I know that there are politics that come into play when choosing these US Open and PGA venues, but this is an exercise in fantasy land, so lets just ignore all that bullshit for now. And I’m talking US courses, because I’m not really well versed in the array of links courses in Great Britain that’d be perfect for an Open, and with the upcoming kerfuffle at the legitimately badass Whistling Straits (and the future donnybrook at Chambers Bay) it got me thinking what venues would be a treat for everyone involved…
Bandon Dunes/Pacific Dunes/Old Macdonald: All of these Bandon Dunes Golf Resort gems would be perfect for one of these events, and have been involved in discussions, but seemingly the only thing keeping a big boy major from the Oregon are logistical details regarding lodging, course accessibility and other crap like that which has absolutely nothing to do with golf (but is understandable considering the event planning). Bandon is hosting the Publinx in 2011 and has hosted the US Mid Am in 2007 as well as the 2006 Curtis Cup so its chops as a course have been recognized by the powers that be, so maybe there’s some hope.
The course I’m interested in is the Old Macdonald. From reviews, reports and pictures, Old Mac looks like a Scottish links course to the bone, featuring a natural vibe that’s just SOOOO Tom Doak it’s not even funny. If the course itself can even remotely measure up to the hype and reputation of the other three courses at Bandon, well shit…there’s no doubt it’ll find it’s way into the top 50 on the Golf Digest list.
Riviera: Now, sure, we get to see Riviera every year thanks to the Los Angeles/Nissan/Northern Trust Open, but that doesn’t mean it should be left off the major rota. Host of the 1948 US Open and the 1983 and 1995 PGA’s, Riviera has all the shit you’d want from a major venue. There are a variety of hole designs, including what might be my favorite hole in all of American golf, the driveable par 4 10th. And, much like Pebble, the course would play drastically different than what the pros are used to every year.
It’s within LA city limits, has a long, rich history and has a character all its own. Plus…PRIMETIME!!!
Canterbury: Two US Opens, two US Am’s, a PGA, Senior PGA and Senior US Open and four Senior Players gives this Cleveland, OH gem some serious historical teeth. Knowing the course (I used to caddie there), I can vouch for it’s difficulty as the course is narrow, relatively long with small, extremely sloped greens and some good elevation changes. It’s an American classic, and the sooner a big boy major comes there the better*.
*Yes, it’s down the street from me, and yes, that’s the main reason I’m putting it on this list. So I’m selfish…sue me.
So there are a few recommendations by me. Add your own in the comments.