18th Hole at McLemore Named “Best Finishing Hole in America” by Golf Digest


(press release) LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (August 10, 2020) —The Course at McLemore joins the prestigious list of golf courses honored by Golf Digest with the course’s 18th hole named, “Best Finishing Hole in America- since 2000”.

The original list was created in 1965 by Hall of Fame golf writer Dan Jenkins, and included Pebble Beach’s iconic par 5 as the best 18th. The “New Generation” list in 2000 included Harbor Town’s renowned lighthouse hole as the best 18th. Today, the Course at McLemore joins the third-generation list, “Since 2000”, as the best finishing hole in American golf in the last 20 years.

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Located atop Lookout Mountain just 35 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Course at McLemore was completely redesigned by legendary golf architects Bill Bergin and Rees Jones.  The course overlooks historic McLemore Cove and provides stunning views from several holes; however, the one that takes players’ breaths away is the 18th.

Golf Digest referred to the hole as “…likely to become one of the most recognizable holes in American golf.” The par 4 hole drops more than 1,500 feet to the floor of McLemore Cove with the fairway rising above.  The illusion created is one of being in mid-air.

Scenic Land Company President and CEO Duane Horton said, “It is an honor for our team and course to receive this recognition from Golf Digest. We were very privileged to work with two world-class architects, Bill Bergin and Rees Jones, on the course redesign. If not for the collaboration of Bill and Rees along with their amazing vision, passion and execution in creating our cliff edge finishing hole, this recognition would not be possible.”

In 2017, the pair was given the overall objective to improve the course to match the natural beauty of this special site, improve playability for average golfers while maintaining interest and challenge for lower handicap golfers.  Due to the need of additional space for a new clubhouse, currently under construction and scheduled to open this fall, the team determined the 18th hole would need to move.  This is when the designers championed the opportunity to create a totally new 18th hole on a cliff edge shelf just below the former 18th hole location. The execution proved to create a hole that Rees Jones believes is “one of the best finishing holes in golf” and anticipated to be one of the most photographed holes in the southeast.

The 18th at McLemore is truly special but when Rees Jones was asked at a press conference if it was the signature hole for the course he refused to commit and instead stated “there are so many holes at McLemore that could be signature holes on other courses, I want the players to decide for them self.”

Mr. Horton shared that since opening last summer, members and guests have noted that photos of the 18th hole “…as amazing as they are, they do not do it justice”.  Dr. Bob Jones IV shared, “The only problem with the 18th hole is that it almost makes you forget about the other really outstanding17 holes.”

The Course at McLemore also received recent recognition by the American Society of Golf Course Architects as one of the six courses honored on its 2019 list of Design Excellence Recognition Program honorees.

“We are incredibly grateful for these honors, and thankful for all that have contributed to McLemore” said Horton. “We’re looking forward to the upcoming opening of our  cliff-edgeclubhouse and sharing McLemore with members and guests for generations to come.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.