Cherry Hills Country Club

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Cherry Hills Country Club
Club information
Location Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, U.S.
Established 1922
Type private
Total holes 27
Tournaments hosted 2012 U.S. Amateur
2005 U.S. Women's Open
1993 U.S. Senior Open
1990 U.S. Amateur
1985 PGA Championship
1978 U.S. Open
1976 U.S. Senior Amateur
1960 U.S. Open
1941 PGA Championship
1938 U.S. Open
Championship Golf Course
Designed by William Flynn
Par 72
Length 7,348 yards (6,719 m)[1]
Course rating 74.7
Slope rating 139 [2]
Rip Arnold Course (par 3)
Designed by William Flynn
Par 27
Length 665 yards (608 m)
The club entrance on University Boulevard.
The club entrance on University Boulevard.

Cherry Hills Country Club is a private country club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, a suburb south of Denver. The club was founded in 1922 and designed by William Flynn.[3] The club features a championship 18-hole golf course, a 9-hole par three course, eight tennis courts, and a lap pool. The nine hole course is called the Rip Arnold Course, named for the man who was the club's head golf professional from 1939 to 1962. The club hosts a Pro-Member Invitational every September named for Warren Smith (golfer), head professional at Cherry Hills from 1963 to 1991. A bas relief of Smith, who was honored as the PGA of America's Golf Professional of the Year in 1973, now sits near the 10th tee at the course. The par-72 golf course measures 7,348 yards (6,719 m) from the member back tees, and now extends to 7,466 yards (6,827 m) at par-71 for championships.[1] However, the course plays much shorter because the average elevation of the course exceeds 5,300 feet (1,620 m) above sea level. In 2005, Cherry Hills completed a $12 million renovation on its club house facilities.[citation needed] As of 2006, the membership fee is $95,000.[citation needed] The club's signature colors are cherry red and white.

USGA championships[edit]

Cherry Hills has hosted seven United States Golf Association (USGA) championships, including the U.S. Open in 1938, 1960, and 1978. It hosted the U.S. Amateur in 1990, won by Phil Mickelson.[4] The 1993 U.S. Senior Open was won by Jack Nicklaus,[5] and Birdie Kim won the 2005 U.S. Women's Open, holing out from a greenside bunker on the final hole.[6] The U.S. Amateur returned to the club in 2012 and was won by Steven Fox.[7]

The first of the three U.S. Opens at Cherry Hills in 1938 was won by defending champion Ralph Guldahl. He shot an even par 284 and finished six strokes ahead of runner-up Dick Metz. In 1960, Arnold Palmer won the Open with a 280 (–4), two strokes ahead of the runner-up, amateur Jack Nicklaus. After three unsuccessful attempts (including a double bogey in the first round), Palmer finally drove the first green (346-yard (316 m) par four) in the fourth round on his way to victory.[8] Tied for the lead with Palmer as he came to the par-5 17th hole, 47-year old Ben Hogan hit his third shot into the water and bogeyed. He hooked his final tee shot and triple-bogeyed the final hole to finish four strokes back at even par, which ended his chances of a tenth major championship. Playing with Hogan, 20-year old collegian Nicklaus from Ohio State bogeyed the final hole and finished second, and was the low amateur.[9][10][11] As a result of Palmer's feat, the USGA commissioned construction of a new tee prior to the 1978 U.S. Open, which extended the hole 50 yards (46 m). The '78 Open is the most recent Open held at Cherry Hills, won by Andy North by one stroke with a score of one over par.[12] Until 2006, this was the most recent U.S. Open in which the winning score had been over par.

A significant restoration by noted architect Tom Doak was carried out during 2008 and opened for play in spring 2009. The course was extended to over 7,500 yards (6,860 m) and many trees were removed. In addition, several original bunkers that had been removed over the years were restored, bringing the course more in-line with William Flynn's original design.

PGA Championships[edit]

Two PGA Championships have been held at Cherry Hills. The first in 1941 was a match play event; Vic Ghezzi defeated defending champion Byron Nelson 1 up in the 36-hole final. Seven of the eight quarterfinalists in 1941 won a major title during their career. The championship changed to a stroke play format in 1958 and returned to Cherry Hills in 1985; Hubert Green won his second major with a score of 278 (–6), two strokes ahead of defending champion Lee Trevino.[13]

Notable tournaments hosted[edit]

Year Tournament Winner Winner's
share ($)
1938 U.S. Open United States Ralph Guldahl 1,000
1941 PGA Championship United States Vic Ghezzi 1,100
1960 U.S. Open United States Arnold Palmer 14,400
1976 U.S. Senior Amateur United States Lewis Oehmig 0
1978 U.S. Open United States Andy North 45,000
1983 U.S. Mid-Amateur United States Jay Sigel 0
1985 PGA Championship United States Hubert Green 125,000
1990 U.S. Amateur United States Phil Mickelson 0
1993 U.S. Senior Open United States Jack Nicklaus 135,330
2005 U.S. Women's Open South Korea Birdie Kim 560,000
2012 U.S. Amateur United States Steven Fox 0
2014 BMW Championship

Bolded years are major championships on the PGA Tour.


  1. ^ a b "Course Tour: Scorecard". Cherry Hills Country Club. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Course Rating and Slope Database™: Cherry Hills Country Club". USGA. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cherry Hills Country Club - Club History". Cherry Hills Country Club. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  4. ^ "The 104th U.S. Amateur Championship". United States Golf Association. 2004. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  5. ^ Garrity, John (July 19, 1993). "A Bear Necessity". Sports Illustrated. 
  6. ^ Shipnuck, Alan (July 4, 2005). "Watch the Birdie". Sports Illustrated. 
  7. ^ Cotton, Anthony (2009-02-06). "Cherry Hills gets 2012 U.S. Amateur". Denver Post. 
  8. ^ Palmer, Arnold (June 11, 2010). "A long look back at the 1960 Open". USGA Museum. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Garrity, John (May 9, 2010). "The fortunate eyewitnesses to the 1960 U.S. Open...". Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ Wind, Herbert Warren (June 27, 1960). "Destiny's new favorite". Sports Illustrated. 
  11. ^ "Hole by hole for the 2005 U.S. Women's Open Championship". United States Golf Association. 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  12. ^ Jenkins, Dan (June 26, 1978). "The bogey that won the Open". Sports Illustrated. 
  13. ^ McDermott, Barry (August 19, 1985). "The Greening of the PGA". Sports Illustrated: 20. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°38′35″N 104°57′47″W / 39.643°N 104.963°W / 39.643; -104.963