Yale tops Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses
We’d be the last to suggest that the way to choose the right college is to opt for the one with the best golf course. But given the quality of golf on campuses throughout the U.S., there probably are worse ways to decide.
Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses list – 30 tracks spanning 22 states – runs the gamut, from elite private schools and service academies to massive state universities and a small, women’s-only school.
As if proof were needed that quality golf doesn’t need to come at the cost of a quality education, consider that our No. 1 layout is found at Yale, a school regularly ranked at or near the top of U.S. colleges. It’s one of many elite academic institutions that placed courses on the list.
The Research Triangle in North Carolina not only is a base for ACC basketball powers, but also strong when it comes to golf courses: Duke at No. 10, N.C. State at No. 22 and UNC at No. 24. Two service academies also merit national ranking; the Air Force Academy at No. 20 and the Naval Academy at No. 26.
If there’s a conference powerhouse, it has to be the Big Ten, with nationally ranked courses at Wisconsin (No. 6), Ohio State (No. 9), Purdue (No. 17), Iowa (No. 25) and two at Michigan (Nos. 12 and 16). But don’t overlook the smaller, liberal-arts schools: Colgate (No. 21) in New York; and two Massachusetts schools, Williams College (No. 2) and Mount Holyoke College’s The Orchards (No. 7), the only course on our list to have hosted a professional national championship, the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open.
To qualify for the Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses list, a course must be part of a school’s recreational life in terms of preferential access for students, faculty and alumni. Our list of the country’s best college courses would include Oklahoma State’s Karsten Creek, except that the facility, eight miles west of campus, is operated as an upscale daily-fee, with students and faculty accorded no special standing for rates or access. Karsten Creek will host the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship in June.