Bandon Dunes kicked the craze into high gear when it opened in 1999, ultimately putting the southern Oregon coast on the map for golfers. Other out-of-the-way gems like Sweetens Cove in the Tennessee mountains use their secluded nature as a selling point to golfers with a sense of adventure.
Located in Globe, Ariz., 90 miles east of Phoenix, Apache Stronghold opened the same year as Bandon Dunes, and it was designed by Tom Doak, whose Pacific Dunes course elevated Bandon from one-course curiosity to full-blown destination status.
Despite a layout that topped best-in-state rankings at times during its lifespan, Apache Stronghold never quite caught fire with the golfing public. Among golf course architecture aficionados, it was an immediate hit; its minimalist layout was likened to Sand Hills in an early course profile on GolfClubAtlas.com.
But with scores of public and resort courses in the greater Phoenix/Scottsdale area, Apache Stronghold's location at the remote Apache Gold Casino Resort likely never drew the reliable crowds it needed to be sustainable. Its final years were plagued by reviews that often praised the friendliness of the people and beauty of the layout but bemoaned horrendous course conditions.
Other golf course news & notes
NEW MANAGEMENT FOR MONTEREY FAVORITES - Bayonet and Black Horse, a 36-hole tract on the old Fort Ord Military Base just 11 miles north of Pebble Beach, is under new ownership in the form of SKDG Capital, a company owned by Dr. Kiran Patel, who also bought Florida's Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa in early 2020. Like Hammock Beach, Bayonet & Black Horse will be managed by Troon Golf. [LINK: The Vindicator]
PINEHURST HOSTING NEW USGA EVENT - The ties binding the USGA to Pinehurst grew stronger this month, as the organization announced the formation of the U.S. Adaptive Open Championship, to be held on Pinehurst No. 6 July 18-20, 2022. The tournament seeks to bring together the world's best golfers with disabilities, a passionate community within the game. This announcement helps make golf more inclusive. [LINK: GolfChannel.com]
MONTANA MUNI SAVED - After months of hand-wringing from local golfers, Larchmont Golf Course in Missoula, Mont., is no longer the target of a plan to add affordable housing to the city. Larchmont's prime location in the city makes it valuable greenspace as well as a profitable recreational facility. [LINK: MontanaRightNow.com]
GOLF-ADJACENT - A woman led Vero Beach, Fla. police on a chase that ended in a fairway at Grand Harbor Golf Club's Harbor Course, a Pete Dye design that was renovated this summer. Luckily she stayed off the new putting surfaces. [LINK: CBS 12]