JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1925, Hyde Park Golf Club is steeped in history and tradition and has picked up a few quirks along the way.
The former home of the Jacksonville Open on the PGA Tour remains a popular course for locals and should be on the radar for visitors because of its unique layout, greens and pedigree.
Once owned by the city of Jacksonville, the golf course was purchased by longtime PGA Tour players Chris Locker and Billy Maxwell in the early 1971.
At just under 6,500 yards, it isn't long by today's standards, but when it played host to the Jacksonville Open in the 1950s, it was a championship test for the likes of Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. In fact, Hogan would rather forget at least one hole at Hyde Park, the par-3 sixth, which measures just 151 yards. Now nicknamed Hogan's Alley, the Wee Iceman had a bit of a meltdown during the third round of the Jax Open in 1947. It seems he hit his ball in the water hazard and tried several times to hit the ball out of the water but failed, eventually taking an unplayable and making 11. He was only three shots off the lead at the time.
That water hazard, by the way, is pretty easy to find, even if you hit the green. When the greens are running fast, balls on the left side of the green can run off a slope and into the water below.
Besides the men, LPGA legends such as Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg, Louise Suggs and Mickey Wright, who won her first professional tournament here in 1956, also played the course.
This very walkable course is also very affordable. Hyde Park Golf Club's regular green fees run in the $30 range, but there are times when you play it for less than that. The clubhouse features a snack bar, bar, locker rooms and well stocked golf shop.