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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 Yesterday, 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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