Coore/Crenshaw layout is a throwback to the classic designs of the early 20th Century
SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Aug. 24, 2020) – There’s more to the athletic scene on the campus of the University of Notre Dame than visiting ‘Touchdown Jesus,’ attending football games at Notre Dame Stadium, and watching basketball games inside the Joyce Center.
Here in South Bend, you’ll also find that Fighting Irish school spirit at The Warren Golf Course, which first opened for play on May 1, 2000.
This golf course is perched on the northern edge of the University of Notre Dame campus, nestled on 250 acres of woodlands, which has been designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. As you would expect, the men’s and women’s golf teams at the University of Notre Dame play and practice at The Warren GC.
The Warren GC was designed by the architect duo of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Coore and Crenshaw were delighted with what they produced, saying “we wanted an old-fashioned, traditional golf course — one based on subtleties, not special effects.”
Coore and Crenshaw succeeded. The course is a throwback to the classic designs of the early 20th Century, when enjoyment of the game of golf was the primary objective of course architecture.
While playing this par-70 golf course, you’ll encounter fescue fairways and a gently rolling terrain. You can see the famous golden dome on the Notre Dame campus from the golf course, though the statue of “Touchdown Jesus” is not visible from any of the tees, fairways, and greens of the Warren Golf Course.
If you had to choose one hole which personified the character of The Warren, it would have to be the 16th hole, a 345-yard par 4. It’s the shortest par 4 on the golf course. Your success on this hole depends on your ability to make the correct club choice for your tee shot. You must think backwards on this hole. Depending on the length of the approach shot that you want into the green will dictate what length that you must hit your tee shot. There’s another wrinkle on this hole. It has a two-tiered green. Three putts are a distinct possibility if your ball ends up on the wrong tier.
According to The Warren GC General Manager/Head Golf Professional John Foster, special arrangements are made for interested golfers when Notre Dame has a home football game on Saturdays in the fall.
“On game days, we have a shotgun start on Saturday mornings and then we close the course during the actual game,” said Foster. “But, if you stand on the fifth tee, you can see the game on the Jumbotron inside the stadium. You can also see the Jumbotron on the 12th and 13th holes.”
Golfweek has ranked The Warren GC as the sixth best golf course in Indiana and the 12th best collegiate golf course in the U.S.
If you make the trek to northern Indiana and it’s too far to return home after your round, there are four area accommodation outlets that offer discounts to golfers (Hilton Garden Inn, The Inn at Saint Mary’s, The Ivy Court Inn & Suites, and the Morris Inn at Notre Dame), but the stay-and-play deals are not available on weekends when the Notre Dame football team has home games.
One of the greatest endorsements bestowed on The Warren GC came from the United States Golf Association, which staged the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and the 2019 U.S. Senior Open at the Warren GC, which was won by Steve Stricker, the current U.S. Ryder Cup captain. The Warren GC was the first collegiate golf course to host the U.S. Senior Open.
Since The Warren GC is good enough for the USGA to host a pair of national championships, then it’s certainly good enough for any golfer – male or female, young or old, pro or amateur, Notre Dame alum or not – to enjoy a round in pursuit of eagles, birdies and Old Man Par. If you beat Old Man Par at The Warren, you will certainly wake up the echoes of Notre Dame.