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St Louis

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
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Opened in 1914, the course at Saint Louis Country Club sits on a tight parcel of land in the suburb of Ladue, ten miles west of St Louis city centre, with housing on the periphery providing little opportunity to extend the present length of 6,500 yards.

Not that the members of this private club should be concerned about keeping up with the modern day monster courses that measure over 7,000 yards as the layout at St Louis – where the US Open was won by Lew Worsham in 1947 – has more than its fair share of interesting and captivating golf holes that owe nothing to length and everything to strategy.

The architects of this Midwest masterpiece back in the early 1910s were none other than Charles Blair Macdonald and Seth Raynor, the team who designed the National Golf Links of America, and they would go on to collaborate on around a dozen top drawer courses, including Piping Rock and Yale.

Macdonald, founder member of the USGA, inaugural US Amateur champion and generally recognised as the Father of American golf course architecture first worked with Raynor in 1907 during the construction of the National course and the flair of Macdonald and engineering skills of Raynor are found in many of the holes at St Louis.

Macdonald incorporated many of the natural features at holes discovered on a trip to Scotland in the layout of his courses – like the blind approach to the 17th at Prestwick, North Berwick’s famous par three “Redan” and the 11th on the Old Course at St Andrews – and it’s fascinating to see so many of these design concepts used at St Louis.

The modern day course owes much to the club’s former green keeper, Jack Litvay, an employee at St Louis from 1977 to 2005, and Brian Silva, who had just restored a Seth Raynor course at Lookout Mountain in Georgia when he was engaged in 2000 to return the course to its former glory.

Opened in 1914, the course at Saint Louis Country Club sits on a tight parcel of land in the suburb of Ladue, ten miles west of St Louis city centre, with housing on the periphery providing little opportunity to extend the present length of 6,500 yards.

Not that the members of this private club should be concerned about keeping up with the modern day monster courses that measure over 7,000 yards as the layout at St Louis – where the US Open was won by Lew Worsham in 1947 – has more than its fair share of interesting and captivating golf holes that owe nothing to length and everything to strategy.

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Course Architect

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C. B. Macdonald

In 1872, aged sixteen, Charles Blair Macdonald sailed across the Atlantic on a paddle steamer to live with his grandfather in St Andrews to study at the Auld Grey Toon’s University.

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