The course at Black Creek Club is a Brian Silva layout which he designed with more than a passing nod to the work carried out by Seth Raynor during the Golden Age of golf architecture. There’s a fine mix of original and replica holes here, with all the old favourites – Redan, Cape, Short and Punchbowl – making an appearance at some point.
The course is the centrepiece of a substantial residential development on the outskirts of Chattanooga, with one of the founding members, Doug Stein – the contractor who built the Honors Course and later renovated Lookout Mountain – the man behind the vision of fashioning a new millennium layout in the style of C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor.
There are lots of quirky old-fashioned design traits on display here, like square-shaped greens and deep grass-faced bunkers, and they’re combined with lots of inventive modern touches from Brian Silva. For sure, this isn’t a typical “golf community” layout, having been described by one commentator as “much more than a just a paint-by-numbers template.”
Highlight holes include the downhill 421-yard 1st, played to a Double Plateau green; the 458-yard 12th, a tough par four that features a shallow, creek-protected green; and the 243-yard 17th, where the 70-yard-long raised putting surface is split in two by an enormous swale to form a Biarritz green.
Black Creek is one of the better courses in Tennessee and is located at the center of large community. I'd like to start off by saying that I really like Black Creek and I have fun every single time I play it. I particularly love the back nine where you get away from the neighborhood and the scale is off the charts. With that being saying, the front nine can be a bit of a bummer at times because its lined with houses. Houses are literally everywhere you turn. Is that Brian Silva's fault? No but its difficult not to factor it into how you look at the course. There's no doubt that the course is situated on a great piece of land. Jack Lupton nearly built the Honors course on that same piece of property and we know how that course turned out.
I think Black Creek is one of Silva's better designs. He utilized a lot of the classic golf architecture designs. However, without a doubt, my favorite is the Biarritz green on 17. If you are lucky the pin will be back the day you play. There is nothing quite like the anticipation, optimism, and hopefully euphoria when you hit your tee shot,it lands on the green, stats rolling, disappears and good Lord willing reappears on the back tier.