Birmingham, AL, USA
This is one of my absolute favorite courses anywhere in the world. Designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened in 1977, becoming an instant classic. I’ve always measured a golf course on its ability to keep you engaged for all 18 holes and Shoal Creek Club does just this. I have played very few golf courses, if any with a better series of risk/reward par 5s. Holes 5, 11, and 17 entice the long hitter to reach the green in two shots. If you do and you execute, you will be rewarded, however the penalty for an errant shot will almost guarantee a water ball or extremely difficult up and down for your birdie. Nicklaus was golf’s ultimate strategist, and it is on full display in his design at Shoal Creek. Each hole requires consideration to positioning from the tee and shot shaping into the green. The putting surfaces are relatively forgiving in size; however, the heavily contoured greens provide a lot of break on putts of every length. I look forward to visiting college friends in Birmingham so I can arrange a tee time around this amazing golf course!