Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr
Year Opened: 1959
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Slope: 138. Rating: 74.3
Par: 71
Yardage: 7,001
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 435 Yds    10 - Par 4 401 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 407 Yds    11 - Par 4 347 Yds
                      3 - Par 5 592 Yds    12 - Par 4 408 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 166 Yds    13 - Par 3 190 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 415 Yds    14 - Par 5 531 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 380 Yds    15 - Par 4 380 Yds
                      7 - Par 3 203 Yds    16 - Par 5 612 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 448 Yds    17 - Par 3 210 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 447 Yds    18 - Par 4 440 Yds
                      Par 35  3,482 Yds     Par 36  3,519 Yds

Key Events Held: U.S. Women's Amateur (1913),
                 Arnold Palmer exhibition (1963),
                 Gary Player vs. Carol Mann, exhibition (1966),
                 Arnold Palmer vs. Jack Nicklaus, exhibition (1966),
                 U.S. Junior Amateur (1965, 1978),
                 U.S. Amateur (1971),
                 U.S. Girls' Junior (1978),
                 U.S. Mid-Amateur (2003).

Awards Won: Ranked #1 Best in State (Delaware) by Golf Digest (2003),
            Ranked #99 America's 100 Greatest Courses by Golf Digest (2001-02)

HISTORY: Although the golf course has only been around since 1959, Wilmington
Country Club has existed since the turn of the century. Cricket, lawn bowling,
croquet and trap shooting were the norm back in the 1880s when golf was
finally introduced in Delaware. A group of men from Delaware Field Club formed
a nine- hole course in 1885 and it remained in play until 1901. The course,
however, was rough-and-ready and strewn between houses and across streets that
were billed as "difficult hazards." Finally, a group came together to form a
new club that the founders stated, "Golf shall have first place at Wilmington
Country Club!" The Club was chartered in the spring of 1901 on 135 acres of
land leased from William du Pont Sr. By the fall, 18 holes were created in a
series of triangles for a total coast of $2,850. The following year, the Club
was elected an allied member of the United States Golf Association, as a large
clubhouse and tennis courts were built. WCC operated on its original site for
60 years and its original "Old Course" to this day still remains in play. By
1914, the club grew to 900 members and by the end of World War II, WCC boasted
members and their families close to 2,000. With the size of the club, it was
apparent that 36 holes of golf were needed to serve the membership. Once
again, the club turned to the lord of the land, the du Pont family. This time
around, Henry Francis du Pont was willing to sell off a piece of his
Winterthur estate, a 335-acre parcel, nestled in the piedmont landscapes in
Delaware. Famed architect Robert Trent Jones Sr was commissioned in 1951 to
design the first of two courses, but construction did not begin until 1957,
taking almost two years to complete. After play began in '59, ground was
broken for a clubhouse and work began on the North Course, with another
notable architect brought in to design the second course, Dick Wilson. Rumor
has it that members were unhappy with Jones' use of land, as many distances
from greens to tees were too great and the fact that Jones spent very little
time on site. Be that as it may, the South Course is a testament to Jones'
design philosophy, as this course is one of 10 creations that rank in the top
100 greatest courses in America by Golf Digest. After hosting the U.S. Women's
Amateur on the "Old Course" in 1913, the USGA called upon Wilmington Country
Club to host five other events over the years, including the 2003 U.S. Mid-
Amateur captured by 25-year-old Nathan Smith, the youngest winner in the
event's history.

REVIEW: The course starts off with a strong par four, setting the tone for
what will be a difficult round of golf. The first is a long two-shotter that
bends slightly to the left and plays uphill for your approach. Bunkers guard
the landing area, left and right, while the green is guarded by deep bunkers
on both sides of the surface. The large green features a slope on the left
side, which could create havoc right off the bat. The second doglegs to the
left and is a definite birdie hole, as long as you find the fairway. Two huge
bunkers protect the corner of the fairway, but a big drive will leave a short
approach to a green that has a couple of tiers, making a two-putt no
certainty. The first of three straight signature holes, the long third, is a
monster at 592 yards. The entire hole is flanked on both sides by enormous
trees and if that wasn't hard enough, a pond protects the green. With this
little addition, this hole is most definitely a three-shotter. However,
birdies can be had, as your third shot will be a short wedge to a wide open
green that slopes from back to front. The first par three on the course, the
fourth, is a perfect example that length is not always the answer. Just 166
yards from the tips, the hole is protected from tee to green by water, while
the putting surface is long and narrow, so club selection and accuracy is key.
The green also slopes from back to front, making three-putting an easy
occurrence. Food for thought -- a shaved back to the left of the green will
force players to think even more or risk rolling back into the pond. A
personal favorite, the fifth concludes the signature trio. Not long in length,
this par four doglegs severely to the left with a fairway that slopes to the
right. The putting surface is guarded in the front by water and behind by
sand. A fairway wood will leave a short wedge to the green, setting up a
birdie attempt. On paper, the sixth is quite simple. Straightaway, wide
fairway and just 380 yards in length. Yes, you should be able to place your
tee shot in the short grass, however choosing the correct club for your
approach will not be that simple. The green is elevated, large and severely
undulating from back to front. This is the hole's defense, so par will not be
as easy as you think. If you thought the sixth green was tough, as they say,
"You ain't seen nothing yet." The seventh hole, a par three of 203 yards in
length, plays downhill to the largest green on the course, sloping from all
directions. The putting surface is guarded in the front by four gaping
bunkers, ready to gobble up an errant tee shot. Depending upon the pin
placement, this hole can yield a birdie or two. Lock and load time on the
eighth, as this monster of a par-four requires a bomb off the tee, as the hole
stretches 448 yards and plays uphill, doglegging to the right. Three bunkers
guard the fairway corner, as you try to cut off as much as possible. After
negotiating your teeball, a medium to long iron awaits to a green that slopes
surprisingly from left to right. Making par or even worse, a bogey is not too
bad. The outward nine closes with another outstanding par four, 447 yards from
the tips. The fairway is wide, but missing right or left will spell doom due
to strategically placed bunkers. The key to success on the ninth is your
second shot, as a mound in the center of the surface will cause chaos with the

The back nine starts off innocently enough with three relatively easy par
four's. The 10th requires a fairway metal as to avoid running through the
fairway of the dogleg right. A short iron will set up a birdie chance with the
pin up front or a routine par with a back pin placement. The key to the 11th
is accuracy. Just 347 yards from the back tees, the par four bends to the
right, but a long iron or fairway metal must dissect the fairway to avoid the
trees flanking the fairway. A wedge will be left to a green that slopes from
back to front and yields plenty of birdies. The 12th also requires accuracy
off the tee, so many players will keep the big stick in the bag in favor of a
three-wood off the box. This strategy will leave your tee shot short of the
fairway sand and set up a medium to short iron downhill to the green. The
putting surface is slick and slopes from front to back, so be careful or a
three-putt might arise. Make sure when you step onto the 13th tee, that you
walk off the correct yardage, as the teeing area is some 50 yards in length.
To make matters worse, the green is 43 yards deep and extremely narrow, so
pinpoint precision is a must. Par will certainly be protected with the deep
bunkers, both left and right. A chance to get one back, as you step onto the
14th tee. This is the only par five on the course where players can possibly
get home in two. However, there always seems to be danger looming at
Wilmington South and the 14th is no exception. In an attempt to make birdie,
the player must first challenge the bunkers on the right off the tee as the
hole doglegs. Failing to do so will leave an awkward layup with a gaping
bunker at the end of the fairway. A one-hundred yard pitch, uphill to the
green, will remain for the sensible player, but beware of the bunkers
surrounding the putting surface. Don't forget the difficulty of the green,
sloping from back to front and from both sides in. Looking back from the
green, you'll realize how you only made par. Your last realistic chance for
birdie on the inward nine is the 15th. Just 380 yards, the 15th doglegs to the
left with a fairway guarded on the corner by a pair of sand traps. Be
aggressive and take the big stick out, leaving yourself just a sand wedge to a
relatively benign green. It's time to make a birdie, as the final three holes
will test your skill. As John Daly once said, "Grip it and rip it." The 16th
hole is the longest in the area at 612 yards from the back buttons and it
plays every inch of it. The hole is like a roller coaster of sorts, as you tee
off from an elevated box to a fairway flanked left and right by sand and
trees. Your second shot will traverse down to a fairway that sits well below
while your third will play uphill to the green. The good news, no bunkers at
the landing area for your second; the bad news, trees guard the entire length
of this hole, both left and right. This is one beautiful hole and one
dangerous hole. One always figures that a par five is a birdie hole, but
making par on 16 is a good score. The longest and the finest par three on the
course, the 17th is stunning. Water guards the front and left portions of the
green while sand and grass bunkers protect the right and back. Club selection
is key here, as the hole features many pin placements. A back-left pin will
provide for some exciting theatrics as players complete their rounds. The best
finishing hole in the state of Delaware, the 18th, is as magnificent as it is
challenging. Doglegging to the left and uphill, the 18th can play as long as
440 yards. In 1971, Gary Cowan made an eagle 2 on this hole to capture the
U.S. Amateur, as he defeated Eddie Pearce by three shots. The win gave Cowan
his second U.S. Amateur title, as he also captured the 1966 event at nearby
Merion Golf Club in a playoff over former PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman.
By the way, Cowan, who sank a nine-iron from 130 yards out, defeated such
players as Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite and Andy North, who were in the field. Cowan
is the only player in USGA history to win the U.S. Amateur twice at stroke
play. A series of bunkers and water guard the landing area on the left side of
the fairway and those must be negotiated successfully for the player to have
any chance of getting on the green in regulation. The green sits in front of
the clubhouse and provides an excellent amphitheater. The putting surface is
fronted by sand while the green itself slopes from back to front and is
extremely quick. Don't let your match come down to the wire, because anything
can happen on 18.

When people talk about traditional courses, one of the first places that comes
to mind is Wilmington C.C. South. This venue has all the characteristics of a
championship layout...length, beauty, strategy, and of course, it challenges
your shot making ability. It's not surprising that year after year, WCC is
ranked number one as the best in the state of Delaware. WCC is a "country
club" in the sense that it boasts two exceptional courses, facilities,
clubhouse, swimming, tennis and squash. Oh, by the way, the conditioning
of the course is second to none. Manicured fairways, large trees, spacious
greens, correctly positioned bunkers and beautifully landscaped grounds are
the norm at WCC. It comes as no surprise that Wilmington Country Club has
hosted six United States Golf Association events and is the only course in
Delaware to host a USGA event. If you get the chance, Wilmington South is a
must play. It's not one of those courses that is only for the low handicap
player. All can enjoy this stellar venue. What makes the course so exciting to
play is its diversity of long and short holes and tight and ample fairways.
Strategy comes into play throughout the course and if the wind and green
speeds are up, look out.