Shoal Creek Club: An Instant Classic

Shoal Creek Club: An Instant Classic

Birmingham, AL, USA

I’ve had the great fortune of playing at Clubs across Australia, the United Kingdom, Asia, North America and South America. Yet I must say, Shoal Creek Club is one of my absolute favorite courses anywhere in the world.

Shoal Creek was designed by golf legend, Jack Nicklaus. The Club opened in 1977 and by all means became an instant classic.

I’ve always measured a golf course on its ability to keep you engaged for all 18 holes. Shoal Creek Club does just this. To put it another way, I have played very few golf courses, if any, with a better series of risk/reward par 5s. Holes 5, 11, and 17 entice the long hitter to reach the green in two shots. If you do and you execute, you will be rewarded. However, the penalty for an errant shot will almost guarantee a water ball or extremely difficult up and down for your birdie.

Nicklaus was golf’s ultimate strategist, and it is on full display in his design at Shoal Creek. Each hole requires consideration to positioning from the tee and shot shaping into the green. The putting surfaces are relatively forgiving in size; however, the heavily contoured greens provide a lot of break on putts of every length.

I look forward to visiting college friends in Birmingham so I can arrange a tee time around this amazing golf course!