Thursday, September 11
2008 Ryder Cup: Valhalla Golf Club Preview
Valhalla's layout and routing, as shown on its scorecard.
VALHALLA GOLF CLUB IS A 7,496-YARD, par-71 championship layout designed by Jack Nicklaus. Valhalla is the No. 1-ranked golf course in Kentucky and a perennial top 100 course in America, according to various golf publications.
Valhalla gets its name from Norse mythology. According to the myth, “Valhalla” is a great hall were Vikings souls feasted and celebrated with the gods.
Valhalla has been the host site for two major championships, the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships, won by Mark Brooks and Tiger Woods, respectively. It also hosted the 2004 Senior PGA Championship won by Hale Irwin. The competitive course record of 63 is held by Jose Maria Olazabal, who carded the eight-under-par round in the 2000 PGA Championship.
The front nine has a links-style layout, whereas the back nine is more traditional. There are a total of 42 sand bunkers, ample trees and a shallow creek that comes into play on four holes on the back nine.
The greens, tees and fairways are a combination of bent-grass strains. The primary rough is Kentucky bluegrass. The secondary rough is fescue. The slick greens are tiered and sectioned to allow for many pin locations.
The signature hole is a short par-4, the 352-yard 13th. The tee shot must find a small landing area, followed by an approach to an island green.
We’ll soon find out which Ryder Cup team – the Americans or Europeans – will do the feasting and celebrating at Valhalla.
−The Armchair Golfer
More Ryder Cup coverage:
2008 Ryder Cup TV Schedule
2008 Ryder Cup: Valhalla Is Ready
2008 Ryder Cup Report
Q&A: Daniel Wexler on 2008 Ryder Cup
2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Takes Shape
2008 Ryder Cup Tickets Arrive