Volume Fifty-Six

Oh, the American Classics.

Hittin' The LinksWe Americans are lucky to have such a rich golf tradition in our country. While even our oldest establishments are mere toddlers when compared to the eldest European tracks, they have a tremendous amount of history and sentimentality attached to them. From Bobby Jones to Nelson and Hogan, Nicklaus and now Tiger, all the greats have left their mark on our tradition through their stirring victories and heart-breaking defeats on these famous courses.

Hole 1: Pine Valley Golf Club
This course, designed by George Crump, is consistently ranked as the best course in America. It is widely believed that there is no other course in the world with as diverse routing as this fine track. In addition to its fine routing, this course is perhaps one of the most enigmatic in history and has served as a study for some of the game’s most famous architects. [Link]

Hole 2: Augusta National Golf Club
What can be said about Augusta National that hasn’t already been said? Not much, as it is one of the world’s most famous golf courses. With direct ties to golfing royal via its co-founder Bobby Jones, Augusta National lives on as an heirloom from Bob to golfers everywhere. [Link]

Hole 3: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Perhaps best known for the crazy-fast greens it featured in the 2004 US Open, this golf course has played host to that same prestigious event four times in three decades. [Link]

Hole 4: Oakmont Country Club
This prestigious club features green complexes with hard clay foundations less than a foot under the surface. This allows the greens to roll at ludicrous speeds. They routinely roll at over 16 and 17 on the stimpmeter and often have to be slowed down for tournament play. [Link]

Hole 5: Pebble Beach Golf Links
The epitome of American links-style golf, this Californian course played host to Tiger Woods’ 15-shot victory over the field in 2000. It has played host to that event four times in its history. It is also the only public course on this list. [Link]

Hole 6: Merion Golf Club
Home of the wicker flagsticks, this course is where Bobby Jones capped off The Grand Slam and also played host to the 2005 US Amateur. However, there has been much talk about its lack of length and its inability to host another major tournament. One thing is certain: it has established itself as one of the country’s greatest courses. [Link]

Hole 7: Winged Foot Golf Club
Winged Foot Golf Club ranks among the elite courses in America. This venue will play host to the US Open this year and it will have all eyes on its hallowed ground as the best players on earth try to capture the oldest trophy in US golf. [Link]

Hole 8: Seminole Golf Club
Ben Hogan famously practiced here before nearly every major championship after his infamous car crash and provided Ol’ Ben with a proving ground to work on his swing. This course, located in Juno Beach, Florida, plays differently every day due to wildly unpredictable winds that swirl around the club. [Link]

Hole 9: Oakland Hills Country Club
Like many of the courses in this list, Oakland Hills has been played by generations upon generations of legendary golfers. Walter Hagen served as the club’s first professional, Bobby Jones finished second in the 1924 US Open, Ben Hogan beat insurmountable odds winning here after his car wreck, Gary Player came out on top in the 1972 PGA Championship, and today’s greats from America and Europe faced off here in 2004 during the Ryder Cup. Overall, Oakland Hills has established itself among the top tier of American Courses. [Link]

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