Bernard Nicholls (9 1903)/Rocky Rockefeller (R.9 A.9 1915)/Donald Ross (R. 1919)/A.W. Tillinghast (R. 1930)/George Fazio & Tom Fazio (R. 1978)/Arthur Hills (R. 1983, 1994, 2000)
Inverness is considered a classic Donald Ross design. In truth, it's one of his best remodeling jobs. Some Ross fans were outraged when the course was radically altered by George and Tom Fazio in preparation for the 1979 U.S. Open. The uncle-nephew duo eliminated four holes (including the famous dogleg par-4 seventh), combined two holes to make the par-5 eighth, and created two modern holes on newly-acquired land. Recently Arthur Hills associate Shawn Smith, after examining old Ross plans, widened several fairway corridors to bring fairway bunkers back into play. Now efforts to reshape features on the Fazio holes to better resemble the Ross style and philosophy are under consideration.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 17, 2001-2002. Previous ranking: No. 69
“Inverness charms you at the first tee with the blended fairway, practice putting green with the tee boxes, and the memorials to past golf legends.”
“There were some excellent holes, including the 12th -- the only par 3 remaining that was designed by Ross; the 10th, a shortish par 4 with an outstanding green setting, the 7th, a difficult bunkerless hole, and the 18th a devilish, short par 4.”
“The short par-4 18th hole was a great example of how bunker placement can challenge players off the tee box. One of the toughest courses in the country to get home.”
“A great test of golf. Use of elevation to run out fairways makes club selection very important. Very much a shot-maker's course, but extremely playable and fair.”
“Aside from the slight variations in trap locations and pin placements design variety (and memorability) lacks. Every hole started to feel the same, with a drive to the end of a plateau, followed by a drop in elevation to the creek that is crossed on nearly every hole and rise back up to the green.”