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Thoughts on Inverness

From Tom Estrella:

Okay I have had a chance to take the course out for a spin. Some observations

1. The thing that shocks you when you play Inverness is how small the greens look and play in real life. They really are like postage stamps. The ASG version does a wonderful job of capturing this aspect of the course. This is a thinking man’s course and if you don’t concentrate you will discover the second aspect to Inverness….

2. Slopes around the greens. This starts on #1 where you are in a valley should you come up short and get cute with a front pin. Ross was a master at making you hit accurate irons or making you pay with dreadful chip shots. Again the ASG course is right on target here.

3. The narrow, twisting fairways with a creek bisecting many of the tracts  make tee shots thought provoking on holes that look to be easy from the overhead but are devilish in reality.

Misplace your tee shot and your iron will fly off the greens and end up under trees on in deep greenside bunkers. I stood feet away from Greg Norman during the fourth rnd of the 93 PGA as he took his sand wedge and passed it completely under his ball in one of these bunkers on #6 leaving the ball exactly where it started. ASG gives us the hellish bunkers exactly where they should be.

I followed Jack during one of his practice rounds and I heard him comment that he thought #7 was one of the greatest holes ever designed. It plays tough in ASG because of the realistically narrowing fairway if you try to crank it our there 320+. I’ve played with some young guns who can hit it 340 off the tee and they inevitably goof this hole up by trying to chop off too much distance and end up in the trees to the right or even the water. They then head for the trees to the left of the green with the second/third shot. Hit it short (225 or so) and you have 225 to a tiny green.

#8 has always been my nightmare hole and it is in ASG too. Insane tee shot. Crazy tiny green. Geez!!! Just look at this thing.

Great job guys!

The folks at Inverness have been lobbying the USGA for years to bring an Open back to the club. They had hoped that having the Senior Open a few years back would seduce the younger guys back to this classic stretch. The problem is that the economy of the Toledo area has eroded significantly since the 93 PGA. The LPGA is held in Sylvania, a more affluent suburb. The area around Inverness is “iffy” these days and the Senior Open did not do the business or crowds that were hoped for. Watson, Couples and several other big senior names skipped the tournament that year.

The course itself has been lengthened and modified in recent years to try to convince the USGA that it would be a challenge ala Merion. I don’t believe that they have convinced many folks however. The feeling is that today’s PGA pros would overwhelm even the modified course.

If you love ASG PC golf you need to get this course.

Oh and watch out for the Hinkle tree. You may not be able to actually see it but just use your imagination and you can see what he was tying to do with that fairway at the top of the ASG screen. T.E.