The Course That Jack Built: Valhalla GC
Jack Nicklaus discusses the changes he made to Valhalla Golf Club for the 2008 Ryder Cup Matches.
Released on 8/11/2010
We're here with Jack Nicklaus to talk about Valhalla,
the site of the 2008 Ryder Cup.
Jack made a number of changes to up Valhalla.
It's a wonderful golf course,
and it's an even harder golf course now.
Jack, I wanted to ask you your sense of the overall changes.
What's the big picture effect
on the golf course, would you say?
Well, I think it makes it a stronger golf course.
It makes it a more complete golf course.
It takes some of the holes
that we really didn't
finish, you might say in many ways,
or at least didn't get them where they probably should be,
and I most of it is where it should be now.
I'll go through the golf course for you if you wanted.
Is that what you want to do?
Sure, but I was going to ask you a couple things.
One, it's a better golf course for spectators now.
That was a conscious effort, wasn't it?
Probably a little bit better.
It really, it's not a big issue about spectators
because I think the golf course
was already pretty decent for spectators.
Okay, and it went from 7,167 yards, par 72,
to 7,469, par 71, pretty significant.
Just hypothesizing, if it were a 72-hole event now,
how much tougher, how much higher in other words,
would the scores be do you think
than when the PGA handled it?
Well, I think, usually it's weather...
It's usually weather-related anyway.
But it's probably a
shot-and-a-half tougher maybe.
A couple-shot-tougher golf course,
so maybe for a tournament,
maybe six shots tougher for a tournament.
Got it, okay.
And would you characterize it
as a power or finesse course, or both, or...
Hopefully, it's a combination.
I do not like an all-power golf course.
I do not like an all-finesse golf course.
I think the combination
When you have power and you have that gift
that you ought to be able to utilize it.
I think that if you don't have that gift
and you've really developed
your ability to hit the ball straight,
keep it in play, then you ought to be able to utilize it,
so I think there's a combination and everybody's different.
And it's a challenging golf course
around the greens, isn't it?
I mean, up and down is tough.
It can be, it's not extremely severe around the greens.
You've neutralized some of the knobs, it sounds like,
as I was going through some of the changes.
Yeah, I've softened some of the greens in many areas,
but toughened them in others.