Eight courses that deserve a return to the majors

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Eight courses that deserve a return to the majors

October 21, 2015

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Photo by Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick is overflowing with history. Old Tom Morris designed the course, and also served as the greenskeeper. The first 12 British Opens were held at the links; overall, the club has been host of the event 24 times. Alas, due to crowd control issues at the 1925 tournament, Prestwick lost its spot in the Open rota, and the claret jug has not been back since. In terms of play, "fun" is the universal description of Prestwick's layout. Although lacking the distance of some of its Scotland brethren, Prestwick's undulation and greenside bunker proximity will punish so-so shot-making.

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Chicago Golf Club

One of the most exclusive, hardest-to-get-on courses in the country, Chicago Golf Club has held three U.S. Opens on its confines. But, while a skeptic may claim it's been nearly a century since its last major event, Chicago GC did welcome the Walker Cup in 2005 to rave reviews. The course has a links-style ambiance thanks to large greens and few trees, while also combining unforgiving bunkering scattered throughout the layout.

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Scioto Country Club

Scioto is one of four places (Oak Hill, Pinehurst, Oakland Hills) to hold the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup and the U.S. Amateur. The Donald Ross design was also the boyhood home of Jack Nicklaus. Unfortunately, the course has been lost to time: The last major at Scioto was in 1950. Scioto is cited as one of the best manicured courses in the United States, and while its greens are not particularly difficult, long rough and tight holes can make low scores a rarity.

Aronimink Golf Club

Legend has it that Donald Ross intended for Aronimink to be his masterpiece. You won't hear many qualms against this designation. The course, which held he 1962 PGA Championship, historically ranked among the Golf Digest Toughest Courses list, but the removal of trees has opened up Aronimink considerably.

Photo By: Photo by Stephen Szurlej

Cherry Hills Country Club

Nestled in the suburbs of Denver, Cherry Hills boasts three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships to its repertoire. While the course has seen plenty of action in U.S. Amateurs, U.S. Women's Opens and, as recently as 2014, the BMW Championship, Cherry Hills has not held a "Big 4" event since Hubert Green won the 1985 Wanamaker Trophy.

Interlachen Country Club

Women, seniors and amateurs have made Interlachen a popular stomping grounds through the years, utilized most recently as the site of the 2008 U.S. Women's Open. The men, conversely, have not back since Bobby Jones won the 1930 U.S. Open. A deep tree line frames Interlachen's holes beautifully, and put an onus on tee accuracy.

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Laurel Valley Golf Club

Laurel Valley's pedigree might be lacking compared to the other courses on this list, but with a PGA Championship and Ryder Cup in tow, it's merit is unquestioned. A risk-reward course thanks to seemingly innocuous, yet potent, greens, Laurel Valley's par 3s are collectively known as some of the toughest in the country. Fun fact: Arnold Palmer, who grew up 10 miles away, helped renovate the Dick Wilson design.

Royal Cinque Ports

J.H. Taylor won one of his five Opens at Royal Cinque Ports. The course, which is called "Deal" in reference to the town's name, can be a headache, as the final six-seven holes often play into the wind. Not to say they are without caliber; Gary Player once said the final four holes at Deal are "the finest four consecutive holes in the world."

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