In the early 1980s Jack Nicklaus was commissioned to evaluate a 486-acre plot of rolling land 20 miles east of downtown Louisville. History’s greatest golf champion, Nicklaus, described the site in 1983 as a “golf designer’s dream because there is a variety of terrain, vegetation and water to work with. Everything necessary for an excellent golf course is here: room for wide, tree-lined fairways and spectacular golf holes.”
In the spring of 1984, after considering 40 potential course routings, construction began and the final product opened for play in June 1986.
Jack used a variety to develop a truly interesting 18 holes. The final draft of the Valhalla layout resulted in two very different nines that blend together into a distinctive whole.
Valhalla’s first nine holes embrace a Scottish-links ambience. Wide, gently contoured fairways ribbon through an open valley. Framing the fairways are multiple mounds and lush collars of Kentucky bluegrass, which not only add definition, but serve to keep the big hitters honest.
Par at Valhalla is 72 and the course measures 7,195 from the gold tees. Jack designed the slick, bent-grass putting surfaces in typical modern style. They range from medium to large size, averaging 6,500 square feet. Invariably, however, they are well guarded by hazards, including bunkers, water, scooped-out grassy hollows and mounded swatches of lush bluegrass rough. Without fail, these putting surfaces are undulating and often partitioned into distinct areas, making the “large” greens play somewhat small. These green complexes place a premium on creative shotmaking and on skilful chipping and putting.
Golden Bear Facts
Valhalla will host the 2011 Senior PGA and 2014 PGA Championship.
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