The Honors Course—Ooltewah, TN
Rankings as of 8/30/11
-57th best U.S. course (Golf Magazine)
-29th best course in the U.S. (Golf Digest)
-17th best U.S. modern course (Golfweek)
The Honors Course is a wonderful private club located near Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was designed by Pete
Dye in the early 1980’s when its founder, Jack Lupton, decided to build a golfing oasis that embraced amateur golf.
In fact, they highlight The Amateur’s Creed prominently on their website and in their clubhouse.
"In my mind an amateur is one who competes in a sport for the joy of playing, for the companionship that it affords,
for health-giving exercise, and for relaxation from more serious matters. As part of this light-hearted approach to the
game, he accepts cheerfully all adverse breaks, is considerate of his opponent, plays the game fairly and squarely
in accordance with its rules, maintains self-control, and strives to do his best, not in order to win, but rather as a test
of his own skill and ability. These are his only interests, and, in them material considerations have no part. The
return which amateur sport will bring to those who play it in this spirit are greater than those any money can possibly
I love this aspect of the club and it is one of the main reasons I had been wanting to play the course for so long…oh
yeah…that and I love Pete Dye’s golf courses!!
Let me say this, The Honors Course didn’t disappointed on any front. The club had all the class and laid back feel
that I thought it would have and the course is Pete Dye at his best. And rest assured, “Pete Dye at his best” means
that the course is an ass kicker!!! Bring your “A” game to Ooltewah or go home with your tail between your legs.
The course is routed over 400 plus acres without any housing and it is pure golf through and through. And Dye has
a wonderful mix of long and challenging holes with wonderful doglegs (sometimes more than one on a hole)…
And at other times the holes require precision and strategic thinking.
The par 3’s are flat out wonderful and have a mix of length of shot requirements.
And the bottom line on the course itself is that you need to play it multiple times to get fully understand the
strategies embedded in each hole and, therefore, know how to tactically attack each hole given your own game’s
strengths and weaknesses. To me this is what is wonderful about a well designed golf course…you can play it
forever and it is still a joy and a pleasure.
Mr. Lupton and Pete Dye delivered in spades in this category!