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Inverness to host 2029 U.S. Amateur Championship
17 Nov 2021
by Sean Melia of AmateurGolf.com

see also: U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Ridgewood Country Club

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Inverness Club will host the 2029 U.S. Amateur (Photo: USGA)
Inverness Club will host the 2029 U.S. Amateur (Photo: USGA)

After spending time in the limelight during September's Solheim Cup, Inverness Club proved itself as a stern, interesting test of golf.

The reward?

The opportunity to host the 2029 U.S. Amateur Championship.

Inverness, a golden age Donald Ross design, was a popular site for early 20th-century major golf where historic players like Ted Ray, Harry Vardon, and Bobby Jones competed. Over the years, the course has undergone both successful and unsuccessful changes in an effort to keep it relevant for professional and high-level amateur golf. In the last decade it has hosted a U.S. Senior Open (2011), a U.S. Junior Amateur (2019), and the Solheim Cup (2021).

“The growth of the U.S. Amateur over the last 100 years has been phenomenal, and earlier this year we saw near record-high entries for the championship,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA's senior managing director, Championships. “Part of that growth is a commitment by the USGA to take the championship to the best courses in the country, and Inverness is certainly among that group. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them with another U.S. Amateur.”

Since its first U.S. Open in 1920, Inverness has been the site of some historic moments. Billy Burke Jr. won in a 72 hole playoff in 1931 over George Von Elm. It's the longest playoff in U.S. Open and major championship history - a record that will likely stand the test of time. Bobby Jones' first U.S. Open appearance was in 1920 at Inverness.

"All of us at Inverness Club are thrilled to be hosting the 2029 U.S. Amateur Championship," said John Swigart, chair of future championships. "Our incredible history with the USGA dates to 1920, when we first hosted the U.S. Open, and ever since, their friendship, partnership and recognition of our golf course have been an important part of the fabric of our club. We can't wait to again host the best amateur golfers in the world for what will surely be an exemplary championship."


Inverness Club has hosted eight USGA Championships
Inverness has also been touched by some of the greatest golf architects in the world. A.W. Tillinghast and Dick Wilson made tweaks to the course in the middle of the 20th century. However, like many courses in the 1970s and 80s, Inverness made some radical changes; in 1978, George and Tom Fazio were brought aboard to bring the course into the modern era and prepare it for championship golf. The Fazio team built new holes that did not fit the atheistic or design features of the original 1916 design. Adding holes meant a new routing. The intimate feel and flow of the course was lost.

"Inverness has a wonderful walking tradition. It's a great walk," architect Andrew Green said on the Fried Egg Podcast. "After the (Fazio) change was instituted there was a disconnect between the old holes and the new ones."

During 1979 U.S. Open an unimpressed Tom Weiskopf said, “someone ought to create a society honoring the work of Donald Ross so this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.”

In 2017, Inverness was unveiled following a major restoration by Andrew Green. Green was brought in initially to restore bunkers. His goal was to make Inverness feel like it did when Jones, Ray, and Vardon walked the property. That meant another rerouting in homage to Donald Ross. He used extra land Inverness owned in order to return Inverness to its golden age feel while protecting it against current and future technology.

"Hopefully, people will feel like those holes fit the property better than the old holes from the seventies," Green said on The Fried Egg podcast. "And that we tried to draw on all the things that were done on the original holes and tried to pull that into what we did on the new ones."

The par-71 can play as long as 7700 yards. With the sloping, undulating greens protected by false fronts and run-offs it will surely provide a challenge for the best amateurs in the world.

Ohio has hosted 40 USGA events. In August of 2022 the U.S. Women's Senior Open will be in Kettering, Ohio at NCR Country Club.

Future U.S. Amateur Championship Sites

2022: The Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, N.J. (Aug. 15-21)
2023: Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colo. (Aug. 14-20)
2024: Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minn. (Aug. 12-18)
2025: The Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif. (Aug. 11-17)
2026: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa. (Aug. 10-16)
2027: Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, N.Y. (Aug. 9-15)
2028: To Be Determined
2029: Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio (Aug. 13-19)
2030: To Be Determined
2031: The Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tenn. (Aug. 11-17)


ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur

The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent amateur competition in the world. Applications are typically placed online in the spring at www.usga.org.

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