124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2



Champions Retreat: Bluff/Island

Evans, GA Private

Overview

Champions Retreat was originally going to be called "The Big Three" club. It was the idea of a South African developer who brought together Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (the original Big Three of golf) during a Masters in the 1990s to discuss the prospect of each of them building a course at his proposed club. The idea worked. Each contributed nine holes at the more enduringly-named Champions Retreat west of Augusta on the Savannah River. The composite 18 for this ranking includes the Bluff Nine (Nicklaus), playing in the pines where it climbs a series of forested ridges that demand precise drives and several demanding uphill approches, and Palmer's Island Nine, more gracious in its width featuring artistically-shaped bunkers, a scenic five-hole foray onto a secluded island along the river and two par 3s that plays across watery inlets.

About

Holes 18
Facility Type Private
Year Opened 2005
Designer Jack Nicklaus/Arnold Palmer

Awards

Best Courses in Every State

Best in State: Ranked eighth, 2011-'12. Ranked inside the top 10, 2007-'10. Ranked 11th, 2013-'14. Ranked 12th, 2021-'22. Ranked 14th, 2015-'18. Ranked 15th, 2019-'20.

Current ranking: Tenth.

Golf Digest Logo Panelists

Ratings from our panel of 1,900 course-ranking panelists

4.1

100 GREATEST/BEST IN STATE SCORES

Shot Options
7.1057
Character
7.0125
Challenge
7.049
Layout Variety
7.1359
Fun
6.9167
Aesthetics
7.0768
Conditioning
7.1078

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