Location: Meadows of Dan, Va.
Course architect: Donald Steel
From the tips: 7,053 yards
Saturday morning green fee: $$$$$ (Over $200).
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: No
Starter: Primland is the ideal retreat from the rat race — and offers more than golf. The course is one of just four U.S. designs by accomplished English architect Donald Steel. Situated at 3,000 feet in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the Highland Course is the rare mountain design that offers playability, unparalleled scenery and a peaceful respite.
Play because …: The course is truly one of the world’s golfing treats. And that’s not an overstatement. Course architect Donald Steel says of the Highland Course: "I always call it a course like no other. Not because it is the greatest or anything, but because nobody has actually been given a piece of land like that. It’s that remarkable.” No arguments here.
Takeaway: The Highland Course is one in which each hole is memorable. The layout is that unique and all holes are singular onto themselves. Be sure to soak in the surroundings, including cliff-side views on hole Nos. 1, 2, 13, 16 and 18 where trees have been cleared since the course opened to provide additional stunning views. It’s so quiet here that the rushing waters of the Dan River, located a few thousand feet below, can be heard. The resort is also less than 10 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and within 30 minutes of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley wine country.
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | beverage: 8
Pro shop: 10
Pace of play: 10
Best par 3: No. 8, 220 yards. With the ninth fairway as a backdrop to this downhill beast, along with a marsh fronting the green and creek to the right, there is plenty to ponder during club selection. And club selection is at a premium since a massive green in both width and depth can lead to its share of three-putts and bogeys – or worse.
Best par 4: No. 5, 357 yards: Who doesn’t like standing on a tee box with a 100-foot elevation drop? A pot bunker on the left side of the fairway in the landing area and one in front of a short approach shot are just eye candy. The play off the tee is actually a 3-iron short of that fairway bunker, but what warm-blooded golfer isn’t going to let it rip with a driver here?
Best par 5: No. 13, 612 yards. This double-dogleg hole, the course's longest, makes placement of each shot a must. That includes the approach to a three-tiered narrow green that measures more than 50 yards long. Steel calls the 13th “the daddy of them all," he said. "You probably wouldn't build such a green on a heavily played members or public course but Primland was different, there was plenty of scope to be had.
RATED BY: David Droschak