Funded by John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, the largest meat producing company in the world, Blessings Golf Club is a private golf facility that’s operated by the University of Arkansas and it’s where the Razorbacks – the student golf teams – play their home ties.
A Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that debuted in 2004, the Blessings course is well known as a tough track, endorsed by its slope rating of 153 from the back tees. Routed in an old-fashioned “out-and-back” manner, the regular layout features three par fives on the outward half (par 37) and three par threes on the inward half (par 35).
But because the owner wanted flexibility built into the design, the architect rather uniquely set out the course with three adjustable holes (8, 9 and 16) which can be set up to play to different pars, depending on circumstances.
The landscape is very undulating, which results in many sidehill lies and there’s a number of forced carries over ravines and wetlands to be negotiated during a round. Clear Creek comes into play too, most notably at the par four 6th and the short par three 10th.
RTJ2 had this to say about the course: “Blessings stretches to nearly 7,500 yards from the back tees and plays through two distinct landforms: the Clear Creek floodplain and a plateau that rises to 65 feet above the floodplain where it's bisected by a series of ravines.
Both the outward and inward nines climb up and down between the two topographies, creating drama and variety on a course where golfers will surely feel both tested and blessed by the glory of their surroundings.”
In 2017 Kyle Phillips completed a remodel and re-route of his mentor's layout ahead of the club's hosting of the 2019 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Championships.