Merion Golf Club
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450 Ardmore Ave
Ardmore, PA 19003-1097
Two courses designed by the notable architect Hugh Wilson, are part of this famous private club, located just outside Philadelphia. The legendary East course debuted in 1912 and has hosted a long and impressive string of USGA Championships, including the completion of Bobby Jones's Grand Slam (the 1930 U.S. Amateur) and Ben Hogan's 1950 U.S. Open Championship, which included his use of a long-iron on the 72nd hole, famously captured on film. Wilson's West course opened in 1914. Both courses are famous also for using wicker baskets on the flagsticks instead of flags; the baskets serve to deny golfers a view of the wind at each green.
Most recently, Merion hosted the 2009 Walker Cup (USA 16½, GB&I 9½) and hosted the men's 2013 U.S. Open Championship (Justin Rose).
Average Hole Difficulty
twooverpar - 5/26/09
Merion Golf Club GÇô East Course
450 Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Yards: 6,103, Par 70 (Middle Tees)
Course Architect: Hugh Wilson
Course Ranking: 7th GÇô AmericaGÇÖs 100 Greatest (Golf Digest Rankings 2009-2010)
Course Ranking: 2nd in Pennsylvania (Golf Digest State Rankings 2009-2010)
Date: May 20, 2009
I had the great privilege of playing at Merion Golf Club, the East course, an ultra-private golf club with over 100+ years of golf history. I played with three nice guys, one being Wayne Player, Gary PlayerGÇÖs son.
The Wayne Player experience: Before the round, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Wayne, as you sit and talk, you instantly recognize he is a great person, very friendly, good spirited and has great passion for the game. Playing golf with Wayne was a great thrill, he is very friendly, helps you with your game, has lots and lots of jokes and told some great stores about his and his fatherGÇÖs travels around the world. One of the most interesting topics of the day was how Wayne tees his ball. On the first tee, he pulled out a broken off iron handle with a tee in the end of the handle and stuck it in the ground. He placed his ball on top of this 12 to 14 inch high GÇÿteeGÇÖ and crushed his tee shot, he used this technique on every hole he hit driver. I thought it was an ice breaker on the first hole, but that is how he tees his ball every time. He said it makes for a flatter more consistent swing and it works for Wayne. On the 18th hole, after hacking my way out of the jungle like rough, I stood just behind the Ben Hogan plaque in the fairway where he hit his famous 1 iron at the 1950 US Open, Wayne was standing by his tee shot which was about 75 yards further down the fairway then BenGÇÖs shot. Check out WayneGÇÖs website at: http://www.wayneplayer.com/. Great person, great golfer, great experience!
FROM THE WEB SITE: Championship golf and champion golfers have long been intertwined with the mystique of Merion Golf ClubGÇÖs East and West Courses. Designed by Hugh Wilson, MerionGÇÖs East Course has played host to more USGA Championships than any course in America and is home to some of its greatest moments. From Robert Tyre Jones, Jr.'s completion of golfGÇÖs elusive Grand Slam at the 1930 U.S. Amateur held at Merion to Ben HoganGÇÖs awe inspiring performance and now legendary one-iron on the 72nd hole during the 1950 U.S. Open, the sculpted greens, fairways, and treacherous bunkers of Merion have shaped the game. Merion continues to not only challenge the worldGÇÖs best, but identify them as well.
COURSE CONDITION: The course is playing in championship caliber condition, every square inch of the course. The teeing areas were lush green, the fairways were cut short which made the ball get a little extra roll. The rough on the other hand was 4 to 5 inches high, which I seemed to be playing out of a lot. The undulating greens were cut tight and rolling fast and slippery. The course is ready to host the Walker Cup and the US Open now.
FACILITIES: Top notch practice facilities (driving range, putting and chipping greens), dinning, pro shop and staff.
SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS: This course is tight and preparing for the Walker Cup in the fall, so the rough is 4 to 5 inches high. The ball nestles down deep in the dense rough and if you donGÇÖt watch where it goes, you will never find it. DonGÇÖt EVER pass on an opportunity to play here! Check out the facilities and if you have time, have lunch or dinner on the outdoor patio over looking this gorgeous course.
GOLFNERDNESS: This place is awesome, I hope to get another chance to play the East Course and maybe the West Course!
GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT: Keep the ball out of the 4 to 5 inch rough and watch where it goes into the rough! I played Bethpage last fall, this course is much harder for the high handicapper.
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lazyjc22 - 8/13/08
regspeir - 7/31/07
Best Score: 72
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