PALO ALTO, Calif. -- When the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced recently that CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., has been selected to host the 2016 U.S. Women's Open Championship, nobody was more thrilled by the opportunity to highlight the course's versatility than Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Master Architect of Robert Trent Jones II (RTJ II), who designed CordeValle.
CordeValle, which debuted in 1999, already has as resume that includes a wide range of events, such as the Gifford Collegiate Championships, The PGA Cup, the USA-China Youth Golf Matches, the USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship, and the PGA TOUR's Frys.com Open. So showcasing the golf course on a global stage, through the best women golfers in the world, is a fitting complement to CordeValle's collection of prestigious championships.
"We are proud and grateful to the USGA for selecting CordeValle to test the top women players in the game," Jones said. "We believe this proves the execution of our design philosophy that the best golf courses are able enough to challenge and delight a variety of players of all skill levels -- from PGA and LPGA tour pros to juniors, members and resort guests. And courses built with the flexibility to serve so many golfers have much more value in the very competitive golf marketplace."
At CordeValle, RTJ II collaborated with owners and golf course superintendents to accomplish this design flexibility by providing for a variety of tee distances, shot angles, and wide spaces in the target zones. "Clever players of all abilities will see that the best shots aren't always struck directly at the target, but rather at slight diagonals," Jones commented. "And not all of the difficulty and defense takes the form of bunkers. We used natural stream lines and even mowing patterns as elements that could be employed to add more challenge, or soften the course, as the tournament official and superintendent sees fit for the occasion."
For the PGA TOUR event, the course is set up with narrow fairways, but when the women or juniors play, the superintendent has the option to mow the fairways out wider. As another example of CordeValle's versatility, tournament officials can shorten the 15th hole from a par 5 to a par 4, a more suitable challenge for the long-hitting PGA TOUR players who can hit driver over the diagonal bunkers and have an iron into the green. For women and juniors, however, the bunkers on No. 15 are in play off the tee, so these competitors must attack the hole via different angles and play it as a par 5.
RTJ II designs have played host to hundreds of tournaments on every major golf tour in the world, as well as countless national and local events during the past four decades. Its Chambers Bay Golf Course hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship and will host the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, making Jones one of the only living architects to have enjoyed seeing his original work chosen to host these two prestigious national championships.
CordeValle is the first RTJ II layout chosen as the site of the top professional women's tournament in the world. And with an RTJ II course slated to host the U.S. Opens for men and women in consecutive years, the world will be able to see how the firm's designs can challenge and charm the world's finest golfers, regardless of gender.
About Robert Trent Jones II
With headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects (RTJ II) is the preeminent golf design firm worldwide, having created more than 270 courses in over 40 countries on six continents. A trustee of a great tradition of golf course architecture, RTJ II is committed to working in harmony with nature to craft the best golf course on each unique site. The RTJ II design team has experience in every aspect of golf course development and the ability to provide support and expertise from conception through completion of any project. For additional information contact the firm at +1 650-475-0329 or www.rtj2.com.
Hunter Public Relations