William Flynn (1923)/Arnold Palmer & Ed Seay (R. 1976)/Geoffrey Cornish (R. 1993)/Tom Doak (R. 2009)
When Cherry Hills opened in the early 1920s, it was a ground-breaking design, with the nation's first par-5 island green and closing back-to-back par 5s, although in championship play the 18th is played as a par 4. In the 1960 U.S. Open, winner Arnold Palmer popularized the idea of a drivable par 4 by going for the first green in every round. Curiously, when Palmer and partner Ed Seay remodeled Cherry Hills in 1976, they lengthened the first hole so no player could duplicate Arnie's feat. Nearly 40 years later, modern equipment has once again made the first hole reachable from the tee.
100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966-1970 and since 1973. Highest ranking: No. 21, 2003-2004. Previous ranking: No. 80
“Some of the most fun opening holes you'll find. The course starts slowly and comfortably with shorter more welcoming holes and quickly raises the stakes, challenging you for placement and length off the tee and accurate second shots. Every hole requires finesse around the greens in order to score. ”
“In recent years, Cherry Hills has made substantial changes every year, in fact, seemingly every few months. These changes have prepared them for the U.S. Amateur, Palmer Cup and the FedEx Cup. This is a major-championship course that is standing the test of time.”
“Combines a very high level test with plenty of architectural elements that incite "pleasurable excitement," as described by Alister MacKenzie. Nearly every hole offers alternate routes and risk-reward opportunities.”
“To me, the tee shot was the key. Not to say the approach shots are not challenging, but missing the fairway penalizes players with long thick rough, large mature trees, and an occasional water or sand hazard.”
“The holes are of the grand scale that you would expect from Flynn, but the property is not nearly as inspiring as what he worked with in Southampton and Philadelphia. Cherry Hills is a real test but it lacks the sizzle to make it one of the very best.”