JULY 16, 2012
LAKE ORION, MICHIGAN | Bernhard
Langer has been in and around golf most
of his life. He started caddying at age 7 in
his native Germany, began his apprenticeship as a teenager and turned professional at age 15. He has traveled the globe
with his clubs. The two-time Masters
champion has done it all and seen it all.
Or so he thought.
“Never seen anything like it,” Langer
said after experiencing the mammoth 18th
green at Indianwood Golf & Country Club,
which returned to the major stage for the
U.S. Senior Open last week.
That’s because the 18th green on the
Wilfrid Reid design is “unique.” Well,
that’s the word the golfers are using to
Olin Browne, the 2011 U.S. Senior Open
champion, said it reminded him of something else.
“I see a lot of that kind of motion when
I’m on my boat,” Browne said.
When the United States Golf Association needed an emergency replacement
for the 1994 U.S. Women’s Open, Aldridge
made Indianwood available on short
notice. The championship was won by
another member of the World Golf Hall
of Fame, Patty Sheehan. Great courses
produce great champions.
“It’s the same way that van Gogh and
Monet and guys like that are classic and
they’ve endured the test of time,” Browne
said. “And they’ve got people painting pictures now, and they don’t have it. I can’t explain it. You know what it is when you see it.
“Great golf courses allow guys like me
and Corey Pavin to compete at the same
level as guys like Freddie Couples. Classic
courses are classic because they stand the
test of time, and they receive the champi-
onships well, and the champions that win
on those courses represent great golf …
You can’t fake that and you can’t paint a
picture that doesn’t fit.”
The USGA owed Indianwood a favor
and Aldridge wanted a Senior Open but
couldn’t get it with the old Ford Senior
Players Championship down the road in
Dearborn still in town. The instant it left
after 2006, the USGA called Aldridge and
the 2012 U.S. Senior Open became a
And the world outside of this little
corner of Michigan discovered, once again,
Wilfrid Reid and the uniqueness of a classic course with a quirky 18th green. Reid
built it, Aldridge re-built it and they came.
They will come again. l