Valhalla Golf Club News

June 1, 2011

Watson and Valhalla winners at Senior PGA Championship

Jack Nicklaus-designed Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., recently hosted the PGA of America's Senior PGA Championship on May 26-29. Hall of Famer Tom Watson won the event at Valhalla, making a 3-foot birdie on the first playoff hole to edge David Eger.

It was the third time a playoff has decided the outcome at Valhalla, which hosted the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships, the '04 and '11 Senior PGAs, the 2008 Ryder Cup and the 2002 Club Pro Championship. The PGA Championship is set to return to Valhalla in 2014.

“There's a lot of history here now, and that's what makes great courses and great championships and great champions, when you have history,” PGA Tour star and Kentucky native Kenny Perry said. “It will just continue to grow. Kentucky is starved for golf, and it's wonderful they are able to come here. The lure and the beauty of Kentucky and the fans is unbelievable.

The course was in pristine condition for the championship, even with a rainy spring. The front nine traverses a low-lying parkland setting, while its back nine was carved out of a higher, tree-covered terrain. The golf course features natural amphitheaters, including the 18th hole, which can accommodate 20,000 spectators.

"We finally got the rain moved out of here after being inundated early this spring," said Roger Meier, the course superintendent, who is in his first year at Valhalla. "The course has flooded six times this season, so we've spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with debris. We received 14 inches of rain the last week of April. A week later we lost a bridge between No. 9 tee and the fairway in what I've been told was the worst flooding here since 2004. That set us back a little bit with rebuilding that bridge, removing silt and debris, and doing some reseeding. We got caught up two weeks out from the tournament as the course dried up. We started establishing tournament mowing routines advance week and really getting the course dialed in."


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