5th, Bandon Dunes

Pikewood National Golf Club

USA, West Virginia
5 (5)
Course Opened: 2009

Golf Digest Magazine says in its 2013/2014 rankings profile:

In 1998, mining company officers John Raese and Bob Gwynne started exploring a newly-acquired parcel of forest that their firm will eventually -- maybe a hundred years from now -- mine for high-quality limestone. Raese thought they ought to build a golf course on it. Gwynne suggested they design and build it themselves since their company had plenty of engineers and construction equipment. At the base of a gulley, they discovered a 40-yard-wide, 15-foot-high wall of sandstone with a natural waterfall pouring off it. It became the backdrop for their par-3 fifth hole and the linchpin of their routing. From there they worked back and forth to a proposed clubhouse site on a road called Kingwood Pike (which led to the course's name). Veteran tour pros Johnny Pott and Dow Finsterwald visited the site several times and validated their design with critiques and suggestions. Each now has a hole dedicated in his honor. It took nearly a decade to construct the full 18 holes. When it was done, Golf Digest named it the Best New Private Course of 2009. It joined America's 100 Greatest four years later.


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