About the Course at Sewanee

The Course at Sewanee was renovated by Gil Hanse in 2013 — Golf Magazine’s 2009 Architect of the Year

While the original hole routing remains the same, Hanse has reimagined, redesigned and rebuilt almost every other aspect of the course—including all nine green complexes, challenging new bunkers, and a distinct set of alternate tees—while being ever mindful of the delicate ecosystem on the Cumberland Plateau. Standing on the reshaped tee of #5 The Edge, it is easy to see why Gil was commissioned to design the 2016 Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro and chosen to refashion the Blue Monster at the TPC in Doral, Fla.

Complemented by the Sewanee Inn and golf lodge, golfers and even those just out for a stroll are in for a treat.

Hole Descriptions and Flyovers

Gil Hanse’s hole-by-hole descriptions and videos reveal a challenging track — at once paying homage to the world’s great courses while preserving the Course at Sewanee’s distinctive setting and taking full advantage of its jaw-dropping vistas.

This long hole, named for the 17th hole at Prestwick in Scotland, plays over and through some beautifully rolling terrain. The name of the hole describes the blind nature of the second shot over the ridge, an effect that will be enhanced by a new sandy area at the top of the ridge. Shots carrying the sandy area will have the best angle into the green for the third shot on the par-five version, while the par-four version carry will help to feed a ball toward the large angled green.

Named for the springhouse and rock in the left center of the hole, this stout par five will be greatly enhanced with a new green pushed farther back and the restoration of some dramatic bunkering. When you walk past the springhouse, take a look at the initials on the rock and learn about another tradition at Sewanee, the love story of Oscar Torian and Sarah Hodgson. But don’t let it distract you too much from the work at hand as this hole will take its toll on the golfer who plays with his heart instead of his head.

The canvas is here to produce one of the most visually stunning par-three holes in the world of golf. By moving the tees up and pushing the green back toward the edge of the bluff, the green will sit with nothing but sky to the rear of it, creating an infinity edge as a backdrop. Once you reach this breathtaking green, you may never want to leave.

For variety, every golf course should have a good short par-four hole. This fun little hole will offer many distinct ways to play, thanks to the addition of bunkers and the extension of the green onto a peninsula.

This hole is named for the distinct drop-off to the left of the green and for the dramatic views off the bluff to the rear of the green. The creation of a long tee along the water’s edge will create an uphill tee shot over the pond. The rock ledge to the left of the green will be carefully uncovered, further enhancing the dramatic setting of this bluff-top green.

This hole gets its name from a significant right-to-left slope, which feeds balls toward Shakerag Hollow. With clearing to the right, the fairway will be expanded, providing more room for balls to stay in the fairway. A new green will sit in a perfectly contoured natural valley and will add some needed distance to the hole and form a beautifully merged tee and green complex with the 7th hole.

A valley in front of the tee will be only the first of several valleys that will cross this hole as it is extended with the building of a new green some 40 yards beyond the existing green. The natural valley in front of this new green location will create a “valley of sin” in front of the green. Named after the sharp valley in front of the 18th green on The Old Course, this valley will collect anything less than a perfectly struck approach shot.

Our final homage to the traditions of golf course architecture provides a twist that is uniquely Sewanee in nature. In the middle of the 16th fairway on The Old Course is a three-bunker complex affectionately called the Principal’s Nose. To challenge the tee shot on the finishing hole at Sewanee, the hazard will be recreated, but in deference to the designer of the original course, the Rt. Rev. Albion Knight, we have dubbed it the Bishop’s Nose.

Perhaps the most famous hole in all of golf is the 17th hole at The Old Course, St. Andrew’s, known as the Road Hole. Sewanee’s new finishing hole will replicate some of the original’s charm and challenge with a center-line bunker and a mounded landform in the fairway that will ask the golfer to choose a line of play off the tee that steers clear of these hazards and the roadway to the left. The green is well protected, elevated, and, like the original green, wider than it is deep.