JON CAVALIER’S LINKSGEMS WALKER CUP PREVIEW
Los Angeles Country Club (North Course)
The 2017 Walker Cup is being contested at the historic Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course. Originally opened in 1911 and redesigned by George C. Thomas Jr in 1921, the North Course was recently restored by Gil Hanse’s team, with an assist from Geoff Shackelford.
LACC is a wonderful setting for match play, with a variety of holes and plenty of risk-reward decisions for the players. Let’s take a quick walk through each of the 18 holes before play begins on September 9th.
(click on collage images to enlarge)
Hole #1 – Par 5 – 544 yards
LACC’s 1st is a wide, short par-5 (perhaps a par-4 for these players) that begins near the site of the now-removed fountain, and ends at a treacherous green framed by the Beverly Hilton.
Hole #2 – Par 4 – 484 yards
Like many holes at LACC, the flat par-4 2nd seems simple at first, but positioning into its sloped, barranca-protected green is key.
Hole #3 – Par 4 – 400 yards
The 3rd at LACC is one of the best par-4s in the world – if the USGA pins this green on one of its two front prongs, watch out!
Hole #4 – Par 3 – 210 yards
The 4th is a long, downhill par-3 over a barranca – Lionel Richie’s house is short right; the Playboy Mansion is long left.
Hole #5 – Par 4 – 483 yards
The 5th at LACC is a long, tough par-4 – a blind tee shot leaves an approach to a green open on one side and defended on the other.
Hole #6 – Par 4 – 335 yards
The 6th is a drivable short par-4 down a chute bending right to a wide, shallow green benched between a barranca and hill.
Hole #7 – Par 3 – 282 yards
The 7th is a stout par-3 from an elevated tee to a small, canted green.
Hole #8 – Par 5 – 537 yards
For Walker Cup competitors, the all-world par-5 8th, halved by a barranca, is a very tempting risk/reward par-4-and-a-half.
Hole #9 – Par 3 – 181 yards
The par-3 9th at LACC plays over a ravine to a sharply sloping green; snow-capped Mt. San Antonio is visible some 40 miles away.
Hole #10 – Par 4 – 383 yards
The epic back nine at LACC begins with the lovely par-4 10th – this wide, canted fairway is pocked with perfectly placed bunkering.
Hole #11 – Par 3 – 249 yards
The terrific 11th at is a reverse-redan style par-3 with incredible views of the LA skyline from the tee. A personal favorite.
Hole #12 – Par 4 – 388 yards
The tee shot at the par-4 12th is blinded by a large hill – easy to get out of position on approach to this well-guarded green.
Hole #13 – Par 4 – 468 yards
The par-4 13th at LACC, as pretty as it is tough – occasionally, odd noises from behind the greenside hedge can be a distraction.
Hole #14 – Par 5 – 598 yards
LACC’s closing stretch begins with the 14th, a lovely par-5 featuring one of the best greens in golf.
Hole #15 – Par 3 – 133 yards
The short par-3 15th features an array of gorgeous bunkers and a huge crescent green reminiscent of the 7th at Crystal Downs.
Hole #16 – Par 4 – 465 yards
One of the most beautiful holes at LACC, the stout par-4 16th tips out over 500 yards, this hole will decide matches come Saturday.
Hole #17 – Par 4 – 455 yards
The closer the tee shot to the barranca on the right of LACC’s par-4 17th, the better the approach to its narrow, rolling green.
Hole #18 – Par 4 – 451 yards
The 500-yard par-4 18th – as with so many great classic courses, LACC’s home green sits just steps from the beautiful clubhouse.
Little 17th – Par 3 – 110 yards
This alternate par-3 was built by Herbert Fowler, adopted but ultimately abandoned by George Thomas, and lovingly restored by Gil Hanse.
Regardless of who wins the Cup, players, spectators, and TV viewers are all in for a treat. It doesn’t get any better than Los Angeles Country Club. Enjoy the match!
2017 Copyright – GeekedOnGolf, Jason Way