Having played all the courses-both at Blackwolf and Whistling Straits-I can say without hesitation that the layouts at Blackwolf are the cream of the crop. Whistling Straits is visually spectacular, but has two issues-the scenery is a bit contrived, and if you play the course in any sort of wind, normal golfers, or 99.9% of all golfers, simply cannot play the course. That said, both courses at Blackwolf are sublime, in scenery, challenge, and conditioning. Meadow Valleys doesn't have the superb terrain of the River course, but is still a wonderful, attractive test. The River course is simply wonderful. Challenging and very difficult, but not impossible like some of Pete's creations, supremely beautiful, and one stellar hole after another. One reviewer described it as artificial. I don't know what course he played. Granted, if you hit the ball far enough off the confines of the course, you will see some man made features-even Pete isn't that good. And there is a hole on the back, number 12, which is a bit visually contrived. However the flow of the course, it's variety, and it's finishing 5 holes are just wonderful. Play this course in July or augurs and you'll understand why it has hosted national opens. River-6 balls. Meadow Valley-5 balls.
Date: July 26, 2014