Here are a few interesting facts facts that you may (or may not) know about Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, which is hosting this years 96th PGA Championship.
– Valhalla is a private golf club that plays to Par 71 (35-36), measuring 7,458 yards. It’s the longest par 71 in PGA Championship history.
– In Norse mythology, Valhalla (from Old Norse Valhöll “hall of the slain”) is a majestic, enormous hall where the souls of Vikings feast and celebrate with the gods.
– In the fall of 2011 Valhalla and the PGA of America enlisted Valhalla’s course designer Jack Nicklaus to modernize the course, which opened in spring of 1986, by overhauling the drainage and irrigation infrastructure throughout the course.
The major focus was be on the greens which were rebuilt from the ground up enhancing drainage and softening contours.
Nicklaus, described the site in 1983 as a,
“Golf designer’s dream because there is a variety of terrain, vegetation and water to work with. Everything necessary for an excellent golf course is here: room for wide, tree lined fairways and spectacular golf holes.”
– The PGA of America completed a purchase of the private club in 2000 and utilizes the course to host major events including the PGA Championship twice (3rd time this year – 2014), Senior PGA Championship twice, and the 2008 Ryder Cup where the Americans were victorious with local Kentuckians Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes on the team.
– The winner receives $1.8 million of the $10 million purse – the largest purse of any of golf’s majors. They also receive a lifetime exemption into the PGA Championship, five-year exemptions into the other majors – The Masters, U.S. Open and British Open and a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
– The club’s Web site says of its clubhouse:
“The 17,500-square foot clubhouse, featuring a 45-foot Rolex clock tower and a veranda overlooking the 18th green, opened in February 1996. The clubhouse, in the traditional Louisville design, blends both Midwestern and Southern accents.”
– Dwight Gahm, the founder who built Valhalla made most of his money manufacturing kitchen cabinets via the company, Kitchen Kompact.
– The 13th hole (name: “The Island”) is considered to be Valhalla’s signature hole. It’s a short par-4, 355 yards, with a tee shot to a narrow landing area followed by a short approach to an island green that is supported by a wall of rocks and surrounded by water.
– Ticket sales this year are the highest in the 96 year history of the PGA Championship.
– Strict dress code at Valhalla – Here are just some of them:
For men. Shorts may be worn but must not pass below the knees or be higher than four inches above the knee. Cargo shorts are not permitted.
AND Please keep shirts tucked in and all headwear worn in the forward position (love that – “in the forward position!”)
– The course has a front nine that is links-style, while its back nine is more traditional, tree lined and wooded.
– Over 60 bunkers are scattered throughout the course and water comes into play on a half dozen of the holes.
– Posted Green fees: Weekend (and Weekday) Green Fee (Including Cart): $250.00