The South course at NCR Country Club was one of two golf courses originally laid out in the mid 1950s for the employees of the NCR Corporation. NCR Country Club is still owned by the employees of the giant NCR global technology company and joining the country club is still free today for all NCR employees.
Dick Wilson designed both the North and South courses at NCR but the South is universally considered the best. The 7,055-yard South course has become known as the “thinking man’s course” because accuracy rather than length is key to a good score on this heavily wooded, cleverly bunkered and often doglegged layout.
NCR’s South course has hosted three major championships – the 1969 PGA Championship, the 1986 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2005 U.S. Senior Open. Ray Floyd won the former tournament and Gary Player suggested that golf architects “could learn a lesson from this course”. Jack Nicklaus is an admirer of the sloping green on the long par three 13th and said “what a job that architect Dick Wilson did!”
The first unusual observation was that the very first hole is handicap/index #1. It’s a straight tree-lined 420-yard par 4. Reflecting back, I couldn’t fathom why it was handicap #1.
The ‘National Cash Registry’ corporation engaged with Dick Wilson to build a very fine golf course in the mid-1950s. The property is blessed with really amazing topology. The changes in elevation are dramatic, frequent and thrilling.
Wilson created a ‘thinking man’s course’ is an understatement. The course is visually stimulating and I’ll remember the holes 50 years from now. You have to admire the ridges that run through the property which Wilson took advantage of to perfection with the routing he left us with. This course, without question, exceeded my expectations and went to the top of the list of the Dick Wilson courses I’ve played in the past 10 years.