123. Forest Highlands Golf Club (Canyon)
Jay Morrish & Tom Weiskopf (1988)
It has three par 5s over 600 yards long and a par 4 measuring 478 yards, but the Canyon Course at Forest Highlands still plays shorter than its listed yardage. That’s due in part to its elevation at 7,000 feet and partly because it has six par 3s, a strong collection spaced every other hole from the fourth through 14th. Both nines are routed along mountain ridges, with holes edged by stately ponderosa pines. The ninth is especially scenic, as it drops down an escarpment into a narrow stream valley to a double green it shares with the 18th hole.
100 Greatest/Second 100 Greatest History: Ranked on America’s 100 Greatest: 1991 through 2014. Second 100 Greatest: 2015 to current. Highest ranking (previous): No. 38, 1993-1994. Previous ranking: 114.
Panelist comments, Forest Highlands Golf Club (Canyon):
“This Weiskopf/Morrish design is uniquely routed and designed with six par 3s on the course. The course sits at approximately 7,000 feet, which factored into the non traditional number of par 4s, due to the requisite additional land needed, while factoring in the elevation impact.”
“Middle stretch of holes is as good as any I have played. And the ninth hole is one of the best par 4s I have seen.”
“The Canyon Course at Forest Highlands gets off to a very quiet start. The first three holes are rather ordinary, but the action picks up at the 4th and continues until the finish. Even some of the complimentary holes like 11 have nice subtle interest. The best holes are the three in the canyon itself 9, 17, and 18 as well as the benched green 10th. What I also like about Canyon is the restraint that Weiskopf and Morrish used, not overbunkering the course or over contouring the greens. The bunker maintenance, similar to what you see in Australia, is to be applauded.”
“True creativity and ingenuity was required to route this course juxtaposing the mountains and the Ponderosa pine forest. Every hole is separate and unique.”
“The green complexes keep every hole challenging and resistant to scoring and the overall layout is phenomenal.”
“The Canyon Course at Forest Highlands is a beautiful test of golf that allows many decisions to be made off the tee and from the fairway.”