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Rio Olympics 2016Big news this week in the golf world with the announcement that Gil Hanse (Hanse Golf Course Design) was chosen to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.  The average Joe hasn’t heard of Hanse and he probably doesn’t care much.  I was racking my brain trying to access some old files from my cranium on Hanse. I knew there was something.  Once the cranial search algorithm finished I remembered that I’ve actually played a Hanse design, his home course in fact.

Applebrook Golf Club

I’ve played Hanse’s home course, Applebrook Golf Club, a few times. Many thanks to my best friend Al, who is a member there.  The course is located in Malvern, Pennsylvania.  I have a hard time describing what style Applebrook is because it is a combination of many styles depending on what terrain and vegetation exists on a particular hole.

10th hole Applebrook

10th hole at Gil Hanse designed Applebrook Golf Club – click to zoom

There’s a definite minimalist links flavor to the course with very links-style routing.  There are also some holes which are tree lined and have a more parkland flavor, like the first hole.  The contours of the greens extend to the areas around them, allowing for many links-style shot making options.

11th hole Applebrook

The short but deadly par-3 11th hole at Applebrook – click to magnify

The last time I played Applebrook I made a fantastic birdie on the incredibly difficult 18th hole. The birdie came as a result of hitting possibly 2nd best 21 degree hybrid shot I’ve ever hit to the elevated green.  Why 2nd best? Read this post about the best 21 degree hybrid I ever hit, which will NEVER be topped.

Notable original designs by Gil Hanse

Castle Suart Golf Links – Inverness, Scotland

Crail Golfing Society – Craighead Links – Scotland

Rustic Canyon – Moorpark, California

Notable Hanse renovations

TPC of Boston – Norton, Massachusetts

Doral Blue Monster – Miami, Florida (home of this week’s WGC Cadillac Championship)

Monterey Peninsula Country Club – Pebble Beach, California

Notable Hanse restorations

Los Angeles Country Club – West Los Angeles, California

Sleepy Hollow – Scarborough, New York

Winged Foot Golf Club – Mamaroneck, New York


Applebrook Golf Club image gallery

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