Medinah Re-Opens Doak-Renovated Course One
Celebratory Cannon Shot Signals New Era for Chicago Area's Most Renowned Golf Club
World-renowned golf course architect Tom Doak on Friday struck the first ceremonial tee shot at Medinah Country Club's Course One, officially reopening the layout
following his 21-month $6.5 million renovation at Chicago's best-known championship golf venue.
Moments later, an elated group of members looked on and listened as Doak lit the fuse on a celebratory
cannon blast that pierced the summer evening air and marked the beginning of a new era of the iconic 90-
year-old country club.
The actions occurred after a traditional ribbon-cutting ritual on the first tee of the 1924-vintage course,
which Doak began renovating on Oct. 1, 2012 only 13 hours after the conclusion of the Ryder Cup, which
took place on the club's championship No. 3 course.
"Tom Doak's innovative renovation of Course One and this evening's ceremonial re-opening signals the
beginning of a new era in the history of Medinah Country Club," said Medinah club president Matt Lydon.
"Medinah's stature as the host of the world's most prestigious championships now is elevated by the
addition of a new and different style Course One. Together, along with our wonderful No. 2 course,
Medinah offers its members a variety of golf experiences unparalleled in the Chicago area. Moreover, in
addition to great golf, Medinah continues to create an atmosphere where the connections of family and
friends can be nurtured and appreciated."
Initiated as a way to address persistent flooding issues, Doak's Course One renovation plan required him to
triple the size of a pond on the course's 15th hole, remove of 770 trees to open up of the middle of the golf
course, and change the sequence of several holes in the process.
"Ultimately... it's not just a change in the sequence of the holes, but the fact that we had to start going
diagonally between some of the old hole corridors and knock down a [significant number of] trees in the
middle, that's the biggest change on the golf course," Doak said. "Now, when you get out in the middle of
the course, it's very open as opposed to very narrow and north and south and tree lined. That's the biggest
change, and that was just sort of a byproduct of having to change that one [15th] hole."
Though Medinah No. 3 always has been the club's championship course, Course One has been a favorite of
members and their guests, especially those seeking an alternative to the difficult challenge of its worldclass
No. 3 sibling.
"With the renovation of Course One, members are going to have three distinctly different golf courses
members and their guests can play," said Medinah greens committee chairman Bruce D'Angelo, who
oversaw the project. "They will be able to choose from a traditional tree-lined parkland-style Rees Jonesrenovated
championship course in No. 3; Tom Bendelow's No. 2 course, which never has been renovated
since it came on line in the late 1920s, and the new Course One, renovated by Tom Doak, currently one of
the world's most highly regarded golf course architects."
Medinah golf course superintendent Curtis Tyrrell, who oversees grounds activities on all three courses,
said the Course One renovation solved the infrastructure issues, and provided a new course that looks and
feels different from the club's other courses and from the one it replaced. Though 12 of the 18 holes still
are located in the original routing footprint, the character of all 18 holes is new.
"The 12 existing holes stayed in the same footprint," said Tyrrell, "but they're brand new holes."
Tyrrell said a new generation of "007" creeping bent grass has been planted across all tees, greens and
fairways. Meanwhile, the rough areas area mixture of bluegrass (in sunny areas) and fescue (in the shade).
"The different type of grasses in the rough areas will give Course One a more mottled look and a very
natural feel," Tyrrell said.
Medinah Country Club is the Chicago area's best known and most frequent major championship venue.
Course No. 3 has hosted three U.S. Opens (1949, '75, and '90), two PGA Championships (1999, 2006),
three Western Opens (1946, '62, and '66), and other prestigious events in the pre-PGA Tour era.
Medinah's champions include such historic figures as "Lighthorse" Harry Cooper, Gene Sarazen, Byron
Nelson, Billy Casper, Gary Player, Hale Irwin, and Tiger Woods.
Founded in the 1920s by a group of Shriners, Medinah features three golf courses, all designed by highly
respected Scotsman Tom Bendelow. The massive 120,000-square foot clubhouse designed by Richard
Schmid is a unique architectural blend of styles that include Byzantine, Oriental, and Louis XIV influences.
Posted June 19, 2014 || Viewed 1,947 times