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Bellerive Country Club
Club information
Location Town and Country, Missouri
Established 1897 Founded
1960 New Course
Type Private
Total holes 18
Website Bellerive Country Club
Designed by Robert Trent Jones
Par 71
Length 7,177 yards (6,563 m)
Course rating 75[1][2]

Bellerive Country Club is a golf country club located in Town and Country, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.

Contents

History

The club opened in 1897 as The Field Club, founded by several St. Louis sportsmen who wanted a place for golf and other leisure activities. The course, which featured nine holes until another nine were added some years later, was built on land leased from the estate of War of 1812 war hero Daniel Bissell.

In 1910, the club moved to nearby Normandy and renamed the Bellerive Country Club after Louis St. Ange de Bellerive who in 1765 was the last French governor of Illinois Country.

The clubhouse was built in the style of Georgian architecture.

The first notable golf tournament held at Bellerive was the 1949 Western Amateur Championship. Four years later, the club hosted the PGA Tour's Western Open, won by E.J. "Dutch" Harrison.

In 1957 the Club put its 125-acre (0.51 km2) Normandy site on the market for $1.3 million. At the same time the Normandy School District began discussing the need for establishing a junior college as an affordable alternative to the privately owned Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University. The Club lowered the price to $600,000 and the Normandy Residence Center opened in a renovated club house in 1960 with classes taught by the University of Missouri. The campus became the University of Missouri - St. Louis in 1963.

In 1959, the club moved to its current site in the suburb of Town and Country. Robert Trent Jones designed the new course, which opened on Memorial Day in 1960.

The club hosted its first USGA championship and major championship when the 1965 U.S Open was held at Bellerive. Gary Player won in a playoff over Kel Nagle. The course hosted the inaugural U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1981, won by Jim Holtgrieve. In 1992, Bellerive hosted the PGA Championship, in which Nick Price won his first major championship with a score of 278, or six under par.

Bellerive was one of the courses used in the qualifying stroke play round of the 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur. In 2001, the course was supposed to host the WGC-American Express Championship, but the event was cancelled because of the September 11, 2001 attacks. However, the course hosted the United States Senior Open in 2004, won by Peter Jacobsen.[3][4]

The course hosted the 2008 BMW Championship (formerly know as the Western Open)[5] September 1-7. This championship invited the top 70 players in the world to compete for the final spots in The Tour Championship. The event was won by Camilo Villegas.

The course

Bellerive is a long course, measuring 7,547 yards (6,901 m) from the championship tees and 6,976 yards (6,379 m) from the members' tees, a par of 71 for men and 72 for women. Bellerive has a course and slope rating of 76.5/141 from the championship tees. The course has six par 4s that measure over 450 yards (410 m) from the championship tees, the fifth-most among courses that have hosted the U.S. Open. The longest of these is the 519-yard 10th hole, which doglegs left around a bunker and then heads downhill across a creek that crosses the fairway about 30 yards (27 m) from the green.

Bellerive was built around a large creek that comes into play on nine of the holes. Water hazards come into play on 11 holes, and the course is known for its large and undulating greens. Bent grass is used for the greens, and zoysia grass is used for the fairways.

The entire course underwent a $9.5 million renovation in 2005-06 because the county needed to install new sewer lines under most of the course, not to prepare for the BMW championship. The redesign was done by Rees Jones, who lengthened and toughened U.S. Open courses Winged Foot and Torrey Pines Golf Course. The most notable renovations that the "Open Doctor" imposed on Bellerive can be found on holes 2, 7, and 8. Hole 2 used to be tight par 4 with a sharp dogleg left around a group of trees and small lake with a prominent bunker guarding the right side. Jones removed the trees along the left and expanded the lake to create a risk-reward tee shot. The lake now stretches all the way to the green, creating a difficult back left pin position for Sunday.

For Hole 7, which used to be a straight but narrow par 4 with bunkers guarding both sides of the landing area, Jones recreated the bunker complex on the right side of the hole to punish any player who bails out of a swing. Jones also moved the green back and to the left in order to bring the creek into play, once again, creating a tough back left pin location for Sunday.

Hole 8 has always been one of the toughest on the course due to the double dogleg (first left and then right) and creek that lines the right side. Prior to Jones' redesigns, the tee boxes for the hole were all on the left side of the creek which meant that the tee shot needed to be a right-to-left hook that curved around the trees on the left, but avoided the creek on the right. The creek on the right was lined with mature trees which sometimes knocked errant shots headed for doom back onto the fairway in prime position. Jones eliminated this randomness in his redesign by cutting down the majority of the trees that lined the creek. Also, Jones moved the back tees to the right side of the creek so a straighter drive would function. However, Jones added a deep, massive bunker on the inside (left) of the first dogleg to punish the greedy player.

Other renovations include,

  • Hole 1 (fairway and green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 3 (tee boxes)
  • Hole 4 (fairway and green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 5 (green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 6 (green redesign and bunker complexes)
  • Hole 9 (fairway and green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 10 (fairway and green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 11 (fairway and green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 12 (fairway and green bunker complexes, and tee boxes)
  • Hole 13 (green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 14 (fairway and green bunker complexes, tree removal)
  • Hole 15 (fairway and green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 16 (green bunker complexes)
  • Hole 17 (fairway and green bunker complexes, lake removal)
  • Hole 18 (fairway and green bunker complexes)[6]

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 38°39′34″N 90°28′59″W / 38.6594969°N 90.4831756°W / 38.6594969; -90.4831756

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