Top 100 Courses: #40 The Golf Club

The Golf Club
Location: New Albany, OH
Architect: Pete Dye
Year Constructed: 1967
Played: June 21, 2009

If I were to start my own golf club today I would hope it came out looking exactly like The Golf Club in New Albany, OH. The Golf Club was founded in 1967 by Fred Jones with the simple goal of having a private club where he and his friends could play golf and enjoy themselves. Mr. Jones managed to piece together a 400 acre parcel of land and then took a chance on a virtually unknown architect by the name of Pete Dye to build his golf course. When the project was finished a world class golf club was left as a monument to their partnership.

Thanks to my fellow Top 100 golfer Larry Berle. I’m playing The Golf Club today with his friend Bob. I cut through the quaint little pro shop and over to the main clubhouse building where the dining and locker rooms are located. When I stepped through the door to the locker room I saw what might be my favorite locker room ever. There were tables and chairs in a bar area, leather couches for lounging, card tables, stacks of books and magazines on golf, exposed wooden beams, a huge fireplace and rows of nicely aged dark wooden lockers.

Once we were sufficiently warmed up we went to the putting green to wait our turn. The practice green here is unique in that it is a shared green with the 18th hole. This is something I’ve not ever seen before. As there are no tee times at The Golf Club so members just hang around on the putting green until its their turn to go off. The membership is VERY small at 150 so even at its busiest times there aren’t many golfers on the course.

We played from the white tees which were 6632 yards. The first hole pictured below is a 349 yard par 4 dogleg right. The smart player will avoid the bunker on the right. Its very much in play for a sliced shot and the grass in the middle of the bunker is very long and very penal . . . trust me on that. The 2nd hole is a long par 4 at 444 yards with a blind tee shot.

The 1st hole

The 3rd hole pictured below is a fantastic par 3 that plays 185 yards. Shots that fall short will find the water and those that are long will get in the nasty bunkers behind the green. Note that Pete Dye was using his signature railroad ties even this early in his career. The 4th hole is a 518 yard par 5. In the photo below you can see that the fairway throws everything to the right so the line is to play down the left hand side as close to the tree as possible.

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What’s your max?

The short answer: There is none.

For handicap purposes, the USGA imposes stroke limits (called Equitable Stroke Control, or ESC) to prevent golfers from sandbagging one hole to keep their handicaps high. Thus, when you enter a score into MyScorecard, we ask you to adjust that score for any holes where your strokes exceed that limit.

However, when you’re on the course, there is no “maximum” to take. Even a professional golfer can run up scores into the double digits. And just to prove a point, back in April of this year, Tour Player Kevin Na posted a 16 on the par 4 ninth hole at the Valero Texas Open.

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The World’s Most Expensive Golf Book

Setting you back $46,605, Wonderland Publications recently published a luxury Golf Bible, simply called Golf.

Measuring over 3 feet in width, weighing over 80 lbs, and bound in an extremely rare 400-year-old Russian Hide leather cove, this golf bible has eighteen chapters that tell the story of the game with contributions from over 50 individuals worldwide in the golf industry.

Our mission has been to create a satirical, informed work of prose and art, designed to capture the true spirit of the game from it’s formative growth, through to the realities of the recent financial depression, and on towards new and exciting horizons

Weitzman, Co-Author

The publication also features many restored, rare and never seen before photographs and letters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Ryder, Morris, Jones, Vardon, Duncan, MacKenzie, Park and Hollins, as well as an exclusive insight into the world of Mark McCormack and a look at the comparable evolution of cricket, completed in collaboration with Lords and the MCC archive.

If you are not quite ready to shell out the price of a luxury vehicle, a Collector’s edition is available that is priced at a much affordable $544.

Looking to browse before you by? Feel free to peruse, Chapter 6