Firestone Country Club has long served as a showcase for the work of Robert Trent Jones, with both the North and South courses bearing his mark (the latter also hosted the PGA Championship three times). Both of those courses are noted for their teeth, as well, with Arnold Palmer dubbing the South a “Monster.” The West course is not necessarily a walk in the park, but it does provide a significant breather when compared to its neighbors.
For one thing, the tight, tree-lined fairways on the Jones courses are replaced by a much more open corridors on the West, allowing players to swing a little more freely (at just less than 7,000 yards, it’s also reasonably shorter than its more famous neighbors). Although the original layout came from Geoffrey Cornish and Brian Silva, the current version of the West is a reflection of the updates of Tom Fazio and Beau Welling (now affiliated with Tiger Woods’ design firm).
And of course Fazio is not known for being an “easy” architect to play; where Jones uses length and trees to challenge the player, Fazio’s work features much larger bunker complexes to make big hitters think twice about going for greens in two.