To those who say modern college students don’t have an appreciation for the classics, we present you with contradictory evidence: the 2011 Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses list.
Fourteen of the 30 courses on the college list predate 1960, which also makes them candidates for the Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list. In fact, the top two collegiate layouts – The Course at Yale (1926) and Taconic Golf Club (1927) at Williams College – also occupy spots on the top 100 Classic list, released earlier this year. Yale and Taconic also held down the top two spots on the 2010 campus courses list.
The late Robert Trent Jones Sr. still has more top college designs than any other architect, with five on this year’s list, including four courses that opened before 1960. Those include the course that bears his name at his alma mater, Cornell. Architect Pete Dye placed four courses on the list.
To qualify for the campus list, courses must offer a discount to students or faculty. For that reason, Karsten Creek Golf Club, home course to Oklahoma State and No. 53 on Golfweek’s Best Modern list, is not included here.
The campus list features familiar names, but there has been some movement from previous years. The fastest riser is the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, which jumped to No. 9 from No. 18 a year ago. The University of Georgia Golf Course, No. 11 a year ago, cracked the top 10 at No. 8. And the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club climbed seven spots, to No. 19.
Moving in the opposite direction were two courses at Atlantic Coast Conference schools. Duke University Golf Club dropped six spots, to No. 16, and N.C. State’s Lonnie Poole Golf Course, the newest course on the list, fell eight spots, to No. 30.
Count students at the University of Michigan and Vanderbilt as being particularly fortunate. Those were the only two schools to place two courses on the list.