The Stadium Course at PGA West was conceived as a California version of the Players Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass—but harder. The course opened in 1984, an era when difficulty was often conflated with greatness, and with PGA West, Pete Dye was evidently trying to build the greatest course on earth. He emptied the toolbox
34. Southern Hills Country Club Perry Maxwell (1936)/Gil Hanse (2018) A product of the Great Depression, funded by Phillips Petroleum money and constructed by hundreds of workers who stood at the gate each morning hoping for a 25-cents-per-hour job that day, Southern Hills is architect Perry Maxwell’s great achievement. Nearly every hole bends left or
The PGA Tour returns to Waialae Country Club, which hosts this week’s Sony Open for a 51st consecutive time, dating back to 1965. It’s special for many reasons, not the least of which because it’s the only Seth Raynor original design played on the PGA Tour (now with the Greenbrier’s Old White TPC course not
Every two years the American Society of Golf Course Architects elects a new president to lead the organization. Seventy-four men and women have previously held the position since its inception in 1947, including luminaries such as Donald Ross, Stanley Thompson, Robert Trent Jones and William Langford. Forrest Richardson, elected in Fall 2020, is now the
A confession here: Golf Digest’s course-ranking process has never been perfect, but it has always been transparent. So in the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that in past years our eight course-evaluation criteria were a bit cumbersome and confusing, not just to readers but to some of the 1,800 low-handicap male and
In a year riven with change, with ground shifting weekly and everything from offices to school to food and safety and the very bonds of society open to re-examination, finding consistency in the world of golf-course design is notable. In golf architecture at least, the advent of this decade resembles the beginning of the last.
Sheep Ranch, the Best New Course of 2020, is an embodiment of the old choreographies of links golf. It is also an expression of a new movement—a revival, actually—toward creating increased width and spaciousness. Though Sheep Ranch sits on a relatively small site—fewer than 150 acres—the playing fields are enormous, with fairways 60 to 100
The original Hogan’s Alley was a newspaper comic strip that dated back to the 1890s, but beginning in the late 1940s the name would be conveniently appropriated by sportswriters to describe various tournament venues where famed golfer Ben Hogan dominated. Riviera Country Club, in Pacific Palisades, Calif., south of Los Angeles, is golf’s original Hogan’s Alley.
Golf is remarkable in the way it brings together people from different cultures and climates, uniting them for a period of time in mission and experience while remaining an entirely individualistic pursuit. It is social and solitary, as all good travel is, and in this regard is also a passport, a ticket. Golf is the
There are enough things in golf to scare us: Forced carries, downhill five-footers and fried-egg lies to name a few. The last thing golfers want in the back of their minds are terrifying animals ready to attack you after you pipe one down the middle. A member of our Golf Digest Places to Play courses
All of this got us to thinking—which other notable munys around the country are worthy of similar treatment? Of course, all of our munys are deserving of some TLC, but these have the potential to be truly significant efforts. COBBS CREEK GOLF COURSE Philadelphia This list must start with Cobbs Creek—which is getting the facelift
At no golf tournament is tradition more celebrated than the Masters. Which is why when a recent Augusta National press release about the broadcast of this year’s tournament noted this point in the 16th and penultimate paragraph, it wound up receiving as much attention in the days afterward than anything else in the announcement. “Tee
Courtesy of Caledonia Ten years after he helped Fazio build the third at Ventana Canyon, Mike Strantz designed his own vest-pocket hole on his first solo design (Caledonia). Working on a tight site, he truncated the ninth to spare the removal of several ancient moss-draped live oaks in the clubhouse area. The hole was supposed
There is so much to love about fall golf: the cooler temperatures, the often-pristine course conditions and, best of all, the glorious golfscapes created by the autumn hues on courses where time can be seen passing from one season to the next. Enjoying the changing leaves on trees is one of the subtle joys of
It might be difficult for some of us to fathom, but in the 1990s new golf courses were blooming across the country like wildflowers in summer. Favorable lending, the continuing expansion of the suburbs and exurbs and an unrealistic expectation of the game’s growth convinced developers there was money to be made in golf. Capital
It’s been a long time coming. That’s not a reference to the three-and-a-half-years of construction and grow-in for Payne’s Valley, the newest resort course at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Mo. Rather, it has been 14 years since public golfers began waiting to play a course designed by Tiger Woods. Woods founded his design company,
Golf fans have waited patiently all summer for the 120th U.S. Open, and the big week is almost here. When the USGA brings its signature championship to a club steeped in history like Winged Foot, there’s an extra level of excitement that even a three-month delay in the proceedings can’t dampen. Of course, there are
One of golf’s classic tests of precision golf will once again host the U.S. Open, for a sixth time since 1929. The rich history at Winged Foot’s West course includes a playoff win by Bobby Jones (by 23 shots); an unbelievable collapse by Phil Mickelson in ’06 and the devastatingly tough 1974 U.S. Open, dubbed
Most will agree that traveling for golf ranks relatively low on the list of things that are most important right now, but it’s a missing part of many golfers’ summers in 2020. Even still, some were not deterred this summer, making either local golf trips or shifting to locations that were open with some restrictions.
I’m sure there are worse things to happen to you on a golf course than encountering “the Wall,” but at the moment I’m drawing a blank. For those unaware of “the Wall,” it’s that painfully slow group ahead impeding your round. It’s usually not intentional, yet the sight—and subsequent stoppage—of “the Wall” is an emotional
In 1965, the great Dan Jenkins picked an All-Star team of golf holes for Sports Illustrated, The Best 18 Golf Holes in America, selected by a committee of one, although he allowed Ben Hogan a nod or two. What set Jenkins’ list apart from other pretenders was a self-imposed restriction. His All-Star team, he said,
Most golfers love variety. As long as a golf course is well-maintained, most of us are happy to explore the game in different variations and locations: old expressions and new; public and private; in deserts, mountains and prairies; at parkland courses in cities as well as bare, windswept courses near a coast. Part of why
Bandon Dunes had already been firmly established as one of the best golf destinations in the world, boasting four courses on Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest ranking, before the addition of another glorious links course on Oregon’s coast. Sheep Ranch, the second 18-hole routing by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw at the resort, opened in
TPC Harding Park is the golden boy of San Francisco public golf, with fame, good fortune, and given its exposure as host to this year’s PGA Championship, an international audience and global reputation. That makes the contrast with its older brother, Lincoln Park Golf Course, a few miles northwest, all the more glaring. Technically, Lincoln
When TPC Harding Park welcomes golfers to the 2020 PGA Championship in San Francisco next week, it will become the 129th course in the United States to host a men’s major (and just the second in the Bay Area, joining Olympic Club’s Lake Course). A public facility originally designed by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting
The 102nd PGA Championship will be a major unlike any we’ve seen in the modern era of golf, thanks to the fact that there will be no spectators walking outside the ropes at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Of course, a fanless championship is better than no championship at all. And while the adrenaline
As first reported in the Bangor Daily News, Steve Norton, 80, had just made a hole-in-one (his first) last Thursday when one of his playing partners, Susan Hunter, stepped to the tee. Of course, having just witnessed an ace, a golfer refocuses just a bit in hopes of matching the feat. And Hunter nearly did.
Most golfers dream of the opportunity to play any of America’s 100 Greatest Courses. Mark Greer has played 95 of them, and he has the souvenirs to prove it. Some might opt to collect ball-markers, hats, or shirts from these courses as a keepsake, but Greer chose to collect a more unique item: divot-repair tools.
Golf architecture from the late 1800s through the Great Depression is a well-traveled road. Between contemporaneous books and articles from the likes of Horace Hutchinson, C.B. Macdonald, Alister Mackenzie, George Thomas and others, and from the discoveries of modern researchers who scour archives and digitized newspaper reports, the story of golf’s formative years in America
The Minnesota native wasn’t technically a golf course architect—he never built an actual course—but rather a golf course artist. And yet the creative flair and dramatic realism that Chapman, who died on July 9 at age 97, brought to his fictional drawings made them as memorable as some real-life designs. An accomplished player who attempted