Champion Hills Moves Up in Golfweek’s ‘Best Private Courses’

by | May 30, 2022 | Where to Play

Seminal Tom Fazio Design Honored as One of North Carolina’s Top Layouts

Champion Hills, Western North Carolina’s premier golf community, announces its Tom Fazio-designed course is ranked 11th in North Carolina in Golfweek’s prestigious list of the “Best Private Courses” in each state.

Considered one of Fazio’s seminal works of mountain golf course architecture, Champion Hills moved up two spots from 13th in 2021 and is tied with the much-heralded Dormie Club in West End near Pinehurst. Golfweek’s elite team of more than 850-course evaluators determines the annual selection of the country’s best private layouts. The raters survey over 3,600 facilities each year, grading each following Golfweek’s 10 strict evaluation standards.

The magazine ranks the best classic, modern, resort, and residential courses nationally and each state’s best private and public courses. Earlier this year, Champion Hills ranked 51st in Golfweek’s 2022 list of Top 200 Residential Golf Courses, moving up 13 spots from the previous year. It’s also rated at the 151st Best Modern course in the U.S.

North Carolina is one of the most golf-rich states in the country, with more than 600 18-hole equivalent courses and hundreds of noteworthy private clubs, including storied Wade Hampton Club, Quail Hollow (home of the PGA TOUR’s Wells Fargo Championship), Grandfather Golf and Country Club’s Championship Course and the Old Town Club.

“We’re honored that Golfweek continues to recognize the pedigree of our Tom Fazio-designed Mountain Masterpiece and the impact it’s had on course design, construction and maintenance in this region,” says Champion Hills Head Professional Scooter Buhrman. “Hendersonville’s mild four-season climate and the course’s tee-to-green bentgrass enables our members to enjoy golf year-round here in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Champion Hills is Fazio’s former home course and club, and the legendary golf course architect devised a brilliant route through the heavily forested hills, deep ravines, and cool mountain streams of its Blue Ridge Mountain setting. He and his team of shapers pulled ridges into valleys and filled hollows to create “playing platforms,” providing golfers with level lies amid 350 feet of elevation change.

Said Fazio about his mountain masterpiece: “Six holes play slightly uphill on the entire course, but only six. Overall, the majority of holes play downhill. We did it through grading and do it through transition areas from the green to the next tee.

Delicately balancing strategy and playability, Champion Hills features five sets of tees, including three rated for women. Additionally, “combo tees” placed 15 to 30 yards in front of forced carries eliminate stressful shots for higher handicap golfers or those with slower swing speeds. Members are treated to inspiring elevation changes on several holes, including a 125-foot drop from tee to green on the par-3 ninth hole.