Some naysayers have grumbled that Pebble Beach only receives such high levels of praise because it sits on rather prized property. If that were the case, Niagara Falls Country Club wouldn’t mind being just a few miles south of its current location! Still, a position near one of the world’s great landmarks is to be celebrated, and the club’s logo represents the falling waters of the title town nicely.
The designer who created the course is known for features almost as fearsome as the club’s namesake. That man, A.W. Tillinghast, laid the foundation for the course, which has since been revisited in turn by Robert Trent Jones, Geoffrey Cornish and Brian Silva. Speaking of Pebble Beach and frightening features, the par three at No. 7 may trump even No. 17 at the U.S. Open host for intimidation. Itself an hourglass-shaped green, the 185-yard hole is surrounded by five sizable sand hazards.
Competitors at the Porter Cup, one of amateur golf’s great competitions, have faced down the hole on a yearly basis since 1959. Among the winners have been Ben Crenshaw, Phil Mickelson, and David Duval.