Among the many unique aspects of the Old Course at St. Andrews, it has seven double greens. So, 14 of its 18 holes have a shared green.
In a previous story, we highlighted 10 of the top dual greens in the U.S.—examples in which a single hole has two separate putting surfaces.
But what about double greens?
These are different holes that share a large putting surface with separate hole placements and flags.
“Although modern courses occasionally embrace a double green, the choice is generally for the sake of nostalgia or gimmickry and not, as in the case of the Old Course, for practicality,” golf architect Forrest Richardson noted in his book, Routing the Golf Course. “The St. Andrews of long ago was a true reversible golf course, but as play increased, it became awkward to have outbound players playing to the very same hole in the ground as inbound players.”
There are a good number of double greens at U.S. courses, many of which were built for promotional purposes. Some operators figured it couldn’t hurt being able to say they have a green complex “like those found at St. Andrews.”
The double greens at St. Andrews are massive and that’s a necessity, particularly at busy courses, when it comes to player safety. And then there’s the routing itself. If it doesn’t line up right, a double green can seem forced.
But for many golfers, double greens are quite memorable. Here are 10 unique examples of double greens at U.S. courses. Be sure to let us know other favorites (and why).
Ballyhack (Roanoke, Va.)
Inspired by St. Andrews, the par-three 13th and par-five 15th holes at this club in the private Dormie Network share a well-bunkered, 22,000-square-foot green. The 13th is called “Crossover,” as it starts a series of holes that crossover to take advantage of changing elevations and winds from the next three holes.
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Baylands Golf Links (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Forrest Richardson reconfigured the original William F. Bell design at this San Francisco-area facility, a rare municipal course with a double green. The par-four 3rd hole plays out toward San Francisco Bay while the par-three 15th returns to the same green, usually playing downwind to a putting surface with multiple levels.
Blackwolf Run (Kohler, Wis.)
This one is unique in that the 18th holes of the two courses at Blackwolf Run—River and Meadow Valleys—both return to a shared green that sits beneath the clubhouse and restaurant. Ironically, it’s the finisher at Meadow Valleys that plays over the river to this long double green.
Inness (Inness, N.Y.)
Visitors to this quirky 9-holer from the designers of Sweetens Cove are greeted by something visually different right from the start, as the practice green behind the golf shop is part of a 45,000-square-foot putting surface that extends to the par-four 2nd green and the par-five 9th green. The 3rd and 6th holes also share a single, massively stepped green.
Kingsmill Resort, Woods Course (Williamsburg, Va.)
The Woods Course at Kingsmill, tucked in a secluded corner of the resort, features a double green with a tough pot bunker in the center. The par-three 12th is the signature hole at the Woods, playing over water to a green it shares with the par-four 15th hole.
The Links at Lighthouse Sound (Ocean City, Md.)
In a true curiosity, this course has consecutive holes that play to the same green that’s set along a tidal marsh of the Assawoman Bay. After completing the par-five 2nd hole, players drive to the tee for the par-three 3rd hole and then hit back to the rear of the 16,000-square-foot green they just played.
Old Town Club (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
The 8th and 17th holes at this private Perry Maxwell design share a scenic green that fronts one of the meandering creeks that define the Old Town landscape. It’s likely a player could have downhill approach shots of about the same distance on both holes but have the ball above their feet on the short par-four 8th and below their feet on the par-five 17th.
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Sheep Ranch (Bandon, Ore.)
Two of the most scenic holes on a picturesque property share a multitiered green overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The par-three 3rd hole plays straight toward the coast to a portion of the flowing green that sits higher, while the par-three 16th plays lower along the cliffside with a tall dune close to the green to the right.
TPC San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas)
The host course for the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open has a double green that curls around a sprawling 8,000-square-foot bunker. The hazard is hidden behind the smaller portion of the green on the par-five 2nd hole, but intimidatingly visible from the tee on the par-three 7th hole.
— TPC San Antonio (@TPCSanAntonio) February 12, 2015
The Avocet Course at Wild Wing (Conway, S.C.)
The Avocet course at Wild Wing is a popular one in the Myrtle Beach area thanks to touches like the shared green at the 6th and 17th holes. The long par-four 6th might be the toughest driving hole on the course, with water up the entire left-hand side of the hole, while the par-three 17th requires a tough carry over wetlands to fire aggressively at the pin.
Bonus Triple Green
The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club (Hillsboro, Ore.)
There are two 18-hole public-access courses at this unique property outside Portland, where the Bob Cupp-designed North course has a 43,000-square-foot triple green complex shared by the 1st, 8th, and 17th holes.
Have you played a course with a double green? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.