GOLF COURSE REVIEW - BELLERIVE COUNTRY CLUB

Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Rees Jones (2005-06, renovation)
Year Opened: 1960
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Slope: 144. Rating: 75.0
Par: 71
Yardage: 7,226
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 435 Yds    10 - Par 4 484 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 425 Yds    11 - Par 4 374 Yds
                      3 - Par 3 165 Yds    12 - Par 4 443 Yds
                      4 - Par 5 556 Yds    13 - Par 3 179 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 440 Yds    14 - Par 4 405 Yds
                      6 - Par 3 195 Yds    15 - Par 4 456 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 381 Yds    16 - Par 3 223 Yds
                      8 - Par 5 581 Yds    17 - Par 5 604 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 426 Yds    18 - Par 4 454 Yds
                      Par 36  3,604 Yds     Par 35  3,622 Yds

Key Events Held: U.S. Open (1965),
                 U.S. Mid-Amateur (1981),
                 PGA Championship (1992, 2018),
                 World Golf Championships (2001) - Not held due to 9/11,
                 U.S. Senior Open (2004),
                 BMW Championship (2008),
                 Senior PGA Championship (2013).

Awards Won: Ranked #61 by Golf Digest of America's 100 Greatest Courses,
            Ranked #1 by Golf Digest - Best course in Missouri.

HISTORY: Although the course dates back to only 1960, Bellerive Country Club
began in 1897 as a nine-hole venue with 166 members, known as St. Louis Field
Club. A baker's dozen years later, the membership incorporated the name
Bellerive Country Club, named after Louis St. Ange De Bellerive, the last
French commander in North America. Former USGA president and Masters chairman
Hord Hardin along with Clark Gamble were the driving force to move the
membership to a new site. Hardin, an 11-time club champion, brought in Robert
Trent Jones to design the new course, located west of Normandy, Missouri.
Jones found a pristine farm site and construction began. Just five years after
the course opened in 1960, the USGA named Bellerive as the host of the U.S.
Open, making it the youngest course ever to host the Open. That year, Gary
Player became the first foreigner to win the Open Championship since Ted Ray
in 1920. Tied after 72 holes with Kel Nagle with totals of two-over-par 282,
Player built a five-stroke lead after eight holes of the playoff and went on
to defeat Nagle by three, 71 to 74. Following his victory, Player donated his
winnings to cancer research and junior golf. Player called his victory his
best day ever in golf, as he completed the career Grand Slam. The 1965 U.S.
Open also marked the first time in 65 championships that the final round was
conducted on Sunday and that it was televised in color. The inaugural U.S.
Mid-Amateur was first held at Bellerive in 1981, as St. Louis native Jim
Holtgrieve defeated Bob Lewis Jr, 2-up. Current Champions Tour player Jay
Sigel was co-medalist that year, but lost in the quarterfinals. Bellerive next
hosted the PGA Championship in 1992, as Nick Price captured his first major.
Two shots behind Gene Sauers heading into the final round, Price carded his
fourth subpar round for a three-shot win over John Cook, Nick Faldo, Jim
Gallagher Jr and Sauers. Price opened his round with nine straight pars, but
seized the win with back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17. "I will always have a
special place in my heart for Bellerive Country Club," said Price. "Your first
major championship is always the most important. The fact that mine came at
Bellerive, showed how much I enjoyed the golf course." In 2001, Bellerive was
set to host the World Golf Championships - the American Express Championship,
but unfortunately the tragic circumstances of September 11th cancelled the
event. Let's not forget the 2004 U.S. Senior Open, as Peter Jacobsen, playing
in only his third event with the over-50 circuit, captured his first major
title, as he edge Hale Irwin by one shot. Trailing Tom Kite by one shot with
just three holes remaining, Jacobsen parred all three while Kite bogeyed 16
and double-bogeyed 18, thus handing "Jake" the title. The final day, a 36-hole
grind due to rain washing out play on Friday, proved to a supreme test for
Jacobsen, as he had undergone hip surgery in late April and was on crutches
for six weeks. Jacobsen, who shot four subpar rounds at Bellerive, became the
second-youngest champion behind Dale Douglass and seventh first-time winner in
his first Senior Open.

REVIEW: Bellerive starts out at first blush, a straight-away par four of 434
yards. But easy it's not, as the crowned fairway is difficult to hit and
bunkers guard the left and right sides. Three-wood is the club of choice off
the tee, as the fairway is quite narrow at the 150-yard mark. A middle iron
will be left to a green that is 30-yards deep, but very wide. Back left is the
most difficult pin position, as two large bunkers play guardian. Jones termed
this hole's scoring as "difficult pars, but comfortable bogeys." Although
fairly short, the second hole forces the player to be most accurate and long,
as the hole doglegs sharply to the left. A tee shot of at least 270 yards is
needed just to get past the corner of trees. Bailing out right is no bargain
either, as a 30-yard bunker flanks the fairway, as well as a large stand of
tall trees. After a successful tee ball, a short iron is left to a 34-yard
deep green with three large protecting bunkers. A back-right pin is not one to
fool with. Play to the center of the green and walk away with par. The first
of four great par threes, the third is a beauty at just 165 yards. Water
guards the entire right side of the huge green (42 yards). If the wind is up,
this hole could be quite tricky and with a back pin, look out. No question,
the par-five fourth is a definite birdie chance. From an elevated tee
overlooking the third, the hole swings down and to the left, with sand
protecting both the left and right side of the fairway. A belt of 285-plus
yards is needed to have any chance of going for the green in two. The smart
play is a layup, some 75-100 yards from the hole. The elevated green is fairly
small, but features a large swale in the center of the green. The fifth is a
back-breaking, straight par four of 440 yards. A big tee shot is needed to
leave a mid-to-long iron to an elevated, wide and narrow green. When Arnold
Palmer played in the 1965 U.S. Open, he drove well right the first two days
into a pond, making double-bogey and missing the cut for the first time in 91
tournaments. The putting surface is quite severe, especially if you're left
and the pin is right. Two-putting with a 20-foot break would be quite
miraculous. It's been called one of the greatest par-3s in history. The sixth
is quite difficult with water once again guarding the right side of the
mammoth, 46- yard deep green. The hole can play from 170 yards to 210, and
when the winds blow from the west, it's a short par-four. To make matters
worse, a large sycamore tree guards the left side of the putting surface. The
back-right pin is diabolical, just ask Bob Pansiuk. During the '65 Open,
Panasiuk made a nine, despite reaching the green in regulation, as he putted
off the green and into the water. That year, 82 balls were deposited into the
pond. Another possible birdie chance is the seventh. Just 381 yards, this
short par-four is a slight dogleg left with a pair of bunkers guarding both
sides of the fairway. A fairway metal or long iron will leave a wedge to a
fairly accessible pin. The green is 36 yards deep and features a long hump in
the center, so two-putting if on the wrong side could be quite difficult.
Accuracy reigns supreme on the eighth, the second-longest hole on the course.
A tee shot to the right side of the fairway is needed to negotiate the dogleg
left, or you will be blocked out of a quality layup shot. A creek rambles all
along the right side of the fairway, ending within 100-yards of the green.
Trees flank both sides of the corridor to the green. One bunker, 132 yards out
protects the left side of the layup zone and a second, some 80-yards away, is
located in the center of the fairway. The green is elevated and just 22 yards
deep with two sunken bunkers, center and right. This hole is not a birdie
hole, but a survival one. Take par and move on. The last hole on the outward
nine is an outstanding par four of 426 yards. Bending left and moving uphill,
the ninth plays at least two clubs longer from the fairway to the elevated
putting surface. Probably the most severe green on the course, the surface
slopes from back-left to right-front and features three distinct putting
zones. Bogeys will outnumber the pars.

The members like to play the 10th as a par five, which makes it quite easy.
However, when playing from the championship tees, it's a par four of 484 yards
and easily the hardest hole on the course. A mammoth tee shot is required on
this dogleg left monster. The elevated tee box will help, but a missed fairway
could result in bogey or worse. A small creek guards the bottom of the layup
area, some 65 yards from the green. The putting surface is elevated and just
22 yards deep, but quite wide. Sand protects short and long and the putting
surface will only receive perfectly struck shots. Making par here could be the
highlight of your round. Finally, a breather. The 11th is the shortest par
four on the course, however, it's also the tightest. A long iron or fairway
metal will leave a wedge to a very deep (46-yards) green, that is protected
short by a pond and right by a creek. The putting surface slopes severely from
left to right and is very difficult to two-putt. Sometimes, short and easy is
just the opposite. Back to the braun of Bellerive, as play moves to the 12th.
This dogleg left requires a big tee shot to the right side of the fairway. One
of nine par fours over 400 yards in length, the 12th also features a very long
green. When Nick Price captured the 1992 PGA Championship, he sank a 105-foot
birdie putt on this hole in his third-round 68. Sand guards both sides of the
green, that slopes from back to front. Once again, par is a good score. One of
the prettiest holes on the course, the 13th showcases the blooming floral of
Bellerive. Another long green on this par three makes club selection key. If
the flag is front left, no problem. However when the pin is back-right, it
could be a three-club difference. The putting surface is positioned diagonally
from the tee with three distinctive swales throughout. As mentioned before,
take par and move on. The 14th hole marks the first of the five "ridge" holes
that, except the 18th, usually play directly into the wind. A dogleg to the
left, the tee shot must once again be placed on the right side of the fairway
to leave the best angle to the green. Possibly the easiest of the final holes,
the tee shot is most demanding, due to thick rough and trees left and
scattered oaks right. Your second shot into the green can range from a long
iron to a wedge. The putting surface is only 30 yards deep, but is quite wide
with three distinctive sections. This hole will set the tone for the rest of
the round. If the 10th hole was not at Bellerive, than the 15th would be the
most difficult. Grip it and rip it will be needed off the tee on this fairly
straight, 456-yard par four. Into the wind, you will be left with a long iron
or fairway metal to a very small target of just 24 yards in depth. Sand
protects the landing area to the right of the fairway, while deep rough and
trees will snare all shots left. Missing short of the green is no bargain
either, as a deep valley is 30 yards short and two deep bunkers guard the left
and right of the surface. Miss long and your left with a fast paced downhill
pitch that could run back down the fairway. Making bogey is OK, just keep your
cool. The longest par three on the course, the 16th is a brute, especially
with the wind howling in your face. A long iron or a fairway metal is required
to reach the green. Short and you're sure to find one of the four deep bunkers
protecting the green. Long and you'll be faced with a downhill putt or pitch
that runs 13-plus on the stimpmeter. From the longest par three to the longest
par five, the 17th is a monster at 604 yards from the tips. A creek guards the
entire right side of the hole along with trees, trees and more trees. Going
for this green in two is out of the question, unless your "Tin Cup." A pond
protects the putting surface and any ball landing short on the green, will
most likely fall back into the water. To make matters worse, the green slopes
from back to front, but this is really your last chance for a birdie. The
finishing hole requires a precise tee shot, as the hole doglegs to the left
with a 30-yard bunker guarding the corner of the fairway. A chute of trees
must first be negotiated off the tee. From the fairway, a mid to long iron
awaits, despite playing downwind. The putting surface is well guarded up front
with three large sand pits. The green slopes from right to left with the
easiest pin spot, front and center. Missing this green will require some
exacting work from your short game.

OVERALL: Bellerive is a classic course, rich in tradition. From your drive
into the course, the stately clubhouse and the magnificent grounds, you know
you're in for something special when playing here. Bellerive reminds you of
the outstanding Robert Trent Jones designs around the world, such as
Wilmington South in Delaware. Tall stately trees, large undulating greens and
deep colorful bunkers. The course features many doglegs and possesses many
water hazards, not to mention the length of the course. Here's a venue that
has not grown old, but has matured into a venerable layout that has withstood
the test of time. To coin a phrase, Bellerive has cache. The course is
beautifully maintained and manicured to perfection, not a blade of grass out
of place. The amenities and staff are also second to none. The bottom line,
when in St. Louis, try at all costs to play this great classic.