124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Wedgewood Golf & Country Club: Wedgewood

Powell, OH, United States Private


From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten:

Of the two residential courses Robert Trent Jones Jr. created around Columbus, Ohio in the early 1990s, Wedgewood Golf & Country Club in the northwest suburb of Powell has always been considered the better of the two. Nothing wrong with Jefferson Golf & Country Club, but it's the more obvious residential development course. Wedgewood is a lot more compact, a core course with homesites mostly around the perimeter and most holes separated from one another by portions of forest.

Bruce Charlton, then an associate, now a partner in the firm of Robert Trent Jones II, was the onsite architect on both jobs. He told me when I played both courses with him way back in 1992 that he and Jones were tickled to work in Columbus, home of architects Jack Nicklaus and Mike Hurdzan, among many others. "Columbus is literally a museum of great architecture," Bruce said, citing classics like Scioto, Muirfield Village and The Golf Club. Now they would be part of that museum.

Wedgewood has been ranked by Golf Digest among the Best Courses in Ohio, but it has never quite contended for a spot on the 100 Greatest. It's hard to say why; the course is certainly lovely, with bent fairways slivering through those acres of hardwood trees, and it's certainly tough, as those corridors between trees are narrow. Back in the 1990s, corridors were created to be just 40 yards wide, and over the ensuing years, growing tree canopies have made them play even tighter.

When I recently toured the course, I was reminded of how masterfully the creeks that flow across the property were used in the design. There's a creek gulley in front of the second green, with the creek piped underground at that point, but then it emerges on the dogleg-left third. That hole is considered the toughest on the course, with the creek twisting down the left side of the fairway, then cutting across short of the green to hug the right side of the putting surface.

On the par-5 sixth, another splendid golf hole, two separate streams converge about 160 yards short of the green. The resulting single stream then bisects the fairway and snakes down the right edge toward the tee, so both drives and second shots are complicated by that hazard.

Wedgewood has some of the smallest greens I've ever played on a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, and the bunkering isn't the flowery flashed-sand style we're used to seeing on his designs. These are mostly shallow ovals that deliberately give the course an old-fashioned look, especially the three imbedded in the hillside below the green on the par-3 11th. Guarded by yet another creek ravine, it looks like it could fit in at Scioto. At least, the old Scioto before it got all geometric on us.

Diagonal oval cross-bunkers on the par-4 13th are so short off the tee that they're more gingerbread than trouble, but they do add an antiquated feel to the tee shot, from either of the two separate set of tee boxes on this hole. By the way, when I first played Wedgewood, I'm certain the 13th had only a single cross bunker; now there are three.

If there is a flaw in Wedgewood's design, it's that both nines run counterclockwise, meaning the same conditions prevail for the entire 18. If the wind is from the north, for instance (which is opposite the prevailing wind), golfers will play into it both on the par-3 eighth and par-5 ninth as well as on the par-3 17th and par-5 18th. That's a pretty mild criticism for a design that I really admire.


Holes 18
Length 6965
Slope 140
Facility Type Private
Designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr., ASGCA

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