A HIGHLANDS COURSE

PAR 71 • 7,005 YARDS

The Course at McLemore is a Highlands Course designed by Rees Jones and Bill Bergin. The course is a par 71 with four par fives and plays 7,005 yards from the tips. There are three typical types of holes on the course: the cliff holes, the canyon holes and, the course’s namesake, the highland holes.

A brief hole-by-hole description follows below.

THE CANYON HOLES

HOLES 2, 3, 6, 7 & 9

The Canyon Holes play into, along the walls, and sometimes over an elevated ridge line on the eastern side of Lookout Mountain. Surrounded by a wall of deciduous rainforest and natural areas, the holes are traced with ancient boulders as well as distant views and are centered around a lake. There is significant elevation change on some of the holes, and they are regarded as some of the more challenging but memorable holes on the course.

THE CLIFF HOLES

HOLES 1, 17 & 18

Situated along the eastern cliff edge of Lookout Mountain overlooking historic McLemore Cove, the Cliff Holes offer dramatic views that can only be understood by playing the holes yourself. The incredible setting, paired with a world class design team, has resulted in a dramatic and exciting combination of opening and finishing holes.

THE HIGHLAND HOLES

HOLES 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16

Providing the course its name, the Highland Holes are the most typical type of hole on the course. Legend tells that John McLemore a Cherokee Chief and  Captain in the US Army during the War of 1812 had visited his ancestry in the Highlands of Scotland before settling in the cove below.  John named the cove McLemore as it reminded him of his Scottish home land. These holes sit on the plateau of Lookout Mountain, like an island in the sky, and play as more traditional golf holes, while offering the natural scenic setting and distant views.


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Hole No.1, Par 5

A CLIFF Hole

I • 575, II • 548, III • 490, IV • 456, V • 427, VI • 378

As a forerunner to the magnificent 18th, few courses establish a more dramatic start than McLemore’s 1st hole. Most players will play off of the lower tees on this dogleg left, while the more ambitious view seekers will use the first two tee boxes. A solid drive just shy of the right side of the first bunker will position the player within striking distance of a green protected by a pair of bunkers on either side, and also drops dramatically into McLemore Cove on the far side.


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Hole No.2, Par 4

A Canyon Hole

I • 449, II • 423, III • 410, IV • 376, V • 330, VI • 284

With hillsides in the distance and a pristine lake below, the 2nd hole is stunning and presents another beautiful view from elevated tees.  The fairway will be widened as much as possible and the lower right hillside will be converted to maintained turf.  Not everyone is capable of negotiating the long carry across the lake on their second shots.  In order to create a safe and reachable fairway area, the creek crossing will be piped and the bunkers dotting the second half of the hole will be eliminated.

At the greens complex, the putting surface does not quite fit with either the pond or the creek.  By shifting the putting surface back and slightly right, so that it hugs the edge of the creek, the water feature will be brought more into play.  The green will be recontoured in order to soften its excessive slope.  The front approach will be ample and not quite as sharp as it is now.  A small front right bunker will keep balls from bounding back into the hazard, and the back bunker will elongate and present a more fitting crest line.  Two new tees will be added to lengthen the hole for the longer hitters and to offer easier accessibility from the cart path.


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Hole No.3, Par 3

A Canyon Hole

I • 148, II • 142, III • 128, IV • 102, V • 100, VI • 75

Short par threes can be fabulous holes and great fun for all skill levels.  The new 3rd at McLemore will become such a hole when the overly-contoured putting surface is rebuilt, extending back and to the right.  Nestled into a small piece of ground, this complex is almost claustrophobic.  Several trees will be removed on the back and left sides of the green, exposing the lake and a tremendous view up the second hole.  On the front and right side a pair of small bunkers will mingle with a more receptive fairway area, presenting numerous recovery options for errant approach shots. 

As with any short par three, tee space will be maximized by utilizing rock walls to combat tight space and elevation changes.  A new forward tee will drop down in close proximity to the revised cart path turnaround.  Access to this short hole is physically challenging and the current cart path turnaround will be removed.  The new path will cut down toward the bridge crossing a bit sooner and leave a level walk across the bridge to the greens complex.  The maintenance path will be removed from in front of the green, and will tuck in along the base of the wall and run all the way around the back of the green. 


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Hole No.4, Par 4

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 364, II • 352, III • 311, IV • 275, V • 221, VI • 151

The drama just keeps coming.  Playing blindly uphill over a massive rock outcropping, the feeling one gets looking up from the 4th tees can be less than comforting.  By bringing the fairway back toward the tees on the left side, players will have a better sense of the demands of this drive.  Furthermore, the left fairway bunker will be reshaped as a long, skinny catch bunker, keeping pulled balls in play.  In order to increase the playability of the landing zone as much as possible, the long grass area past the bunker on the left will be converted to maintained grass and the creek crossing will be partially piped.

The greens complex is positioned nicely on a rise, but can be greatly improved.  A pair of bunkers are poorly positioned in the safe bail out zone short and right of the green, so they will be eliminated.  A vast chipping area will be shaped in their place.  A new bunker will cut in well below the collar on the left side of the green, keeping balls out of trouble on the left.  The green will slide slightly back and left, and the wooded area left of the green will be under brushed.  The barely exposed rock scattered about the fairway will be capped and covered with grass. 


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Hole No.5, Par 3

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 201, II • 182, III • 154, IV • 124, V • 118, VI • 101

Slopes in the mountains can be deceiving. As the par three 5th climbs a relatively long and consistent slope, this tee shot will always play just a little longer than expected.  Looking back from the green, one gets a much better sense of the amount of elevation change.  New tees will be added on both ends of this hole, appealing to a wider range of players. 

Although it is appropriate to have a tiered green on an uphill shot, three levels eat up far too much usable putting surface.  Two tiers will work well, highlighted by a relatively level upper left and an ample lower right section.  A small false front will help expose and define the front edge of the green.

The back bunker will be eliminated, while the right bunker is expanded, reshaped and rotated so that it runs almost perpendicular to the line of play.  A wider chipping area will be shaped short of the repositioned bunker on the right side.  A small pot bunker will lie in wait just off the far left edge of the green.  Looking up from the tee, the rock outcroppings will be exposed with a little sand and native grass mixed together.


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Hole No.6, Par 5

“FANTASTIC” • A Canyon Hole

I • 548, II • 531, III • 507, IV • 484, V • 434, VI • 397

The par five 6th is, without question, the most infamous hole on the course.  Truly unforgettable, but not in a positive way, this hole can be greatly improved.  Both fairway bunkers will be removed and the fairway will widen well to the left, joining an expanded fairway on the ninth hole.  From the left side, much more of the lower portion of the golf hole is visible.  The raised containment at the end of the landing zone ends up restricting the view and will be significantly lowered.  An additional section of fairway will wrap around the rock face from the left side, allowing golfers to get closer to the edge.

By clearing the scrub along the left side to the higher tree line, the lower section of the fairway will widen substantially.  The left side slope will become a mix of boulders and bermudagrass turf widening the playable area and reducing the high count of lost golf balls.  The putting surface will slide back and left as it is elevated to improve visibility.  A new forward tee will help players get closer to the edge of the drop off.


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Hole No.7, Par 3

A Canyon Hole

I • 192, II • 180, III • 169, IV • 157, V • 117, VI • 89

With its tees cut throughout the rock, the first half of the par three 7th is a visual masterpiece.  Unfortunately, the greens complex fails to live up to the attractively rugged landscape.  Like many of the green surrounds found throughout the course, there is very little interest in the land movement, resulting in relatively plain short game opportunities. 

The right bunker will be cut much lower into the ground, wrapping slightly more around the front of the green.  A small bunker, just off the front left edge, will divide two nicely shaped chipping areas.  The front chipping area will be elevated slightly, while the area between the cart path and the green will be depressed.  To bring together the final piece of visual identity for this par three, the back drop will become a mix of rock, sand and natural grasses.  A new tee fits beautifully on the right side of the cart path at about the 160 yard mark, adding an entirely new angle.


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Hole No.8, Par 4

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 462, II • 410, III • 360, IV • 320, VI • 295, VI • 252

Playing straightaway and relatively level, it will be a relief for many to reach the comfortable ground on the par four 8th hole.  With an abundance of level terrain, this is the perfect spot for a long par four.  A new back tee will be added, stretching this hole out to about 450 yards.  A new forward tee will be added, potentially allowing shorter hitters to reach the green in regulation.

The existing bunkers are enormous and take away from the chance to let loose with a big tee ball.  Rather than two oversized bunkers on the right, one positioned low left and another high on the right would produce a well-balanced look.  The left bunker will be long and thin, cut into the sloping ground and the far right bunker serves as a target with strong right side support.  With its gently rolling land and open approach, the green site welcomes the run up shot often associated with a longer approach.  A pair of stacked bunkers will guard and highlight the left collar of the green. 


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Hole No.9, Par 4

A Canyon Hole

I • 441, II • 418, III • 389, IV • 215, V • 215, VI • 215

There is no question that when players walk onto the tees at McLemore, they experience numerous wow moments.  This par 4 is certainly one of them.  As mentioned on the 6th hole, creating more playable turf and connecting the left side between the 6th and 9th holes will make these two holes more palatable for the majority of golfers.  The three most forward tees will all expand, extending forward just enough to make a difference.  As the new fairway tongue is carried down and around the rock face on the left side, reaching safety across the canyon becomes a more achievable consideration.  The connection to the 6th hole only adds beauty and improved vistas. 

Numerous rock outcroppings are exposed on this hole, and, by adding a bunker cut into the front left corner of the green, a series of visual cross hazards, moving from right to left, occur.  The putting surface will slide back and to the left and angle slightly.  The elevation change between the front section and the back section will be reduced in order to offer a more complex group of hole locations.  To the right of the green, an ample and interesting chipping area will be shaped. 


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Hole No.10, Par 4

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 359, II • 350, III • 333, IV • 319, V • 269, VI • 234

As a forerunner to the magnificent 18th, few courses establish a more dramatic start than McLemore’s 1st hole. Most players will play off of the lower tees on this dogleg left, while the more ambitious view seekers will use the first two tee boxes. A solid drive just shy of the right side of the first bunker will position the player within striking distance of a green protected by a pair of bunkers on either side, and also drops dramatically into McLemore Cove on the far side.


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Hole No.11, Par 3

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 223, II • 214, III • 187, IV • 161, V • 134, VI • 96

Occupying the perfect land as well as the optimal position in the hole rotation for the longest par three on the course, the 11th sets up very well for a long iron or rescue club approach.  The fairway approach short and left of the putting surface is ample enough to handle some shaped rolls and slants that impact the ground access into this green with both favorable and unfavorable bounces. 

The bunkers are well positioned and will be slightly modified to enhance their roles.  The back left bunker presents a safe target and will help keep pulled balls in play.  The front right bunker sits well below the putting surface and accentuates the collar of the green.  The putting surface will remain large and gently contoured, keeping the emphasis on a well struck approach. 


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Hole No.12, Par 5

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 570, II • 534, III • 488, IV • 440, V • 401, VI • 364

What a beast!  Uphill, long, and narrow in spots, the par five 12th is perhaps the most difficult hole on the mountain – especially for the recreational golfer.  More clearing and under brushing will help clean up the right side and open up a view of the creek area.  The fairway will extend across the cart path and run all the way to the creek crossing, making the forced carry much more manageable for shorter hitters.  A target bunker on the left side will aid in selecting the proper line of play, and drainage will be added to dry up the newly extended fairway.

On the green side of the crossing, the bunkers will be long and slender, just enough to keep errant balls in play.  The playable area will widen onto a low shelf that runs midway down the slope along the left side of this hole.  The shelf will not only widen the playable area, it will be seen as a noteworthy architectural feature that encourages more aggressive play.  A new forward tee will be added.


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Hole No.13, Par 3

A HIGHLAND Hole

• 172, II • 154, III • 140, IV • 127, V • 120, VI • 102

With five par threes, McLemore has the opportunity to offer a wide array of shots and club selections on holes that visually entice and strategically inspire.  The 13th has just the perfect blend of length and drop for players to be successful.  With the road along the left side, efforts will be made to gather attention to what matters, the greens complex.  A thin, meandering bunker will snake along the back collar, gathering in pulled shots and keeping them in play.  The idea of stacking the existing pair of bunkers along the right side was a good one. However, the execution was poor, making the bunkers some of the worst for washing out on the course.  New collar blends and bunker crest lines will keep all water from impacting the sand on this hole and throughout the golf course. 

A new forward tee will be added and the entire surrounds of the green will be reshaped, enhancing the fairway/chipping area short and left of the green while creating numerous short game recovery options. 


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Hole No.14, Par 4

A HIGHLAND HOLE

I • 410, II • 392, III • 369, IV • 337, V • 297, VI • 291

Climbing the hill along the road, the 14th presents a strong ball striking challenge that starts with a great drive.  New bunkering and clusters of trees along the road will give this hole a fresh and attractive appearance as golfers get their first glimpse of McLemore. 

The fairway bunkers are well positioned and simply need a bit more character.  They will rotate at an angle, forcing the fairway to jog around the more obvious hazards.  A new forward tee will help more players reach the desired landing zone.

The greens complex will be completely reshaped as a new front right bunker combines with a back left bunker to highlight and define the edges of the putting surface.  A level chipping area shelf will run along the left collar of the green, setting down about 4’ below the putting surface.  The cart path will slide part way down the slope, easing access to and from the green site.  Additionally, more playable turf will be added on the right hillside. 


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Hole No.15, Par 4

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 423, II • 388, III • 363, IV • 357, V • 309, VI • 257

A fine complement to the previous uphill hole, the descent from the 15th tee will make for some fun drives.  The right fairway bunker will be eliminated, widening the landing area and exposing the creek.  Two reconfigured bunkers will remain on the left side of the fairway and a new forward tee will be added.    

The greens complex will be one of the few holes to be framed by bunkers on both sides.  The relatively flat green will be lifted slightly and well contoured.  Drainage will be added at the end of the fairway short of the creek and in the approach just short of the green.


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Hole No.16 Par 4

A HIGHLAND Hole

I • 464, II • 438, III • 410, IV • 368, V • 315, VI • 268

The longest par four on the course has an ample fairway, and poses a strong physical challenge for all golfers.  A pair of bunkers will stretch out along the sides of the fairway, with the right bunker helping to keep balls in play and the long left bunker serving as a distant target.  The creek crossing on this hole represents a fine example of the way rock and fescue areas can interact beautifully.  We will model more sections of the course after this spot. 

A lone greenside bunker will be cut into the slope on the right, settling well below the collar of the green.  The remaining chipping area in front and on the left side will be shaped to contain golf balls and offer excellent short shot recovery options.  The back bunker will be removed.  New tees will be added on both ends of the teeing ground, further modifying the course to accommodate a wide array of golfers.


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Hole No.17, Par 5

A CLIFF Hole

I • 569, II • 545, III • 505, IV • 477, V • 434, VI • 376

At elevation and playing downhill, the 17th is a bombers paradise and a great hole to go after a big drive.    The bunkering on this hole will become more perpendicular and the wide fairway will jog around these protruding obstacles.  Players will have to carefully consider positioning for angle and distance when traversing this hole. 

Shaped as a long thin target, the green will slide right and elevate.  A slender bunker will match the length of the green on the right, helping to keep balls in play. Although there will be ample space to the left of the putting surface, it will be cut low into the ground and present a unique challenge.  Pitch shots even with the hole on the low left side will require either a low running shot that climbs the low cut slope or a lofted play with a deft touch to stay aboard this narrow surface.  Either way, a fine shot will be necessary and rewarded.  Hole location will dictate the optimal position from which to attack this final birdie hole.  


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Hole No.18, Par 4

A CLIFF Hole

I • 435, II • 417, III • 395, IV • 383, V • 334, VI • 323

In order to accommodate a spectacular clubhouse position, the 18th at McLemore will relocate to the edge of the eastern brow some 100’ feet below the current hole’s location.  The setting will be breathtaking and the golf exciting as players will feel like they are on the edge of the world.  Rock outcroppings will be exposed and mingle with the fairway area on the right side and a walk down the left edge of this hole will simply inspire.  The tees will start along the edge and angle to the right, elevating slightly as they move forward. 

At 40 yards wide, the fairway will be ample, however there is little room on the left side for a pulled drive.  A lone right bunker will provide a safe target, but will grab the overly cautious.  The green will push to the edge of the brow and a low bunker will catch and contain balls falling short and left.  An ample chipping area on the right side will be framed with a back bunker, again giving players a safe target line.  This memorable finishing hole will be enjoyed by all as golfers gather for a post round conversation looking out over the magnificent finish.