The Course at Yale annually dominates Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses list.
Each year when we pull up these rankings, there are subtle changes. Perhaps a recently renovated course began receiving higher marks from Golfweek’s course-ratings panel. Or maybe one or two courses dropped off the list because they were starting to show their age. It’s not a list on which we see big changes from year to year, but there always are a couple of surprises.
Except at the top of the list. The Course at Yale is the perennial No. 1 among campus courses. It’s so dominant in this category that perhaps we take it
for granted. Hopefully the Yale students, who can play the course for as little as $25, appreciate what they have. It’s surely a treat for teams that arrive
in New Haven, Conn., to challenge the Bulldogs.
This Golden Age design is perhaps best known for its iconic ninth hole, the 235-yard par 3 whose name – Biarritz – tells you all you need to know about what you will face when you arrive on that tee. Throughout the round, the classical influences are prevalent; there’s a Redan hole, a Cape, an Alps,
even a Road hole.
The result is a course that has stood the test of time and shows no signs of ceding the top spot in these rankings to any of the younger whippersnappers looking up at it.
There were a couple of big movers on this year’s list. The Scarlet Course at Ohio State bolted five spots up the rankings, to No. 6, and the Championship Course at New Mexico also jumped five spots
to No. 18.
There were two newcomers this year. Purdue’s Ackerman-Allen joined the list at No. 24 following a renovation completed two years ago by Pete Dye, who has not designed every course in Indiana, though it sometimes seems so. Purdue was one of three schools, along with Michigan and Vanderbilt, to place two courses among the top 30.
The other newcomer to this year’s list is Michigan State’s Forest Akers (West Course), which grabbed the next-to-last spot. Gwk
2018 Top 30 Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses
|Rank||Course||Location||Architect(s)||Year opened||Avg. rating|
|1||The Course at Yale||New Haven, Conn.||Charles Blair Macdonald, Seth Raynor||1926||7.42|
|2||Culver Academies GC||Culver, Ind.||William B. Langford, Theodore J. Moreau, Bobby Weed||1924||7.16|
|3||Taconic||Williamstown, Mass.||Wayne Stiles, John van Kleek||1927||6.81|
|4||The Rawls Course at Texas Tech||Lubbock, Texas||Tom Doak||2003||6.61|
|5||University Ridge GC||Verona, Wis.||Robert Trent Jones Jr.||1991||6.48|
|6||Ohio State University (Scarlet)||Columbus, Ohio||Alister MacKenzie, Jack Nicklaus||1939||6.20|
|7||Palouse Ridge||Pullman, Wash.||John Harbottle||2008||6.18|
|8||The Orchards||South Hadley, Mass.||Donald Ross||1922||6.17|
|9||University of Michigan GC||Ann Arbor, Mich.||Alister MacKenzie||1931||6.14|
|10||Stanford GC||Stanford, Calif.||George C. Thomas Jr., William P. Bell, John Harbottle||1930||6.10|
|11||Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||Pete Dye||2005||6.10|
|12||University of Georgia GC||Athens, Ga.||Robert Trent Jones Sr., Davis Love III||1968||6.03|
|13||Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex (Kampen)||West Lafayette, Ind.||Pete Dye||1998||6.01|
|14||The Course at Sewanee||Sewanee, Tenn.||Gil Hanse||2015||5.96|
|15||The Walker Course at Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||D.J. DeVictor||1995||5.95|
|16||Warren GC at Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw||1999||5.93|
|17||Duke University GC||Durham, N.C.||Robert Trent Jones Sr., Rees Jones||1957||5.89|
|18||University of New Mexico (Championship)||Albuquerque, N.M.||Red Lawrence||1966||5.86|
|19||Radrick Farms||Ann Arbor, Mich.||Pete Dye||1965||5.81|
|20||Jimmie Austin GC||Norman, Okla.||Perry Maxwell, Bob Cupp, Tripp Davis||1951||5.80|
|21||Mark Bostick GC||Gainesville, Fla.||Donald Ross, Bobby Weed||1921||5.76|
|22||Vanderbilt Legends Club (North)||Franklin, Tenn.||Bob Cupp & Tom Kite||1992||5.75|
|23||Furman University GC||Greenville, S.C.||Kris Spence, Scot Sherman||1955||5.67|
|24||Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex (Ackerman-Allen)||West Lafayette, Ind.||William H. Diddel, Pete Dye||2016||5.63|
|25||UNC Finley GC||Chapel Hill, N.C.||Tom Fazio||1999||5.59|
|26||University of Virginia GC (Birdwood)||Charlottesville, Va.||Lindsay Ervin||1984||5.54|
|27||Colbert Hills||Manhattan, Kan.||Jim Colbert||2000||5.53|
|28||Vanderbilt Legends Club (South)||Franklin, Tenn.||Bob Cupp & Tom Kite||1992||5.52|
|29||Forest Akers (West)||Lansing, Mich.||W. Bruce Matthews, Arthur Hills||1958||5.46|
|30||Lonnie Poole GC||Raleigh, N.C.||Arnold Palmer||2009||5.41|
(Note: This story appears in the September 2018 issue of Golfweek.)