January 4, 2017

Olympia Fields Country Club (North)

Olympia Fields, Ill. / 7,205 yards, Par 70 / Points: 61.5595
2017-79-Olympia-Fields-CC-hole-18.jpg
Courtesy of Gary Kellner

79. Olympia Fields C.C. (North)

Willie Park Jr. (1922)/Mark Mungeam (R. 1994, 2000, 2013-2014)

To prepare Olympia Fields North for the 1961 PGA Championship (won by Jerry Barber in a playoff over Don January), the club didn't hire a golf architect. Instead, superintendent Warren Bidwell relocated 32 greenside and 13 fairway bunkers and added new tees to lengthen the course by 320 yards. Forty years later, golf architect Mark Mungeam supervised extensive changes before the North hosted the 2003 U.S. Open and made more changes again before Olympia Fields North and newly remodeled South (redone by architect Steve Smyers) co-hosted the 2015 U.S. Amateur. In 2017, Olympia Fields North will be the site of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 24, 2003-2004. Previous ranking: No. 66


Panelist comments:
“Incredible to think that Willie Park Jr. designed this and Maidstone. Both so different from one another, and both are so good.”

“Olympia Fields boasts several stretches of holes that are relentlessly demanding. Most drives are challenged by fairway bunkers, water hazards or strategically placed trees. If played from the wrong angles, bogeys aplenty.”

“A beast of a course that requires thought and commitment on every shot, especially right out of the gates on holes 1 through 4.”

“Other than the blind tee shot on the third hole, tee shots are framed nicely with the bunkers laid out from the fairway up to the greenside bunkers. Frames the eye perfectly.”

“Similar to Medinah, the ambiance around Olympia Fields is that of a classic club that has been around for several decades. The club has done a great job of preserving the original design which gives the club an old school feel.”


Courtesy of Gary Kellner

Hole No. 2

Courtesy of Gary Kellner

Hole No. 3

Courtesy of Gary Kellner

Hole No. 12

Courtesy of Gary Kellner

Hole No. 18