Category: Donald Ross

PGA Championship and The Wyndham

Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro NC (Donald Ross)
Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro NC (Donald Ross)

PGA Championship Wrap-Up

Last week saw a riveting finish to the PGA Tour’s first major of the year. Collin Morikawa fired off a blistering final round 64 to join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in winning the PGA Championship at the tender age of 23. Morikawa was calm and collected throughout with a sold round tee to green, while displaying a silky-smooth putting stroke–but two magnificent shots carried the day. On the difficult 14th hole, facing a delicate uphill chip from a tight lie with little green to work with, where getting it up and down to save par under major championship pressure was no easy task—he chipped in for birdie. And then on the reachable par four sixteenth hole, where many in the field were laying back with irons or hitting 3 wood to leave a short chip, he pulled out his driver and drove the green, shaping a gorgeous fade to about eight feet—and then drilled the putt for eagle. With his two-shot victory over Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson, Morikawa moved all the way up to number 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, closing in on Justin Thomas, who retained his number 1 spot (for now). And with all of the excitement surrounding Morikawa’s huge win, John Rahm’s move to number 1 in the world rankings went almost unnoticed.  Brooks Koepka, the pre-tournament favorite and reigning PGA Champion, faded early on Sunday and finished well back with a final round 74. Koepka stirred up a bit of controversy on Saturday with a comment he made about 3rd round leader Dustin Johnson. When asked if he thought he could catch him and make it three in a row, Koepka pointed out that Johnson only had one major title under his belt, and said “I like my chances.” The comment raised more than a few eyebrows, and brought on a response from Rory McIlroy who said “…sort of hard to knock a guy that’s got 21 wins on the PGA tour, which is three times what Brooks has.” Tiger’s performance was largely uninspiring, and his trusted putter seemed to let him down on every hole, finishing well back at 1 under par (T37). With the level of talent on the PGA Tour right now, Woods will have to raise his game a couple of notches to compete as we head into the FedEx playoffs. And Morikawa wasn’t the only youngster opening eyes at the PGA either, as Scottie Scheffler (Age 24, T4 at -10), Matthew Wolff (Age 21, T4 at -10) and long hitting Cameron Champ (Age 25, T10 at -8) all made a strong run at the championship. When you add so many fresh young faces to an already star-studded field, the next few months is guaranteed to be exciting.

The Wyndham Championship

The Field

The week following a major often doesn’t include a particularly deep field, but with so much talent on the tour right now, in a truncated season, the Wyndham will include plenty of big names, with Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and PGA runner-up Paul Casey all teeing it up. It will be interesting to see how Koepka rebounds from his disappointing finish at the PGA, particularly in light of the remarks he made about Dustin Johnson. Don’t be surprised if Brooks puts the hammer down with big a week at the Wyndham; and keep in mind that Paul Casey went out of his way to say that his wonderful play on Sunday at the PGA was helped by the class Koepka displayed while struggling with his own game in that final round.

The Event

First played in 1938 as the Greater Greensboro Open, The Wyndham Championship is one of the oldest events on the PGA tour. Currently held at the venerable Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC, Sam Snead won the championship an astounding eight times. In addition to Snead, champions include legendary players such as Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Billy Casper, Gary Player, Raymond Floyd, Julius Boros, and Seve Ballesteros. J. T. Poston is the reigning champion, and he will be in the field this week to defend his title.

The Course

Sedgefield Country Club, founded in 1925, is an original Donald Ross design that was updated over the years by notable architects including Gene Hamm and Willard Byrd. In 2007 the course was lengthened to accommodate current equipment, and restored to the original Ross layout by Kris Spence, acclaimed for classic course restorations including Memphis Country Club (Donald Ross), Forsyth Country Club (Tillinghast/Ross), and Mimosa Hills Golf Club (Donald Ross).

Find detailed course information here.

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Florida Top 3 Private Golf Clubs

Florida is home to more golf courses than any other state in the country with over 1,200. But even with all of those courses to choose from, selecting the one that is right for you may not be as easy as it seems.

Not only does Florida have perfect golf weather year-round, there are the beaches, restaurants and family-oriented activities that make it a wonderful place to live for people wanting to maintain an active lifestyle.

If you’re a captain of industry, travel in the circles of the rich and famous, or just an avid golfer with enough money and connections, here are three private clubs in Florida that should go to the top of your bucket-list.

Seminole Golf Club

Perennially ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest and currently at number 12, this Donald Ross classic is home to a who’s who of the business elite and golf royalty. Founded by E. F. Hutton and built in 1926, the links style layout at Seminole is arguably the crowning achievement of Ross’ distinguished career. Don’t bother looking for the website—they don’t have one. The members at Seminole guard their privacy and you won’t catch a glimpse of the clubhouse or golf course through the hedges along Route 1 in Juno Beach, but you will have a chance to see it on May 17 when Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Rickey Fowler and Mathew Wolff tee it up in a televised skins game match for COVID-19 relief. As with all pure links golf courses, the wind will be a determining factor in how these great players attack the course—and we are all in for a special treat with this rare opportunity for a look at this historic club.

Seminole will also host the Walker Cup in 2021, so if you miss this match, you’ll have another chance next year—but the opportunity to see Seminole is something you never want to pass up. We rank Seminole at the top of the list as the best private club in Florida.

Jupiter Hills Club

Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, FL is the vision and legacy of George Fazio, and also launched the spectacular architectural career of his nephew, Tom Fazio. The club boasts two great courses, the Hills and the Villages, laid down on a unique piece of property just north of Palm Beach that offers elevation change and contour provided by Seminole Ridge—a pretty rare feature in a state that’s known for being extremely flat. The Hills course is ranked among the best in Florida and the crowning achievement of George Fazio’s architectural career. With a course rating of 77.1 and slope of 150, the many top flight golfers who call Jupiter Hills home can test their skill to the max every time they tee it up. And the Village course, designed by Tom Fazio, is no slouch either with a USGA rating of 73.9 and a slope of 147. Known as a player’s club, Jupiter Hills is the place to be if you’ve got game and live in south-east Florida.

Mountain Lake Country Club

Number 3 on our list is Mountain Lake Country Club in Lake Wales. A Seth Raynor masterpiece that often flies under the radar, Golf Digest currently ranks Mountain Lake number ten among all of the courses that Florida has to offer. The club engaged Ron Prichard and Tyler Rae on a recently completed restoration to bring back many of the subtle Raynor features that were lost over the more than 100 years since the course was built in 1917. As always, Prichard and Rae were meticulous with their effort and the result was perfection. In addition to the wonderful course, Mountain Lake is a full service, family-oriented club with pure class, grounded in tradition, and a membership that is committed to maintaining values of the highest standard.

A few others to consider

In addition to these great clubs, The Concession Golf Club is a spectacular Jack Nicklaus design in Bradenton and Belleair Country Club on the gulf coast near Tampa-St. Petersburg offers 36 holes designed by Donald Ross in a stunningly scenic setting.

For more information on the best golf courses in your state, visit GolfDay for everything you need to know.

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