Golfweek collegiate course ranking for 2013. Michigan #8.

Submitted by Section 1 on September 6th, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Golfweek's 2013 "Best Campus Courses"

One very interesting thing on this list is that Radrick Farms also made the list at #17, making Michigan the only university (ed. - add Vanderbilt) with two courses on the list.  Wisconsin's University Ridge is the most egregiously overrated course in my view; it is a wonderful property and a very nice facility, but not deserving of #5.

Tom Doak's (resident of the Traverse City area) design for Texas Tech is a miracle; built on a flat, uninteresting parcel.  He is a genius. 

OSU's Scarlet Course is now inarguably a better championship golf course than Michigan, but probably at a terrible cost in terms of changing Alister Mackenzie's historic work forever.  OSU let Jack Nicklaus' design team do whatever they wanted to it.

Michigan may be lucky to hold on to a Top-10 ranking for now, but the new golf team facilities, plus clubhouse renovations, and future golf course work (remains to be seen how it can be done) should keep Michigan in that spot.

The weirdest thing to me is how Radrick Farms (one of Pete Dye's first-ever projects) got such a choice listing.

Which Massachusetts university uses The Orchards?  Mount Holyoke?  Do they even own it?


1. (1) The Course at Yale

New Haven, Conn.

1926, Charles Blair Macdonald, Seth Raynor, 7.55


2. (2) Taconic GC

Williamstown, Mass.

1927, Wayne Stiles, John van Kleek, 6.91


3. (4) Rawls Course at Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

2003, Tom Doak, 6.52


4. (3) Palouse Ridge GC

Pullman, Wash.

2008, John Harbottle, 6.19


5. (5) University Ridge GC

Verona, Wis.

1991, Robert Trent Jones Jr., 6.12


6. (6) Stanford GC

Stanford, Calif.

1930, William P. Bell, John Harbottle, George C. Thomas Jr., 6.10


7. (7) Ohio State University (Scarlet)

Columbus, Ohio

1939, Alister MacKenzie, 5.99


8. (9) University of Michigan GC

Ann Arbor, Mich.

1931, Alister MacKenzie, 5.91


9. (13) University of Georgia GC

Athens, Ga.

1968, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Davis Love III, 5.90


10. (10) The Orchards

South Hadley, Mass.

1922, Donald Ross, 5.88


11. (12) Duke University GC

Durham, N.C.

1957, Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones Sr., 5.86


12. (11) Warren GC at Notre Dame

South Bend, Ind.

1999, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw, 5.82


13. (15) Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex (Kampen)

West Lafayette, Ind.

1998, Pete Dye, 5.76


14. (8) Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Va.

2005, Pete Dye, 5.75


15. (16) University of New Mexico (Championship)

Albuquerque, N.M.

1966, Red Lawrence, 5.65


16. (18) Colbert Hills

Manhattan, Kan.

2000, Jim Colbert, 5.62


17. (17) Radrick Farms

Ann Arbor, Mich.

1965, Pete Dye, 5.58


18. (19) U.S. Naval Academy GC

Annapolis, Md.

1942, William S. Flynn, 5.56


19. (14) Jimmie Austin OU GC

Norman, Okla.

1951, Bob Cupp, Perry Maxwell, 5.45


20. (20) Mark Bostick GC

Gainesville, Fla.

1921, Donald Ross, Bobby Weed, 5.36


21. (22) Finley GC

Chapel Hill, N.C.

1999, Tom Fazio, 5.26


22. (23) Seven Oaks GC

Hamilton, N.Y.

1955, Robert Trent Jones Sr., 5.24


23. (21) Eisenhower GC (Blue)

Colorado Springs, Colo.

1959, Robert Trent Jones Sr., 5.16


24. (26) Robert Trent Jones GC at Cornell

Ithaca, N.Y.

1930, Robert Trent Jones Sr., 5.12


25. (24) Vanderbilt Legends Club (North)

Franklin, Tenn.

1992, Bob Cupp, Tom Kite, 5.09


26. (25) University of Virginia GC (Birdwood)

Charlottesville, Va.

1984, Lindsay Ervin, 5.05


27. (28) Vanderbilt Legends Club (South)

Franklin, Tenn.

1992, Bob Cupp, Tom Kite, 5.04


28. (27) University of Maryland GC

College Park, Md.

1955, George Cobb, 4.96


29. (NR) Furman University GC*

Greenville, S.C.

1955, Richard Webel, Walter Cosby, John LaFoy, 4.96


30. (30) Lonnie Poole GC

Raleigh, N.C.

2009, Arnold Palmer, 4.85 



September 6th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

I totally agree with this, it's a hole that really rewards knowing the course. You really have to put your second shot in the right place (right side and not too far so that it gets blocked by the trees), and it requires a really delicate 3rd, particularly when the pin's on the back shelf.

Space Coyote

September 6th, 2013 at 3:49 PM ^

Purdue's Kampen (#13) is a very nice course as well. Played that last year. For as nice of a course as it is, I got on for a fairly good price as well, which always makes it a little nicer. Their other course was a pretty decent 2nd course as well, though I played it when they had no yardage markers out which made it quite a bit more difficult.

Also, that Yale green that they show in the picture would piss me off. "Hey I'm on the green! Oh, I jus have this canyon between my portion of the green and the one the flag is on." I'm not a good enough golfer for those kind of things.


September 6th, 2013 at 4:10 PM ^

I've only played 3 courses on this list, but Duke's is one of them....and holy heck, that's a hell of a course.

They also have the old cut-out section of wood from midcourt from Cameron inside the clubhouse.


September 6th, 2013 at 4:11 PM ^

I wonder, as the average college golfer gets longer and longer off the tee, how the course plays as a track for top players. I'd guess most college golfers can reach 2 of the 3 par 5s in two (3 still seems like it would be tough given the dogleg and small, elevated green), and have some kind of wedge on most of the par 4s. I guess the ultimate defense are the greens, which are very tricky.


September 6th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

I have been a member at Radrick for 27 years. Here are some little known facts

1) This was Pete Dye's first 18 hole design and he credits UofM president Harlan Hatcher for trusting him and launching his career

2) Radrick is named for Mattheai's (who donated the land) two sons : conRAD and fredRICK


3) Tracey M. Jones used to be the greenskeeper and got promoted to running the turf at the Michigan stadium, he was in charge when the debacle year of horrible turf happened and we went to artifical turf (he has since "retired" (cough cough))


4) The course is waaaaaaaaaay easier than when I first joined ~ 5-7 shots


5) Tiger Woods at age 15 played in the Insurance Youth Classic (was a very big junior event) and got a 10 on the par 5 16th hole. He lost the tournament by 2 shots


6) For the first 7-8 years, they couldn't get anybody to join and opened it up to basically anybody. But since ~1990, the alumni waiting list has been as long as 25 years (now less)


7) the clubhouse was the Matthai's actual home


September 6th, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

One of the reasons I've always loved the Michigan course, as a student, is how well-cared-for the track is - country club level (if not moreso), with plush greens and fairways. However, this past year, it seems as if the course has been looking and feeling a bit shotty (cutdown trees, and overgrown, hardened fairways, specifically). Apparently, some cost-cutting measures have led to the downsizing of the superintendent's staff. All the while, student rates (rather than Alumni or others') have gone up substantially, from $25 to $35.

Any insight into these changes would be interesting to hear about...


September 6th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

I played there as well this past summer - beginning of June. I was really looking forward it, but the course conditions simply did not impress me. I have to assume the funds to care for Radrick come from the same pot as those that care for the Michigan course. 


September 6th, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

Don't forget the two Vandy courses on list. Not rated as high, but a heck of a complex with a really cool new team clubhouse and hitting area set to be dedicated at the end of this month.

Wolverine In Exile

September 6th, 2013 at 6:23 PM ^

Unm and Eisenhower blue. Unm is a meticulously kept course in a notoriously arid locale. Eisenhower blue is basically mountain golf perfection. If u get a chance to play Eisenhower blue, stick around and play the silver. Shorter but more twisty.

R Kelly

September 6th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

I caddied for a number of years at a Tom Doak Course (Lost Dunes in Bridgman, MI).  He is truly a genius.  Lost Dunes is designed with I-94 running through the middle of it, yet you hardly even notice when you're out there.


September 6th, 2013 at 9:57 PM ^

I play a lot of golf and hit the ball a good distance and can vouch that the Blue course is really short and not very difficult off the tee, but the greens are what makes the course. That's why I love the course overall. You can have a lot of wedges into greens and still battle for pars because if you don't hit it in the right spot then you can really be screwed.

It's the ultimate home course advantage for Michigan.

Section 1

September 7th, 2013 at 7:39 AM ^

Students, alumni and faculty, plus their guests, can play there.  The Athletic Department gets greens fees out of that use.  They can use it for outings and fundraisers.  It's the most outlandish, Alister Mackenzie-designed parking lot in the world on fall Saturdays.

We're not talking about a softball field here.

Section 1

September 7th, 2013 at 7:33 AM ^

After going through the list once, I went back again to see how I missed Karsten Creek.  Is it actually a private course, that allows Okie State to play there?  Is this list limited to university-owned courses?  (Does Taconic meet that test?)

Does the UCLA team still use Bel Air?  Does USC use Riviera on a semi-official basis?