The LPGA Tour is back at the Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club near Atlantic City, N.J., this week for its ShopRite LPGA Classic. And though the field is typically strong for this popular event, the biggest news might be what's under the players' feet.
The resort is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and the Bay Course – on which the event is being played for the 16th time – has just opened the curtains on a noteworthy renovation.
Highlighting the makeover to the links-style layout are new tee boxes on the fourth, fifth, 10th and 12th holes, which have added 150 yards in overall length, and rebuilt tee boxes on the other holes to create better, more consistent playing surfaces. A new bunker complex was added between the fourth and fifth holes to collect stray shots on each of those holes.
In addition, the resort installed new GPS units in its golf carts; completely redesigned its tee signs, markers and in-ground tee and fairway yardage plates; and got new retro wooden bunker rakes and pin flags.
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"The course renovation will create a greater playing experience for the ladies of the LPGA, as well as golfers of all levels, and we are very excited that this project is being completed during our centennial in 2014," said PGA Director of Golf Kevin DeDonato.
The resort holds a unique place in the Northeast – it has been owned by Richard Stockton College of New Jersey since 2010 but dates back to 1914, when public utility magnate Clarence Geist founded what was originally known as the Seaview Country Club. The Bay Course opened in 1915 – it was largely created by course architect Hugh Wilson, who had also designed the two courses at Merion in nearby Philadelphia, and finished the next year by Donald Ross.
A nine-hole course opened in 1929, and a second nine was created in 1959 to complete what has become the Pines Course, another championship layout that showcases southern New Jersey's pine forest landscape.
The Seaview officially entered the history books when it hosted the 1942 PGA Championship. Sam Snead won the first of his seven major titles that year, holing a 60-foot chip shot on the 35th hole of the match-play finale to defeat Jim Turnesa. That event was played on a composite layout including holes from both courses.