““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
The best classic golf courses in the southeast U.S.
Our series on America's best golf courses continues with a look at three of the best classic fairways in the southeast U.S., as determined by Golfweek magazine's handpicked panel of 385 course raters. The raters, who are students of architecture, attend national workshops and each evaluate 15 to 20 courses per year.
Here's what distinguishes the top classic courses in the Southeast. We've also included information on the most convenient places to land your business jet near each course.
Yeamans Hall Club, Charleston, S.C.
Look for a report on some of the best modern courses in the western U.S. in our next issue.
Civil-engineer-turned-golf-course-architect Seth Raynor had a series of template holes that he developed through his association with Charles Blair Macdonald in the first part of the 20th century. At Yeamans Hall, opened in 1925, Raynor's trademark linear hole designs found a wonderful Low Country setting. The Redan, Biarritz and Short Hole are all here, along with a Principal's Nose bunker in the middle of the very first fairway. Credit goes to longtime superintendent Jim Yonce for his research and commitment to a meticulous restoration, to the point where the course now ranks No. 42 on Golfweek's best- classic-courses list.
Charleston International (CHS)
9,001-ft runway, 7.9-mi drive
FBOs: Corporate Wings (843-746-7600);
Million Air (504-241-2800)
Peachtree Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.
This is where designer Robert Trent Jones Sr. first established his presence on the American golf landscape. Back in 1948, he teamed with retired amateur legend Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones to build a very Augusta National-like parkland layout on Atlanta's east side. Today ranked No. 41 on Golfweek's best-classic-courses list, Peachtree boasts rolling landforms, pronounced doglegs and largely elevated green sites that hold up well as stern but elegant golf ground.
De Kalb Peachtree (PDK)
6,001-ft runway, 2-mi drive
FBOs: EPPS Aviation (770-458-9851, 800-241-6807);
Mercury Air Centers (770-454-5000);
Signature Flight Support (770-452-0010)
Homestead Resort (Cascades Course), Hot Springs, Va.
Here's a mountain resort that's hard to find and harder to leave. The famed Homestead hotel is sumptuous [see Getaways, Business Jet Traveler, February/March 2007, page 46.-Ed.] and the old-style health spa will come in handy after a round or two at William Flynn's 1923 gem, ranked No. 46 on Golfweek's list of the best classic courses. The land is at times steep, but the amazing achievement of Flynn's routing is that the more dramatic terrain is reserved for the space between holes while the golf itself is continually playable. And the views through the Appalachian Mountains make every moment a treat.
Inalls Falls (HSP)
5,601-ft runway, 17-mi drive
FBO: Bath County Airport