In 2006, Winged Foot performed to a 74.99 scoring common. Just one gap, the par-5 fifth gap, performed underneath par for the week. There have been simply 12 under-par rounds in 2006, and none decrease than 2-under 68.

Winged Foot’s issue doesn’t come from intimidating water hazards or beautiful landforms. It was constructed on a reasonably flat website, however Tillinghast produced 18 tough holes.

“The golf course will get robust on the primary tee and by no means will get any simpler,” Jack Nicklaus as soon as stated. “That’s why it’s a terrific golf course. You may’t make a mistake and get away with it right here.”

Tillinghast’s programs put an emphasis on strategy photographs, and Winged Foot isn’t any exception. The greens complexes make getting up-and-down a tough job.

“A managed shot to a closely-guarded inexperienced is the surest take a look at of any man’s golf,” Tillinghast as soon as stated.

Ogilvy gained with out breaking par in any spherical. Jones’ final-round 79 in 1929 is the best ultimate spherical by a U.S. Open winner since World Warfare I. Nobody broke par within the ultimate spherical of the 1959 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and nobody was underneath par within the first spherical of the 1974 U.S. Open.


Essentially the most well-known of Winged Foot’s U.S. Opens was in 1974, when Hale Irwin gained with a profitable rating of seven over par. No main has had the next profitable rating in relation to par since.

The 1974 U.S. Open was dubbed the “Bloodbath at Winged Foot” and produced probably the most well-known quotes in golf historical past. “We’re not attempting to humiliate the very best gamers on this planet. We’re merely attempting to establish them,” stated USGA president Sandy Tatum.

Many imagine the 1974 U.S. Open was the USGA’s response to the earlier 12 months’s championship, when Johnny Miller shot 63 to win at Oakmont. How thick was the tough at Winged Foot? “They’d hassle discovering their ankles, a lot much less the golf ball,” stated one participant. Gamers misplaced balls within the tough and putted balls off the greens.

“It was simply probably the most tough golf course I’ve ever seen,” Irwin stated.

The A.W. Tillinghast design has stood the take a look at of time. There aren’t any lakes or massive water hazards. Only a couple creeks. There aren’t any dramatic landforms. It simply consists of 18 tough holes.

“The query of the week was why,” famed golf author Dan Jenkins wrote in Sports activities Illustrated. “The place did it say in all of that lore of the sport that Winged Foot was a killer? The reply was within the delicate design of the course. No water to talk of, and even the bushes don’t usually come into play, however, ah, the tumbles and turns of these old school, elevated greens and, ah, the bunkers.”


His nickname was Tillie the Terror.

Tillinghast is one in every of six golf course architects to be elected to the World Golf Corridor of Fame, after Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones, Alister Mackenzie, C.B. MacDonald and Pete Dye.

Tillinghast had his fingers on greater than 250 golf programs, most of them within the Northeast. His most well-known designs embody Winged Foot, Bethpage Black, Baltusrol, Quaker Ridge, Sleepy Hole and Somerset Hills.

He was born in North Philadelphia in 1875, the privileged solely youngster of a rubber baron.

He made his first pilgrimage to St. Andrews in 1896, the place he studied underneath Previous Tom Morris.

“I received to know the previous man very effectively certainly in succeeding years, and I spent many comfortable hours with him in his little sitting room over his store,” Tillinghast wrote. “It was there that I dealt with the champion’s belt gained by his son, as Previous Tom received it out reverently and his eyes stuffed with tears as he advised me many issues about his boy.”

Tillinghast returned to St. Andrews a number of occasions. He grew to become expert sufficient to complete twenty fifth within the 1910 U.S. Open on the Philadelphia Cricket Membership.

His structure profession began when a household pal requested him to construct a course in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania. His companies rapidly grew to become in excessive demand after that course opened.

It was the architect’s job, he wrote, to “produce one thing which is able to present a real take a look at of the recreation after which take into account each conceivable strategy to make the course as stunning as potential,” Tillinghast wrote.

He didn’t like overly lengthy programs, hating layouts that emphasised “brawn over finesse.” He favored small, tightly-bunkered greens that put an emphasis on strategy play.

After falling on laborious occasions in the course of the Nice Melancholy, Tillinghast died in 1942 on the age of 67.

“He was an uncommon man, to say the least,” Tatum as soon as stated, “however he was a certifiable genius. You all the time know while you’re on a Tillinghast course with out being advised.”                          


Nicklaus as soon as known as Winged Foot’s placing surfaces “probably the most tough set of greens I’ve ever seen.”

Colin Montgomerie, runner-up within the 2006 U.S. Open, stated they could even be harder than the sport’s most well-known placing surfaces.

“These greens are as fast downhill as Augusta and with presumably extra slopes on them than Augusta,” he stated. “I believe everyone will three-putt out right here.”

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