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Anticipating the Greenbrier

My favorite golf course in these United States is National Golf Links of America. Some folks may never have heard of it and for a point of reference it lies adjacent to Shinnecock Hills way out on Long Island . I’ve had the privilege of playing there just a few times and as far I’m concerned it’s a national treasure.

It is the masterpiece of C.B. MacDonald. MacDonald built the first 18 hole golf course in the United States, helped found the USGA, won the first U.S. Amateur championship, is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, and is considered the father of American golf course architecture. I’d say that’s a pretty impressive resume.

What makes his designs so interesting is that MacDonald studied the best golf holes in the world and then replicated the strategies in his courses.

In general you find Redan, Biarritz , Alps, Eden, and Punch Bowl-style holes on a MacDonald layout.

The Old White course at Greenbrier has these holes and more. It has been lovingly restored by Lester George to take into account current golf strategies and equipment. That’s always a difficult can of worms, but I can’t wait to how it plays for the PGA Tour this week.