News & ToursJune 5, 2009

Scioto bids for PGA Championship

When he completed a renovation of Scioto Country Club last spring, Jack Nicklaus was pleased that he had put right a few features on his home course in Columbus, Ohio, that he thought had been lost when the classic Donald Ross creation was redesigned in the 1960s by Dick Wilson and Robert Von Hagge.

He also thought that Scioto, which has hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and Ryder Cup, was sufficiently strengthened to host another significant tournament, perhaps the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women's Open or the PGA Professional National Championship.

The latter looks most likely after officials from the PGA of America visited the facility in April to assess the work completed by Nicklaus with an assist from Columbus-based course designer Michael Hurdzan. But it turns out that Scioto might just be in line to host another major. Not only is the PGA club pro event being considered, but also the PGA Championship. According to one Scioto CC official, Scioto is putting in a bid to host the 2017 edition, and although the course itself sits on approximately 120 acres, there is sufficient room around the rest of the property, including a mammoth driving range, for all of the hospitality tents and structures that come with hosting a major championship.

"We have more room than Merion and Merion is hosting the U.S. Open (in 2013)," a club representative said.

To further accommodate increased infrastructure needs, adjacent Lane Avenue, which runs astride the 13th and 14th holes, could be shut down, and an access road on the other side of the property by the second hole provides further breathing space. Scioto last hosted a significant event in 1986 with the U.S. Senior Open. Bobby Jones won the 1926 Open at Scioto, and Chandler Harper won the 1950 PGA there.

Not only is Scioto the boyhood home of Nicklaus, but several well-known PGA professionals worked there, including Walker Inman, Jack Grout and Rick Smith.

--Dave Shedloski

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