Winged Foot Golf Course - West Course
Mamaroneck, New York www.wfgc.org
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
Year built: 1923
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Ben Hogan at the 10th Tee
GOLF Magazine Rank #5 of Top 100 Greatest
American Golf Courses
#25 of Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World
GOLF Digest Rank #8 of Top 100 Greatest
American Golf Courses
#32 of Top 100 Greatest Golf
Courses in the World
GOLFWeek Rank #16 of Americas Top 100 Classic Golf Courses
1997 PGA Championship
2004 US Amateur
1924, 1959, 1974, 1984, &
2006 US OPEN
Dates I Played:
*WON 3rd place net Member/Guest*
Warm sunny, low rough, fast greens.
July 18, 2006
one month after the US Open
VERY VERY HOT sunny and humid, heat index over 100 degrees, it was the hottest day of the year, short but thick rough from US OPEN and very very , fast greens and fairways.
I had the great opportunity to play this great Championship Venue with so much history of great championships played here. I was invited to play in a member guest with James Mitchell, the member and also played with Bob Lena. We started on hole 16, a short par 5 and I started with a booming and long drive right down the middle of this narrow fairway. Getting on in regulation, I settled for par. The greens were lightening fast, like putting on glass. The weather was perfect fo golf in September, warm enough to wear shorts put not enough to sweat, the golf course didn't need any help from the sun to make you sweat. On the 18th 450 yard monster par 4 I hit a great drive which left me right in the middle of the fiarway again. For my second shot I had about 210 to the center of the green and used my new 17 degree hybrid which I pured to the back of the green . I hwas 2 feet off the putting surface in 2 inch rough on the fringe of the green and had a tricky and slippery chip down to the hole which was inthe middle of the green. I hit a perfect ship shot whcih made its way to the hole but forgot to stop and it rode the the massive false front slope of the green and rolled all the way thru the green and ended up 25 yards in the fairway, has the slick glass like greens repelled my chip shot. I ended up chipping back up to the green for my 4th shot and the ball came back to me as it didn't hold the false front. Wih my Chip shot I ended up pin high andthen 1 putted for a double bogey. After 5 holes, I was striking the ball well off the tee and hitting good iron shots, so I was happy with my game tee to greem however, my play chipping and putting was very hard to get accustomed to these undulating glass like greens, 1- putts were to be a rarity today.
On #3, the very long about 199 yard famous par 3, where Billy Casper laid up all 4 days of the 1959 USOPEN and got up and down from in front of the green because he was afraid to be in those deep Tillinghast bunkers, I hit a great 4 iron that never drew into the green and landed in the front deep bunker, see picture at left. Un fortunately could not get up and down. The 4th hole a doglegg left long par 4 I hit a great drive which left me at only 155 yards to the green. My second shot with a 7 iron again did not draw and bounced around the front bunker and ended up on one of the "fingers" of the rightside bunker and left me with a stance in the bunker but a swing at the ball waist high. This led to another double bogey. But I was striking the ball purely and long just I wasn't getting my normal draw action on the ball so I had to start to adjust. The 5th Hole, shortish par 5, I hit another booming drive, a great positional 2nd shot left me just 89 yards to the pin and with an accurate sandwedge I left it 2 feet from the pin which I made for a rewarding birdie. The 6th hole a very short 330 yard par 4 slightly down hill, I striped another great drive which left another sandwedge for 90 yards which left me 7 feet from the pin but missed the birdie putt, just lipping the edge of the cup. The 7th hole par 3 played 165 yards to an elevated gree, well, just about all the greens are elevated at Winged Foot, but this green was semi blind since you could only see half of the flagstick. I hit a great 6 iron straight as an arrow to the pin which landed 7 feet from the pin but with the slick greens I missed another birdie putt, could have been 3 straight birdies. Even though I had a couple of doubles, I was hitting the ball good. The 9th is a very nice and picturesque par 5 straight back into the clubhouse and you can see the massive bunkers short and right of the green fromt he Tee box. The fairway is wide and an easy PAR 5 for the members but for the 2006 US OPEN this plays as a par 4 of over 500 yards... OUCH, see pictures to the left. The signature hole of Winged foot is the 10th par 3 playing at 181 yards which Ben Hogan said that it was a 3 iron into some guys bedroom window. With that in mind I hit a 4 iron to that same window and with a slight low draw ended up in the front part of the green and 2 putted for a par, which I was so content with. To be able to play a hole as described by the great Ben Hogan and execute the shot as he so advised, is something pretty special. Because I wanted to execute it perfectly or at least successfully I was pretty nervous hitting that 4 iron, what a smile I had after it landed and stopped on the putting Green. The 12th hole is one massively LONG PAR 5 playing over 600 yards dogleg left. You can see the pictures of just how long it is and of course the massive bunkering that Winged Foot is famous for. The 13th par 3 is perhaps the hardest hole on the course at over 210 yards into the wind onto an elevated green with massive bunkers on its flanks. I hit a hybrid shot which did not find the green and I ended up left of the massive right bunker. I got up to the green for a 2 putt bogey. The last hole we played was the 15th with a great view for a tee shot which I ended up on the left hand side. The approach shot here carries a valley with a creek to another elevated green with massive bunkers. I missed this green and the massive bunker on the right caught my shot and I was only able to manage another bogey for a respectful 84 at the famed Winged Foot!
WOW - Lightning strikes twice - on JULY 18, 2006 precisely 1 month after the US Open I had the luck to play Winge Foot one more time. This time it was a 3 some with Jim Mithcell Bob Lena and My self on the hottest day of the year where temperatures reached into the high 90's and heat index was way over 100 degrees. We teed off at about 1:20 on number one at the West course and playing from the White Tess at about 6600 yards I smacked a drive about 260 down the center of the fairway. A 5 iron got me on the front left corner of the green and 2 putted for par. The greens were crispy and very very fast today.
View from my approach shot from fairway to the undulating 18th gree. Used a 17 degree hybrid to the back of the green.
Famed Winged Foot Clubhouse
View of the false front of the 18th green. This front cost me 2 strokes.
My tee shot on the short 2nd hole, notice there is no rough, for the 2006 US OPEN this would have been bad news.
On the left the view from the tee, my aim was for the long skinny tree you see behind the bunker and with my natural draw shot it could have ended up center of the green, however, it never drew and as you can see it landed in the right bunker and you can notice the ball mark as it rolled into the bunker after hitting the "finger" of the bunker. Fingers in the bunkers was one of Tillinghast's trademarks
Upper left is view of the 9th fairway and clubhouse from the tee box. Upper right me after hitting my 2nd shot to the green. Lower left, apprach shot needs to be taken over the bunkers aimed at the clubhouse.
TOP, view from the tee this intimidating par 3, where your aiming to the window on the right of the tree since the green bends from left to right. Below you can see my ball on the left front part of the green, 2 putts later I made a PAR on this famous hole.
Left, Ben Hogan Tees off on the 10th tee. Playing a hole the same way the great Ben Hogan did, was the highlight of my round.
Above pictures sequence of the 12th hole, Par 5, view from the TEE box, yours truely hitting the 2nd shot and then the view from my 3rd shot to the green
The 13th PAR 3, a deceptively challanging par3, its long to an elevated grren and those bunkers. I puched my tee shot to the right of the bunker.
Right side bunker of the 15th green, it was like hitting over a wall.