Renditions Golf Course and the Case for Creative Courses

Renditions and the Case for Creative Courses

Tim Braun Golf Courses, Travel Leave a Comment

Let’s just imagine a day where you accomplished the following:

Make a 15-foot putt to save par at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio on their famed 12th hole.


Pop your tee shot on the green and narrowly miss a birdie in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Southern Hills 17th hole.


Hit a perfect drive on Oakland Hills 16th hole outside of Detroit, Michigan and ease it in for a par.


Suffer through an unbearably hot day for Carnoustie, Scotland (like, 100 degrees hot) but still manage to par the 6th hole, listed as one of the “Top 18 Holes in the World.”


Finally, despite making an easy par at the Medinah Country Club’s 6th hole, watch your brother hole a 75-yard shot to nail a birdie and become the King of Chicago (Full disclosure – I promised him that I would mention that).


Did I really just travel 10,194 miles?  Before you get out your sextants and calculators, the answer is yes, I did calculate the mileages between each point just for the sake of accuracy.  Through countless time zones, the wonderful world of modern air travel, airports and airport security, and sheer fatigue – is this even possible?

It is completely possible if you play at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville, Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C.  Renditions has attempted with great success to provide 18 of the greatest golf holes in the world for Joe and Jane Common Person to have the ability to experience just a taste of what it would be like to travel to all of these exotic locations (Toledo? Exotic? Well, you know what I mean) without the cost.

Of course you’ll notice that in the above summary of ‘good’ holes I played that I omitted any mention of the words ‘Augusta’ or ‘Sawgrass.’  However, they are also well represented at Renditions – including all of Amen Corner and the 17th at Sawgrass. I just didn’t play them very well.  Actually, I got MORE than my money’s worth of shots at those holes.  To illustrate these holes, here is a picture of the actual 17th at Sawgrass, followed by a picture of the hole at Renditions.  Please note, in the Renditions picture, let me know if you find any of the balls I plunked in the water there.



Here is a picture of the Augusta 12th hole followed by the Renditions version.



As you can see, Renditions has done a fantastic job of providing an experience that replicates what these holes are actually like.  I’ll more than likely never play Sawgrass (especially since I wouldn’t be able to afford all the wandering golf balls) so I appreciate the fact that we have the opportunity to do so on a normal public course.

More than that, I applaud Renditions for giving us a golf experience that we will remember.  In my opinion, if more golf courses gave us holes to remember or layouts to remember, it would be a much more positive experience and possibly attract a more diverse and younger group of players.  There is a local course that I play that for some reason has a huge old oak tree in the smack middle of the fairway.  You don’t remember any other hole on that course, but that oak hole is always etched in your memory.

Why don’t more courses try to do something interesting with their holes?  I can count on one hand of all the courses I’ve played on in the Washington, D.C. area that have any ‘personality’ or interesting features thrown in that make you pause and think a little.  Even some of the fancy courses that I pay upwards of $100 a round only throw in one or two water shots and then try to make up for it with ‘good greens’ and customer service.  The vast majority of holes at some of these courses are the 400-yard Par 4 with a bunker at about 250 yards on the side of the fairway, and possibly another bunker to the front left of the green.  Vanilla.

So golf course designers – please take the lead of Renditions and several other courses….make it interesting.  Make it memorable.

If nothing else, please just add a stupid oak tree in the middle of the fairway.

Cover Photo via Instagram

About Tim Braun

Tim Braun is an avid golfer and blogger living in Northern Virginia. Having reached the age where work is not nearly as important as golf, Tim is always on the watch for new techniques and interesting technology to improve his game. He currently works in the Washington, D.C. area at a defense contractor.

To see more of Tim’s non-golf blogging, go to for his non-traditional take on life.

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