Get to know Kentucky's Valhalla Golf Club, host of the 2014 PGA Championship

Located 20 minutes east of downtown Louisville, Valhalla Golf Club has become one of Jack Nicklaus' most recognizable course designs, thanks to its hosting not only multiple PGA Championships (including the 2000 event won in dramatic fashion by Tiger Woods in a three-hole playoff) but also the 2008 Ryder Cup Matches, which was the last time the U.S. won the event.

Valhalla opened in 1986, but the PGA of America didn't purchase the club outright until after the 2000 PGA Championship. The clubhouse you see today, overlooking the iconic 18th hole, opened in 1996.

Upgrades to Valhalla for the 2014 PGA Championship

Since you last saw Valhalla on TV in 2011, when Tom Watson won the Senior PGA Championship in a playoff, the course has embarked on some "modernization and drainage" enhancements, most notably on the greens. Nicklaus shares a hole-by-hole explanation of Valhalla's design changes at PGA.com.

As for how Nicklaus' design stacks up in the pantheon of the best golf courses in America, Golf Digest has Valhalla in its Top 100 list. In its 2013-2014 ranking it placed it at no. 99, slipping from no. 84 in its last rankings. It has been ranked as high as no. 36 in the country. Four Nicklaus designs are rated higher.

Golf magazine, on the other hand, does not rank it in its Top 100.

Video: Golfing World spotlights Valhalla

So can I book a tee time at Valhalla?

If you're looking to score a tee time at Valhalla, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Valhalla is a private members club.

But Valhalla's gates aren't as closed as other prestigious private clubs.

In addition to reciprocal and member-invitation rounds, the PGA of America owns Valhalla and gives its members access the tee sheet. PGA Professionals can also recommend golfers from their course -- whether it's a student or a member -- to play here.

Valhalla's Web site also invites golfers who don't have an "in" here to e-mail Head Professional Chris Hamburger (details can be found on Valhalla's guest policy page).

The Louisville area is chock full of great public golf, however. Fuzzy Zoeller owns two public courses, and great resorts like French Lick are a short drive away.

See this article on "where to play great public golf around Louisville, home of the 2014 PGA Championship" for more on public golf courses offerings.

Video: Charlie Rymer and Gary Williams play Valhalla


Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
0 Comments
Related Links
Kentucky knows hoops and horse racing, but don't forget the golf scene, particularly in the city of Louisville and the surrounding area. From Jack Nicklaus' Valhalla to Fuzzy Zoeller's Covered Bridge to Heritage Hill -- the Bluegrass state has plenty of great golf.
3 Min Read
From Oregon to Orlando, Matt Ginella shares his favorite Nicklaus designs in the U.S. you can play.
3 Min Read
More from the author
5 Min Read
December 7, 2021
It may be the private club capital of Florida, but golfers endorse these public-access courses.
4 Min Read
December 3, 2021
It's never been easier to design custom hats, golf balls, clubs, headcovers and more.
2 Min Read
November 30, 2021
It's possible this little ditty finds you scooping up the last bit of cranberry pie crumbs out of the tray. Thanksgiving may have passed but the effects of celebratory eating around the table, and also possibly social imbibing during all the various football games throughout the weekend, are sticking with us. To our bellies and elsewhere.
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off.
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
7 Min Read
November 9, 2021
Our community loves the value and experience at these popular and affordable military facilities and even book online.
Popular
18 Images
April 28, 2022
This month's stunning sunset photos might inspire you to play more golf at twilight.
25 Images
May 16, 2022
A 2022 recipient of a PGA of America lifetime achievement award, Cannon has photographed great courses and events for decades.
2 Min Read
April 28, 2022
Famous, historic and exclusive clubs are all offering rounds to help with turf research in 2022.
6 Min Read
May 9, 2022
Here's how to play - and stay - where the pros play.
Load More
Now Reading
Get to know Kentucky's Valhalla Golf Club, host of the 2014 PGA Championship