Inverness Club-Toldeo, OH
Rankings per the last time I played it in July 2009:
-71st best course in the world, 41st best course in the U.S.(Golf Mag.)
-40th best course in the U.S. and the 3rd best course in Ohio (Golf Digest)
-36th best classic course (Golfweek)
Subtle brilliance. That is how I would describe Inverness. Everything that is good about the game seems to be
deeply ingrained in the culture of this historic club. If you are not educated concerning the history of golf, the
subtleness of Inverness will lead you to overlook many of the historic gems of the course and the club and,
therefore, walk away from Inverness without the full appreciation of its brilliance.
For starters, as you walk in the clubhouse you will see a very nice sitting room, a few trophies, and an old looking
grandfather clock. You might think, well that is nice antique clock from when the club first opened. If you don't care
to learn or are ignorant to history you will walk right on by. However, the history surrounding that clock has forever
changed the game of golf and has led to the greatness of the PGA Tour as we know it today.
You will walk around some more and see pictures of Byron Nelson (the PGA great and Inverness Head Pro from
1940-1944), Bob Tway, Hale Irwin, Ted Ray, Bobby Jones, and Ben Hogan to name a few.
As you walk to the Pro Shop, you might notice the vast number of caddies and the signs and "bag tags" saying
Evans Scholars on them. Once again, if you don't know the history of the game you might simply conclude that
players might like to use caddies here at Inverness. But a little digging and understanding of history will reveal how
Inverness has embraced and continues to embody the things that have made golf great throughout the years. In a
nutshell, the club has the largest caddie program in the state of Ohio and has more than 125 Evans Scholars alumni.
Once you begin to play the course, the subtle brilliance doesn't end. As seems to be Ross' style, his subtle
placement of fairway bunkers, trees, and other hazards are not overwhelming in quantity...but they always seem to
catch a great number of shots. A particularly interesting hazard on this course is the creek the runs right through
the middle of the course that impacts many of the holes. This creek isn't that wide or deep, but has fairly steep and
wide banks that form a giant swale. This swale causes many of the holes and shots to experience elevation
changes, side hill lies, forced carries, etc. Additionally, it enhances the natural beauty of many of the holes.
The course has many great holes. However, holes 7 and 18 are ingrained in my head forever and have made my
Top 18 list. Furthermore, hole #4 is highly regarded and I think hole #10 is under-rated.
Hole #4 is a 428 yard par 4 that starts with a downhill drive into a wide fairway. To hit the green, you must attack an
elevated green with a long iron. The green has a crown that slopes from the back and right. Any shot landing short
will roll down a gigantic 25 foot hill and into a valley that protects the green. If you go long, good luck with your putt
as you will have to deal with this sloping green that feeds back towards this valley.
Hole #10 is short par 4 that has a wide open fairway with just a few bunkers off to the right. However, the approach
plays massively down hill with a creek in front of the green. The most interesting part of this hole is that the green
seems to be on a stage as it is raised about 3 feet all the way around. This stages has sloping sides and a slightly
crowned green. Long approaches and long putts will roll off the stage. Let's just hope your not short because you
will roll back into that creek. Once again, subtle...but brilliant.
This course will test every aspect of your game, but your short game will get a non-stop workout with no mercy. In
fact, there are no easy holes and you will never get a breather. It is a truly fantastic challenge for you and your
game and is a "Unanimous Gem" according to all the golf course rating gurus.
It is a Donald Ross course and measures 6,457 from the silvers and is rated 71.7/135 and is a par 71.
This picture doesn't do it justice, but this slope on the 18 green is wicked...as is the slope across the entire green for
that matter. FYI...this steep slope on the side is known as "Death Valley".