Course Architect: Pete Dye and P.B. Dye
Year Opened: 1983
Location: Ooltewah, Tennessee
Slope: 151. Rating: 75.4
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,070
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 400 Yds    10 - Par 4 435 Yds
                      2 - Par 5 520 Yds    11 - Par 5 560 Yds
                      3 - Par 3 195 Yds    12 - Par 4 355 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 435 Yds    13 - Par 4 395 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 460 Yds    14 - Par 3 155 Yds
                      6 - Par 5 545 Yds    15 - Par 4 445 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 435 Yds    16 - Par 3 210 Yds
                      8 - Par 3 205 Yds    17 - Par 5 495 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 370 Yds    18 - Par 4 455 Yds
                      Par 36  3,565 Yds     Par 36  3,505 Yds

Key Events Held: U.S. Amateur (1991),
                 Curtis Cup (1994),
                 Canon Cup (1995, 2007),
                 NCAA Championship (1996, 2010),
                 The Palmer Cup (1999),
                 U.S. Mid-Amateur (2005),
                 USGA Senior Women's Amateur (2011).

Awards Won: Ranked #1 by Golf Digest - Best in State - Tennessee (2004-08),
            #76 by Golf Connoisseur - Most Prestigious Private Clubs in US,
            #65 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 Courses in the U.S. (2007),
            #26 Golf Magazine - Top 50 Greatest Courses last 50 years (2009).

HISTORY: If you don't know how to get there, you'll never find it. The
directions say, go past the third light and when you see the large propane
tank on the right, then quickly look left and you'll see the entrance road. No
signs, just an 50-yard strip of pavement to an electronic gate which can only
be opened by members or the pro shop. Located just north of Chattanooga, the
course is laid out on 460 acres of land in a secluded valley and the heavily
wooded Tennessee hills at the base of White Oak Mountain. The course was the
brainchild of Coca-Cola magnate Jack Lupton, who wanted to create a lasting
impression on each and every player and honor the amateur golfer. After the
course was designed, the Dyes new they had something special, but the
reputation of the Honors Course is credited to superintendent David Stone.
According to Pete Dye, "[Stone] is one of the nation's greatest"
greenskeepers. He understands grass, and that's what makes a golf course

Just a short time after opening, the United States Golf Association awarded
The Honors Course the 1991 U.S. Amateur Championship. Current Champions Tour
player Allen Doyle, along with John Harris shared medalist honors at 6-under-
par 136. That duo would not reach the final, as Mitch Voges and 1990 U.S.
Amateur runner-up, Manny Zerman played for the title. Voges led from start to
finish, as he won four of the first seven holes and cruised to a 7 and 6
triumph over Zerman, who lost the previous year to Phil Mickelson. Voges, a
reinstaded amateur, holed a 9-iron from 137 yards out on the par-5 11th for
eagle during the morning 18 and was never threatened. Along the way, Voges
knocked off Walker Cup teamate Michael Sposa and two-time Amateur champ, Jay

Next up for The Honors Course was the 1994 Curtis Cup. The United States,
hoping to rebound from its loss in 1992 in England, played to a tie with Great
Britain and Ireland, 9-9. The USA was captained by Lancy Smith and featured
future LPGA stars; Emilee Klein, Jill McGill and Wendy Ward. The GB&I squad
was also equipped with LPGA players; Catriona Matthew, Mhairi McKay and Janice
Moodie. Matthew was quite impressive, posting a 3-0-1 mark, including a 2 and
1 defeat of Klein in singles. It was Moodie however, who clinched the tie for
GB&I with a victory over veteran Cupper Carol Semple Thompson in the final
singles match. Both Klein and Thompson posted 3-1 records for the U.S.

The USGA returned to The Honors Course in 2005 for the U.S. Mid-Amateur
Championship, where the USGA accepted 4,130 entries. The Honors Course proved
to be quite difficult for the players, as it played to a scoring average of
80.4 during round one of stroke-play and 76.9 in round two. In fact, not one
player shot in the 60s during the two rounds of stroke play with only two
players carding rounds of 70, Raymond Floyd Jr and Chris James. Darin Newhouse
earned medalist honors by two over Floyd, but was defeated in the first round
of match play. Floyd reached round two of match play, but lost to Michael
McCoy. Defending champion Austin Eaton III was able to reach the third round,
but lost to Kevin Marsh of Las Vegas. Marsh was quite a success story, as he
opened with 78 at the Honors Course and then finished with 64 at Black Creek
to tie for fourth in stroke play. McCoy and Marsh continued their fine play,
advancing to the semifinals, as did Steven Liebler and Carlton Forrester.
Marsh and Forrester posted hard-fought wins over their opponents to reach the
championship match. The title match was a rout, as Marsh cruised to a 10 & 9
victory for his first USGA championship. Marsh flew out of the gate, winning
three of the first seven holes and opened up a 5-up advantage after 10. He
increased his lead to 10-up after the morning 18, winning the final five

REVIEW: A perfect way to start the round, a short par-four that can jump-start
your round with a birdie. This hole bends to the left and requires just a
three-metal and a short iron to a green that slopes from front to back with a
ridge in the center of the putting surface. Number two is a beautiful par-five
that slopes from left to right and is uphill by the green, making it difficult
to reach in two. The green is well guarded by sand and slopes from back to
front. Birdie is a definite possibility, as long as you select the right club
for your third shot. A very undulating green awaits as you take aim at the
third green. This one-shotter requires a medium to long iron depending upon
the wind and pin placement. Sand guards the green quite nicely, so make sure
you don't wrong-side yourself with your tee shot. The fourth will necessitate
a long and accurate tee-ball, as this dog-leg right is quite testing. Your
second shot will most likely be a long iron to a raised and relatively flat
putting surface, making par a good score. One of the most difficult tee shots
on the course is at the fifth, a great dog-leg left par-four. A large bunker
guards the corner with trees and deep rough right. After negotiating the
fairway, the player is left with a medium iron to a long and narrow, two-
tiered green. During the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur, the fifth played to a scoring
average of 4.77. The sixth is the second par-five on the course, dog-legging
to the right. Your second shot must be exact, as your approach to the green
must be able to splice the narrow tree-lined gap. The putting surface is
uphill and slopes severely from back to front. As is the case on most par-
fives, birdies can be had. The number-one handicap hole is the difficult, par-
four seventh. This monster gives the golfer his first taste of the Honors
Course lake, which engulfs the entire left side of the hole through the green.
If the wind is blowing from the south, then driver-three metal will be the
call. To make matters worse, the putting surface is the largest on the course
and slopes severely at three different angles. The eighth is one of two water-
guarded par- threes. Miss left and forget about it, bail right and you'll be
lucky to make bogey. The green is long and slopes away from the center on the
right and back. The ninth closes a great outward nine, requiring just a three-
metal from a peninsula tee to a fairly wide fairway. However, you must place
your tee shot on the left side of the short grass, enabling an unobstructed
view of the green. The green is guarded front and left by water with a bunker
right to catch a bail-out play. Ms-placing your tee shot right will not only
result in a blind approach, but despite being in the fairway, you will now
have to fly over tall trees to the green.

Another gargantuan hole starts the back nine. The 10th is an outstanding four
par that requires two big hits to reach the surface in two. The second part of
the equation is the green that plays out like a roller coaster ride at Six
Flags. It's time to get one back as you reach the par-five 11th. After two
solid shots, a sand wedge to a long and narrow green can set up an easy
birdie, as you try to regain your composure. Miss left however, and two large
bunkers will swallow up your errant shots. The next three holes can be had if
you play them with thought. The dog-leg right 12th needs just a fairway metal
or long iron off the tee, setting up a short iron to the smallest green on the
course, that is guarded by a series of small bunkers. If the pin is back left,
then settle for par, but if placed in the right quadrant, then attack, attack,
attack. The 13th is much the same as the 12th, but dog-legs to the left. The
difference here is the kidney-shaped green that is as slick as it is menacing.
If the pin is front-center, then go for it, if it's back...don't be long. The
shortest par-three on the course is the 14th. Don't be fooled. Although
requiring a short iron, this hole has no margin for error, as it is surrounded
by sand, scrub and native grasses. To make matters worse, the green which is
31 yards deep, is the most narrow on the course and features a two-tiered
surface, sloping back to front. Yes, I did say you could make up ground, but
you still have to be on your game. The final four holes at the Honors Course
stack up to any in the South. The 15th plays around the lake featured on the
front nine, with a 200-yard carry over water to a fairway that bends to the
left and is reminiscent of the 18th at the Stadium Course at the TPC of
Sawgrass. Bail right and your left with a long iron or utility wood to green
split in two by a ridge that slopes towards the water, which is fronted by a
rock boundary. The final one-shotter on the course is the 16th, which forces
the player to use a medium to long-iron to carry a body of water to a large
green that drops off severely in the back. Miss long and you might find the
Pine Valley type bunker (10th hole), that requires a ladder to get down into.
The 17th is a great risk-reward type par-five. Just 495 yards from the tips,
this sloping right-to-left hole can be reached in two with a pair of precisely
placed shots. After a successful draw off the tee, a long iron or five-wood
will be needed to climb to the elevated green. The risk here is the enormous
Big Bertha bunker guarding the left side of the surface. The green also
slopes from back to front and right, so strategy will come into play depending
upon flag position. The final hole is a great test of golf. This brute of a
par-four can stretch to 455 yards. On the left side of the tee is a cemetery
from years gone by, no doubt players who failed to conquer the Honors Course.
Your tee shot must carry 220 yards to the fairway on this dog-leg right. The
entire right side of the fairway is guarded closely by large trees, which also
come into play on the left. A long iron will be needed to reach the longest
green on the inward nine. To top things off, the green is guarded by sand on
the right while the surface features a ridge to the left.

Friends in high places, or should I say right places. That's what it will take
to get on the Honors Course, as you must play with or be sponsored by a
member. Just like most of the top courses, to score well, you must be on top
of your game, otherwise, what turned out to be a great day, might finish in an
endless struggle. The Honors Course is one of Pete Dye's true gems in the
hills of Tennessee. This is a true golf course, no tennis courts or swimming
pool, just golf, a golf club. After entering through the automated gate, the
road winds through the back nine of the venue, giving the golfer a view of the
beauty and difficulty that awaits. As you near the pro shop, the practice
facility is in full view, just 50 feet from the main entrance to the
clubhouse, while to the right is the two-story Guest House with overnight
accommodations for four foursomes. Dye parlayed the lay of the land, using the
natural humps and bumps and native beauty to create a masterpiece. The course
features five teeing grounds, so all golfers of every level could enjoy
playing. Yes, some of the tee boxes and greens are elevated, but the course is
a true work of what can be done if you use your mind and not just bulldozers.