Philadelphia Country Club
Par 4, 472 yards
Architect: William Flynn
At a glance: This cape-style hole immediately rewards the player for
challenging the right side of the fairway.
P. Chet Walsh is a lifelong Philadelphia Country Club member,
GAP tournament fixture and 14-time club champion.
“What makes the hole so good is the risk/reward from the tee. Flynn
laid it out to hit to the top of the hill and to have a flat lie for your
second shot. If you want to gamble and [cut down on the yardage for
your second shot], you can try to take it over the cross bunkers and
down the hill. You take the risk not getting all the way down the hill
and that’ll leave you with a downhill, sidehill, mid-iron into the green.
If you want to be really aggressive and take it over the tree line, you
are bringing out-of-bounds and lost ball into play. The green is very
long and skinny. If you don’t hit two good golf shots, you are going to
pay for it there,” said Walsh, 55, of Wayne, Pa. “The green is guarded by
four distinct bunkers, and a miss right puts you down an embankment.
No. 17 is the old No. 4. In the 1939 U.S. Open at Philly Country with
the old rotation, Byron Nelson drove it to the plateau, as Flynn wished
the hole to be played, and then stung a perfect 1-iron from 215 yards
that landed on the front part of the green, curled left to right and into
the cup for an eagle. He would go onto to win the tournament after a
second 18-hole playoff.”