A Look at 2006's New Open Venues

With the 2006 season already underway after the Polo Golf Junior Classic, the Association has once again stepped up its schedule with the addition of an impressive list of golf courses that will be visited for the first time. Part two of a five-part series on the 2006 AJGA schedule focuses on eight facilities that will play host to AJGA Open tournaments in 2006.

For all the fans of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice,” Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., will play host to an AJGA Open event in July. One of three courses in the Trump National family, this Tom Fazio design has quickly become recognized as one of the best facilities on the planet. In August, Golf Magazine rated the Bedminster course as No. 48 in the United States and No. 87 in the world.

In August, the AJGA will host the Golf Pride Junior Classic at the home of the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Pinehurst, N.C. Designed by Donald Ross, Pine Needles will play host to the Women’s Open again in 2007. Pine Needles was recently ranked No. 85 on Golfweek’s America’s Best Top 100 Classic (pre-1960) courses.

Another first-time venue on the AJGA schedule is Twin Orchard Country Club’s Red Course in Long Grove, Ill. Home of the Midwest Junior Players Championship, Twin Orchard opened in 1924 as the “Chicago Golf Club” and actually changed locations due to the construction of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The club eventually settled in Long Grove, was completed and ready for play in 1951.

In mid-July, the AJGA will make a return visit to Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas, for the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout. One of the premier courses in the San Antonio area, Oak Hills is known for its challenging design set forth by architect A.W. Tillinghast, who also designed courses such as Winged Foot and Baltusrol. The course has been home to 24 PGA TOUR events and is also the stage for the Champions Tour’s SBC Championship.

Ruby Hill Golf Club will host the Fidelity Investments Junior Open August 14-17. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course was home to the 2005 PAC-10 Women’s Golf Championship as well as various USGA Qualifying Tournaments. Set on 225 scenic acres, the Pleasanton, Calif., facility will have plenty of challenges for the tournament field.

Another Nicklaus-designed facility will be visited in mid-August when the AJGA stops by Superstition Mountain, Ariz. Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club’s Prospector Course will be a challenge to those at the PING Phoenix Junior Championship. Nicklaus’ signature “risk and reward” design will be evident with challenges throughout the course. Home of the LPGA Safeway International, Superstition Mountain is a course to look forward to in 2006.

In June, the AJGA will head to The Club at Olde Stone in Alvaton, Ky., for the inaugural Houchens Industries Junior Open. Nestled in the hills of Western Kentucky, The Club at Olde Stone is brand new, opening in November of 2005. The course stretches to 7,400 yards and is sure to provide a challenge to the tournament field.

Offering beautiful views of California’s Santa Clarita Valley, the Valley Course at Robinson Ranch Golf Club will play host to the second annual Hanmi Bank Junior Open in July. The course, which opened in June of 2000, features a stretch of six difficult finishing holes locally known as “Death Row.” A two-course facility, Robinson Ranch boasts an impressive 25,000 square-foot clubhouse.

Part three of a five-part series highlighting the 2006 schedule will feature the new Invitational venues that will be visited this upcoming season.

Click here to view the entire 2006 schedule.