Last weekend, if you watched the PGA Tour stop at Old White, at The Greenbrier, you saw some solid Seth Raynor architecture, and Template holes. This week, it gets even better, as the inaugural US Women’s Senior Open is taking place at Chicago Golf Club. Chicago was the first 18 hole golf course in the United States, was one of the 5 founding clubs of the USGA, and currently the 10th ranked golf course, according to Golfweek. And just like Old White, was originally designed by CB Macdonald, and then redesigned and improved by Seth Raynor years later.
Andy Johnson of the Fried Egg has put some together some great information on Raynor’s redesign of Chicago:
Andy also did a must-listen interview with club historian John Moran, and Superintendent Scott Bordner, regarding its history and Women’s Open:
TV coverage of the Women’s Open is on FS1 Saturday (1:30pm) and Sunday (3:00pm) afternoon. All coverage is also streamed on www.usga,org. A few things to notice about Chicago Golf Club. First it’s on very modest land, almost flat. However, that only adds to the impressive design that Raynor executed to maximize variety, strategy and fun. If you watch, pay attention to the width off the tee, and angles into greens, bunker placement, grass lines including around bunkers, how the tee boxes are not unnaturally pushed up into the air, the fantastic Template holes, and maybe most importantly, the way the putting surfaces extend and completely fill out the green complex or “pad”. When I visited Chicago in 2011, I was blown away at how the playing surfaes fed balls into bunkers. Any shot off-line, or misjudged for distance, ended up with a creative recovery. Chicago GC is an example of a club that has embraced its history, and original architectural design, and with opening its doors for this USGA event, allowing us to view some of Seth Raynor’s best work.
Thanks to Andy Johnson and Jon Cavalier for the photos
Enjoy the weekend, and although Midland is very wet after yet another 1.6″ of rain Thursday night, the forecast looks fantastic, with some drier air to help firm up the golf course!