Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pine Valley

What can one say about Pine Valley that "It is the number one golf course and club in the USA and the World" doesn't say? It is a very private place, a Sanctuary, a place where religion and disease mingle to a perfect emulsion. I have been very fortunate to be a guest of this wonderful place for almost 25 years now due to a very old, very dear friend. I have found it to be the golfiest place on earth. It is much more friendly a place than one might expect. Golf Matters Here! and everything else is just done right and not over-done.

The Golf Course is magnificent with more architecture per square yard/metre than any course I have ever seen nor will likely see.

The practice area (what is practice???) is second to none.

Accommodations are the best in golf. Here's a couple of views from 2000.

The way it should be

Although they've fancified the place a bit the accommodations are as good as it gets. I have been priviliged to stay in the corner room overlooking the 18th green and also to stay in a room with a view of the fifth hole
Another Room's View of #5

- the diabolical par 3 forever infamous for a "Newspaper" six in Gene Littler's match with Byron Nelson Shell's Wonderful World of Golf Maiden Episode.

Note the Original Colt Drawing on the table when Crump is "In the tent".

As long as these links are good, the rest of the SWW of G continue.

Many architects had a hand in Pine Valley's design but George Crump had the vision and gets the credit. Here's none other than Albert Warren T. on site on the second hole ...

... and the second from 2000

Pine Valley is said to be a second shot course by some - taken to mean that there is more demand on the second shot than on the tee shot and most first-time visitors are struck with the width of the fairways. There is not really any rough to speak of but sandy waste with trees, bushes, scrub and trees of various sizes to deal with. I've probably played 25 times and other than a flip-cupped-wrist unmentionable far right push from the 14th tee I've only lost one ball (The caddie couldn't find it).

Here's the start in 2000

I mean, sure, you've got to carry 200 yards of scrub at times, but what the hell - it can't be that hard in front of everyone on the most famous 1st tee in golf.

There are only two par 5's both Blue-Ribbon Winners. The Famous Hells Half Acre Seventh.

Here's the author aged 49 on the 15th - maybe the better par 5. That's what "good" is when the Hell's Half-Acre is probably surpassed by the other Par 5!