Golf is now played in 206 of 251 countries and dependent territories, according to a survey by the National Golf Foundation, with more than 38,000 courses all told. As such, golfers can travel the world to their delight and undoubtedly find a course that suits their needs.
Among the most prestigious are those designed by Hall of Fame golfer Greg Norman, AKA The “Great White Shark,” who won more than 90 tournaments worldwide. His design company, aptly named Greg Norman Golf Course Design, is recognized as one of the premier signature golf course design firms in the world, featuring over 100 courses opened across more than 30 countries and six continents.
The philosophy of Greg Norman Golf Course Design is to uncover the finest possible golf experience that lies within each new property. Whatever a developer seeks to offer the player, they find the least disruptive and most effective means to provide it. The results to date have been outstanding, with many courses having won prestigious design awards.
Norman’s design concepts establish an individual character for every project, emphasizing aesthetics and playability, and their unique approach results in courses that blend seamlessly into their surroundings, and appear as if they have been part of the landscape for generations. Their designs are challenging, playable and create a memorable golf experience for players of all skill levels, not just for such renowned golfers as Norman. He says, “Like a golf swing itself, the quality of a design is the sum of a hundred moving parts. The more in sync you are, the easier the project flows towards a pure and perfect finish.”
The following golf courses by Greg Norman Golf Course Design are among the most outstanding of his impressive and extensive portfolio.
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Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The Greg Norman Signature Course at Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas spans three different ecosystems and features ocean views at every hole along with a signature island green. The links-style course is a multi-themed layout with five holes on the beach and a signature island green. The golf course is part of the new Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, just 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas and set in rolling desert foothills that lead to 1.2 miles of pristine beachfront on the Pacific Ocean. The resort boasts ocean views from every suite and standout amenities include multiple restaurants, a luxury seaside spa with private beachfront cabanas, infinity pools, a saltwater lagoon that winds through the property and new pickleball courts. Book the Golf Getaway package for an unforgettable trip. Rates start at $398 per night.
Ayla Oasis, Jordan
Set between the mountains and the Red Sea, Ayla is an inspirational waterfront destination committed to environmental sustainability. Ayla’s signature golf course extends over 800,000 square meters, comprised of rolling green fairways dotted with crystalline lagoons and thriving ecosystems, alongside significant elevation changes and holes playing in all directions. “Our goal was to responsibly introduce golf to Jordan, and that is what Greg and his team have done. From strict water conservation and reliance on gray water for irrigation and the use of renewable energy to complement the course’s impressive playability, it’s such a beautiful, rewarding and complicated success,” explains Sahl Dudin, managing director. With 75 exquisite apartments to choose from, ranging from one bedroom to 3.5 bedroom duplex apartments, Cloud7 welcomes visitors in its vibrant, spacious and inviting setting.
Wente Vineyards Golf, Livermore, CA
From the outset, the vision at Wente was to create the experience of playing among the vineyards. The design required the planting of new grapes, done in partnership with Wente viticulturists, and the marrying of irrigation and runoff in a way that would not impact the delicate and valuable harvest fruit. “The highest compliment I can give is how naturally the course winds among our vineyards,” says Phil Wente, Vice Chairman, Wente Vineyards. “Even 20 years later the routing feels precisely as it should.” With three distinct topographies, native woodlands, mature vineyards and rolling hills of natural grasslands, The Course at Wente Vineyards offers visual panoramas and a diversity of play.
Bluffs Ho Tram, Vietnam
With its towering dunes and omnipresent wind as a foil to the player the links of Bluffs Ho Tram play as a modern masterpiece. A bit of Scotland unearthed on the coast of Vietnam. But it is technologically distinct as well, utilizing a man-made underground vault to solve for the property’s unique irrigation. The experience of playing true links golf among the dunes of southern Vietnam and having dramatic ocean views throughout your round will make The Bluffs Grand Ho Tram Strip one of the most unique golf experiences in the world.
TPC Sygarloaf, Duluth, GA
TPC Sugarloaf was designed to excel as both a challenging private course and purpose-built Tour site. Nowhere is this more evident than the lakeside finishing hole, where a floating scoreboard and grandstand can be raised on permanent scaffolding that remains hidden beneath the water the rest of the year. Norman says, “TPC Sugarloaf is a product of our entire ecosystem. We thought about the course, the needs of the Tour, even the ways to produce the best lot values. We left no stone unturned and it shows in the club’s success.” TPC Sugarloaf is located just outside the metro-Atlanta area just a quick 20 minutes north from downtown.