Pete Dye’s Richmond Hill golf course ranked in the company of Augusta National
In a year when a day of golf has been one of the few safe respites from quarantine, The Ford Plantation, home to the golf course Pete Dye proudly proclaimed to be his “finest Southern links,” has been named one of GOLF Magazine’s top courses in Georgia in its 2020 – 2021 bi-annual rankings. Of 416 courses in Georgia, The Ford Plantation was ranked the 15th best course in the state, alongside prestigious companies including the world-famous Augusta National.
Accolades for golfing at The Ford Plantation
In 2014, The Ford Plantation Golf Course underwent a $7.5 million renovation with Pete Dye’s direct involvement and has since received numerous accolades and continuous high praise from renowned golf publications and club associations, including the following:
- “Best Modern Courses (1960–present),” Golfweek
- “Best Golf Courses in Georgia,” Golf Digest
- “Top 100 Residential Courses,” Golfweek
- The Host of the Georgia PGA Open
- Golfweek’s Best 2021: Top 200 Residential Golf Courses in the U.S.
Additionally, The Ford Plantation received certification in Environmental Planning from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP). This international program is administered by Audubon International and is designed to help landowners preserve and enhance the environmental quality of their property.
How GOLF ranks the best courses in America
According to GOLF, the ranking process is as follows: For the newly released 2020-21 U.S. list, panelists were provided a list of 489 courses across the country. Next to that list of courses were 11 “buckets,” or groupings. If panelists considered a course to be among the top three in the country, they ticked that box. If they believed the course to be among Nos. 4-10 in the U.S., they checked that box, followed by 11-25, 26-50, and so on. Panelists were also free to write in courses that they felt should have been included on the ballot (fewer than a handful of such additions in the U.S. vote).
Points were assigned to each bucket to arrive at an average score for each course. Then, each course’s aggregate score was divided by the number of votes. From those point tallies, the courses were then ranked accordingly. The process is an intentionally simple and straightforward one. Why? Because it invariably produces results that are widely lauded. Like the game itself, GOLF believes there’s no need to unnecessarily overcomplicate things.
What makes The Ford Plantation Golf Course so special?
The Ford Plantation Golf Course is well-known for Pete Dye’s signature long, scenic views and flexible play for golfers of all levels. The course was built with member play in mind, making it a joy to play for average and experienced golfers alike. Ladies will appreciate the attention given to the placement of the women’s tees, which typically eliminate the need to carry water or larger hazards. This, too, is often the case with Pete Dye courses, as Mrs. Dye was herself an avid golfer and greatly influenced the way Mr. Dye’s designs played for female players. And best of all, Ford members never need a tee time to hit the links.
This is not to say that The Ford Plantation Golf Course is without its challenges. On the contrary, each hole sports seven sets of tees: Black, Gold, Blue, Modified, White, Red, and even Family Tees which can make the course play anywhere from 7,443 yards from the Black to 5,002 yards from the Reds. The placement of each tee box adds both distance and difficulty to each hole, often bringing additional hazards into play.
GOLF is the definitive voice of the sport on and off the course, dedicated to enhancing every golfer’s enjoyment of the game – making this award a true honor for The Fold Plantation.