I liked everything about Myopia but the holes.
The conditioning was excellent—firm and fast throughout. The views were splendid—especially after the massive number of trees that have been removed. The ambience—from the clubhouse, to the horses playing through on #8, to the walking vibe, to the Arnold Palmer dispensers on the 9th tee, to the hounds baying at breakfast—is truly unique.
Little has changed here in over a century, but the one thing that has—green speeds—detracts from the golf. It’s odd to me that a club that so treasures its heritage has decided to cut greens that were designed to run at 4 down to 11. As a result, a number of greens—4, 8 and 11 are good examples—are so steep that they fail to provide the challenge for which they were designed. Many other greens are dull—either completely flat or so canted that the only green reading challenge is how much a putt will break—rather than in which direction(s).
The club did a fine job recovering bunkers that were taken out of play when the fairways were narrowed in an ill-conceived renovation late in the last century. A member pointed out that it’s unusual for a course to become harder when the fairways are widened. And some holes, notably 4, 6, 8, 14 and 16—are indeed special, but there are still too few situations where no strategic thought is required.
Myopia is often paired with The Country Club for their age, history and prestige. And at both a visitor is treated to an exquisite time. Unfortunately, the two share another common trait: the golf does not quite measure up to the rest of the experience.
A biographical note:
My review is based on having played Myopia at least a dozen times, as I grew up about a hundred yards from the 18th tee. I freely confess, however, that I have played some holes less frequently than others, as the members of my group found out when I returned after a quarter century absence. I had gotten a call to be a last minute replacement in a charity event there. It was a shotgun start and my group started on #2. I didn't know the other 3 players. When one asked if any of us had ever played the course before, I told them that I had. So I showed them around, where the holes went, best side to approach the greens from, etc. ,When we got to # 16, the par 3 that looks down on the clubhouse, the following conversation ensued;
My Partner: "Is there was anything we should know about this hole?"
Me: "I dunno. I've never played this hole."
Partner: "What do you mean you never played this hole? You have plenty of course knowledge."
Me: "It's too close to the clubhouse. I used to sneak on. From now on, we're all on our own.”
Date: July 20, 2019