Shoal Creek is located just outside of Birmingham, Ala. Here are 5 things to know about the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open host.
1. The U.S. Women’s Open is the third USGA championship held at Shoal Creek. The also club hosted the 1986 U.S. Amateur and the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur. From 2011-15 the Regions Tradition (one of the Champions tour’s five majors) called Shoal Creek home.
2. Jack Nicklaus was only 35 years old — and had yet to design a U.S. course on his own — when club founder Hall Thompson hired him as Shoal Creek’s designer in 1975.
3. All 18 greens were rebuilt to adhere to USGA major championship specifications, and six were reloacted in preparation for this week’s championship. Despite the deluge of rain the course has received over the past week, drainage isn’t expected to be a problem, thanks to the greens’ new sand bases.
4. The club’s exclusionary admissions policy made headlines when it hosted the PGA Championship in 1990, just six years after hosting the PGA for the first time in 1984. Thompson explained the policy to a reporter by saying, “I think we’ve said that we don’t discriminate in every other area except the blacks.” The comment ignited a firestrom of controversy, which resulted in the creation of an anti-discrimination policy for private clubs wishing to play host to events run by the PGA Tour, PGA of America and the USGA.
5. Thanks to an inclusive membership policy that was instituted after the 1990 PGA, former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is now a member of the club.