Valhalla Golf Club

Hole

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

out

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

in

Yards

425

515

205

355

460

415

605

165

415

3560

565

165

470

350

210

410

450

420

540

3580

7140

Hndcp

13

9

11

15

3

1

5

17

7

6

16

2

14

18

8

4

10

12

Par

4

5

3

4

4

4

5

3

4

36

5

3

4

4

3

4

4

4

5

36

72

Valhalla Golf Club is a relatively new Jack Nicklaus design that has quickly gained respectful admiration and notoriety. Located in Eastwood, Kentucky just outside of Louisville, this exclusive facility opened in 1986 and hosted the PGA Championship only ten years later. Rarely does a new course ascend to hosting Majors in so little time. Clearly Valhalla proved an apt venue because the PGA will return here in the year 2000. The layout has a dual nature. Most of the Front nine is open with the character of a links course while the Back nine is mostly enclosed tightly by thick forest. Both sides feature water hazards. Floyd's Fork meanders snake-like throughout the routing. There are an imaginative variety of holes and many feature Mr. Nicklaus' characteristic canted fairways and greens. The long par-5 Seventh offers an alternative fairway, a tempting, but dangerous shortcut which rests like an island in the center of an old quarry. Disappointingly the fairway was made out-of-bounds in the recent PGA and served mainly as an observation area for the gallery. Consequently the hole was less interesting than it could have been. Still, players like Mickelson were able to reach the green in two. The Thirteenth features an island green that is surrounded by a moat in the center of Floyd's Fork. The young Mickelson put his second shot short in the Fork here to fall out of contention for the Championship. The Eighteenth is an exciting finish. There is an alternate fairway for the second shot there, but the Pros are usually playing for the green in two. Mark Brooks arrived there needing a birdie to tie for a playoff with Kenny Perry for the Championship. Discussing his options, commentator Ken Venturi was taken aback when he and the television audience heard Brooks talking to his caddie. Mark told his caddie he wanted to just put the ball up in the air and make 3. Venturi said, "He's not thinking of making birdie to tie! He's thinking eagle to win!". Brooks did go for the green, but his ball came up short in the cavernous bunker that spears the green. Undaunted, he laid his ball up with a sand wedge close enough to make 4. Kenny Perry, who had been in the TV booth helping with commentary of his own defeat lost the Championship on the same hole in the ensuing playoff. Valhalla which is the mythic Norse heaven for heroes had just enshrined the Texan, Brooks, in one of the most exciting and fascinating finishes of the year. Perhaps that's why the tournament will return in 2000. Valhalla will also host the 2008 Ryder Cup matches.


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Artists' Golf is a conceptual work of art Copyright 1995 - 2008 by David B. Lewis and all original paintings, drawings and art works are Copyright by David B. Lewis. All rights reserved.  Maps of existing courses are original artistic interpretations and impressions from a variety of sources and are not intended to be accurate renderings or representations of the actual courses.  They indicate my interest and study and are intended purely for the pleasure and information of the viewers and are not for sale or profit.