (Top photo)

CHAMPIONSHIP NO. 3, PAR 3, 116 YARDS
After it really hits you just how short this hole is, you can start to appreciate the natural grass areas, the five bunkers surrounding the elongated green, the pine bed behind the putting surface and the snippet of space between it all. This is one of those shots that might make you a bit uncomfortable thanks to the sheer lack of distance. But we love how the hole presents and how it forces you to think your way through it. (Pictured right)

CHAMPIONSHIP NO. 7, 402 YARDS
From the small pond off the tee boxes to the midway mound on the cusp of the fairway to the slight bend at the end of the hole to another pond beyond the green, the replica of the 14th hole at San Francisco’s Olympic Club allows you to take it all in without ever causing a distraction to the task at hand. We love that this hole has a large landing area, too, because unless you’re a robot, you’re going to get a different look at the approach from one round to the next.

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