Officially opened on 1st May 2000, the William K. and Natalie O. Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame came about thanks to the generosity of alumnus William K. Warren Jr. The 18-hole layout is named in honour of Bill’s parents, combining his three great loves – family, golf and Notre Dame – and his magnanimity has also contributed to more recent course improvements.
Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the Warren Course nestles among 250 acres of woodlands on the north edge of the campus, within a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Host venue for the 2010 US Women’s Amateur Public Links championship, it was also used for the fortieth edition of the US Senior Open Championship in 2019.
The course is the home to the Notre
Dame men’s and women’s golf programs and it has hosted a number
of college competitions, such as the 2005 and 2010 NCAA Division I
Men’s Regionals and the 2011 and 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s
Regionals. In 2010, David Chung led Stanford University to the
Central Regional title and a place in the NCAA Championship field.
Three months later, Chung was the runner-up in the US Amateur
This is the second best 18-hole campus course I’ve played – only Yale is better in my opinion. Just like everything at the University of Notre Dame the golf course is perfect for the students and just about everyone else from beginners to the champions who will tee it up here next year for the 2019 US Senior Open. There are many things I liked about the Warren. It’s very easy on the eye and it’s a breeze to walk. There’s a great deal of class to a course that’s laid out on a relatively flat site. The only downside I’m told is that there are a few issues with the par four 18th due to flooding problems, but on the two occasions I played here the hole played as it should.
The front nine offers width, angles and options where most of the trouble is set around the smallish and well-protected greens. The back nine is where the action builds with some water in play and the closing three holes are very strong. I’d say my favorite is #16 which is a short par four where Juday Creek and bold fairway bunkering must be negotiated. It’s considered the signature hole and for good reason although I loved the elevated tee shot on #17 and the dogleg left closer, again with the creek in play is a brilliant way to finish.
The people here are just exceptional and I’d thoroughly recommend a visit to see this gem and if you’re in the area a 45-min drive down to Culver will present the best 9 hole campus course in the world.
The subtle parkland routing of the front nine gives way to a fantastic back nine capped off by a great stretch from 16-18. I have never played an English heathland course but I imagine this is as close as it gets in the US.
Fantastic routing around streams and ponds by Coore/Crenshaw and the conditions were some of the best I have seen in awhile. The greens are slick but not out of control and the back nine gets you fully enmeshed in a great woodland experience.
It will be interesting to see when the routing changes for the Senior US Open if they keep the routing for the day players as that may take the course to a higher level.