2016 has seen the debut of many new golf courses. Some are entirely new courses, while others are major renovations or redesigns on top of older layouts.
Playing courses the moment they open can be thrilling for avid golfers, who get a chance to get the "scoop" on brand new facilities. The experience has its uncertainties, however:
On Golf Channel's Morning Drive, Matt Ginella detailed a handful of courses that "big game hunters" can get a taste of this fall. They include courses that opened for preview play in 2016, as well Erin Hills, which is peaking prior to the season it hosts the 2017 U.S. Open.
Video: Ginella on five courses to play this fall
In addition to these five properties mentioned by Ginella, highlighted by the opening of The Loop at Forest Dunes and Sand Valley's preview play, there are a few more that are either very newly opened or about to open in the next few weeks.
Mossy Oak: Few architects have had the kind of year Rio Olympic Golf Course architect Gil Hanse has had. In addition to his design being lauded as a success in Rio, he also debuted Mossy Oak, the sister course to Old Waverly in northern Mississippi. Mossy Oak began taking preview play tee times for all 18 holes on Sept. 3.
(Though it's not all good news for Hanse in 2016; his design, Tallgrass Golf Course on Long Island, closes this fall for good to make room for a solar farm.)
Cape Club: In the Northeast, golfers can try out the brand new Cape Club. Now managed by Troon Golf, the new design was built atop the existing Ballymeade Country Club. Mike Bailey visited the course earlier this year as part of his summer trip to the region.
Atlantic Dunes at The Sea Pines Resort: Set to open Oct. 3, Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III, well known at the Hilton Head Island resort for his five Heritage victories, laid out a brand new design on top of the old Ocean Course at Sea Pines. The opening of Atlantic Dunes represents the final piece of the Sea Pines golf product 2.0, which over the last few years included the renovations or redesigns of all three golf courses, as well as two brand new clubhouses and new practice center.
Stoatin Brae: Also, brand spanking new, is a 12-hole loop of the new Stoatin Brae Course at Gull Lake View in southwest Michigan. The course was designed by Tom Doak's firm Renaissance Design, but Doak is not a title architect of the project as he was busy working on The Loop.
Cholla at We-Ko-Pa G.C. re-opens: The Cholla Course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, one of the best multi-course facilities in the Scottsdale, Ariz. area., was closed all summer closed for a renovation to the 15-year-old layout, the original at We-Ko-Pa. The course, originally designed by Scott Miller, received a $1.8 million update, including new greens and bunkers, but the par-5 eighth hole was redesigned. The Cholla Course re-opened for play on Sept. 16.
Chatham Hills: Also, while the FedEx Cup Playoffs were taking place at Crooked Stick, Pete Dye was in Indiana opening his newest course, Chatham Hills. The private course features an 18-hole championship and nine-hole executive course aimed at beginners and families.