Home to the Clemson Tigers golf team, the Walker Course at Clemson University was fashioned by DJ DeVictor of DVS Design Group.
Located on campus at Clemson University’s Conference Center and Inn, the Walker Course measures 6,911 yards from the tips with its horseshoe-shaped routing configured in two returning nine-hole loops.
The back nine brings Hartwell Lake into play during the last five holes on the scorecard – especially at the signature “Tiger Paw” 17th and at the home hole.
Having traveled to 42 of the 46 counties in South Carolina, I can honestly say that Clemson as a town and campus is one of the most charming places in the Palmetto State. The hospitality I have experienced there is remarkable, even when visiting as the fan of an opposing football team on game day! That same warm spirit was present when I had the privilege of playing the Walker Course at Clemson. The staff and students I met during my round were incredibly kind, and there really is no ‘rating’ you can place on feeling welcome as a stranger in a new place.
The Walker Course was very well manicured and had some standout holes, including:
• #1: Architecturally, this may be the most interesting hole on the property. On the tee shot, players must content with a pond in the front, and then Hunnicutt Creek which naturally meanders both left and across the fairway. That creek comes into play again on the layup shot, while daring players who attempt to go for the green must contend with some small pot bunkers placed at awkward distances from the putting surface.
• #6: After playing through some dense patches of forest, the sixth bursts out of the trees with a very wide fairway. Wind is a factor as the player must use the width to strategically place their tee shot.
• #12: As mentioned in previous comments below, the very narrow 12th green is memorable, and works well with the dense hole corridor.
• #14-#15: Both of these holes use the downward rolling topography to create interest, and their setting far from the clubhouse is peaceful.
• #17: I know many architecture buffs may find this Tiger Paw peninsular green to be an oddity, but these are exactly the types of unique quirks I seek out in my golf journey. I had waited years to finally play this hole and thought it really captured the essence of the moment.
• #18: After #1, this may be the second most compelling hole architecturally on the course – a memorable beginning and end! A difficult tee shot, the player must contend with a manmade pond and Lake Hartwell. Interestingly, the best angle of the green is from the left side of the fairway, but landing here requires both a longer, more challenging drive and also forces you to have a longer iron into the green.
While my total experience at Clemson was very enjoyable, and the round was a terrific value, I would not put the course on the same level architecturally as its ACC peers here in the Triangle region, or other collegiate courses I have visited. In my opinion, many of the hole corridors were narrow and overly peppered with unnatural humps. That said, it is one of the best courses I have experienced in the upstate, and if you find yourself with the chance to visit the university or even just the town of Clemson, I would strongly encourage you to hop on the opportunity. After your round, go grab a cold beer and a “Bird Dog” at the Esso Club!
Outstanding golf course. Love the tiger paw (17th) PAR. Much like the football team it is one of the best collegiate golf courses out there. I've played 65 to date and would put C L E M S OOOOO N in the top five. Love the tiger paws everywhere leading to campus. Psssssst I have not played Ohio State which is on the bucketlist. Any alumni out there to help me out in my travels this summer?
Hello Larry...I imagine you will enjoy Ohio State's course for far different reasons than myself, but as I admire your collegiate goal, you may email me at [email protected] the next time you are in the region. I regret to inform you that, despite the obvious Jack Nicklaus connection, we don't have any of the bear statues you so admire.
The Walker Course is a wonderful spot to tee it up. Very close to the Clemson campus on the front, but also steps away from the lake on the back, so you get two completely different vibes here. #12 could make an argument as best par 3 in upstate SC. 150ish or less yards to a very downhill green that's deep but narrow. Hard slope off the left, creek on the right. Just a quiet, natural hole tucked in the woods that's hard to not fall in love with. There's no hole here that's weak, but I've always thought it's ironic it's called the Walker when walking it would be a very tall task. I feel like anyone trying to walk it would lose all their breath going from 16 tee to 16 fairway. If it was more negotiable on foot, I'd cite it as one of the top 10 college courses in the USA.
One of the best college courses i have had the pleasure to play. From the tips it is just under 7000 yards but it has some bite.
The first hole is a short par five and should be easy money for you big hitters, but there is a creek that bisects the fairway about 115 yards out. The 2nd hole is another birdie oppty. The long par 4 3rd is well protected, right off the tee is dead and there is a BAB on the right 3rd of the green. Anything right of that will go right hard and probably go off the green. The 4th is a 200 yard par 3 protected by a couple of bunkers and a ravine in front. If you don't hit the green, par will be a challenge. The par 5 5th is reachable, left off the tee is at best blocked out or dead. The long par 4 6th is a dogleg left. It may look as if it goes right up the hill, but it goes left. On the par 4 7th on the tee aim at the furthest right bunker. Pay attention to the pin location on this mult-tiered green. The 9th is a beast. From the tips 460 dogleg left. Ideally, you want to be as far left in the fairway as possible. However, inside of 180 the fairway turns to rough and at about 150 there is a creek. The approach is all carry over a water hazard, Deservedly, the number one handicap hole.
The backside starts with 2 long par 4s,the 10th is uphill so take an extra club. The 12th is a cool downhill par 3 tucked in the forest. It has a very long narrow green that can change club selection by up to 3 clubs. Also, the green tilts left to right. The 13th is a birdie oppty, be aware this green has a significant front to back slope. Pay attention to pin location. Parts of 14-18 are on the lake and are fun finishing holes. The par 5 14th is a birdie oppty. Ideal tee shot favors the left side of the fairway and 2nd shot right side of the fairway to your favorite wedge yardage. The 15th is also a birdie oppty. A decent drive should give you a scoring iron in your hands,but be forewarned, this is a table top green. If you miss this green and walk a way with a par that is a W. The par 5 16th is undergoing some renovations as one of the tee boxes fell into a sinkhole. A pretty hole that parallels the lake with everything sloping left. Be well right of the pin on your approach. The par 3 17th is the signature hole. A water carry tee shot is required. Bunkers behind the green are configured as a tiger paw. The par 4 18th looks more intimidating than it is. Pay no attention to the water hazard and aim at the 150 yard marker off the tee. This is a well protected green, if you are going to miss, miss left.
The front , other than 9 is pretty pedestrian. The back is a lot of fun. A note of caution, there are long walks from 12 green to 13 tee, 15 green to 16 tee and then from 16 tee box around an inlet to your drive. A fun economical course!