The American Express

La Quinta, Calif.


Course Rankings

The Golf Club of Tennessee

January 14, 2019

Courtesy of the club

167. The Golf Club of Tennessee

Tom Fazio (1991)

In the early 1990s, Tom Fazio, assisted by longtime associate Tom Marzolf, designed a sprawling golf-only layout just west of Nashville. They routed it over 317 acres, incorporating dense forest, rocky ridges and a river valley. Its first two holes play along the flat valley of Brush Creek, while the par-4 third runs uphill through thick trees to a green site on a bluff overlooking the valley. Four, a 200-yard par 3, requires a carry over a chasm that drops to the river. The par-3 eighth plays directly over the river, while the dogleg-right par-4 ninth hugs its rocky edge. After the par-3 10th, in a box-canyon to a green backdropped by tall shale outcropping and cascading springs, much of the back nine is in open meadowland. Sixteen is yet another par 3 over Brush Creek, the short par-5 17th has narrow dual fairways and par-4 18th doglegs left over the river. Fairways are Zoysia grass, greens are Penncross bent grass and roughs are fescue, native grasses and wildflowers.

Second 100 Greatest history: Ranked, 2017 to current. Highest ranking: 158th. Previous ranking: No. 163.

Watch Golf Digest’s latest “Every Hole At” course videos below:

Panelist comments, The Golf Club of Tennessee:

"The Golf Club of Tennessee starts out as an open golf course but quickly turns into a narrow difficult course as you make the climb from the second green to the third hole. Stunning views from atop the mountains are seen from the par-3 fourth hole."

"The course is typical of Fazio: beautiful, playable, and offered numerous risk-reward options without being overwhelming."

"Bunkering and tree placement in fairways was strategically done to be in landing zone, forcing risk/reward scenarios. A good example of risk/reward here is the 12th hole, a short par 4 that is drivable but a tall tree protects the green with a bunker and fescue short. Another bunker is in the landing zone for an aggressive layup off the tee, making accuracy important if you want a wedge in on the second shot."

"Strong mix of doglegs right and left, long and short par 4s. The holes were each memorable but had a consistent theme with the stream winding through most of the holes."

Courtesy of the club

Courtesy of the club