After starting in 1897 as a nine-hole course, Bellerive Country Club’s membership was incorporated in 1910 and named after Louis St. Ange De Bellerive, the last French commander in North America. The original course in Normandy was designed by Scotsman Robert Foulis.
THE GOLF COURSE
In 1955 the members decided to relocate, and allowed Robert Trent Jones, Sr. to pick the land and design the new golf course. The venue opened in 1960, and hosted its first U.S. Open just five years later. Gary Player won that 1965 championship, completing his career grand slam in the process.
Bellerive went on to host the PGA Championship in 1992, which became Nick Price’s first major championship victory. Price finished three strokes ahead of a group that included Nick Faldo and Gene Sauers. The club also hosted a World Golf Championship in 2001, a U.S. Senior Open in 2004, a PGA Tour Fedex Cup Playoff event in 2008, and a Senior PGA Championship in 2013. Bellerive became the third American club to have hosted all four major championships (U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, Senior PGA Championship).
The course underwent a renovation in 2006, led by Rober Trent Jones’ son, Rees Jones. One noticeable change was to the course’s signature par-3 sixth hole, making the front of the green-over-water more dangerous. That same sixth hole played a full stroke over par (4.03) during the 1965 U.S. Open.
A very important swing hole is the par-5 17th, a hole that overs a chance for birdie or better coming down the stretch. As part of the renovation, a pond near the green was removed, making the long second shot approach a more attractive option. It should be the site for major championship drama during the 100th PGA Championship in 2018.