The Highland Course at Primland

The Highland Course at Primland – Played November 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #21, Golf Magazine Public #36
  • Location: 2000 Busted Rock Road, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
  • Year: 2006
  • Architect: Martin Ebert & Donald Steel
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,053 yards, Par 72, 75.1 Rating/150 Slope
  • Black/Red: 6,771 yards, Par 72, 73.9 Rating/147 Slope
  • Red: 6,450 yards, Par 72, 72.5 Rating/143 Slope
  • Blue: 6,002 yards, Par 72, 70.7 Rating/139 Slope (Men’s), 75.7 Rating/142 Slope (Women’s)
  • Green: 5,140 yards, Par 72, 70.9 Rating/131 Slope

I needed something to do on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I thought the best use of my time was to play a Top 100 golf course!  Can you blame me?  So I hopped in the car and made the trip up to Primland.  Check out the scorecard below.

hcp-cardThe resort was built to embrace the environment.  The entire property is a testament to that.  It was founded by Didier Primat, the heir to the Schlumberger fortune and he poured plenty of resources into the area.

The accommodations seem top-notch.  This was a day trip for me so I didn’t see them, but they looked immaculate from the outside.

The resort has a multitude of activities.  There is a full spa and a laundry list of activities including bird watching, geocaching, horseback riding, sporting clays, and stargazing.  And this isn’t just any stargazing.  According to the website, due to the elevation and clear night sky the viewing is spectacular.   To enhance it further, the resort has an observatory dome complete with a Celestron CGE Pro 1400 telescope! It can see objects far beyond our solar system.  You can see it attached to the Lodge and pro shop below.

hcp-clubYou are definitely one with nature here.  Once off the main road it was about 6 miles until I got to the resort.  There were some seriously winding roads and plenty of signs for bear.  The website even has a section devoted to safety while at the resort.

Let’s get into this tour!  It was pretty cold on this day, but I was by myself and was able to jet around the course.  I was just hoping not to get eaten by a bear!  I played the red tees and all distances will be from those.

Hole 1 – 509 yards – Par 5

The first tee shot is not too hard.  The only real trouble is to the right.  Some deep bunkers are on that side and it falls off past those.

hcp-1-1From this spot the second shot is blind, but straight downhill.

hcp-1-2The third shot features quite the view.  The rumples in the green are spectacular.


hcp-1-4Hole 2 – 177 yards – Par 3

I’ll just say it here, the views are going to continue to be stunning.  The scale here is awesome and the vistas astounding.  The elevation change and visual here is wonderful.

hcp-2-1Uh, see what I mean about the views?

hcp-2-2A closer look at the green.

hcp-2-3Hole 3 – 473 yards – Par 5

This hole is very gettable.  Once you crest the hill there is a big down slope that will propel the ball forward.  The best line is up the left.

hcp-3-1The second shot plays back up the hill to a green that is open in front.

hcp-3-2And a look at the putting surface.

hcp-3-3When you look back from the green you can see the severity of the down slope where the tee shot lands.

hcp-3-4Hole 4 – 135 yards – Par 3

I really like this hole because of the up slope.  It is a short hole, but the elevation makes you think.  In addition, there is a deep bunker to the front and right of the green.


hcp-4-2Below is one of the tree houses on the property.  It is perched on the side of the mountain and offers incredible views.

hcp-4-3Hole 5 – 328 yards – Par 4

In 40 degree weather I will take shorter holes.  The tee shot plays quite a bit downhill, but it lands into an uphill slope negating the roll.  Depending on your club selection the bunker on the left can be in play.

hcp-5-1Here is a look at the steep uphill approach shot.

hcp-5-2The green has some very interesting slope.

hcp-5-3Hole 6 – 503 yards – Par 5

This was a tough tee shot for me.  Everything is guiding you to the left, but you need to play a fade here.  Anything going left will most likely bound down the slope and at this time of year it will be lost in the leaves.

hcp-6-1Here is the second shot.

hcp-6-2The third shot plays over some great fairway mounding to a flag that was tucked.  Most pin positions will be hidden.


hcp-6-4Hole 7 – 464 yards – Par 4

Below is a look at the rock inlaid tee markers.

hcp-7-1I loved the visual aesthetic here and this tee shot is more evidence of that.  Unless you hit a fade you need to hug the bunkers up the right side.

hcp-7-2The approach plays over a large dip in the fairway.

hcp-7-3This view is from the right side of the green.  You don’t want to find yourself in this bunker.

hcp-7-4Hole 8 – 193 yards – Par 3

In case you forgot, the eighth is a reminder that you are in the mountains.  It is an extreme drop down to the green from the tee.


hcp-8-2Below is a closer look at the green.

hcp-8-3Hole 9 – 315 yards – Par 4

This is a short hole on the card, but it plays longer due to the slope.  Longer hitters can go for the green and an easier chance at birdie.

hcp-9-1The main trouble is the deep pot bunker right in front of the green.

hcp-9-2The front, right of the green has a small false front and the rest of the putting surface has some great contouring.

hcp-9-3Hole 10 – 427 yards – Par 4

Just as I got to this tee a woman walked by heading to her room.  She noticed my headcover and asked if I was a Clemson fan.  I let her know that I was an alum and was of course a fan!  It turns out she is from one town over from me.  Small world!  The tee shot needs to be kept up the left side.

hcp-10-1The approach plays uphill making the green semi-blind.

hcp-10-2This is one of the flatter greens on the course.

hcp-10-3Hole 11 – 369 yards – Par 4

This hole is built specifically for me.  It calls for a draw up the left side, but there is plenty of room up the right in case you come out of the shot.

hcp-11-1The green is almost entirely open and slopes to the middle.


hcp-11-3Hole 12 – 180 yards – Par 3

The first part of this carry is all or nothing, but once you get past that there is a pristine patch of grass until the green.

hcp-12-1The slopes on this green were something else.  I was playing through a group so I didn’t have much time to play around on the putting surface.

hcp-12-2Hole 13 – 528 yards – Par 5

Long hitters may be able to get home in two, but it plays uphill all the way.  The angle of the fairway favors a draw off the tee.

hcp-13-1Here is the second shot.

hcp-13-2The approach is devoid of trouble.  This is a total green light.

hcp-13-3For the best birdie opportunity you will want to be on the correct tier.  You can see the multiple levels of the green in the photo below.  Notice how short the flags are.  I was told this was because the bears played with them and it was better if they were shorter.

hcp-13-4Hole 14 – 147 yards – Par 3

You will want to summon a solid shot here due to the dead area from tee to green.  The green is shallow and very wide.


hcp-14-2The shape of this green was really cool from this angle.  It is separated into thirds with lots of slope in each section.

hcp-14-3A look back shows the unique structure of the tee box.

hcp-14-4Hole 15 – 336 yards – Par 4

There isn’t much to this hole off the tee.  It is a shorter hole where you really just need to avoid the miss to the right.

hcp-15-1There is a little more intrigue with the approach shot.  The green is slightly obscured due to the shaping of the fairway.

hcp-15-2Here is a look at the green.

hcp-15-3I couldn’t get enough of the views at this course.  There were so many of these when you looked around the greens.

hcp-15-4This view of the green illustrates the slopes you must deal with.

hcp-15-5Hole 16 – 391 yards – Par 4

This is just a solid hole.  You need a good drive to set up the approach.  If you leak it to the right you may get caught up in the bunkers or rough.

hcp-16-1The fairway rises most of the way to the green so you cannot see the putting surface.

hcp-16-2Here is a look at the green and the deep bunker just off the left.


hcp-16-4Hole 17 – 536 yards – Par 5

The fairway is wide for most of the landing area, but it slopes to the right.  The best play is up the left side.

hcp-17-1Below is the totally uphill second shot.

hcp-17-2The third shot can still be blind.

hcp-17-3The green has some serious undulation.


hcp-17-5Hole 18 – 439 yards – Par 4

The views don’t stop.  Below is what you see from the final tee box.

hcp-18-1The last hole is no pushover.  It is a long par four to a fairway tilted toward the tee.  If you can carry the slope you will be rewarded.

hcp-18-2The second shot plays downhill to a massive green.  Due to the scale of the putting surface the bunkers really don’t stand out.

hcp-18-3The photo below really shows the scale of the green.

hcp-18-4Not only is the surface large, but it has some serious sloping.

hcp-18-5Primland is a real treat.  It was extremely cold, but that didn’t detract from the experience.  The views around the course were some of the best I have seen in mountain golf.  The tee shot vistas were spectacular and the greens had some of the most severe undulation I have encountered.  This was a really fun course and one that I would recommend to anyone.

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2 thoughts on “The Highland Course at Primland

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