2012 U.S. Amateur Course Overview

Ever since well-known golf course architect William Flynn put his hands on the property that would become Cherry Hills Country Club, the Denver-area club has carved out a distinction for being one of the country’s top championship venues. The club was born in 1922 from wealthy businessmen in the city and for a sum of $4,500, members procured the services of Flynn, who had redesigned Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y., one of the five founding clubs of the USGA and now a four-time U.S. Open site.

Cherry Hills first earned its place in the pantheon of championship golf when the 1938 U.S. Open was contested. That championship was won by Ralph Guldahl, but is often remembered for the 19 taken by Ray Ainsley on the par-4 16th hole.

Since then, Cherry Hills has had a tradition of hosting major golf championships. The 2012 U.S. Amateur will be the ninth USGA national championship to be conducted on the layout. It is one of three courses – Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and Hazeltine National G.C. in Chaska, Minn., are the others – to have hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Amateur.

Besides the USGA competitions, Cherry Hills has also hosted two PGA Championships and will be the host site for the 2014 BMW Championship on the PGA Tour.

This will be the second U.S. Amateur contested at Cherry Hills, following the 1990 championship won by Phil Mickelson. Mickelson, then an All-American at Arizona State University, became the second left-handed USGA champion following Ralph Howe III, who won the U.S. Amateur Public Links two years earlier. He defeated his former high school teammate Manny Zerman in the 36-hole final.

The last USGA event held at Cherry Hills was the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open, where Korean Birdie Kim holed out an improbable bunker shot for a 3 at the 72nd hole to edge amateurs Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lang by two shots.

Cherry Hills was also the site of a memorable final-round comeback by Arnold Palmer at the 1960 U.S. Open. Palmer trailed by seven strokes entering the final 18 holes – back then competitors played 36 holes on the last day – and few gave him a chance. But Palmer drove the par-4 first hole en route to a 65 and a two-stroke victory over amateur Jack Nicklaus. That event brought together the past, present and future of golf, with four-time Open champion Ben Hogan bidding to win a record fifth title before a disastrous double-bogey 7 at the par-5 17th hole in the final round ended his hopes. Two years later, Nicklaus would beat Palmer in an 18-hole playoff at Oakmont (Pa.) C.C. for the first of his four Open titles. Nicklaus would also return to Cherry Hills to win the U.S. Senior Open in 1993.

Back in the 1960s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower used Cherry Hills as his western White House home. More recently, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway calls Cherry Hills home.

The golf course has also undergone renovations over the last quarter-century to lengthen it to as much as 7,500 yards for the modern game. Enhancements have also been made to the clubhouse, practice facilities and bunkers.


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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

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Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

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