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Has your course hosted a "Major" event & how did it stand stand up?

Under2hoursUnder2hours Members Posts: 1,492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

Yes we know there are PGA/LPGA Events and other pro venues. Not everyone has, wants or can accommodate one.

Our course is hosting Canadian Mid-Ams this week and was wondering how it would hold up.

Our Rating & Slope is not the toughest and only water, which doesn't come into play, on one hole. No forced carries either & generous fairways for the most part. As far as I'm concerned it is a great course and tell everyone that it is as fun & enjoyable course as one can find and eminently playable. Playing 6700 for the tournament.

The concern was whether the course would be beat up and low #'s.

Nice to see the course showing it's teeth as the weather has been perfect.

Gives me a good idea about where the course stands overall in difficulty & expected scoring.


  • SecondandGoalSecondandGoal South Shore MAMembers Posts: 325 ✭✭✭✭

    My home course hosted one of the USJGA major tournaments last year, and held its own. The course is fairly long, generally forgiving, but they grew out the rough a bit for the event, which made the course play a lot tougher. It definitely stood up to the test. The winning score after 4 rounds was -5, and there were only 4 scores under par. One kid went ace-albatross-birdie (-6) over the 8th-10th holes, and he still finished +7 for the tournament.

  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,812 ClubWRX

    Nice! One of these years, I'm going to go up and play in one of the Mid-Am regionals in Canada. Or, maybe I'll wait three years and give the senior a go). Have several buddies up there. A good SoCal friend won the "Masters" (40+) division of the Canadian Mid-Am a few years back. Also, I see Derek Meinhart is there from the U.S. I competed against him at the Carlton Woods in 2012(?). He's a very good player.

    Regarding your course: Most of the legitimate regional and national golf associations make sure their courses are prepped for tournament play. In most amateur "majors" (even regional ones), the rough is up and the greens are firmer than usual and the pins are (at least partially) tucked. In Southern California, for instance, most courses played in a major SoCal event will play (at least) 2 to 3 strokes harder for a tournament event than they will for "daily play" for all the reasons above. In your opinion, how is your course set up for the tournament versus normal play?

    Also, keep in mind that the mid-am is NOT the am. Mid-ams work for a living. At least half of that field, or more, had little to no chance to practice/prepare and was fitting in the tournament while balancing a full-time job and often a family. If you have the Canadian Amateur there, where many top college players would be playing, the scores would be significantly lower, at both the top and bottom of the scoreboard.

    I have two home courses now, Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, California, and Victoria Club in Riverside. They have both hosted SoCal amateur majors, and Bear Creek has hosted either first or second stage of qualifying for at least 10(?) years. Victoria Club is 6,500, 71.3/129.

    Victoria hosted the SCGA Amateur in 2007 and scores were low, as amateur tournaments go: 13-under won, even though the rough was up. Unfortunately, the SCGA Amateur is always in the summer, and in Inland SoCal, you simply must keep the greens wet or they will die. So "short course, plus watered greens = low scores." Had the tournament been in the late fall, winter, or early spring, results would/could have been considerably different.

    Bear Creek is ~7,100 yards, 75.7/148. It hosted the SCGA Mid-Am in 2006 and has hosted 1st and 2nd stage of Q-School many times. The scores are all over the map. Keep in mind that these guys are GOOOOOD. In every field there are guys who go on to become PGA Tour regulars, and some even PGA Tour stars, though some are fading (Cameron Champ?), while others are rising (Xander Schauffele! who missed advancing out of 2nd stage at Bear Creek in 2014, shooting 6-over).

    It's hard to explain just how difficult Bear Creek is for the average golfer in October/November (most years). You just have to play there that time of year to get a sense of it. I've made several bets where I have challenged a 9 - 11 index golfer that he could not break 100 from the black tees in the afternoon. I am 3 - 0 in that bet with the best score being 104.

    In recent years, however (the last three?) Scores have been lower because the greens have been, on average, MUCH softer. We've had very high temps in October/November (when they have Q-school), and soft greens mean low scores for pros, no matter how "difficult" the course (as we just saw at Medinah). When the greens are truly firm at Bear and the rough is up, it's just a beast. If we also get wind (which is a 50/50 proposition that time of year), then there are always an abundance of scores shot over par by both past and future PGA Tour pros during Q-School.

    Here are some results from Bear Creek:

    I played in the Mid-Am in 2007 at Bear Creek, and finished T-11. At the time, I had only played it once or twice. Was not a member. The course was prepped by Tom Pernice, Jr. (a member at Bear Creek) and he just LOVES to punish us amateurs (Hi, Tom!!). The greens were, literally, rock hard. If you hit a full wedge in, you had to search to find a tiny little scar on the green -- if you could find one. I had never played greens that firm in my life, and it took me a full 27 holes to adjust. Once it got into my head just how firm ALL the greens were, I played fine. Man it was tough. The guy who won, Robert Funk, was/is a member at Bear. He's a very, very good amateur and is currently ranked in the top 30 in the U.S. as a senior amateur. He made the cut in the previous two U.S. Senior Opens. The conditions for the Mid-Am that year were akin to the toughest conditions faced in all of the Q-School years (see below).

    SCGA Mid-Am:

    Scroll through these lists for an interesting perspective on pro golf. These are all either first or second stage Q-School, which means these guys have already proven themselves as solid pros. They either skipped directly to either of these stages via past performance, or they made it through pre-qual. Some very interesting names on here: Cameron Champ, Si Woo Kim (holds the course record at Bear Creek with an 11-under 61!), Bob May, Xander Schauffele, Peter Lonard, Michael Kim, Max Homa, Billy Mayfair, Danny Lee, D.H. Lee, Patrick Cantlay, Tom Pernice, Jr., Jason Gore, Troy Merrit, David Duval, etc.

    Happy Golfing! :-)

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  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,812 ClubWRX

    Moderators, perhaps this belongs in "Tour Talk"?

    PING G400 Max - Tour 65 S
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    Titleist H1 19* Diamana S+ Blue 70hy
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    Don Wood Custom Grind 47* PW
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  • Under2hoursUnder2hours Members Posts: 1,492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    As said, a lot of prep & talk about the tournament and was curious to see how the course would "hold up".

    Frankly I don't see the rough more penal then the past & actually they have cut down a lot of trees the past # of years and the fescue probably not as bad a prior either (finding less balls is how I measure it ;) ). Greens we've wanted to speed up (all re-done 4 years ago so were babied).

  • ShakesterShakester Members Posts: 526 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My home course is TPC Harding Park, which will host next year's PGA Championship and they've already started to prepare the course by growing the rough higher and deeper, narrowing the fairways by a considerable amount. The greens are getting punched more often as well. Its a great course, but I'm not sure how it was able to host any tour events considering there isn't much room from greens to tees. Definitely not enough to put up huge grand stands. Maybe on a few of the par 3's and of course #18 but who knows what the order will be next year. They played the AMEX there in its regular order and then played the President's Cup much way different.

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  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,705 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    My home course hosted the Quebec Mid-AM for many years, it was its semi-permanent home ....we did nothing special for it although as Obee says mid-ams are 9-5 chumps, and my course is pretty tough.

    I've played Hillsdale in Mirabel a ton of times as i have a lot of friends there. That course has hosted LPGA events and the scores were normal. I've played Royal Montreal obviously and they've hosted a presidents cup and PGA events. I've played Torrey Pines

    You can host a PGA event if you can stretch out to around 7000yds or more, and have a natural slope/rating of like 74/140 or thereabouts IMO. Because if you have a basically challenging layout, you can always trick it out a bit, grow rough, etc...Pros will still shoot -17 but that's not an abomination

    Even the toughest courses the pros play, short of say, Oakmont....if you just play it 300-400yds shorter they are actually fairly playable. I played Torrey a month before the PGA event from 6700yds or so and you wouldn't have thought it was some beast. Tough but playable. Frankly from 6700yds my home course is tougher than Torrey

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  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 24, 2019 7:31pm #8

    One of the courses where I'm a points member is Rye Hill, UK. This course hosted the Euro-Pro championship many years ago. It's one of the longer courses in my area and I suppose the fact that I've only once scored below 90 (gross) despite playing it more times than I can possibly remember suggests that it's somewhat difficult.

    Despite what the web site suggests I wouldn't wax all lyrical about the upkeep. It's okay, certainly not bad, but anyone rocking up expecting a world-class course could be a bit disappointed. It's just one of several courses in the area and just happens to have a bit of fame in its history.

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  • third-times-a-charmthird-times-a-charm Members Posts: 1,843 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    My course hosts a PGA stop as well as an AJGA stop during the summer.

    No low scores here...

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