The course at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club opened in 1926, seven years before it hosted the USPGA Championships when, interestingly, the nines were tackled in reverse order to the sequence they’ve been played since the 1960s.
Nowadays, holes 1 to 4 occupy the flatter part of the property, with brilliant green complexes – a Redan, Double Plateau, Biarritz and Alps – raising the profile of the opening holes, turning a stretch of mediocre holes into more memorable ones.
The downhill par three 7th (“Short”) and uphill par four 8th (“Punchbowl”) are highlights on the front nine then the back nine is routed into, around and out of a central valley before the sturdy par five 18th (“Long”) returns golfers to the clubhouse.
Bruce Hepner of Renaissance Golf Design was called in by the club in the late 1980s to restore a Seth Raynor gem that had been allowed to decay, weighed down by encroaching tree lines and greens that were only two thirds the size they once were.
Tom Doak called Blue Mound “a hot mess the first time I saw it” but credits Hepner “for helping the club clear out a forest of nursery trees and get the greens – some of the wildest I’ve seen in the Raynor /Macdonald collection – back to where they belonged”.