Winged Foot Golf Club is a private club with two 18-hole golf courses located in Mamaroneck, New York. Albert Warren Tillinghast designed the courses. He designed more than 260 golf courses (Baltusrol (Lower), Bethpage Black, Shackamaxon Country Club, San Francisco Golf Club, Cedar Crest Park and Quaker Ridge Golf Club…)
The storied East and West courses combined have hosted the U.S. Open five times (1929, 1959, 1974, 1984 and 2006), U.S. Amateur twice, Women’s U.S. Open twice, Senior U.S. Open once, and a PGA Championship (1997). The 2006 U.S. Open went down in history for two major reasons; it was the first time Tiger Woods had missed the cut at a major in his professional career and it was Phil Mickelson’s worst eternally haunting 72nd hole of his career.
Winged Foot Golf Club is located on a mostly flat piece of property with tons of trees lining every hole. To add character and challenge to the course, Albert Warren Tillinghast raised virtually every green site and surrounded the putting surfaces with bunkers. These green sites are the brilliance behind the Winged Foot design especially since the fairways leave little distinguishment.
The collection of par threes on the West course paired with the 13th from the East course are Winged Foot’s greatest pride; particularly the 10th hole that Tillinghast claimed was the best par three he ever built. In terms of stature and amenities, Winged Foot is tough to trump given the two story locker room and maybe the most attractive clubhouse in the country with an exterior that was built from the stone and rock found on the property.
In conclusion, you won’t find a more dedicated group of members to the game of golf than those at Winged Foot. Players walk the course with a caddy carrying their clubs and the historic roots of the game are celebrated. The tree lined fairways and slight doglegs that appear on so many holes make the course a bit unmemorable off the tee but the green complexes are as good as anything you’ll ever encounter.
Some details about the courses at Winged Foot Golf Club
The West course :
Expect to use every club in the bag, Winged Foot’s West possesses a number of severe par fours, ten of which stretch out well beyond 400 yards. The opening hole is hard, really hard. Having a nice little warmup is generally the philosophy for the opening hole at most courses; but Winged Foot West isn’t most courses. The membership is very serious about their golf, and the golf course is very serious about a challenge right off the bat. This 450 yard par four doglegs left and features a tight, firm fairway to hit and with long rough and trees on both sides. The green is protected more heavily on the left side with a collection of bunkers, so hitting an approach from the right side will bring less trouble into play. It is a stout hole to hit right out of the gate and will likely result in a bogey for most golfers.The closing six holes are brutal, starting with the 13th, a 210-yard par three an followed by five par fours all measuring in excess of 400 yards. The closing hole is perhaps the best finishing hole in the USA and the 10th hole is one of the best par threes in the world.
Signature Hole: 10th Hole – 190 Yard Par 3 – In describing the shot required at Winged Foot’s signature 10th hole, Ben Hogan said, “It is a 3-iron into some guy’s bedroom window.” Hogan was referencing the house that sits directly behind this marvelous green. The putting surface is protected by four bunkers and Tillinghast considered it the best par three that he ever built. Ben hogan was an American professional golfer who is generally considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
The East Course :
The East is perhaps a touch easier than its big and brutal brother the West, but make no bones about it, the East is no pushover. Once you’ve managed to hijack the mandatory member, you’ll be faced with tight, narrow fairways and a collection of strong par threes and the 6th is one of the toughest one-shotters you’re ever likely to come across. This 194-yard hole was nicknamed “Trouble” by Tillinghast because there’s an element of luck as well as plenty of skill required to hit the raised green with a long iron
Signature Hole: 3rd Hole – 148 Yard Par 3 – The East’s 3rd hole is a short and attractive one-shotter with natural boulder formations found in front of the tee box and along the right side of the hole. The contrast between the light green colored putting surface and the dark grass and dark foliage in the background is an appealing sight that is further enhanced by the white bunkers found on each side of the putting surface. The front edge of the green slopes downhill and creates a false front and adds to the appeal of this fantastic sub-150 yard hole.