Tee To Green

Thoughts and photographs as I play and watch golf.

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The most challenging part of playing Liberty National Golf Course is distraction from the stunning views. Manhattan, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty are all visible from most of the golf course.

The best design element is the interesting use of collection areas instead of too many bunkers. It forces the player to think creatively around the greens when flop shots, putting, and bump and runs are all options.

You learn golf all the time, but you don’t learn it all at once.

—Davis Love Jr.

Baltusrol’s Upper course recently finished restorations by Rees Jones and his team. Although Tillinghast was the only architect to work on the course prior to the 1990s, over time many design elements faded. The restorations made by Jones were faithful to Tillinghast’s original design.The course is in wonderful shape with quick greens and immaculate bunkers.

Meadow Brook Club (MBC) in Jericho, NY is one of the best courses in the New York Metropolitan area, but began as a hunting club. Their logo features a hunting bugle in recognition of the club’s origins. MBC was a charter member of the Metropolitan Golf Association in 1897and the 37th member of the United States Golf Association.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones and Roger Rulewich, Metedeconk Golf Club opened in 1987. It is currently featured by Golf Digest as one of the top 20 golf facilities in New Jersey. The club features three 9 holes allowing members to play a mixed 18 holes every time.

The real way to enjoy playing golf is to take pleasure not in the score, but in the execution of the strokes.

— Bobby Jones

Scenes from Trump Bedminster’s “New Course”

Above are photos of Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course, host of the 2016 PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship the last time it was at Baltusrol in 2005. I played there for the first time last week and it is a beautiful and fun golf course.

The two toughest elements of the course are the greens and the bunkers. The greens are very large and quick so a miss on the wrong side of the green leaves a very challenging two putt. The fairway and green side bunkers are very deep. In the fairway hitting out with a higher lofted club is usually necessary. Some of the green side bunkers are so far below the green that the green isn’t visible from the bottom.

Reminiscent of the Ben Hogan plaque at Merion, there are two Jack Nicklaus plaques on the 18th hole of the Lower Course at Baltusrol. One is at the tee in recognition of his U.S. Open victories. The other is in the fairway at the spot he used an 1 iron to reach the green in the 1967 U.S. Open.

Greenwich Country Club is a fun Donald Ross designed golf course in Connecticut. It is the fourth country club established in the United States. My favorite hole is the par 3, 2nd hole, pictured in the top photo, that always plays the yardage despite a steep downhill. The prettiest spot on the course is standing on the 9th tee looking down at a waterfall and stream that runs behind the 8th green.

Dare to play your own game.

—Annika Sorenstam