A view from the green at the Colonial Country Club
While the Woods/Manning v Mickelson/Brady match delivered far beyond our expectations, and quelled a bit of our PGA Tour withdrawal,I think we all still long for a return of regular tournament play. That is why I’m pleased to remind all golf fans out there that the tour is finally returning with the Charles Schwab Challenge next week (June 11-14) at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
A Fitting Start
It seems fitting for the tour to return at Colonial, since the first tour event hosted at the legendary course was played in 1946, making it the longest running tour event continuously played at the same venue. Colonial is a tough track with a USGA course rating of 75.1 and slope rating of 138. Tight fairways and quick, undulated greens, make precision a requirement for success on this classic layout. Ranked nationally and among the top five courses in Texas by Golf Digest, Colonial has seen all the games greatest players battle it out to have their name etched on the Wall of Champions next to the first tee. Colonial will be forever associated with the legendary Ben Hogan, who resided in Fort Worth and won five times there. While the Colonial puts a premium on accuracy, short game, and putting, winners at Colonial also include some of the longest hitters in the game—including Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, and Phil Mickelson. What makes Colonial unique in an era of power golf, is the opportunity it gives for players like Corey Pavin and Zach Johnson (both past champions) to display their immense skills at shaping shots and controlling ball flight without needing to hit it 340 yards off the tee.
Colonial Country Club History
Colonial was founded in in 1936 and originally designed by John Bredemus, with later renovations by Perry Maxwell and updates by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Dick Wilson. The members at Colonial have maintained their commitment to improving the course over the years with contributions coming from accomplished modern-day architects including Jay Morrish, Bob Cupp, and Keith Foster. Bredemus is relatively obscure, but he designed a great many excellent courses in Texas, as well as quite a few in Mexico, including Guadalajara Country Club, one of the top ranked courses in the country. Maxwell is known for his contributions to Augusta National, Pine Valley, Merion, and Westchester, all of which emphasize the necessity for accurate driving and strong putting.
Major Championships Held at the Colonial
Colonial has hosted three major championships over the years, including the 1941 U.S. Open as well as the 1975 Players Championship and the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open.
2020 Charles Schwab Invitational
With the re-opening of tournament play after such a long lay-off, this year’s event will have a packed field of stars. Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, John Rahm, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, and Jim Furyk are all expected to tee it up. With a field like this, golf fans can expect fireworks and thrills right down to the back nine on Sunday. And don’t count out the defending champ Kevin Na, who had a top ten earlier in the year at the World Golf Championship in Mexico, or Tony Finau who finished second last year and can attack pins from short range if he’s finding fairways.