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Canterbury Golf Club
An aerial view of the new rerouting of Canterbury Golf Club for the 70th Senior PGA Championship. (Photo: The PGA of America)

Canterbury GC to feature new routing for 70th Senior PGA

Under a new hole rerouting plan for Canterbury Golf Club, no point on the golf course is more than 600 yards from the epicenter of the action -- a clubhouse that will undergo a $5 million renovation prior to the 70th Senior Championship.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Spectators attending the 70th Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club next spring will find unfettered access to the contestants over the final 12 holes, including a trio that have been deemed among the most difficult finishing holes in golf.

The most historic and prestigious event in senior golf, the 70th Senior PGA Championship makes its second appearance in Ohio on May 21-24, 2009, at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, approximately 10 miles southeast of Cleveland.

When the legendary Sam Snead visited Canterbury Golf Club in the 1980s, he left his own brand of praise upon the difficulty of the layout.

"I'd much rather face a rattlesnake than a downhill two-footer at Canterbury," said Snead.

The rerouting plan for the Championship on the 6,895-yard, par-70 layout begins with players beginning play on what is the current No. 10 hole and continuing play through No. 15, after which players will wind back to the current No. 1 tee and complete the regular front nine holes.

Players will complete their rounds on the regular final three holes, which all play uphill, beginning with the 616-yard, par-5 16th and followed by the 229-yard 17th and the 439-yard, par-4 18th, where many significant championships have been decided.

"It is rare that a host site can make such a modification to give spectators unqualified premium vantage points to follow a major championship," said PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb. "Canterbury Golf Club has such versatility and will provide one of the finest settings to decide the Senior PGA Championship."

Under the rerouting plan, no point on the golf course is more than 600 yards from the epicenter of the action -- a clubhouse that will undergo a $5 million renovation prior to the Championship.

"The Canterbury Championship Course rerouting modification will significantly test the world's best senior players," said 70th Senior PGA Championship General Chairman Bill Townsend. "The 2009 Senior PGA Champion will earn a victory over formidable competition and a very tough Canterbury golf course. For over 60 years, our club has tested the best golf professionals in the world. Next year will be no exception."

Spectators in hospitality areas, either inside or immediately outside the clubhouse, will view the players crossing in front of the clubhouse three times over the final 12 holes.

Canterbury's signature 177-yard, par-3 third, which becomes the ninth hole under the rerouting, presents a formidable closing challenge for players beginning play on No. 10 in the first two rounds. The back nine, which will play to 3,774 yards, features back-to-back par-5 holes -- the 549-yard 15th and 616-yard 16th -- setting the stage for what promises to be another memorable closing stretch. Canterbury Golf Club's final four holes will be the second-longest finishing quartet in a senior major. Only the four closing holes at Congressional Country Club in the 1995 U.S. Senior Open (1,861 yards) will have played yard longer than Canterbury's 1,833 yards in 2009.

The Senior PGA Championship brings together both the game's foremost senior professionals as well as many of the legendary players who compete in the season's first senior major. Tickets will be available until Jan. 1, 2009, at $10 for Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds; $25 for each competitive round, Thursday through Sunday, or $80 for a weekly package.

Tickets will be sold at a higher gate price after Jan. 1, 2009.

Founded in 1937, the Senior PGA Championship was first conducted at Augusta National Golf Club at the invitation of legendary Bobby Jones. The Championship perennially attracts the deepest international field and its list of Champions includes virtually the greatest players in the history of the game.

Canterbury Golf Club, designed by Herbert Strong and opened for play in 1921, is recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top 100 courses in America, and next year will join Oak Hill Country Club of Rochester, N.Y., as the only courses to host all U.S. men's rotating championships.

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