The American Express

La Quinta, Calif.


Course Rankings

The Olde Farm

April 29, 2021

Laurence Lambrecht

107. The Olde Farm

Bobby Weed (2000)

The Olde Farm is old school in concept and execution. The terrain of this site was so nearly perfect for golf that designer Bobby Weed staked it out in just two days, driving around the property in his rental car. The routing hugs the flowing contours of old farmland beneath the foothills of the Appalachians, with holes hopping Sinking Creek a few times and edging slopes of the adjacent hills. It’s a lay-of-the-land design featuring some semi-blind shots, but Weed always provides a target somewhere in the distance. Bentgrass fairways are kept dry and firm and most greens are open in front to encourage the old-style game of low, running approach shots.

100 Greatest/Second 100 Greatest History: Ranked on America’s Second 100 Greatest since 2015. Highest ranking: No. 102. Previous ranking: No. 102

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Panelist comments, The Olde Farm:

“Rolling farmland creates a beautiful setting. Excellent design variety with par 3s of varying lengths, reachable par 5s, doglegs in both directions, drivable par 4s and varying green complexes. Significant undulation on the fairways and greens. The bunker shaping was incredibly artistic.”

“The Olde Farm is a very minimalist designed course with exceptional conditioning, natural aesthetics and ambience. The club has an ambience second to none, as evidenced by the "Long Barn," an on-the-course garden, which the club takes from farm to table for food at the clubhouse and bee hives. The Olde Farm has a very strong Civil War theme and memorabilia around the clubhouse, on course cottages and with their annual Ryder Cup style tournament called the Blue-Gray tournament.”

“As for the ambience, this club hearkens to a time when the pace of life was slower. The staff gives you the attention of a doting mother, fawning over her only child. The staff informed me that every group must be met a minimum of 3 times on the course by an Assistant Pro, to ensure the enjoyment of the round, and to provide anything they should want from the clubhouse. Also, there is a comfort station, called the Long Barn, which you pass through four times. It contains restrooms, refreshments, a putting green and hitting net. I was met by seven of the nine members of the management team, with all them asking if they could do anything to enhance my experience on the grounds. The entire time you’re on site, you are treated as though you are the most important person there.”

“The Olde Farm is an outstanding Bobby Weed effort over some pleasantly rolling terrain in southwest Virginia. The course has a very high "sense of place" in the cultural geographic sense in that you can suspend reality and totally get into the golf experience without being interrupted by road crossings and homes.”

“The greens have plenty of movement and interest to them. Green speeds are extraordinarily high. Further, these high green speeds certainly have the possibility of turning a competitive event into a contest more heavily biased towards putting.”

Laurence Lambrecht

Courtesy of Laurence Lambrecht

Courtesy of Laurence Lambrecht

Courtesy of Laurence Lambrecht

Courtesy of Laurence Lambrecht