The Takeaway: Host of Ben Hogan’s 1948 PGA Championship, Norwood Hills’ West course features some of the best green complexes in the country. The underrated layout has compelling terrain, sloping putting surfaces, and a brutal six hole finishing stretch. Grade B+
Designer: Wayne Stiles 1921
Phone Number: (314) 521-4802
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Norwood Hills Country Club (West)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1 Norwood Hills Country Club Dr, St. Louis, Missouri 63121 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: The West course at Norwood Hills is perhaps the most underrated course in Missouri and certainly a hidden gem in the Midwest. Whether you are playing the back tees or forward tees, or hitting from the fairway or the rough, the one place that everyone will end up at is on the greens. Those green complexes at Norwood Hills are the course's best feature and some of the best ones I’ve encountered in some time. The sloping putting surfaces yield very few straight putts so getting the pace and line right is a constant challenge. In addition, there is a lot of movement throughout the property which reminded me quite a bit of NCR in Dayton, OH. Those rolling hills help create a lot of engaging shots and hole designs to enjoy, and you certainly never lose your interest in playing all the way to the finish. That being said, the front nine is certainly better than the back nine, but the back nine is more difficult with a brutal six hole final stretch that will test the best of players. In fact, the back nine is 103 yards longer than the front but players have one less par stroke to get it done in. A half dozen water hazards come into play and conditioning isn't really the course's strong suit. From a walking perspective it is a tough track to hoof it on both in terms of terrain and due to a bit of an awkward routing, but it wasn't enough to keep Ben Hogan from winning the PGA Championship in 1948. Ultimately, Norwood Hill's West course enjoys some of the best terrain for golf in Missouri and green complexes that are top shelf; an underrated track indeed.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 5th Hole – 429 Yard Par 4
Best Par 3: 4th Hole – 197 Yards
Best Par 4: 6th Hole – 400 Yards
Best Par 5: 2nd Hole – 524 Yards
Birdie Time: 11th Hole – 301 Yard Par 4
Bogey Beware: 13th Hole – 465 Yard Par 4