Golfweek's Best Campus Courses 2019: Yale still No. 1; Oklahoma standout makes rare leap

Yale/Steve Musco

Golfweek's Best Campus Courses 2019: Yale still No. 1; Oklahoma standout makes rare leap

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Golfweek's Best Campus Courses 2019: Yale still No. 1; Oklahoma standout makes rare leap

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There’s rarely much change on the Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses list, with Yale Golf Course a perennial No. 1. But a fairly recent redesign in Norman, Oklahoma, has seen one course make a significant leap up the annual rankings.

The Jimmie Austin Golf Course at the University of Oklahoma, originally laid out by Perry Maxwell to open in 1951 and reworked by Bob Cupp in 1996, saw another major renovation completed by Tripp Davis in 2017.

Davis, a member of the 1989 Oklahoma national-championship team, focused on the natural attributes of the site to embrace Maxwell’s influence. Davis also has built a four-hole practice loop named the Ransom Course for the Sooners golf teams, although that is not part of the ranking seen here.

Golfweek’s raters have been impressed, as the course jumped 14 spots to No. 6 on this year’s Campus Courses list. The top five on the list remained the same, with Yale on top.

This list includes two prep academies – No. 2 Culver Academies Golf Course and No. 28 Hotchkiss Golf Course, both nine-holers – as the rankings are not intended to include only colleges but any campus course.

One course that would have made the list, Birdwood at the University of Virginia, is not included this year because it is closed while it undergoes a major renovation by Davis Love III’s design firm

Courses are rated by Golfweek’s national group of players, with ratings based on multiple criteria such as memorability of the holes and the “walk-in-the-park-test.” The raters then give each course an overall rating.

2019 Top 30 Golfweek’s Best Campus Courses

2019 Rank (2018) Course Location Architect(s) Year Opened Average Rating
1. (1) Yale Golf Course New Haven, Conn. Charles Blair Macdonald, Seth Raynor 1926 7.41
2. (2) Culver Academies GC* Culver, Ind. William B. Langford, Theodore J. Moreau 1924 7.18
3. (3) Taconic GC Williamstown, Mass. Wayne Stiles, John Van Kleek 1927 6.87
4. (4) The Rawls Course at Texas Tech Lubbock, Texas Tom Doak 2003 6.55
5. (5) University Ridge GC Madison, Wis. Robert Trent Jones Jr. 1991 6.48
6. (20) Jimmie Austin GC Norman, Okla. Perry Maxwell, Bob Cupp, Tripp Davis 1951 6.42
7. (6) Ohio State University (Scarlet) Columbus, Ohio Alister MacKenzie 1938 6.22
8. (7) Palouse Ridge GC Pullman, Wash. John Harbottle III 2008 6.17
9. (11) Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Va. Pete Dye 2006 6.17
10. (10) Stanford GC Stanford, Calif. George C. Thomas Jr., William P. Bell., 1930 6.12
11. (8) The Orchards South Hadley, Mass. John Harbottle III 1922 6.11
12. (9) University of Michigan GC Ann Arbor, Mich. Alister MacKenzie 1931 6.09
13. (13) Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex (Kampen) West Lafatette, Ind. Pete Dye 1998 6.03
14. (12) University of Georgia GC Athens, Ga. Robert Trent Jones Sr., Davis Love III 1968 6.02
15. (18) University of New Mexico (Championship) Albuquerque, N.M. Red Lawrence 1967 6.01
16. (16) Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame South Bend, Ind. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw 1999 5.99
17. (14) Course at Sewanee Sewanee, Tenn. Gil Hanse 2013 5.98
18. (17) Duke University GC Durham, N.C. Robert Trent Jones Sr., Rees Jones 1957 5.91
19. (25) UNC Finley Golf Course Chapel Hill, N.C. Tom Fazio 1999 5.88
20. (24) Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex (Ackerman-Allen) West Lafayette, Ind. William H. Diddel, Pete Dye 2016 5.88
21. (15) The Walker Course at Clemson Clemson, S.C. DJ DeVictor 1995 5.87
22. (19) Radrick Farms Ann Arbor, Mich. Pete Dye 1965 5.85
23. (29) Michigan State Forest Akers (West) East Lansing, Mich. W. Bruce Matthews, Arthur Hills 1958 5.83
24. (21) Mark Bostick GC Gainesville, Fla. Donald Ross, Bobby Weed 1921 5.76
25. (NR) Eisenhower GC (Blue) at USAFA Colorado Springs, Colo. Robert Trent Jones Sr. 1959 5.73
26. (22) Vanderbilt Legends Club (North) Franklin, Tenn. Bob Cupp and Tom Kite 1992 5.73
27. (23) Furman University GC Greenville, S.C. Richard Webel and Walter Cosby, Kris Spence, Scot Sherman 1955 5.67
28. (NR) Hotchkiss GC* Lakeville, Conn. Seth Raynor, Charles Banks 1924 5.64
29. (30) Lonnie Poole GC Raleigh, N.C. Arnold Palmer 2009 5.52
30. (27) Colbert Hills Manhattan, Kan. Jim Colbert 2000 5.52

(Note: This story appears in the September 2019 issue of Golfweek.)

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