With the Ryder Cup quickly approaching, it's time to get refresher courses on everything from golf terminology, famous players, handicaps and statistics. A great place to start for brushing up on your "golfology" is the course where all the action will happen, Valhalla Golf Club.
The name <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Valhalla is derived from ancient Norse mythology. Valhalla was the Great Hall of Odin, where the bravest of warriors who had died in battle lived forever. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Valhalla Golf Club, located in eastern Jefferson County, first opened in 1986. Named one of the top three new private golf courses in the U.S. in 1987, the first year it was eligible, Valhalla Golf Club remains the No. 1-ranked course in Kentucky and one of "America's 100 Greatest Courses", according to Golf Digest (2005).
Valhalla was originally the idea of Louisville business leader, Dwight Gahm as he dreamed of a traditional “golf only” facility”. Jack Nicklaus was hired to design and build the private golf development on 486 acres of rolling Kentucky terrain that would provide its members with the highest level of service.
In 1983 upon first glance at the site, Nicklaus described it as "golf designer's dream because there is a variety of terrain, vegetation and water to work with. Everything necessary for an excellent golf course is here: room for wide, tree lined fairways and spectacular golf holes."
Par at the 18-hole course is 72 and the course measures 7,195 from the gold teas. The first nine holes embrace a Scottish-links ambiance, while the back nine is more traditional. The signature hole at Valhalla is # 13, a 350-yard, par 4, requiring a tee shot to a small landing area then an approach shot over water to an island green.
The PGA Championships in both 1996 and 2000 were played at Valhalla Golf Club. The senior PGA Championship was held there in 2004 and the PGA Club Professional Championship was held at Valhalla in June of 2002.
But, it is in September 2008, as the Ryder Cup comes to Valhalla that is the highest honor in the club’s history. Announced on December 8, 2000 as the host for the 37th Ryder Cup, the city of Louisville has been buzzing and preparing for the opportunity to accommodate fans and spectators from around the world.
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Address: 15503 Shelbyville Road
Designer: Jack Nicklaus
General Manager: Michael R Montague