Cherry Hills, the historic William Flynn-designed golf course set against the panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, is prepared to host its third United States Amateur Championship, Aug. 14-20.
“Cherry Hills hosting the U.S. Amateur Championship for the third time brings great pride to the club and the community,” said Cherry Hills President Kim Koehn. “The club has been hosting golf’s most historic championships since the 1938 United States Open, and we’re excited to add to the rich golfing legacy these fairways have witnessed over the past century. Together with the USGA, we share a powerful and galvanizing vision to host major events in a manner that welcomes, inspires, and unites all in attendance with a spirit of pride and appreciation for all the good golf can bring.”
Cherry Hills, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a club this summer, previously hosted the USGA’s oldest national championship in 1990 and 2012. Future six-time major winner Phil Mickelson brought home the U.S. Amateur title in 1990. The 2012 championship at Cherry Hills is now remembered for welcoming one of the deepest fields of future professional stars in the history of the event. Tennessee’s Steven Fox, who had to survive a 17-man playoff for 14 spots in stroke play to qualify for match play in the event, defeated Michael Weaver in an epic 37-hole final match. History, though, will point to the deep collection of future golfing superstars who each of the finalists had to outlast to vie for the championship.
Future PGA Tour winners and major champions in the 2012 U.S. Amateur field included Justin Thomas (15 PGA Tour wins, two majors), Jordan Spieth (13 PGA Tour wins, three majors), and Bryson DeChambeau (eight PGA Tour wins, one major). Other eventual PGA Tour winners include Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Daniel Berger, Taylor Gooch, Mackenzie Hughes, Trey Mullinax, Sepp Straka, and Aaron Wise. Together, this group has compiled 68 PGA Tour wins and seven major championships, making the case of arguably the greatest field for a U.S. Amateur in modern times.
When the best amateurs in the world arrive at Cherry Hills this year, they will see a noticeably different golf course than the one they competed on a decade earlier. In 2007, celebrated golf course architect Tom Doak and his Renaissance Golf Design firm were commissioned to begin a long-term restoration plan that was partially completed for the 2012 championship, but continued for another decade under associate Eric Iverson until completion last year.
The biggest change players will encounter will be with the restoration of Little Dry Creek throughout the golf course. To restore Flynn’s original design, Little Dry Creek was rerouted closer to the front of the green on the 14th hole, next to the green on the seventh, and continuing to flow tightly alongside the newly re-designed eighth hole. Little Dry Creek was also moved more into play on the 15th hole, where the recent rediscovery and restoration of Flynn’s original left side of the green helped create a more thought-provoking approach. The creek now runs closer to the 15th green, down the 16th fairway and alongside the green, further highlighting the genius and creativity of Flynn’s original design and fortifying the challenge for the best amateurs in the world.
Just as vital to Cherry Hills as hosting national golf championships on a regular basis, is a dedication and passion to give back to the game and create turning-point opportunities for youth in the local community. Proceeds from the Championship will be donated to charities across Colorado including the Palmer Scholarship, the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation and The First Tee with the goal of growing the game of golf, assisting with scholarships, and impacting the lives of young people across the Centennial State.
“We’re obviously proud to present unparalleled championship golf to the world-class participants and the spectators of the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills, but the charitable impact in the community made possible through this championship is a legacy that means everything to the club,” Koehn said.
Photo Courtesy of Cherry Hills
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