The monroe invitational championship

celebrating 75+ years

In mid-June, the Donald Ross layout is in peak condition.

The fairways are shaved each morning to height of ½” and the clippings are removed for optimum shotmaking. The rough is high and lush at this time of year, placing a premium on driving accuracy. The greens are double-cut daily, with Stimpmeter readings typically 11-13 feet. The bunkers are large and deep with the original Donald Ross deep-grassy faces.

The par 70, 6915 yard course features eight par fours over 400 yards, small greens with approaches similar to Pinehurst #2. Most greens are steeply sloped on the sides and back. Recovery shots are very difficult. (Note that holes 3 and 14 are member's par 5's, and are played as par 4's in this event. Additionally in 2007, nine championship fairway bunkers were added along with new championship tees on the 5th hole - now a 484-yard par 4 and the 9th hole - now a 601-yard par 5)

Monroe Golf Club is a beautiful, venerable golf course in outstanding condition that has proven to be a formidable challenge to some of the best players in the country for over 70 years of amateur golf.

To view hole by hole description click on hole number on score card or on map
HOLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 OUT   10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 IN TOTAL Slope/Index
GOLD 423 353 470 417 484 213 385 149 601 3495   433 414 492 192 493 371 194 397 434 3420 6915 130 / 73.5
PAR 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 5 35   4 4 5 3 4 4 3 4 4 35 70  

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Course Description

Number 1 - Par 4 - HCP 9
The opening hole is one of Monroe's longest par fours. A generously wide landing area here; however, a hooked or pulled tee shot can ride the prevailing northwesterly wind into a thick stand of pines left for a certain bogey or worse. A medium to long iron second shot to one of the deepest greens on the course. Add two to three clubs when the pin is back. Any ball landing short comes right back at you down the slope - a real factor when the flagstick is cut up front. The green is sneaky fast going down hill.
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Number 2 - Par 4 - HCP 13
The second hole is a little gem. . . a short par four in classic Donald Ross design. Mr. Ross placed his bunkers along existing ridges which gives his courses their natural scenic beauty. These steep, grass faced bunkers can catch an errant tee shot both right and left. A good tee shot leaves the player a short iron or wedge to a tiny, well-bunkered green. The most difficult pin placement is back right to small plateau that is sloped severely on all sides. An excellent birdie opportunity here, but be careful...out of bounds lurks just a short bounce away from the back edge of the green.
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Number 3 - Par 5 - HCP 5
A converted members' par 5, the 3rd hole once an easy birdie becomes a challenging par 4 for the Monroe Invitational Championship. A drive positioned right center leaves a long to mid-iron second shot and a clear view of the green. Thick Monroe rough left and a stand of towering sassafrass trees right can make this innocent looking hole troublesome. The green is one of the widest on the course making it easy to hit, but difficult to putt the long ones. A large bunker guards the approach to the left side of the green.

In the semi-finals of the 1993 Monroe Invitational Championship, 17 year old Tiger Woods hit a miraculous low, rising cut four iron that sliced some 70 yards under, around and over the maples left of the fairway. The ball traveled 210 yards to just 8 feet from the hole. Tom Creavy made 3, Tiger a 4, and Tom went on to win the match and the 1993 MIC Championship that year.

Tiger's match play loss at Monroe was his only match play loss over a five year period beginning with his three consecutive USGA Junior Championships and ending with his three consecutive United States Amateur Championships.
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Number 4 - Par 4 - HCP 11
4th hole approach Now the driving gets a bit tougher. Thick pines and two large maples guard the left side of the driving area. Few pars are made from the large bunker or trees on the right side. Two more large bunkers 300 yards from the tee are not only scenic, but make an excellent target for the tee shot. Once on the fairway this green is one of the easier targets on the golf course, but a newly renovated, deep bunker will grab it's share of balls. Hard pan over the green makes long a tough place to get it up and down. Two small ledges, middle left and back right, are the most challenging pin placements.
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Number 5 - Par 4 - HCP 1
Brute strength, accuracy and finesse are what's required on Monroe’s #1 handicap hole. The thinking player will favor left center as the fairway dips severely towards a set of tightly bunched pines on the right. Given favorable wind conditions a big hitter can gamble, drive down the right side, catch a good bounce and roll all the way to the flats. . . leaving just a wedge for a second shot. Everyone else will have a side hill lie with anything from a long to mid-iron to a very narrow green. The green features a large ridge through it's center providing many thrilling pin placements.
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Number 6 - Par 3 - HCP 15
All the par threes at Monroe are difficult - #6 is the longest. From the championship tees players face an uphill long iron or wood shot into unpredictable winds and well bunkered green. The green is surrounded by deep bunkers including a newly renovated deep back bunker just a few feet over the green. Pars can be tough to come by here.
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Number 7 - Par 4 - HCP 7
The prevailing northwesterly winds make this hole play longer than the stated yardage. A stand of pines guard the right side of the fairway and the rough is deep and gnarly on the left. This green is a Ross classic and hole location is key. The green is terraced severely from side to side which cuts the effective size of the green in half. When the flagstick is on the right the player must hit a target only 20 feet wide. Miss the target left and face a slick, hard-breaking downhilll putt. Bordering the right side of the green are two cavernous bunkers well over head height. When the flagstick is top left it is imperative not to pull your second shot as the ball will bounce cruelly left and only a few will get up and down from here.
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Number 8 - Par 3 - HCP 17
8th hole
Most classic golf courses feature a great “little' par 3. Hole eight is Monroe's version. The smallest, narrowest and most dramatically bunkered, players have been known to “lose it” here. Winds blowing down the ninth hole and swirling into the corridor of pines lining the 8th fairway can make this exacting shot quite tricky. Tying to reach the smaller second tier of this green is an even more difficult and potentially foolhardy task. A high soft sand shot is a necessity from any of the five bunkers located around the green. A delicate downhill chip from hardpan awaits anything long.
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Number 9 - Par 5 - HCP 3
The tee shot is all uphill and into the prevailing winds killing any chance of roll. Drives leaked right or left find clusters of thick pines. Long hitters can reach this green in two; however, the narrow green is elevated and slopes severely on all sides. Miss this green and players will face some of the most demanding greenside pitches in golf.
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Number 10 - Par 4 - HCP 8
The opening hole on the back nine offers a fairly wide driving area. A bunker at 275 yards out on the left is a mild threat as is the grove of trees to the far right. A good hole to let one fly off the tee as this is the second longest par 4 on the course. The hole narrows considerably at the green - only 45 feet across in the front and a stingy 24 feet at just past center. This can be a most elusive target due to Ross original, waist-high bunkers both left and right.
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Number 11 - Par 4 - HCP 10
11th GreenThis is one of Monroe's most majestic holes - a slight dog leg right guarded by towering pines on the right and a deep fairway bunker 250 yards out on the left side. The green, redesigned by Brian Silva in 1994, sits among 100 year old oak trees. The trees overhang the left side of the green and heavy rough will catch errant shots to the right of the green.
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Number 12 - Par 5 - HCP 2
The driving area on #12 is one of the narrowest on the course. Smitty's Moguls, a series of five grassy mounds, prevent players from going for this green in two if they miss fairway left off the tee. Tee shots that stray right will find Maurer's woods and the player will be lucky to chip out to the fairway. Two long and true shots will reach the narrow green which is only 25 feet across and guarded by a deep bunker in front, tall overhanging trees right, and a large tulip tree close left. This green is very fast from back to front and deceptively slow in the opposite direction.
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Number 13 - Par 3 - HCP 18
hole13.jpg (22417 bytes)Monroe Invitational Championship players have had the most difficulty with the Monroe's 13th hole over the 70 year history of the amateur tournament. Shots not reaching the putting surface on the fly spin all the way back down the steep, closely mown approach leaving an awkward lob shot back up the hill. The right side of the hole seems to draw shots to the bunker and gnarly rough on that side. Right is dead - few players get it up and down here, especially if the hole is cut on the abruptly sloped right side of the green.
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Number 14 - Par 5 - HCP 6
The second of two converted members' par 5, 14 is often considered the signature hole at Monroe. Our oldest and tallest oak tree stands sentinel on the right. The green is set amongst another set of towering oaks that overhang the green on both sides requiring an extremely accurate second shot in order to reach the putting surface.A steep rise fronting the green and a severe slope from left to right make pitching and putting a true test on this long and beautiful par four.
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Number 15 - Par 4 - HCP 14
Donald Ross and God teamed up to give us one golf's most natural looking holes. A classic, little par 4 that gently works its way between pines both left and right and uphill past bunker-faced ridges. The elevated and smallish sized green sits like a crown jewel amid a backdrop of Monroe's tallest white pines.
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Number 16 - Par 3 - HCP 16
Each par 3 at Monroe can be curiously troublesome and #16 is no exception. A player trying to finish a good round must play solidly here. The wind typically is in your face and to the left. Shots landing short pull back all the way down the steep approach to the green. A large bunker right gets its fair share of play as does the rough left of the green. The green is severely sloped and one of Monroe's quickest.
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Number 17 - Par 4 - HCP 12
Plenty of room off the tee, but shots pushed right will be blocked by Wisner's Oak. Deep bunkers guard the front, left and right of the green. The bunker on the left has been renovated this past year and is now eight feet lower.   Any shots missed to the left will find this cavernous bunker and the player will not see the flagstick. Another quick downhill putt awaits anything past the hole.
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Number 18 - Par 4 - HCP 4
Buckle your seat belts for a bumpy ride. The home hole is the longest par four on the course and certainly the most difficult. The uphill tee shot almost always plays into the wind and the rough is as thick as anyplace on the course. Donald Ross was noted for his contoured greens and mounded approaches which he explains “makes possible an infinite variety of nasty short shots that no other form of hazard can call for”. A two tiered green, a swale that runs diagonally through the middle of the green, bunkers left and long and a combination of gentle and severe mounding at every turn make the 18th green at Monroe a Ross classic.
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monroe golf club, pittsford, ny