The Takeaway: Blessings is one of the most memorable and varied courses I’ve ever played. With 84 tee boxes, multiple angles, and great movement in the terrain, Blessings is a course you could never tire of. Claiming the spot as the best course in Arkansas, only Alotian Club could contend to dethrone it. Grade A
Designer: Robert Trent Jones Jr. in 2004
Phone Number: (479) 444-6330
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Blessings Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 5826 Clear Creek Blvd, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72704 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: Welcome to Razorback country! Home of the University of Arkansas’ golf team whose two most famous alumni include John Daly and Stacy Lewis, the Razorbacks enjoy a rarity among colleges which is they get to tee it up on the best course in their respective state. Not only is it the best course, it has a superior ability to get players ready for other courses depending on how the course is set up each day. The routing features 84 different tee boxes to play from and an outstanding variety of angles and looks that the course can adopt. While many courses try to claim that their course “plays totally different” from one set of tees to the next, none that I’ve seen come close to that like Blessings can. Variety in setup, shots required, angles of attack, and pin positions make it the ultimate chameleon. The amount of elevation changes throughout the course also prepares the Razorbacks to walk any course they’d be asked to in a tournament while providing impressive hole designs and views. A river runs through the course and comes into play on different tee shots and approaches throughout the round so keeping an extra ball or two is handy if you happen to dunk one. Speaking of water, if I didn’t know better, I would say that Blessings was sitting on a giant sponge considering how well the course handles water. It is easily the best drainage I’ve ever seen on a course as the downpour that occurred on the day of our visit hardly phased it. At one point we went out to play after a delay and there was two inches of water racing down the concrete cart paths but we could take carts on the turf without it being phased. The zoysia grass is manicured at a high level and the 12+ inches of sand base create an ideal environment to handle turbulent weather conditions. A frequent host of NCAA events, Blessings is a flat out fantastic golf course that others should emulate when trying to deliver fun, variety, and challenge all rolled into one. While Yale for years has rightfully claimed the #1 spot among the best college golf courses in the country, the Hogs can lay claim to the finest university course in the Central Time Zone with Blessings.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 10th Hole – 624 Yard Par 5 – The back nine starts off with a lengthy three-shotter that bends right before bending back left towards the green. The tee sits well below the fairway which makes the landing zone blind for most players, but the trees that line each side of the hole give a clear path of where to aim. A foliage covered ravine bisects the fairway 210 yards from the green and instantly creates a decision for players on the second shot on whether to try and carry it or whether to layup and leave a lengthy third shot into the green. Players trying to clear the ravine on their second shot need to stay short of the second dip in the fairway that is covered in long grass 60 yards from the green. The green is set into a hillside with a bunker sitting on the face on the right side which creates a devilish up and down effort to a downhill green. Reaching this green in two is a monumental feat, and reaching in regulation is no cake walk, so walking away with a par here is something to be proud of.
Best Par 3: 8th Hole – 171 Yards – An attractive one-shotter playing to a greensite tucked into the base of an orange clay and rock hillside, the 8th is pretty much a do-or-die hole with a ravine flanking the right side while bunkers protect the front and left. A distinct tier cuts across the green to make the front third of the putting surface attackable if you can spin it back off the backstop in the green, but flags in the back of the green can create a risky proposition to get aggressive with.
Best Par 4: 14th Hole – 498 Yards – One of the most visually stunning holes at Blessings, the 14th is equal parts attractive, testing, and enjoyable. The lengthy two-shotter plays just six feet short of 500 yards so it will take plenty of length and accuracy to reach this green in regulation. Five bunkers protect and tighten up the driving zone with the ideal play being towards the furthest bunker on the left with a nice cut that stays over the short grass the maximum amount of time. The tumbling fairway virtually refuses to yield a level lie before terminating at the greensite that features a raised, but tame, left side before giving way to the right side that features sharp fall-offs on each side. The extremely slick putting surface makes a right side pin placement three-putt city and is the perfect spot to test collegiate athletes on the final day of a tournament. Once you are at the green you'll enjoy the most expansive view on the property with a panoramic awe-inspiring scene.
Best Par 5: 5th Hole – 590 Yards – The second par five on the front nine is a three-shotter for most mortals unless you have the juice to cover the fairway bunkers on the left. The hole doglegs nearly 90 degrees left and ascends up the hill with a large tree fronting the boomerang bunker that hooks around the right side of the putting surface. The expansive tree begs players to keep their second shot up the left side clear of its branches or far enough back to clear the tree with a short wedge shot. The raised plateau green requires an exacting approach and a spine bisects the long and skinny putting surface which can create some testy putts when rolling your ball from the front to the rear of the green, or vice versa. It is a hole you can score well on, but the consistent climb up to the green can grind on some players psyche.
Birdie Time: 6th Hole – 384 Yard Par 4 – It can be hard to identify birdie opportunities at one of the most difficult golf courses in the world, but when you are presented with a par four under 400 yards it will seem like, well, a Blessing! The hole plays well downhill and can range in distance wildly depending on which tee the course is set up for that day, but regardless of where you start, you should be swinging away on your driver in an effort to get as close to the green as possible. The putting surface is elevated with each side sloping off in an ant hill fashion and will require some distance control on the approach to keep the ball on the putting surface, but as long as you do you'll have a great look at birdie. The elevated tee shot and unique greensite make this one of the most fun holes at Blessings.
Bogey Beware: 7th Hole – 522 Yard Par 4 – 522 yards is just a cruel length for a par four, but when you add a pair of water hazards to contend with it borders on cruel and unusual. The tee shot plays over a large pond to a fairway that angles away from the player, but devoid of any bunkers. Clear Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River, flanks the right side of the hole before cutting across the fairway and adding an additional element to consider on the approach shot. The greensite features a bunker that runs the length of the right side of the putting surface and becomes a bigger factor for players that choose to shorten the hole by playing up the right side of the fairway. The elevated left side of the green adds an element of challenge to contend with on approaches to the green and is really challenging when the pin is tucked on that side. If the pin is in the back you can use the backslope to help work a ball towards the flag, but just getting here in regulation will be extremely difficult.