PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club



'Every Hole At'

An exclusive look at Ohoopee Match Club: Gil Hanse narrated our new hole-by-hole video

April 25, 2024

Ohoopee Match Club is in rare air among modern courses. Only five new designs have debuted higher on our America’s 100 Greatest Courses ranking over the past 30 years, putting the Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner design in the same conversation as some of the highest-ranking courses of the modern era, such as Sand Hills and Friar’s Club. (Sand Hills debuted at No. 31 in 1999 and Friar’s Club was 34th in 2011.) Both clubs are perennially inside our top 15, and Sand Hills has been inside our top 10 in our past two editions.

Ohoopee Match Club is unlike most new courses for a lot of reasons. Designed for match play as the name suggests, Hanse and Wagner were liberated from the constructs usually associated with laying out a course—focusing instead on utilizing the most heroic strategies that the gently rolling terrain called for. The bold features and unique greens follow the Ohoopee River about two hours from Atlanta in Cobbtown, Ga., nearby to Vidalia, which is famous for its onions and thus inspired the club’s onion logo. The sandy soil perfect for onion growth made for a great canvas for golf. Some of the vistas generate images of Pine Valley or Pinehurst, or as Hanse describes in the below video, perhaps even Australia with some of his bunker shaping.

The result is Hanse’s highest-ranked design—debuting on our rankings last year. It will be interesting to see if Ohoopee Match Club follows Sand Hills and Friar’s Head in our rankings and keeps getting higher. Or, in the case of others like Shadow Creek (debuted eighth in 1993, the highest-ever debut on our rankings) and The Alotian Club (14th, 2011), maybe it will continue falling. We wouldn’t bank on it. Ohoopee has already inspired other match-play focused layouts—and while the club wasn’t the first to use half-pars on its scorecard, we’d guess you’ll continue to see it used more as the influence of Ohoopee continues to grow.

Watch our exclusive drone tour

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