Scottsdale's Whisper Rock, the only Phil Mickelson design to date, has at least eight members who've played in 2003 tour events. The recent club championship saw Gary McCord finish second and Paul Casey (who has already won on the European Tour in '03) third. Geoff Ogilvy could only manage eighth. The surprise victor was former Nike Tour pro Chris Stutts, who called the win "the highlight of my golf career." Said club founder and president Gregg Tryhus, a two-handicap, "If I can't break the top twenty next year, I may have to build another club." Down in the first flight, Miller Barber finished tied for fourth.
Although beset with terrible weather for grow-in last year, word is that the new John Fought-Tom Lehman layout, the Golf Club at Windsong Farm (763-479-3535), set twenty miles west of Minneapolis, in Independence, is going to be another true golfer's golf club. The founding board includes USGA president Reed Mackenzie; Alissa Herron, 1999 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champ and sister of Tim Herron; Jim Lehman, who represents several PGA Tour members, including his brother; and John Harris, an insurance executive who, like codesigner Fought, is a former U.S. Amateur winner.
• Anglebrook Golf Club (Robert Trent Jones, 1996), Lincolndale, NY; 914-245-5588; $30,000-$150,000 initiation fee
• Anthem Golf and Country Club (Greg Nash, 2000), Anthem, AZ; 623-742-6210; $47,500-$50,000 initiation fee
• Daniel Island Club (Tom Fazio, 2000), Daniel Island, SC; 843-971-3555; $40,000 initiation fee
• Hershey Golf Club (West course, Maurice McCarthy, 1930; East course, George Fazio, 1970), Hershey, PA; 717-520-4999; $8,000 initiation fee
• TPC Snoqualmie Ridge (Jack Nicklaus, 1999), Snoqualmie, WA; 425-396-6000; $57,500 initiation fee
In eager anticipation of hosting the 104th U.S. Open championship next year, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, recently upgraded its practice areas and added five new back tees and another 125 yards, bringing the tips to potentially more than 7,000 yards. And, as if the lucky members here needed another reason to be happy, insiders who have seen the course of late say it is already in the best shape it has ever been, thanks to the meticulous care of ex-Pebble Beach Golf Links superintendent Mark Michaud.
Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, is having a banner year, celebrating its centennial anniversary by hosting the U.S. Senior Open. In preparation for the event—and with the idea of luring a U.S. Open later on—club member Arthur Hills made some revisions to the course, as he did back when it hosted the PGA Championship in 1993. More than 350 yards were added to the layout and 600 trees removed, while many bunkers and greens were tweaked as well . . . Friar's Head (631-722-5200), a truly breathtaking Ben Crenshaw-Bill Coore layout on Long Island's North Fork, has been playable since the spring, although the official opening of this ultraexclusive club will be sometime this summer, with memberships priced from $250,000. (The unusual course moniker comes from a bluff with trees that form a crown of sorts.) Next up for the dynamic design duo is Old Sandwich in Plymouth, Massachusetts . . . Greg Norman and Pete Dye, who created the acclaimed Medallist Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, are teamed together again on a project for WCI Communities called Tuscany Reserve (239-597-4255) across the state in Naples. Look for a late 2004 opening date . . . Shady Canyon (949-856-7000) in Irvine, California, has lots starting at $1 million and a country club just starting to take shape, with a Tom Fazio design. Baseball great Mark McGwire, who has been taking golf lessons at the adjacent public layout, Strawberry Farms, already owns two lots.