And the award for best designer goes to...

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Tom Fazio's propensity to "bury" cart paths, as he does here in the woods at The Finley Golf Club in Chapel Hill, NC, earns him plaudits from those who review golf course designs.

 


    Tom Fazio has five layouts in the top 20 of Golfweek magazine's 2007 list of best residential community courses, more than any other designer.  It affirms my notion that Fazio is the most consistently good architect working today.
    Wade Hampton, Fazio's design in Cashiers, NC, earned top honors for the second year in a row.  Fourth place Black Diamond (Quarry) in Lecanto, FL, and sixth place Briggs Ranch in San Antonio were the other Fazio designs in the top 20.  Jack Nicklaus placed two courses in the top 20, both in the top five, including Castle Pines (#2) in Colorado and Mayacama (#5) in Santa Rosa, CA.
    Former top pick Golf Club at Cuscowilla, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw's minimalist but arresting layout in Eatonton, GA, slipped to third place this year, not too shabby when you consider it placed ahead of the best Pete Dye had to offer - Long Cove on Hilton Head (#7) - and the Jay Moorish/Tom Weiskopf design at The Rim Golf Club (#9) in Payson, AZ.  Moorish, both on his own and with Weiskopf, racked up three courses in the top 20.
    The list of the top 100 residential courses is at Golfweek's web site.

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Cuscowilla, the Coore/Crenshaw design in rural Georgia, is stripped virtually all artifice, including homes, which are well away from the layout.