I’ve played all of the Major courses except for Augusta and for me Medinah is one of the toughest but least enjoyable for this single digit golfer. It’s a monotonous and relentless test through suffocating trees with no particular hole that truly endeared itself to me. Ground movement is uninspiring and overall I felt the course lacks any subtlety whatsoever. Doctored by Rees Jones so that big events can be staged here is no endorsement of architectural quality. The main thrill starts as soon as you drive up to the clubhouse and that thrill diminishes once you get out on the course.
It’s a modern slog rather than a classic stretching to more than 7500 yards from the tips. I’ve played it from the members tees (7100 yards) and it was a bruising experience with tight fairways, monstrous trees that cause all sorts problems and yawning bunkering. I liked the par 3 2nd and I hear Jones intends to create a drivable par four for the 2012 Ryder Cup – I’m sure this hole will still end up measuring 400 yards and it won’t be drivable for 99.9% of golfers.
No.3 is a hard course to like as an amateur golfer and remains a testament to what can happen when a club tries to out tough today’s big hitting professionals. It leaves behind a course that is not enjoyable for most golfers. The club should maybe install new forward tees rather than back tees. The clubhouse on the other hand does its best to make up for the course’s misgivings and the wonderful caddies also try to make the visit enjoyable. However No.3 is not for me.
Date: October 26, 2006