Playing the top 100 has really given me a new perspective on life. Yes, I am truly excited to travel to Detroit and Toledo to play great golf. It really has forced me to have a more open mind. The Inverness Club (ranked #58 in the world) is located in a lovely neighborhood of Toledo not far from the University of Toledo.
Inverness is a Donald Ross gem originally designed in 1919. The course has been changed over the years by Arthur Hills and Tom Fazio as well. Byron Nelson served as the pro at Inverness at one time. Inverness has played host to six major championships - the U.S. Open in 1920, 1931, 1957 and 1979 and the P.G.A. Championship in 1986 and 1993. It also hosted the U.S. Amateur in 1973 won by Craig Stadler. Although the winners of the Opens at Inverness are not exactly household names (Edward Ray, Dick Mayer, Hale Irwin and Billy Burke) it is unquestionably a championship golf course.
If I had to sum up Inverness in two words: small greens. Inverness has the smallest greens of any golf course I have ever played. Almost every green is a postage stamp green.
The approach to the 2nd green
Not only is each green very small, but the predominant design feature of the course is well guarded greens with narrow openings that require accurate approaches. Each green has either mounds on both sides or bunkers with high lips as you can see in the pictures above and below. It is a fairly easy driving course, with wide fairways. The trick at Inverness is getting on the greens in regulation. It requires very precise iron play.
Approach to 8th green
As is customary in Ross's designs, Inverness has its fair share of holes with shaved areas around the small greens such as the one below on the 4th hole.
Sorry to disappoint, but no jokes about Toledo. It seems like a perfectly nice middle-America city to me. I very much enjoyed playing Inverness, although I didn't hit many of the greens in regulation. Inverness is another good example of how technology is ruining tournament golf. This gem of a course can no longer host professional tournaments because technology has made it too short, which is a shame.
Inverness is a private club and you are required to play with a member.