​US South Atlantic Division Best in State Rankings 2020

26 November 2020 Respond to this article

US South Atlantic Division Best in State Rankings 2020

Four months after embarking on our Best in State revisions with a survey of the Pacific Division, we’ve reached the other side of the country. After reviewing eight states in the South Atlantic Division – Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia – we’ll head north along the eastern seaboard in our final two editions until all the remaining states have been re-appraised.

But first, we reassess the standings in the southwest portion of the country, in an area extending to almost 300,000 square miles with a population of more than sixty million people. Sixteen courses are listed in our US Top 100 (and six of these make the cut in our World Top 100) so it’s obviously a very strong golfing region which has prompted us to add another 35 layouts, bringing the total number of South Atlantic courses in our rankings up to 440.

We start our latest re-evaluation process in Delaware, the second smallest state in the United States.


Delaware

The 18-hole Bidermann layout at Winterthur replaced the South course at Wilmington Country Club as the state No. 1 two years ago and it holds onto that position in the new chart. Redesigned in the mid-1960s by Dick Wilson, who added nine holes to the original nine set out by Devereux Emmet in Henry Du Pont’s private estate forty years earlier, the course also operates as the golfing retreat for members of Vicmead Hunt Club, which amalgamated with Bidermann to form the one sporting club in 1977.

Bidermann Golf Course

Bidermann Golf Course

Two miles southwest of Bidermann, as the crow flies sits the course at Fieldstone Golf Club, rising three places in our listings to #3. Designed by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry when they were working together in the late 1980s, this layout occupies a rolling property imbued with plenty of movement across a landscape that’s dotted with old rock walls and stone ruins, many of which were incorporated into the design.

Fieldstone Golf Club

Fieldstone Golf Club

Rank/ Course Move
1 Bidermann No change
2 Wilmington (South) No change
3 Fieldstone Up 3
4 The Peninsula No change
5 Bayside Resort Down 2
6 Baywood Greens (Woodside & Waterside). Down 1
7 Wilmington (North) No change
8 DuPont (DuPont) Up 1
9 White Clay Creek Up 1
10 Bear Trap Dunes (Grizzly & Black Bear) Up 1
11 Deerfield Down 3
12 Back Creek No change
13 DuPont (Nemours) Up 2
14 Cripple Creek No change
15 Heritage Shores Down 2


Click the link to see full details of our latest Delaware Best in State rankings


Florida

The top six courses in the Florida Top 100 – all of them residing in our US Top 100 – stay in the same place, so the No. 1 course in the Sunshine State continues to be the old layout at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach. Host venue for the Walker Cup next year, this 1920s Donald Ross design has been renovated several times since then, most notably by Brian Silva then Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw in recent years.

Seminole Golf Club

Seminole Golf Club

Regular contributor Mark White told us earlier this year: “Seminole is brilliant in its routing, taking advantage of the high dune ridge on the far side of the course and a smaller ridge nearer the beach. Much like Muirfield, it moves in all directions… the greens have slopes, tilts and a few mounds. They are not overly undulated and often break less than one sees from a closer putt, but often break more than one sees from a lengthy putt… most of the fairway bunkers offer an excellent chance to reach one’s target however greenside bunkers can be very deep.”

There are 12 new entries for Florida and the highest of these, arriving at #30, is The Moorings at Hawk’s Nest in Vero Beach. Described by our correspondent Marc Bender as “the best course in Florida I had never heard of,” it’s a Jim Fazio design that opened for play in the mid-1980s, one of two 18-hole courses operated by the Moorings Yacht & Country Club close to the Intracoastal Waterway on the eastern seaboard.

The Moorings at Hawk’s Nest

The Moorings at Hawk's Nest

Marc continues: “I was shocked at what a solid and balanced test of golf this wonderful course represents… the elevation changes and use of the land is excellent [and] the green complexes are perfectly fitting for the length and difficulty of the holes… the bunkering and use of coquina areas create great playability, even if you spray the ball a bit on the course.”

The biggest climber in our Floridian standings is the course at High Ridge Country Club in Lantana, soaring an incredible forty-five places to #37. It’s a late 1970s tree-lined layout from Joe Lee which underwent an extensive renovation in 2001 and then a complete redesign in 2010 by Jupiter-based Kipp Schulties, who built new greens, cleared acres of vegetation, added length to the course with new tees, along with introducing new sandy waste areas and renovating bunkers.

High Ridge Country Club

High Ridge Country Club

Rank/ Course Move
1 Seminole No change
2 TPC at Sawgrass (Stadium) No change
3 Streamsong (Red) No change
4 Streamsong (Blue) No change
5 Calusa Pines No change
6 Streamsong (Black) No change
7 McArthur Up 2
8 John's Island (West) No change
9 Mountain Lake Down 2
10 Jupiter Hills (Hills) No change
11 World Woods (Pine Barrens) Up 1
12 Concession Down 1
13 Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry) No change
14 Indian Creek Up 1
15 Pine Tree Down 1
16 Medalist Up 2
17 Old Memorial Down 1
18 Loblolly Up 4
19 Lake Nona Up 2
20 Trump International (Championship) Up 12
21 Isleworth Down 1
22 Pablo Creek Down 5
23 Bear's Club Down 4
24 Bay Hill (Challenger & Champion) Down 1
25 Naples National Down 1
26 Old Marsh Up 2
27 Floridian National No change
28 Innisbrook (Copperhead) Up 1
29 Trump National Doral (Blue Monster) Down 4
30 The Moorings at Hawk's Nest New entry
31 Timuquana No change
32 Dye Preserve Up 1
33 Coral Creek Up 6
34 Country Club of Florida Down 4
35 Quail Valley New entry
36 Hammock Beach (Ocean) Down 1
37 High Ridge Up 45
38 Country Club of Orlando Up 10
39 World Woods (Rolling Oaks) Up 3
40 Gator Creek New entry
41 Hammock Beach (Conservatory) Up 2
42 Camp Creek Down 6
43 Capital City Down 5
44 Bella Collina New entry
45 Jupiter Hills (Village) Down 5
46 Shark's Tooth Down 5
47 North Palm Beach No change
48 Golden Ocala Down 11
49 Emerald Dunes No change
50 Sara Bay New entry
51 Trump National - Jupiter New entry
52 TPC Sawgrass (Dye's Valley) Up 1
53 PGA National (Champion) Down 19
54 Tranquilo Up 27
55 Mission Inn (El Campeon) Up 1
56 Old Collier Up 7
57 Southern Dunes Down 3
58 Waldorf Astoria No change
59 PGA (Wanamaker) No change
60 Turnberry Isle (Soffer) Down 16
61 Boca Rio Down 11
62 Sawgrass (East & West) Up 2
63 Sandestin (Burnt Pine) Up 6
64 Orange County National (Panther Lake). Down 4
65 Tiburón (Black) Down 10
66 Trump National Doral (Golden Palm) Up 2
67 Grand Cypress (New) Down 22
68 Black Diamond Ranch (Ranch) Down 17
69 Gasparilla Inn Down 7
70 Hole In The Wall Down 9
71 Juliette Falls Up 1
72 Old Corkscrew Down 2
73 Gulf Stream Down 8
74 Broken Sound (Old) New entry
75 Sandestin (Raven) Down 18
76 Banyan New entry
77 Crandon New entry
78 Bonita Bay (Bay Island) Down 7
79 PGA (Dye) Down 4
80 Reunion (Watson) Down 14
81 Trump National Doral (Red Tiger) Up 2
82 Breakers (Rees Jones) Down 15
83 Loxahatchee Up 2
84 Innisbrook (Island) Down 5
85 Adios Up 2
86 Ponte Vedra (Ocean) Down 13
87 Members Club - Sarasota Down 7
88 Hideout Down 2
89 Orange County National (Crooked Cat) Down 5
90 Kelly Plantation Down 16
91 Regatta Bay Down 3
92 Orchid Island Down 2
93 RedStick New entry
94 World Golf Village (King & Bear) Down 5
95 Pensacola Down 3
96 Mission Inn (Las Colinas) Down 3
97 BallenIsles (East) Down 6
98 Amelia Island Plantation (Long Point) Down 4
99 Southern Hills Plantation New entry
100 La Gorce New entry


Click the link to see full details of our latest Florida Best in State rankings


Georgia

The course at Augusta National Golf Club retains its No. 1 status in the state of Georgia, a position it’s held since we started our Best in State rankings in 2012. Home to one of golf’s four majors, the invitational Masters Tournament, it was rather surreal to see the course staging a more subdued autumnal version of the event without spectators just the other week, following the early season postponement of the competition due to the current covid crisis.

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf Club

The aforementioned Mark White sent us this a few months ago, after he’d finally got his invitation to play here: “some people criticize Augusta National for its changes such as adding length, trees, and even a short first cut. None of these changes have diminished the choices that one must make on the course. It remains a course of strategy due to the greens. This is a golf course that one starts at the green position and tries to work their way back to the tee to determine the side of the fairway they want to play to as well as where they want to land their ball on the green.”

The highest of fourteen new Georgian entries is the Gil Hanse-designed layout at Ohoopee Match Club in rural Tattnall County which crashes into the chart close to the summit at #3. Built on part of an estate once used for onion production, this new development features a total of twenty-two holes that can be grouped together to form anything from a 5,610-yard par 69 fun track to a 7,319-yard par 72 championship-style beast.

Ohoopee Match Club

Ohoopee Match Club

Our US Correspondent Fergal O’Leary visited last year and was enthused by what he found: “The simplicity and natural presentation of the course is the epitome of minimalism. The teeing grounds have no signs or markers, just some subtle platforms to tee off. The scorecard has par 3.5, 4.5 and 5.5 holes, which further highlights how ‘par’ is just a concept and nobody cares what you shot – it’s all about winning your match! Hence one of the underlying philosophies of the club’s existence is to facilitate match play.”

The most impressive move upwards is made by the Plantation course at the Sea Island Resort on St Simons Island, advancing twelve rungs on the ladder to #19. This is a track dating back almost a hundred years, to when Walter Travis first laid out nine of the holes. Dick Wilson then added another nine in the 1960s before Rees Jones completed a renovation in the late 1990s. Davis Love and his brother Mark have recently carried out another significant upgrade, with the results of their endeavors clearly apparent to those watching the RSM Classic last week on television, when the first two rounds of this PGA Tour event were shared between the Plantation and Seaside courses.

Plantation course at the Sea Island Resort

Sea Island Plantation course

Rank/ Course Move
1 Augusta National No change
2 Peachtree No change
3 Ohoopee Match Club New entry
4 East Lake No change
5 Cuscowilla Down 2
6 Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands) No change
7 Sea Island (Seaside) Down 2
8 Atlanta Country Club Down 1
9 Lookout Mountain No change
10 Ocean Forest No change
11 Augusta Country Club Down 3
12 The Farm No change
13 Hawks Ridge Down 2
14 Atlanta Athletic Club (Riverside) Down 1
15 Reynolds Lake Oconee (Great Waters). No change
16 Ansley (Settindown Creek) Down 2
17 Ford Plantation Down 1
18 Capital City Club (Crabapple) Down 1
19 Sea Island (Plantation) Up 12
20 Champions Retreat (Bluff & Island) Down 1
21 Currahee Down 3
22 Rivermont Down 2
23 Cobblestone Down 1
24 Frederica No change
25 Old Tocca Farm New entry
26 Georgia (Lakeside) Down 5
27 Landings Club (Deer Creek) New entry
28 Reynolds Lake Oconee (Oconee) Down 5
29 Cherokee Town (North) Up 7
30 Harbor Club Down 5
31 Sea Island (Retreat) Down 2
32 Druid Hills No change
33 The Fields No change
34 Landings Club (Palmetto) New entry
35 Reynolds Lake Oconee (National) Down 9
36 Lanier Islands Legacy New entry
37 Country Club of the South Down 10
38 TPC Sugarloaf (Stables & Meadows) Down 1
39 Landings Club (Terrapin Point) New entry
40 Reynolds Lake Oconee (Creek Club) Up 4
41 The Standard Club Down 1
42 Landings Club (Magnolia) New entry
43 Achasta Down 15
44 Reynolds Lake Oconee (The Landing) Down 14
45 University of Georgia Down 6
46 Atlanta National New entry
47 Glen Arven Down 12
48 Reynolds Lake Oconee (Preserve) New entry
49 Piedmont Driving Club Down 11
50 Bear's Best Atlanta New entry
51 The King and Prince New entry
52 River Club Down 18
53 White Columns New entry
54 Athens Down 13
55 Fields Ferry New entry
56 Arrowhead Pointe Down 14
57 McLemore Club New entry
58 Kinderlou Forest Down 13
59 Brasstown Valley Down 11
60 Barnsley Resort Down 17


Click the link to see full details of our latest Georgia Best in State rankings


Maryland

The leading five courses in the Maryland listings stay as they are, meaning the East course at Baltimore Country Club (better known as Five Farms) is still top of the pile in the Old Line State. This layout, opened in 1926, has hosted a number of prestigious tournaments down the years, the most recent of which was the Senior Players Championship from 2007 to 2009. Keith Foster was called in a few years ago to conduct a restoration of this A.W. Tillinghast classic, softening some of the greens in the process, but they’re “still treacherous after the changes” according to Tom Doak.

Baltimore Country Club Five Farms East course

Baltimore Country Club East Course

The only new chart entry comes in at #17 and it’s the Herbert Strong-designed course at Woodholme Country Club in Pikesville, which plays to an unconventional par of 73, featuring four par fives on the inward half. With seven creek crossings, this is a demanding track that has largely flown under the golfing radar of many for a long time now. Ed Ault revised the course a couple of times in the 1960s and 70s, but perhaps a revision by another architect might now be in order to address the back nine par ratings?

Woodholme Country Club

Woodholme Country Club

Moving six positions up the table to #23 (only two spots lower than it was back in 2014), Eagle’s Landing Golf Course near Ocean City is a Michael Hurdzan design from the early 1990s that weaves around the salt marshes bordering Sinepuxent Bay and Assateague Island. Regular contributor M. James Ward commented last year: “there’s enough hole variation to keep one’s interest front and center. Yes, there are some pedestrian holes – mainly on the par threes – however Eagle’s Landing proves this bird can certainly fly.”

Rank/ Course Move
1 Baltimore (East) No change
2 Congressional (Blue) No change
3 Caves Valley No change
4 Columbia No change
5 Four Streams No change
6 Chevy Chase Club Up 1
7 Bulle Rock Down 1
8 Congressional (Gold) Up 1
9 Burning Tree Down 1
10 Links at Perry Cabin Up 5
11 Lighthouse Sound Down 1
12 Lake Presidential Up 4
13 Lodestone Down 1
14 TPC Potomac Down 1
15 Whiskey Creek Down 4
16 Country Club at Woodmore. Down 2
17 Woodholme New entry
18 Bethesda Down 1
19 Woodmont (South) Up 2
20 Fountain Head Down 2
21 Musket Ridge Up 2
22 River Marsh No change
23 Eagle's Landing Up 6
24 Rum Pointe Down 5
25 Rocky Gap Down 5
26 Worthington Manor Down 2
27 Woodmont (North) Down 2
28 Greystone Up 2
29 Queenstown Harbor (River) Down 3
30 Maryland National Down 3


Click the link to see full details of our latest Maryland Best in State rankings


North Carolina

We’ve expanded our North Carolina rankings so it now becomes the fourth state – after California, Florida and Texas – to feature a Top 100. The status quo applies to the top three positions in the new chart so Donald Ross’s No.2 course at the Pinehurst Resort maintains its No. 1 billing. The USGA recently announced its intention to establish a new equipment-testing facility, museum/visitor center and office at Pinehurst by 2023, declaring the resort as its first “Anchor Site” and awarding it the hosting rights for five US Open Championships between 2024 and 2047.

Pinehurst No.2 course

Pinehurst No. 2 Course

Peter Wood, another of our regular reviewers, remarked a few months ago: “the course now looks and feels like Ross had imagined it. And it is a terrific test of golf, with the main defense being the beautifully groomed crowned greens. A shot just feet from your target can trickle off the green in positions that test even the best of short games… you have to be very good to hit approach shots accurately enough to keep hitting and staying on greens, and very, very good to recover when you inevitably miss a green.”

Rocketing twenty-two places upwards into the top half of the table at #49, the Nicklaus course at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington comprises two nines (Marsh and Ocean) which were introduced in 1990 plus a further nine holes (Pines) added in 2001. Fairways are routed discreetly around a substantial residential development, bordered on one side by the Intracoastal Highway, at a 45-hole facility that also boasts an 18-hole Pete Dye track.

Jefferson Landing

Jefferson Landing

The foremost of a raft of new entries is the 18-hole layout at Jefferson Landing, which now arrives at #58. Built in the early 1990s, the course was recently renovated by Kris Spence, who refurbished the bunkers, replaced the tees, upgraded the fairways and reworked the green surrounds in a major revamp that matched a multi-million dollar update of the clubhouse, lodge and other accommodations.

Rank/ Course Move
1 Pinehurst (No.2) No change
2 Old Town No change
3 Wade Hampton No change
4 Roaring Gap Up 2
5 Charlotte Down 1
6 Quail Hollow Up 1
7 Grandfather Down 2
8 Tobacco Road Up 1
9 Mid Pines Down 1
10 Dormie Club No change
11 Pine Needles No change
12 Diamond Creek No change
13 Mountaintop Up 3
14 Sedgefield Up 6
15 Pinehurst (No.4) Up 9
16 Forest Creek (South) Down 2
17 Eagle Point No change
18 Forest Creek (North) Down 3
19 Biltmore Forest Up 2
20 Cape Fear Country Club Up 9
21 Raleigh Up 9
22 Pinehurst (No.8) No change
23 Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood) Down 10
24 Champion Hills Down 6
25 Old North State Down 6
26 Elk River Club Down 3
27 Carolina GC Down 2
28 Linville GC Down 2
29 Hope Valley CC Down 2
30 Highlands Country Club Down 2
31 Cliffs at Walnut Cove No change
32 Sapphire Valley No change
33 Linville Ridge No change
34 Pinehurst (No.9) Up 8
35 Rock Barn (Robert Trent Jones Jnr) No change
36 Trump National - Charlotte Down 2
37 Duke University Up 2
38 Governors Club (Lakes & Foothills) Down 1
39 Southern Pines Up 1
40 Pinehurst (No.7) Up 4
41 Starmount Forest No change
42 Mimosa Hills Up 6
43 Country Club of Landfall (Dye) Down 5
44 Old Chatham Up 3
45 Forsyth Up 10
46 Treyburn Up 5
47 Scotch Hall Preserve Up 5
48 Country Club of North Carolina (Cardinal) Down 3
49 Country Club of Landfall (Nicklaus) Up 22
50 Ocean Ridge Plantation (Leopard's Chase). Down 14
51 Prestonwood (Highlands) Up 12
52 Hasentree Up 15
53 UNC Finley Up 9
54 MacGregor Downs Up 7
55 Wilmington Municipal Down 5
56 Ocean Ridge Plantation (Tiger's Eye) Down 13
57 Greensboro (Farm) Up 16
58 Jefferson Landing New entry
59 River Landing (River) Down 2
60 Mid South Club New entry
61 The Cardinal Down 3
62 Bald Head Island Down 6
63 Pinehurst (No.6) Down 14
64 High Point (Willow Creek) Up 1
65 Myers Park Up 4
66 Alamance New entry
67 Balsam Mountain Preserve New entry
68 The Currituck Club New entry
69 Irish Creek Down 23
70 Tanglewood Park (Championship) New entry
71 Gaston Up 4
72 River Landing (Landing) Up 2
73 Tot Hill Farm Down 7
74 Hendersonville New entry
75 Lonnie Poole New entry
76 Cape Fear National Down 16
77 The Peninsula Club Down 13
78 Bryan Park (Champions) New entry
79 Ballantyne New entry
80 Hound Ears New entry
81 Rivers Edge Down 27
82 Pinewood CC New entry
83 Forest Oaks New entry
84 Prestonwood (Meadows) New entry
85 Grandover (East) New entry
86 Porters Neck New entry
87 Legacy Golf Links New entry
88 Sequoyah National Down 29
89 Kilmarlic New entry
90 River Run New entry
91 Grove Park Inn Down 38
92 Pinewild (Magnolia) New entry
93 Carmel (South) New entry
94 Country Club of Ashville New entry
95 Longview Down 23
96 Thistle (Cameron & Mackay) New entry
97 Umstead Pines New entry
98 TPC Piper Glen New entry
99 Wakefield Plantation Down 31
100 Legends (Oyster Bay) Down 30


Click the link to see full details of our latest North Carolina Best in State rankings


South Carolina

The Ocean course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is still our No.1 in South Carolina. Best remembered for the infamous “War on the Shore” Ryder Cup matches in 1991, the course came to national prominence again when it hosted the PGA Championship in 2012 and it’s due to stage the 103rd edition of this event next year. Co-designed by Pete and Alice Dye, the Ocean course is renowned as a tough track, and that’s even the case before the breezy Atlantic winds begin to blow.

Kiawah Island Ocean course

Kiawah Island Ocean Course

A reviewer summarized his playing experience a few months back by writing: “the clubhouse is wonderful with lots of Ryder Cup memorabilia… the staff are extremely welcoming and breakfast on the balcony overlooking the 18th was superb… if you are not a pro do not play from the back tees [as] I guarantee you will not enjoy your round… we are all single figure [handicap] golfers and played off the 6,475-yard tees which were a great test but still offered birdie chances.”

The most significant progress in the new listings is made by the course at Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, rising nine spots from where it entered the chart two years ago to our new #3 position. Described in a post at the end of last year as “pristine and first class,” with “not enough superlatives to describe the facilities, the service (and) the beauty” of the place, Congaree is one of Tom Fazio’s best designs, bracketed with the likes of Estancia Club, Shadow Creek and Wade Hampton. Expect to hear a lot more about it in times to come.

Congaree Golf Club

Congaree Golf Club

There are only two new entries for South Carolina and the first of these is Old South Golf Links in Bluffton at #42, which Clyde Johnson designed in the 1990s. Our rater Adam Tomasiello summed things up here rather well: “Old South features thought-provoking and varied architecture, is priced affordably, and, most importantly, keenly and uniquely highlights the environs, without having to play through neighborhoods. As if this feat were not impressive enough, Old South allows players to experience three unique natural settings: open parkland pasture, live oak marine forest, and intra-coastal waterways all come into play throughout the round.”

Old South Golf Links

Old South Golf Links

Rank/ Course Move
1 Kiawah Island (Ocean) No change
2 Yeamans Hall No change
3 Congaree Up 9
4 Harbour Town Down 1
5 Palmetto No change
6 Long Cove No change
7 Dunes Golf & Beach Club Down 3
8 Sage Valley Up 1
9 Caledonia Up 1
10 Secession Up 1
11 May River Up 2
12 Chechessee Creek Down 5
13 Greenville (Chanticleer) Down 5
14 Bulls Bay No change
15 Country Club of Charleston Up 7
16 Old Tabby Links Down 1
17 Kiawah Island Club (Cassique) Down 1
18 Colleton River Plantation (Pete Dye) Up 2
19 Musgrove Mill Down 2
20 Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards Up 1
21 Kiawah Island Club (River) Down 2
22 Haig Point (Rees Jones Signature) Up 5
23 Colleton River Plantation (Nicklaus) Down 5
24 Cliffs at Mountain Park No change
25 Briar's Creek No change
26 Cherokee Plantation Down 3
27 Reserve at Lake Keowee Down 1
28 True Blue No change
29 Wachesaw Plantation Up 1
30 Belfair (West) Up 1
31 Tidewater Down 2
32 Belfair (East) No change
33 Wild Dunes (Links) Up 1
34 Cliffs at Keowee Falls Down 1
35 Cliffs at Keowee Springs Up 1
36 Daniel Island (Beresford Creek) Up 8
37 DeBordieu Club Up 1
38 Cliffs at Glassy Up 3
39 Atlantic Dunes No change
40 TPC Myrtle Beach No change
41 Arcadian Shores Up 1
42 Old South New entry
43 Camden Country Club No change
44 Reserve at Pawleys Island Down 9
45 Grande Dunes (Resort Club) No change
46 Barefoot Resort (Fazio) Up 11
47 Legends (Heathland) Down 10
48 Daniel Island (Ralston Creek) Down 2
49 Country Club of Spartanburg Down 2
50 Walker Course at Clemson University Up 17
51 Berkeley Hall (North) Down 2
52 Barefoot Resort (Dye) Down 4
53 Thornblade No change
54 Aiken Up 26
55 Dataw Island (Cotton Dike) Up 18
56 Palmetto Dunes (Robert Trent Jones) Up 7
57 Legends (Moorland) Down 6
58 Barefoot Resort (Love) Down 8
59 Myrtle Beach National (King's North) No change
60 Legends (Heritage) Down 6
61 Heron Point Down 9
62 Kiawah Island (Turtle Point) Down 6
63 Orangeburg Up 5
64 Wexford Plantation No change
65 The Windermere Club Up 5
66 Florence CC Down 11
67 Callawassie Island (Dogwood & Magnolia). Down 1
68 Oldfield Up 3
69 Greenville (Riverside) Up 3
70 Kiawah Island (Osprey Point) Down 10
71 Glen Dornoch Waterway Down 6
72 Surf Golf & Beach Club Down 10
73 Country Club of South Carolina Down 4
74 Pine Lakes Up 1
75 Indigo Run Down 1
76 Cross Creek Plantation No change
77 Woodcreek No change
78 Berkeley Hall (South) Down 20
79 Pawleys Plantation Down 18
80 Kiawah Island (Cougar Point) New entry


Click the link to see full details of our latest South Carolina Best in State rankings


Virginia

The Old Dominion chart has a new No. 1, with the course at The Olde Farm in Bristol moving up one place from the runner-up slot to take over at the top. Set out by Bobby Weed in 2000, the course is rated his best solo design by Tom Doak, who worked with Weed when he was starting out in the business at Long Cove on Hilton Head Island forty years ago. It’s a minimalist, lie-of-the-land layout which brings Sinking Creek into play on several holes, with one or two semi-blind shots thrown into the mix along the way.

The Olde Farm

The Olde Farm

A review posted three months ago had this to say about the course: “this continues to be the standard that I rank courses by. Due to its small membership and exclusivity it gets little play. The practice facility is outstanding with its spacious range and wooden baskets full of range balls. The clubhouse is small and quaint and the staff first class. The three times I have been fortunate to play The Olde Farm it has been in perfect shape… if you ever get the invite to play DO NOT pass it up. If you do, contact me and I will take your place.”

The highest entry from four chart newcomers is the course at Washington Golf & Country Club in Arlington, appearing at #7. Founded in 1894, the club became only the ninth to join the USGA after it was formed the same year. Donald Ross redesigned the club’s original course before Howard Toomey and William Flynn reworked the layout when additional land was acquired in 1919. Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design company has just completed a remarkable renovation of the course, bringing it into the future by winding the clock back a hundred years to the club’s Golden Age roots.

Washington Golf & Country Club

Washington Golf & Country Club

The most noteworthy move in the new chart is made by the Birdwood Golf Course at the Boar’s Head Resort outside Charlottesville, which is up seventeen places to #26. Home course for the men’s and women’s golf teams at the University of Virginia, Birdwood has only re-opened after a major upgrade by Davis Love III to offer bent grass greens, rough seeded with blue grass and fescues, and some new holes on new land; all of these components combining to give the layout a different look and feel.

Birdwood Golf Course

Birdwood Golf Course

Rank/ Course Move
1 The Olde Farm Up 1
2 Kinloch Down 1
3 Homestead (Cascades) No change
4 Robert Trent Jones No change
5 Ballyhack No change
6 Highland at Primland No change
7 Washington G&CC New entry
8 Trump National (Championship) Up 1
9 Virginian Up 1
10 Farmington (Main) Up 1
11 Royal New Kent New entry
12 Full Cry at Keswick Hall Down 5
13 Golden Horseshoe (Gold) Down 5
14 Country Club of Virginia (James River) Down 2
15 Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech. Down 2
16 Boonsboro Down 2
17 Bayville Up 15
18 Spring Creek Down 3
19 The Foundry No change
20 Trump National (River) Up 2
21 Independence (Championship) Up 4
22 Kingsmill (River) Down 6
23 Creighton Farms Down 6
24 Two Rivers Down 3
25 Poplar Grove Up 4
26 Birdwood Up 17
27 Hermitage (Manakin) Down 4
28 Mattaponi Springs Down 8
29 Lansdowne (Norman) Up 13
30 Riverfront No change
31 Bay Creek (Palmer) No change
32 James River CC New entry
33 Laurel Hill Down 5
34 Viniterra Down 10
35 Hermitage (Sabot) No change
36 Potomac Shores Down 9
37 Golden Horseshoe (Green) Down 4
38 Raspberry Falls Down 4
39 Westfields No change
40 Lansdowne (RTJ II) No change
41 Wintergreen (Devil's Knob) Up 5
42 Golden Eagle Down 5
43 Farmington (East) Down 17
44 Stonewall Down 8
45 Blue Ridge Shadows No change
46 Lake Chesdin Up 1
47 Lakeside Park New entry
48 Cypress Point CC Down 4
49 Bay Creek (Nicklaus) Down 31
50 Heron Ridge No change


Click the link to see full details of our latest Virginia Best in State rankings


West Virginia

The course at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport heads our West Virginia chart for the 5th successive edition of these state rankings. Built on a former coal mine in the hill country of Harrison County, it was naturally going to be called something like “Coal Ridge” until the family developing the site obviously thought there was more marketing benefit to be gained from naming the layout after its illustrious architect.

Pete Dye Golf Club

Pete Dye Golf Club

Reviewers in the last few months commented: “the mining heritage of the club’s property and past ownership is celebrated throughout… Pete Dye (the club) is a visual feast, and quite a golf course to boot… (the course) works extremely well because Pete Dye himself did not opt to throw everything into the mix. West Virginia carries the State slogan of ‘Wild Wonderful’ – that’s entirely appropriate for this engaging and memorable layout.”

A new entry at #8 is the course at Guyan Golf & Country Club near Huntington, where Herbert Strong set out eighteen holes for the members in 1922. The club hosted the US Girls’ Junior championship in 1977 but it’s probably best known as the home club of Bill Campbell, one of the finest amateur golfers to ever play the game. Bill, who won both the US Amateur and US Senior Amateur titles, as well as participating in eight Walker Cups, also held the office of USGA president then captain of the R&A during the 1980s.

Guyan Golf & Country Club

Guyan Golf & Country Club

The Woodhaven course at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels (up three to #9) eases into the West Virginian Top 10 for the first time. The last of three highly-regarded 18-hole layouts to be developed at this resort in 2010, the Woodhaven has quickly evolved into the most engaging, and certainly the most difficult, of this trio of courses. It was laid out by Tom Clark, who did an incredible job considering the budget was pared back after construction started, which meant the course had to be completely seeded, greens downsized and cart paths narrowed, in addition to carrying out cutbacks on drainage and irrigation lines.

Rank/ Course Move
1 Pete Dye No change
2 Pikewood National No change
3 Greenbriar (Old White) No change
4 Greenbriar Sporting Club (Snead). No change
5 Stonewall Resort No change
6 Greenbriar (Meadows) Up 1
7 Glade Springs (Cobb) Down 1
8 Guyan New entry
9 Glade Springs (Woodhaven) Up 3
10 Glade Springs (Stonehaven) Down 2
11 Canaan Valley No change
12 Raven at Snowshoe Mountain Down 2
13 Williams Country Club Down 4
14 Speidel at Oglebay (Jones) New entry
15 Twisted Gun Down 2


Click the link to see full details of our latest West Virginia Best in State rankings


Next up, the three Mid-Atlantic Division states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses