Five Exciting New Golf Courses Opening in 2024
By Adam Stanley
There’s always plenty of excitement when the calendar turns – a new year begins with a clean slate of goals, hopes, a fresh page to be filled.
For 2024 in the golf-course world, the excitement is wrapped around new-course development. This year is one of the busiest in recent memory in terms of openings in the United States.
While golf became the sport of the COVID-19 pandemic through 2020 and '21, most of the participation numbers have stayed steady as the world has navigated its way back to some semblance of normal.
With that, some serious energy has come back into course developments in a variety of spots throughout the U.S.
Nationwide, the National Golf Foundation (NGF) is tracking 69 new courses of varying lengths and type under construction, with another 47 in the planning stage. It’s a far cry from the 400-plus that were being built 20 years ago but it’s nearly double the three-year pre-pandemic average, the NGF said in a news release at the end of last year.
In 2023 the NGF said, there were “more new openings in the U.S. than any time in more than a decade.” Two-thirds of brand-new course projects are private clubs, but two-thirds of “new course additions” are at public facilities.
While golf-course closures are still outpacing openings, the recent uptick in construction as compared to the last while is a positive sign for the game.
With 2024 underway, here are just five highly anticipated courses set to open this year.
Cabot Citrus Farms
Talk about making an early mark.
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The debut of the Cabot brand’s first U.S.-based property will see four new courses hit the Central-West Florida area on the property formerly known as World Woods. Two 18-hole layouts (the Karoo and The Roost) are overhauls of the former two courses that were on the property. There will also be a new 11-hole par-3 course called The Wedge (which will have lights for play after dark) and a 10-hole short course called The Squeeze.
It's a big year for the Cabot brand and its founder/CEO, Ben Cowan-Dewar, as the much-delayed and highly-anticipated Point Hardy Golf Club at Cabot Saint Lucia is also officially opening early in 2024.
Pinehurst No. 10
The newest 18-hole course (located about 10 minutes south of the main resort complex) at Pinehurst is set to open in early April – the first new 18-hole course there in almost 30 years.
The course was created by Tom Doak’s lead design associate Angela Moser. Located on a dramatic piece of land with 75 feet of elevation change through the North Carolina Sandhills, it boasts a sweeping landscape, rolling hills, native wiregrass, and takes advantage of rugged dunes carved out of a mining operation from the turn of the 20th century.
Much like Pinehurst, another golf travel destination is adding a new layout to create even more options for those making the trip.
Sedge Valley, the newest member of the Sand Valley Golf Resort family in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, is slated to open this year and is quite the contrast to the other courses on-property. Tom Doak took inspiration from England's heathland courses and created a natural, flowing design that presents plenty of options for every golfer.
While Sand Valley's namesake course and Mammoth Dunes are wide and rolling, the par-68 Sedge Valley is a smaller ballpark that's more intimate, with plenty of risk-reward holes to make it a must-play when visiting the resort.
The duo behind cult favorite Sweetens Cove (the nine-holer in rural Tennessee that’s likely the buzziest nine-hole course in the U.S.) have brought that same kind of fun to Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina. Tad King and Rob Collins of King Collins Golf have created a reversible nine-hole course about 15 minutes from Hilton Head Island. With no designated tee markers, golfers can play from wherever they choose. There’s also a massive area on top of a ridge that is meant for shootouts, as it overlooks a handful of different greens.
Located in the golf-mad area of Hobe Sound, Florida, the West Course – the first of three 18-hole layouts, from three different design teams – was opened very late in 2023 and was designed by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner. It is laid out on the biggest parcel of 1,200-acre site, with several holes that run along the St. Lucie Canal.
Former USGA CEO Mike Davis and Tommy Fazio are working on the second course (the South Course) which will open later this year, while Kyle Phillips is creating the third.
The club, just north of Jupiter, was founded by Michael Pascucci (founding owner of The Bear’s Club) and Stephen Ross (owner of the Miami Dolphins in the NFL).