Laurel Valley Golf Club

Golf Course Review by: Bill Satterfield

Quick Facts

Designer:  Dick Wilson in 1959

Cost:  Private

Phone Number:  (724) 238-2422

Directions:  Get here! - 175 Palmer Drive, Ligonier, Pennsylvania

Photos:  See additional photos of Laurel Valley

Accolades: Ranked 55th on Golf Digest's 2013-14 Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America and 3rd in the state of Pennsylvania.

Signature Hole:  10th - 432 Yard Par 4 - If you didn't know better you would mistake yourself for being at Augusta National when playing this hole. With trees lining both sides of the fairway and multi-colored flowers along with a creek running along the right side of the green you are just expecting to hear Dave Loggins' "Augusta" song playing and Jim Nance sitting in the Butler Cabin.

10th Hole at  Laurel Valley (432 Yard Par 4)
10th Hole at Laurel Valley (432 Yard Par 4)
Laurel Valley Clubhouse
Laurel Valley Clubhouse

What to Expect: Laurel Valley is a private club that is different that most clubs we go play because the largest percentage of the membership is corporate. This course is where companies take their clients to wine and dine them while showing off one of the country's finest tracks. Located about 12 miles from Arnold Palmer's hometown, Laurel Valley hosted the 1975 Ryder Cup where America came out victorius with a 21 - 11 score. The course is perfectly groomed and features a a bit of elevation change throughout the course and a ton of bunkers. This parkland layout by Dick Wilson has been tweaked over the years by Arnold Palmer and is a stout test of golf with long par 3s, stout par 4s, and reachable par 5s.

By the Numbers:

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 72 7327 75.7 148
Black 72 6982 74.1 138
White 72 6606 72.8 135
Green 72 5899 70.1 130
Red (Women) 72 5548 73.5 127


Individual Hole Analysis

Best Par 3:  14th - 205 Yards - The biggest weakness that Laurel Valley faces is that the par threes all play a similar distance (205 - 221), fortunately though the holes are all good one-shotters with the 14th being the highlight of the group. #14 requires a forced carry over water the entire distance to the green and thus demanding a high and soft shot in order to have any chance at keeping your ball on the putting surface.

14th Hole at Laurel Valley (205 Yard Par 3)
14th Hole at Laurel Valley (205 Yard Par 3)
14th Hole at Laurel Valley (205 Yard Par 3)
14th Hole at Laurel Valley (205 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  10th - 432 Yards - This downhill dogleg right hole features an exhilarating tee shot followed up by an attractive approach. When I played this hole it felt like a combination of Augusta National and Castle Pines - not a bad combination!

10th Hole at Laurel Valley (432 Yard Par 4)
10th Hole at Laurel Valley (432 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  18th - 537 Yards - The finishing hole is an excellent way to wrap up your round at Laurel Valley and offers an exciting risk/reward opportunity. At 537 yards the hole is reachable in two, however a significant amount of additional yardage can be cut off the hole if you are willing to hit a long approach shot over the lake that protects the right side of the fairway up to the green. A backdrop of bunkers exists to catch your ball that travels long, but if you leave it short then you'll be dropping near the closest red stake.

18th Hole at Laurel Valley (537 Yard Par 5)
18th Hole at Laurel Valley (537 Yard Par 5)
18th Hole at Laurel Valley (537 Yard Par 5)
18th Hole at Laurel Valley (537 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  15th - 375 Yard Par 4 - This shortish par four features water on the left side of the hole, but the dogleg left can shorten the hole and allows you to hit less than a driver off the tee. Layup in front of the water, take a short iron into the green, and knock down a birdie putt before attacking the final three holes.

15th Hole at Laurel Valley (375 Yard Par 4)
15th Hole at Laurel Valley (375 Yard Par 4)
15th Hole at Laurel Valley (375 Yard Par 4)
15th Hole at Laurel Valley (375 Yard Par 4)

Bogey Beware:  9th - 480 Yard Par 4 - Laurel Valley's final front nine hole is just straight up tough. This 480 yard two-shotter narrows in the landing area as bunkers encroach fromt the left side of the hole. The approach shot is played slightly uphill to a green that is protected by a trio of bunkers while water lurks off to the left to drown a wayward approach.

9th Hole at Laurel Valley (480 Yard Par 4)
9th Hole at Laurel Valley (480 Yard Par 4)

Final Cut:    Grade B+

Flyover Tour: