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University Golf Courses


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#151 burnsniper

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 08:30 AM

View PostSixcat, on 03 October 2018 - 02:43 PM, said:

View Postburnsniper, on 03 October 2018 - 12:32 PM, said:

Three issues with the VT course:

(1) it's in Radford not Blacksburg like the old on campus course (only the back nine is left at the original on campus course)

(2) the holes are really jammed together - one can litterly hit the ball over an adjacent fairway and land in a third fairway on a couple of stretches; the course could use 50% more land

(3) it's alway super wet due to poor drainage design and it's location on the New River flood plain; drives never roll out, balls are always plugging, and the course is designed as a links...

Some very good points!  Are you from the area?  I live less than an hour southwest of the The River Course.  I miss the old campus 18 hole course.  The Skelton Center really put a damper on that place.

I'm not certain any level of stormwater management would be able to alleviate the drainage issues.  The course is built along side a pretty large river with only a few feet in elevation gain above the water table.  Almost any rainfall will seep up to ground level and cause wet, soggy conditions to be pervasive.  Those wet conditions makes an already long course play ridiculously long.  The course doesn't feel cramped to me but I can easily see where some may feel that way.

I still feel a lot of people, even locals, forget this was a redesign for Pete Dye.  The original course was called Heron's Landing.  It was designed and build by Ault, Clark and Associates in the 90's as part of a housing development.  The original course closed a long time ago and was bought by a wealthy Virginia Tech alumni who hired Pete Dye to renovate the course and donated it to Virginia Tech.

I grew up in Blackburg playing at Blacksburg Country Club and the on campus VT course (I also have done a lot of fly fishing in the New River adjacent to the River Course for smallmouth bass - the river is one of the best places in the world for smallmouth).

The renovated River Course is much better than the older rendition of the course but still has the fundamental issues I listed.  Most courses that are built that close to water are not on major rivers but rather lakes or the ocean and thus donít have as many drainage issues.  

Most people donít know this but the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world and shares with the Nile the unique characteristic that it flows in the opposite direction than the geography dictates (in this case south to north and east to west through the mountains).

Edited by burnsniper, 04 October 2018 - 08:32 AM.


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#152 Sixcat

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 09:28 AM

View Postburnsniper, on 04 October 2018 - 08:30 AM, said:

View PostSixcat, on 03 October 2018 - 02:43 PM, said:

View Postburnsniper, on 03 October 2018 - 12:32 PM, said:

Three issues with the VT course:

(1) it's in Radford not Blacksburg like the old on campus course (only the back nine is left at the original on campus course)

(2) the holes are really jammed together - one can litterly hit the ball over an adjacent fairway and land in a third fairway on a couple of stretches; the course could use 50% more land

(3) it's alway super wet due to poor drainage design and it's location on the New River flood plain; drives never roll out, balls are always plugging, and the course is designed as a links...

Some very good points!  Are you from the area?  I live less than an hour southwest of the The River Course.  I miss the old campus 18 hole course.  The Skelton Center really put a damper on that place.

I'm not certain any level of stormwater management would be able to alleviate the drainage issues.  The course is built along side a pretty large river with only a few feet in elevation gain above the water table.  Almost any rainfall will seep up to ground level and cause wet, soggy conditions to be pervasive.  Those wet conditions makes an already long course play ridiculously long.  The course doesn't feel cramped to me but I can easily see where some may feel that way.

I still feel a lot of people, even locals, forget this was a redesign for Pete Dye.  The original course was called Heron's Landing.  It was designed and build by Ault, Clark and Associates in the 90's as part of a housing development.  The original course closed a long time ago and was bought by a wealthy Virginia Tech alumni who hired Pete Dye to renovate the course and donated it to Virginia Tech.

I grew up in Blackburg playing at Blacksburg Country Club and the on campus VT course (I also have done a lot of fly fishing in the New River adjacent to the River Course for smallmouth bass - the river is one of the best places in the world for smallmouth).

The renovated River Course is much better than the older rendition of the course but still has the fundamental issues I listed.  Most courses that are built that close to water are not on major rivers but rather lakes or the ocean and thus don't have as many drainage issues.  

Most people don't know this but the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world and shares with the Nile the unique characteristic that it flows in the opposite direction than the geography dictates (in this case south to north and east to west through the mountains).

I grew up on the New River in Grayson County.  It is indeed one of the oldest rivers and does flow north.  It is also located along the Eastern Continental Divide which plays havoc with local weather patterns.  My area is still cleaning up from the various storm damage over the past month.

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#153 smashdn

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 12:12 PM

I have played both courses at "University Club of Kentucky" or whatever they call it now, where University of Kentucky plays.  The "Big Blue" course is very nice condition wise and has fun holes interspersed with some uninspiring architecture as well.  The "Wildcat" course is often in pretty rough shape and does not have as good of holes nor does it occupy the best areas of that property.

I have played the south course at "Vanderbilt Legends Club" in Franklin, TN.  I am not 100% sure which of the two courses they actually play matches on but I would guess the North course as that is the private member's course that is not open to outside play.  South course is very nice and interesting.  Bermuda greens that are hard and fast.

Last of the bunch I have been on is Olde Stone in Bowling Green, KY.  I have not actually played the course but have hit balls on the range and walked it several times for tournaments.  I have not been out to it since they re-grassed the fairways to zoysia from bent.  Western Kentucky University, my alma mater, plays there.  It is an Art Hills design and may not fit in with the spirit of the thread as it is not a true "University Course" but a private where WKU plays.  Nice track though but it is a residential development but the housing is well off the playing corridors.

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#154 Bunker2Bunker0no

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 12:44 AM

View PostSixcat, on 04 October 2018 - 09:28 AM, said:

View Postburnsniper, on 04 October 2018 - 08:30 AM, said:

View PostSixcat, on 03 October 2018 - 02:43 PM, said:

View Postburnsniper, on 03 October 2018 - 12:32 PM, said:

Three issues with the VT course:

(1) it's in Radford not Blacksburg like the old on campus course (only the back nine is left at the original on campus course)

(2) the holes are really jammed together - one can litterly hit the ball over an adjacent fairway and land in a third fairway on a couple of stretches; the course could use 50% more land

(3) it's alway super wet due to poor drainage design and it's location on the New River flood plain; drives never roll out, balls are always plugging, and the course is designed as a links...

Some very good points!  Are you from the area?  I live less than an hour southwest of the The River Course.  I miss the old campus 18 hole course.  The Skelton Center really put a damper on that place.

I'm not certain any level of stormwater management would be able to alleviate the drainage issues.  The course is built along side a pretty large river with only a few feet in elevation gain above the water table.  Almost any rainfall will seep up to ground level and cause wet, soggy conditions to be pervasive.  Those wet conditions makes an already long course play ridiculously long.  The course doesn't feel cramped to me but I can easily see where some may feel that way.

I still feel a lot of people, even locals, forget this was a redesign for Pete Dye.  The original course was called Heron's Landing.  It was designed and build by Ault, Clark and Associates in the 90's as part of a housing development.  The original course closed a long time ago and was bought by a wealthy Virginia Tech alumni who hired Pete Dye to renovate the course and donated it to Virginia Tech.

I grew up in Blackburg playing at Blacksburg Country Club and the on campus VT course (I also have done a lot of fly fishing in the New River adjacent to the River Course for smallmouth bass - the river is one of the best places in the world for smallmouth).

The renovated River Course is much better than the older rendition of the course but still has the fundamental issues I listed.  Most courses that are built that close to water are not on major rivers but rather lakes or the ocean and thus don't have as many drainage issues.  

Most people don't know this but the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world and shares with the Nile the unique characteristic that it flows in the opposite direction than the geography dictates (in this case south to north and east to west through the mountains).

I grew up on the New River in Grayson County.  It is indeed one of the oldest rivers and does flow north.  It is also located along the Eastern Continental Divide which plays havoc with local weather patterns.  My area is still cleaning up from the various storm damage over the past month.

Glad you guys said this about the New River, played there several yrs ago and told my friends, seems like that water is flowing uphill.

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#155 Bunker2Bunker0no

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 01:00 AM

My list:
1. U of New Mexico...classic design and real test
2. Rawls at Tx Tech...did the semi-impossible, made a course with character in the West Tx flats
3. Duke...classic, lots of tree lined fwys, rewards accuracy/shot making
4. River Course at VT scenic along river and not usual Dye over the top visual intimidation
5. Finley at UNC...great conditions but non-memorable design, other than 1&18, couldnt tell you one hole from the next
6. Poole at NC St...I'm just a bully, I'm long and uphill, it's only defense, no character, one dimensional
7. Birdwood UVa....as has been stated, due to be totally redone, much needed...but other DL III redo's haven't been my fav either


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#156 doubledub

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:58 AM

Yale- it would be the best university course by a wide margin if you let Hanse, C&C, Doak or anyone with a track record of good restorations of McRaynors courses.

Texas Tech-Rawls course- I was raised in Lubbock so definitely biased here. Amazing what Doak did having seen the site before construction. One gripe is it seems very difficult for 8+ handicappers (more so than other Doak designs) which can make rounds a little slow. Green designs are awesome, a little more mellow than some Doak stuff but just about perfect in my opinion. Typically in good shape playing relatively fast and firm.

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#157 Bunker2Bunker0no

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:11 PM

View Postdoubledub, on 10 October 2018 - 11:58 AM, said:

Yale- it would be the best university course by a wide margin if you let Hanse, C&C, Doak or anyone with a track record of good restorations of McRaynors courses.

Texas Tech-Rawls course- I was raised in Lubbock so definitely biased here. Amazing what Doak did having seen the site before construction. One gripe is it seems very difficult for 8+ handicappers (more so than other Doak designs) which can make rounds a little slow. Green designs are awesome, a little more mellow than some Doak stuff but just about perfect in my opinion. Typically in good shape playing relatively fast and firm.

That's a Washington&Lee grad that didn't include Lexington CC????

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#158 Billy__Baroo

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 04:46 AM

Cool to see some love for University Ridge. Really fun course with some great holes, especially on the back nine. I've got to give some love to Minnesota's home course, though, Windsong Farm. They used to play at Les Bolstad, which was a huge bummer. In the right hands, that course could be a real gem, but it's just way too beat up and unkempt. Windsong Farm, on the other hand, is a fantastic layout that's always in beautiful condition.
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#159 StanDarsh

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 01:35 AM

When Wichita State hosts tournaments often times it’s at Prairie Dunes. Not necessarily their home course for practice, they rotate for that but another great one they use is Flint Hills National. I’ve also played Jayhawk Club (KU) Colbert Hills (KState) Jimmy Austin (OU) Karsten (Okie St) but none come close to PD
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#160 doubledub

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 09:16 AM

View PostBunker2Bunker0no, on 10 October 2018 - 10:11 PM, said:

View Postdoubledub, on 10 October 2018 - 11:58 AM, said:

Yale- it would be the best university course by a wide margin if you let Hanse, C&C, Doak or anyone with a track record of good restorations of McRaynors courses.

Texas Tech-Rawls course- I was raised in Lubbock so definitely biased here. Amazing what Doak did having seen the site before construction. One gripe is it seems very difficult for 8+ handicappers (more so than other Doak designs) which can make rounds a little slow. Green designs are awesome, a little more mellow than some Doak stuff but just about perfect in my opinion. Typically in good shape playing relatively fast and firm.

That's a Washington&Lee grad that didn't include Lexington CC????

Haha, when I was at W&L rounds were mainly at Vista Links but they had a tournament a Lexington CC. Lexington CC definitely has good bones. I really wish some rich alumni would get together and fund a renovation/restoration to lengthen it a bit, make most of the greens a bit bigger, add character to a few really flat greens, use more short grass in green surrounds. Some of the greens are so severe that green speeds must be kept SLOW in order to keep the holes playable. A few of the great holes are 5, 6 (great par 5 green complex with creek in front), 10, 11 (short par 5 demanding draw/hook off the tee), 12 (cape type hole), 13, 14 (crazy green), 18. Ellis Maples could definitely route a course around some very severe terrain (see Grandfather G&CC). Lexington CC is definitely a great value for the members.


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#161 gene_bryce

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 09:28 AM

My list is:

1. OU Course (The Jimmie) before and after the revamp. Course is super difficult from the back tees.

2. Karsten Creek OSU Course. I've played it 4 times and its a fun lay out. Doesn't get much play so its always in great shape.

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#162 tigers2iron

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 09:43 AM

The course at Yale is good.
Very odd course though strange layout and plenty of difficulty. Many of the greens look like half pipes and quarter pipes. But never the less a very fun track to play.

IMG_1540305800.550744.jpg



Pic is from the iconic number 9 famous par 3.

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#163 Fairwindsgolfer

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 01:00 PM

View Posttigers2iron, on 23 October 2018 - 09:43 AM, said:

The course at Yale is good.
Very odd course though strange layout and plenty of difficulty. Many of the greens look like half pipes and quarter pipes. But never the less a very fun track to play.

Attachment IMG_1540305800.550744.jpg



Pic is from the iconic number 9 famous par 3.

I can't think of another hole that has a severe of a swell in the middle of the green as number nine at Yale.

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#164 golfday

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:07 AM

I've been on 5 true University courses. Enjoyed them all and would play them all again. Ranked in order:

1. Karsten Creek (OSU) - Best layout, best conditions, over priced
2. Duke - The bermuda they put on that course a few years back did wonders for them. Fun layout, pretty setting, great greens, tough test when the bermuda is running fast. The attached hotel is also very nice
3. Finley (UNC) - Fun layout, can play a lot of different lengths. Has a little bit of everything. Gets a lot of play which keeps the conditions down at times
4. Keith Hills (Campbell) - Lots of practice facilities, great instructors, interesting layout (trees, water, etc.). Also has a set of newer holes which are pretty diverse
5. Lonnie Poole (NC State) - Hard if you're not playing well, but uninspiring layout. Nice views though. Always in pretty good shape when I've been there. Also the newest on this list, maybe I'll like it more as it gains some character

Interesting how many NC courses have been on here.

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#165 TUGolfer06

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 02:17 PM

View Postgolfday, on 25 October 2018 - 07:07 AM, said:

I've been on 5 true University courses. Enjoyed them all and would play them all again. Ranked in order:

1. Karsten Creek (OSU) - Best layout, best conditions, over priced
2. Duke - The bermuda they put on that course a few years back did wonders for them. Fun layout, pretty setting, great greens, tough test when the bermuda is running fast. The attached hotel is also very nice
3. Finley (UNC) - Fun layout, can play a lot of different lengths. Has a little bit of everything. Gets a lot of play which keeps the conditions down at times
4. Keith Hills (Campbell) - Lots of practice facilities, great instructors, interesting layout (trees, water, etc.). Also has a set of newer holes which are pretty diverse
5. Lonnie Poole (NC State) - Hard if you're not playing well, but uninspiring layout. Nice views though. Always in pretty good shape when I've been there. Also the newest on this list, maybe I'll like it more as it gains some character

Interesting how many NC courses have been on here.

I'm planning a trip to the Raleigh area around the holidays to play Tobacco Road and 2 of these 3, Duke University Course, Lonnie Pond and Finley. I'm hoping the weather cooperates.

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#166 Jarlaxle

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 12:16 AM

View PostTUGolfer06, on 25 October 2018 - 02:17 PM, said:

View Postgolfday, on 25 October 2018 - 07:07 AM, said:

I've been on 5 true University courses. Enjoyed them all and would play them all again. Ranked in order:

1. Karsten Creek (OSU) - Best layout, best conditions, over priced
2. Duke - The bermuda they put on that course a few years back did wonders for them. Fun layout, pretty setting, great greens, tough test when the bermuda is running fast. The attached hotel is also very nice
3. Finley (UNC) - Fun layout, can play a lot of different lengths. Has a little bit of everything. Gets a lot of play which keeps the conditions down at times
4. Keith Hills (Campbell) - Lots of practice facilities, great instructors, interesting layout (trees, water, etc.). Also has a set of newer holes which are pretty diverse
5. Lonnie Poole (NC State) - Hard if you're not playing well, but uninspiring layout. Nice views though. Always in pretty good shape when I've been there. Also the newest on this list, maybe I'll like it more as it gains some character

Interesting how many NC courses have been on here.

I'm planning a trip to the Raleigh area around the holidays to play Tobacco Road and 2 of these 3, Duke University Course, Lonnie Pond and Finley. I'm hoping the weather cooperates.
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#167 me05501

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 02:51 PM

View PostFairwindsgolfer, on 23 October 2018 - 01:00 PM, said:

View Posttigers2iron, on 23 October 2018 - 09:43 AM, said:

The course at Yale is good.
Very odd course though strange layout and plenty of difficulty. Many of the greens look like half pipes and quarter pipes. But never the less a very fun track to play.

Attachment IMG_1540305800.550744.jpg



Pic is from the iconic number 9 famous par 3.

I can't think of another hole that has a severe of a swell in the middle of the green as number nine at Yale.

It's called a "Biarritz" hole. A nice local course has one:

http://www.blackcree...-Course-Tour/17

Edited by me05501, 01 November 2018 - 02:54 PM.


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#168 TRheezy

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 01:35 PM

The University Club at Kentucky, also played Kearney Hill (Dye Course) a lot while in Lexington.  

Cardinal Club (U of L) course is not too bad either.  My dad grew up playing golf with the pro there, so the price was right when we got to play there.

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#169 CincyJCK

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 09:27 PM

Limited experience with University courses for me, but I really enjoyed Rawls at TX Tech. Played it today and will play it again tomorrow. Got it on a day with no wind and softer conditions than expected, maybe that changes for tomorrows round.

Penn State was decent but not very memorable, forget which one of the two I played to be honest.

Haven’t played Taconic, but I am very familiar with it. Only problem is the association with Williams
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#170 Fairwindsgolfer

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:03 PM

View PostCincyJCK, on 06 November 2018 - 09:27 PM, said:

Limited experience with University courses for me, but I really enjoyed Rawls at TX Tech. Played it today and will play it again tomorrow. Got it on a day with no wind and softer conditions than expected, maybe that changes for tomorrows round.

Penn State was decent but not very memorable, forget which one of the two I played to be honest.

Havenít played Taconic, but I am very familiar with it. Only problem is the association with Williams
Out of curiosity, what's the issue with Williams?

I have zero skin in the game, but was wondering if there is something I am missing.


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#171 CincyJCK

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 08:10 AM

View PostFairwindsgolfer, on 06 November 2018 - 10:03 PM, said:

View PostCincyJCK, on 06 November 2018 - 09:27 PM, said:

Limited experience with University courses for me, but I really enjoyed Rawls at TX Tech. Played it today and will play it again tomorrow. Got it on a day with no wind and softer conditions than expected, maybe that changes for tomorrows round.

Penn State was decent but not very memorable, forget which one of the two I played to be honest.

Haven’t played Taconic, but I am very familiar with it. Only problem is the association with Williams
Out of curiosity, what's the issue with Williams?

I have zero skin in the game, but was wondering if there is something I am missing.

All in jest, I’m an Amherst grad
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#172 Fairwindsgolfer

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 08:15 AM

View PostCincyJCK, on 07 November 2018 - 08:10 AM, said:

View PostFairwindsgolfer, on 06 November 2018 - 10:03 PM, said:

View PostCincyJCK, on 06 November 2018 - 09:27 PM, said:

Limited experience with University courses for me, but I really enjoyed Rawls at TX Tech. Played it today and will play it again tomorrow. Got it on a day with no wind and softer conditions than expected, maybe that changes for tomorrows round.

Penn State was decent but not very memorable, forget which one of the two I played to be honest.

Havenít played Taconic, but I am very familiar with it. Only problem is the association with Williams
Out of curiosity, what's the issue with Williams?

I have zero skin in the game, but was wondering if there is something I am missing.

All in jest, Iím an Amherst grad
Ahh, you got me on that one.
I was racking my brain trying to figure out what kind of controversy Williams ever had..lol!

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#173 mckennwa

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 08:42 PM

Pete Dye has two fabulous designs at Purdue University. Also, given their turfgrass management program, the courses are a lab for those students and always in tremendous shape.

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