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Rees Jones – Duke University Golf Course

[From the website of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club]

Construction of the Duke University Golf Course was planned to begin prior to World War II, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 put the plans on hold. After the war, the present site of 120 acres was selected. The property was carefully chosen for the unique elevation changes of its mildly rolling terrain. In 1955, Duke sought out Robert Trent Jones, whose golf course architecture was widely respected.

Finally, on September 26, 1957 , Duke University Golf Club opened to the public. The Duke course was immediately labeled one of the top university golf facilities in the nation. The accolades were great enough to attract the 1962 NCAA Golf Championships. Ironically, there was a soon-to-be-famous golf course architect playing in that NCAA field from Yale University. His name was Rees Jones, youngest son of the Duke golf course designer.

In 1988, university officials recognized that the golf course desperately needed restoration. While no one denied the magnificent routing of its holes, the condition of the course had become unacceptable by Duke University standards.

Rees Jones, now a master architect in his own right, was the only choice for this redesign. Final major construction began in June, 1993 and was completed in April, 1994. It would be difficult to describe the loving care that Rees Jones put into the design of each and every feature of the course. Throughout the redesign, he scrutinized every shot possibility, observed and considered every angle to insure that each nuance of the course would be subtle and perfectly placed.

Again in 2001, Duke University Golf Club was chosen to host the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship. Duke Golf Club exists for you to play, enjoy and savor the vision of Jones and Jones. It is a work of art that will leave you with the distinct impression that, in Rees Jones’ words, “…the golf holes were on the ground, just lying there, waiting to be grassed over.”

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