Great Golf Courses
The Fascinating History of Merion Golf Club
Merion Golf Club, home of the 2013 US Open golf championship, not only carries a status as being one among the top courses around the world, but its history is really exceptional. When the golf club membership in 1910 decided to build a brand new golf course, they selected a member of the club who was 32 years of age and had not designed one golf course. To think that a person who had been on his initial job would create such a stunning success that would be the home of five Opens within the next 100 years is really remarkable.
Located a little west out of Philadelphia, there is an East and West Course, but the one we are going to talk about here is the East Course. This was the first of the two built and the one where the tournaments are held.
The Course Designer Brought a Scottish Flavor
Hugh Wilson is the course designer who had been from Scotland, a member as well as an excellent player. The first thing he would do was tour Scotland and England for seven months studying and play the celebrated golf courses of the time that were there. As you walk Merion during the Open or watch it on TV, you’ll likely distinguish some of the features that you’ll recognize from some of the old courses in Great Britain. The most notable will be the bunkers; the 120 steep-faced bunkering is very reminiscent of just what you will see in the British Isles.
Another remarkable thing regarding this great course is how tight it is. It was originally built on only 126 acres, in comparison to some which might be 300 acres and more. The original course was about 6500 yards, and subsequent to the 1981 U.S. Open it had been believed the undersized space might make this excellent course obsolete for future Open tournaments. Not only were nearly all pros capable of overpowering some of the shorter holes, but bigger galleries and corporate tents required additional space. Concerns were alleviated when additional adjacent real estate was obtained, lengthening the golf course to its present almost 7000 yards.
Ben Hogan at the 1950 US Open
Merion Golf Club has had a significant impact on many of the golfing greats, but two of the all-time premier players stand out. For Bobby Jones, the 1916 U.S. Amateur marked the first time he appeared at a national competition at 14 years old. In 1924 he would be triumphant in his first U.S. Amateur victory, as well as in 1930 Jones completed the “Grand Slam” of golf on the Merion Golf Club’s East Course. Seven weeks later Bobby Jones retired from golf competition at 28 years of age.
The other distinguished player who made golf history at Merion was Ben Hogan. He won the 1950 U.S. Open in one among the impressive athletic achievements in history, playing 16 months after a head-on crash with a bus that almost killed him. He somehow won in a playoff, playing with incredible pain while still recovering from the accident. Really one of the impressive events in the history of sports.
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Golf in Australia Has Some among the Best Golf Anywhere
When golfer Adam Scott became the very first Australian golfer to triumph at the Masters, we’re reminded of the wonderful heritage that golf in Australia has. Celebrated Australian players like Bruce Devlin, Bruce Crampton, Wayne Grady, Greg Norman and Ian Baker-Finch, to name just some, have made their name world-wide. They have represented Australian golf well, and while Greg Norman had some great chances of winning at Augusta National, it really is surprising that it took until 2013 for an Australian player to triumph there.
Because for the most part these golfers have become known playing in the United States, we do not know a great deal about the the game in Australia. We rarely get a glimpse of Australian golf courses. Obviously with the number of people playing inside their country, together with the quantity of recognizable players, there must be some excellent courses. It is estimated that approximately 1.3 million folks in Australia play golf on more than 1500 golf courses. They have been playing the sport there for greater than 125 years.
There Are 6 Courses Ranked World-Wide in Australia
Of the large numbers of golf courses to select from, there are actually six that are at the top 100 in the world as rated by US Golf Magazine during 2011. Each six are located on the east and southeast seaside regions, which is not unexpected. That is where most of the population base is. The top-ranked course in Australia, and number 13 in the world, is the Royal Melbourne, dating back when the course was designed to the 1920s. It is still the favored venue of the Australian Open, Presidents Cup, as well as the additional big tournaments which Australia holds. But when you’re going to Melbourne and hoping to get on this perennially-rated number one golf course, you’ll have to be acquainted with somebody.
Tasmania Also Has a Great Golf Course
If you are looking to in fact play one of their world-ranked courses, go to Tasmania, an island off the southeast coast of Australia. On the northeast of Tasmania is now Barnbougle Dunes Golf Links, rated number four in Australia and forty-one around the world. It is only about ten years old, its spectacular landscapes and rugged seaside topography remind a player of the links golf courses of Scotland and Ireland, but with improved weather. A feature that make this a great course is in fact that it’s set up to offer the best golfers a test, however is not going to completely beat up the average golfer. As this course matures, it’s going to get talked about increasingly.
Golf in Australia offers courses which are world-class in design, and remain in nearby proximity to wonderful cities and several off-the-course neighboring highlights. Plus being such a large country, there is a broad variety of local weather conditions. When you are going to Australia for a golf excursion, it is probably best to check out the large availability of resorts found around the coastal regions. The one real negative with Australia, needless to say, is it is a great distance for most of us to travel to.
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A More Healthy Pastime then Gambling in Vegas
Las Vegas has during the last 50 years developed into one among the top entertainment meccas not only in the United States, but the world. It had been nothing but a tiny town in the desert until gaming became officially authorized in Nevada, and with that the entire amusement package grew. In time there was more to do in and around Las Vegas, and golf courses began to be constructed. One can find now 128 courses in the area, and Las Vegas golf has really exploded into an attraction in itself.
Las Vegas Golf has many Options All Year
Just like nearly all things within this entertainment capital, people who build things do not normally scrimp when they build anything. And if you are okay with the heat during the summer, there isn’t a day you can’t play. The heat starts to really intensify in June, with average highs during that month at 100 degrees F. They will climb to about 106 degrees in July and August previous to going downward in September to the mid-nineties. Steer clear of some of this heat by playing in the early hours or late. The good news is this is when you are going to get your best rates, both on hotels as well as at the courses.
When is the Best Time for Las Vegas Golf?
1. Las Vegas is a convention place, with an average week getting 85000 conventioneers. That’s a lot of people, but the city has plenty of accommodations. Point is, the more individuals, the more you’ll pay. Check on the Las Vegas visitors’ bureau’s site (vegasmeansbusiness.com) to find a weekly update to find when the traffic is the lowest.
2. Room rates are often two times as much over the weekend as with midweek. You will not save so dramatically on the golf courses, but you can pay less if you play Monday through Thursday.
3. Check with the golf course you wish to play regarding when they over-seed their fairways; you may want to avoid those times. It is usually done in late August to mid-September.
I was lucky to play Dragon Ridge Country Club in Henderson, and although it’s private you might still be able to get on a great golf course like this through your hotel. Try to book this way or with several of the golf packages you’ll be able to locate on the internet. This course is actually a great test of golf, but the driving areas are quite fair. Since it will be a bit out from the city, it will be in the adjacent foothills in close proximity to Henderson, and the elevations make for some great holes. From this juncture it is possible to check out the Las Vegas skyline very well.
But there happens to be multiple warnings not to look for stray golf balls in the extreme rough areas. The signs say “Watch out for Rattlesnakes”, and I believe them.Related Content
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Cool Facts about the Augusta National Golf Course
A few years ago I was fortunate to attend the The Masters golf tournament. It was not only one of my most unforgettable golf experiences, but that same course that I’ve spent years watching on TV had a far dissimilar appearance in person. My initial thought about the Augusta National Golf Course was the contour with the course: the contours are much steeper than they seem on television. For example, the fairway on the eighteenth hole is much steeper by plenty than the appearance portrays on television.
Another impression was the dimensions of the practice area. That area was so tight that the players would drive the ball off the practice tee right into a huge net. As compared with the contemporary courses today, where you’ll find immense land areas to work with, Augusta National is actually an old course. When it had been built, players didn’t whack the ball for the huge distances they do today, so they’ve outgrown the driving area. I watched Padraig Harrington on the range strike balls three-quarters the way up this massive net.
Augusta National during the Master’s is Unspoiled Beauty
Augusta National gives the look of being what heaven must look like to the golfer, particularly when it is in complete bloom in early April. It is more unspoiled and beautiful than what is captured on television. And they still keep the Southern hospitality and charm, even though the wealth of the golf club becomes pretty evident. They even then were serving homemade sandwiches (for less than $3) and snacks that were so inexpensive for an event such as this I could scarcely believe it. The tournament most likely always has maintained its Southern charm, however the wealth has not always been there.
The property was an indigo farm when it had been purchased by a Belgian baron in 1857. The son, who had been a horticulturist, imported plants and trees that turned the estate into a nursery, which the land owes much of its beauty to this day. The nursery ceased operations in 1918.
Augusta National’s Founder Is the Great Bobby Jones
The great golfer Bobby Jones originated the concept of building a course at this empty section of real estate, and then the golf course was completed in 1933. The club nearly went bankrupt in those depression years, and so the golf course designer Alistair Mackenzie was paid just $2000 of the $10000 he was owed. The first tournament was held March 22, 1934, with the total purse for the twelve professionals participating was $5000. To be able to gather this amount, the association would ask the members for contributions, since the club and the tournament continued to lose money in those initial years and all through World War II.
The post-war boom time ultimately produced some financial relief, and in the 1950s the tournament particularly and golf in general, helped to make this one of the golden eras of sports entertainment within the United States. CBS has televised the Masters each year ever since 1956. It’s beyond doubt develop into one of the leading events in all sports, and for a person at this time living through cold winters, it is the event that basically begins the golf time of year.
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Every Golfer Should Experience Pebble Beach Golf Course
Pebble Beach Golf Course has been regarded as one of the most scenic golf courses in the world, and for good reason. There are better tests of golf, and possibly superior entire 18 hole layouts, but the mix of beauty and always being in the public eye give it its legendary reputation. Yearly it hosts the final round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which became a popular television occurrence while it had been the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am event.
It’s as well been seen at several additional televised tournaments, which includes five US Opens, the last in 2010 and then the next in 2019. It could possibly be the most viewed golf course in the world, with only Augusta National, viewed every year at The Master’s, to compare with it. It really is spectacular visually, and television shows its beauty off well.
Pebble Beach Course has been Around for Many Years
This really is an old course (at least by American standards), and although it has undergone upgrading still creates the feel of one of those classic courses out of the early 20th century. Opened in 1919, designer Jack Neville had as his intent to have as many golf holes as feasible next to the attractive Monterey coast. True to his vision, is what sets Pebble Beach apart from virtually all courses are these holes. Beginning at number four and continuing through nine, the views become truly spectacular and the golf is built around the topography, and the wind. Being right along the Pacific, wind speed and direction can often be a huge factor.
Par 3 7th Hole
On number ten the golf course goes inland, then returns towards the coast on the lengthy par 3 17th, and to conclude the spectacular 18th. It really is those eight holes that are in fact the Pebble Beach experience. As you first play the course the views make you forget about the golf, if just for a bit.
The Signature Holes at Pebble Beach
There is probably not a true signature hole within the golf course, but there are four that stand out in a lot of people’s minds. Possibly the most photographed is the par 3 seventh. It only plays about 100 yards from an elevated tee, and your shot is directly at the ocean. The hole looks uncomplicated, and lacking the wind it is. But there is almost always a wind, and from the elevated tee you can never be sure even with a excellent golf shot where a shot will wind up.
With your subsequent to hole, the approach shot is the place the fun is. You need to place your drive well, and should you play your ball to the right you possibly can easily overdrive the fairway and over the cliff. The approach will be from the plateau, and there exists plenty of area to bailout on the left. But that makes your third shot very tricky. This golf hole is probably my favorite hole I’ve played anywhere.
The third “signature” golf hole I’d say would be the 17th. This is because a lot of legendary shots have been made there: Jack Nicklaus in 1972 and Tom Watson in 1982 played golf shots which won that year’s US Open. Finally, number 18 is a par five curving around the Pacific. A key with the hole for most golfers is a huge tree within the fairway. If you are attempting to play your tee shot safely away from the water, that tree is going to come into play for the average golfer. It is really a great risk/reward golf hole.
This golf course should be on your list of must-play courses. The weather may present a difficulty, plus the green fees are high. But every golfer should experience it at least once. Read more about other great golf courses on our site http://golfshortgames.com/.
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Stadium Course at Sawgrass- Among the Finest Courses in Florida
Any of us who’ve observed a great deal of golf on television (or have experience with the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series video games) are without doubt aware of the Island Green on the Stadium Course at Sawgrass. However there is significantly more to the suburban Jacksonville course than the par 3 seventeenth. Launched in 1980, the course in fact was not initially loved by professional golfers, but the tweaks that designer Pete Dye completed shortly after made the course considerably more playable.
This Is One of the Toughest Courses in the World
The course is still deemed one of the most difficult in the world. It had been the first of several Tournament Players Clubs (TPC) built over the years. The TPC is a chain of private and public courses run by the PGA Tour with the aim to have those courses host tour competitions. This way the PGA Tour are able to get around sharing the profits of the events with outside course owners.
Yet the first was in fact TPC at the Sawgrass stadium golf course. The Players Championship is played there yearly, and because of its reputation as well as highest winnings of practically any golf tournament has come to be considered by some people as the “fifth major”. The great thing about this course in addition to the other TPC golf courses across the country is the common golf enthusiast is able to play them.
The Signature Hole is the Island Green
When we think about the Stadium Golf Course at Sawgrass, what might promptly come to mind is the Island Green. It is actually a peninsula, but there isn’t a large amount to shoot at except for a golf green 78 feet broad and perhaps half as deep. From about 132 yards for those pros that is a reasonably proportioned target, however it may be just about the most talked-about hole on the PGA tour. Mix in some blowing wind that occasionally will be volatile and virtually no bailout spot, and it has pretty much every golfer’s notice. In 2007 a record fifty balls landed in the water on this hole in a single round. And golf fans love it, as NBC places eleven cameras about it in the tournament.
Perhaps the most famous, and bizarre occurrence in the holes history took place during the 1998 Players Championship. Golfer Steve Lowery successfully struck his ball on the green. A seagull swooped down and, after a few tries finally collected the ball in his bill, carried it over the lake and released it. In case you happen to be wondering about the correct way this is ruled, in accordance with Rule 18-1 of the Rules of Golf, any bird is deemed an “outside agency”, and considering Lawry’s golf shot was taken away from the golf green he was permitted to place the golf ball on the spot the bird commandeered it.
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