Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta



Shoal Creek

Shoal Creek, AL Private

Overview

Asked if a course could be built in a Birmingham forest, Jack Nicklaus scouted the site from lumber haul roads and said of the mountainous terrain, “Well, there are a lot of par 3s out there, that’s for sure.” But then he discovered a gentle valley in which to put par 4s and 5s, so he took the job. It became one of his great early designs. But as it neared 40 years of existence, Shoal Creek needed some reconditioning, so Nicklaus and his former senior designer Jim Lipe (now operating his own firm in Louisiana) literally ripped up every hole and rethought strategies and options. The result was not a restoration but an updating. Gone are huge fairway bunkers, replaced by smaller clusters of traps. Greens have been recontoured, with one, the 12th, actually flowing front to back, unheard of back in the late 1970s when the course was first built. Shoal Creek has twice hosted the PGA Championship and the remodeled layout hosted the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Ariya Jutanugarn in a four-hole playoff over Hoo-joo Kim.

About

Holes 18
Length 7114
Slope 141
Facility Type Private
Designer Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA

Awards

100 Greatest
100 Greatest the Second 100
Best Courses in Every State

Ranking history:

100 Greatest: Ranked for 34 years from 1981-2014.
Highest ranking:
No. 14, 1985-'86.

Second 100 Greatest: Ranked since 2015.
2023-'24 ranking: 130th.
Previous ranking: 119th.

Best in State: Ranked first since 2011.
2023-'24 ranking: 1st.

Panelists

Ratings from our panel of 1,900 course-ranking panelists

4.6

100 GREATEST/BEST IN STATE SCORES

Shot Options
7.4256
Character
7.6267
Challenge
7.5034
Layout Variety
7.3108
Fun
7.4597
Aesthetics
7.5972
Conditioning
7.4529

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