Golf Travel: Nemacolin’s Mystic Rock Earns More Recognition

Nemacolin Resort's Mystic Rock Golf Course

When travel returns to a greater level of normalcy, don’t be surprised when you hear of golf friends making plans to visit Nemacolin Resort. The luxury, four-season resort, covers some 2,000 acres in Farmington, Pennsylvania, and is just a 6-hour drive from Toronto. It’s located just south of another golf crazy city, Pittsburgh.

Home to to two Pete Dye-designed golf courses, recently the resort’s Mystic Rock layout was honoured by Golf Digest by being included in the America’s 100 Greatest Public Course list for the seventh consecutive time.

The rugged and scenic 7,550-yard, par-72 Pete Dye design, set atop the majestic Pennsylvania Allegheny Mountains in the idyllic Laurel Highlands, is ranked 72nd, continuing a consecutive streak of appearances on the biennial list that dates back to 2009.

Golf Digest says “Mystic Rock is one of the more curious courses Pete Dye ever designed, with mostly oval greens and rectangular bunkers. Because many holes were blasted from rock, some holes have fields of boulders in the rough, and all water hazards are bulkheaded with stacked stone. The course concludes with Dye’s favorite finish, a gambling par-5 16th, a 17th over water (in this case, 205 yards), and a now-strong par-4 18th. Mystic Rock’s 18th was rebuilt and lengthened before the course hosted a PGA Tour event, the 84 Lumber Classic, from 2003 to 2006.”

The publication’s every-odd-year review of America’s top public courses can be found on GolfDigest.comGolf Digest uses nearly 1,000 low-handicap male and female golfers on its Course Ranking Panel and asks each to submit ballots based on eight criteria, including shot options, challenge, layout variety, distinctiveness, aesthetics, conditioning, character, and fun.

“It’s a great honor that Golf Digest once again recognized Mystic Rock as one of America’s most iconic golfing experiences. The convergence of Pete Dye’s particular genius and creativity with this panoramic mountain-valley setting makes for unforgettable golf and shot values that don’t quit. When the panelists see the bunker renovations (golf course architect) Tim Liddy just completed, I think their esteem for Mystic Rock will be raised even higher,” says Director of Golf Kelly O’Donnell.

Liddy partnered with Dye — before Dye’s passing — on designs for an extensive bunker renovation on Mystic Rock, which was completed in July 2021. The transformation to upgrade the bunkers, playing surfaces, and tee boxes solidifies Mystic Rock as one of the finest mountain courses in the country.

“This bunker renovation provides a more enjoyable playing experience throughout the golf course. Pete Dye’s golf courses challenge the best golfers in the world and, at the same time, are playable for the average golfer,” Liddy says. “Mystic Rock is a great tribute to Pete’s artistic and design legacy. More than many of his designs, this course sits quietly on the ground and is a wonderful part of its surroundings. Completed at the height of his career, it also reflects much of his best work. Mystic Rock is truly special in the world of golf course architecture. I believe it will only grow in stature over time.”

To learn more about Nemacolin, visit

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